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Fraternal Order of Police v. State Employment Relations Board

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 26, 2013

Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council, Inc., Appellant-Appellee,
v.
State Employment Relations Board, Appellee-Appellee. (International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Intervenor-Appellant),

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court C.P.C. No. 12CVF-01-112 of Common Pleas.

Kay E. Cremeans, and Paul L. Cox, for appellee Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council, Inc.

Harris Reny Torzewski LPA, and Joan Torzewski, for appellant.

DECISION

BROWN, J.

(¶ 1} Appellant, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America ("UAW"), appeals the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas reversing an order by the State Employment Relations Board ("SERB"), appellee.

(¶ 2} In November 2006, UAW was certified by SERB as the exclusive representative of all full-time Clerk Typists, Clerk I, Clerk II, Dispatch/Clerk III, Maintenance Workers, Counselors, Process Servers, Deputy Sheriffs, Correction Officers and Building Security Officers ("the employees") employed by the Lucas County Sheriffs Office.

(¶ 3} On September 26, 2011, the Fraternal Order of Police ("FOP") filed a petition for representation election with SERB seeking to represent the employees. In the petition, the FOP named the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local 3056 ("Local 3056") as the incumbent labor organization. The FOP sent the petition via certified mail to Matt Leuttke, UAW Local 3056, 1700 Canton Street, Suite F, Toledo, Ohio 43604. The FOP apparently obtained the name and address of the incumbent labor organization from a document filed with SERB by the Lucas County Sheriffs Office. The certified mail receipt was signed for by Jesse Jaquez, who works for a bail bonds business on the first floor of the same building in which Local 3056 is located.

(¶ 4} On October 4, 2011, the FOP filed an amended petition and mailed it via regular mail to Patrick Mangold, UAW Local 3056, 1700 Canton Street, Suite 5, Toledo, Ohio 43604.

(¶ 5} On October 5, 2011, the UAW filed a notice of appearance with SERB and also filed a motion to dismiss the FOP's petition, arguing that the UAW was not served with the petition and was not named as the incumbent labor organization in the petition.

(¶ 6} On October 6, 2011, the FOP filed an amended petition with SERB, naming the UAW as the incumbent labor organization, and the petition was served via certified mail upon UAW.

(¶ 7} On November 17, 2011, the UAW submitted a letter to SERB detailing its position on the matter. The UAW indicated that it was the incumbent organization, neither Matt Leuttke nor Jesse Jaquez was an officer of Local 3056, and it did not receive service until after the October 6, 2011 amended petition was filed, which was after the period permissible for filing such a petition.

(¶ 8} On December 15, 2011, SERB dismissed the FOP's petition, finding that service was not complete pursuant to Ohio Adm.Code 4117-1-02(B) for the original filing, and the October 4, 2011 amended petition was filed one day beyond the time permitted by R.C. 4117.07(C)(6).

(¶ 9} The FOP appealed SERB's decision to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. On July 9, 2012, the court issued a final judgment, remanding the matter to SERB for a full development of the factual record and redetermination of the legal questions. The trial court indicated that the record did not reveal whether UAW had provided updated names and addresses for purposes of service of process, whether the FOP substantially complied with the service requirements based upon any incorrect or outdated addresses on file with SERB, whether SERB computed the filing deadline based upon Ohio Adm.Code 4117-1-03, and whether the date of filing for the amended petition should relate back to the original attempt at service. The UAW has appealed the court's judgment, asserting the following assignment of error:

The common pleas court erred when it substituted its judgment for that of SERB and relied on argument and evidence not ...

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