Governor Inslee, City of Spokane and other Public Officials named Defendants in Federal Lawsuit seeking relief and damages filed by the Wolf Legal Group and Law Office of Milton G. Rowland and supported by WA Citizens4Liberty
1.1 All plaintiffs are on the brink of having adverse employment action of some sort taken against them. For most — troopers in the Washington State Patrol, firefighters for the City of Spokane, among others — October 5 was a hard deadline. If they did not get vaccinated on October 5, the procedure was initiated to deprive them of their careers and livelihood.
1.2 In each case, a form of disability or sincere religious belief requires them to decline vaccination.
II. Parties and Jurisdiction
A. Subject matter jurisdiction
2.1 Plaintiffs are citizens of Washington and Idaho, all of whom work in Washington and whose employment is adversely affected by a proclamation of the Governor of the State of Washington, and who bring this lawsuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331, with supplemental jurisdiction asserted over State claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1367. Declaratory remedies are sought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2201, and injunctive relief sought pursuant to Fed.R.Civ. P. 65, and by statute and the Court’s inherent and equitable powers.
2.2 Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391. Most plaintiffs reside and/or work in this District, and the claims asserted herein are related to employment relationships and contracts undertaken in this State, most in this District.
C. Personal jurisdiction
2.3 Defendants are all citizens of the State of Washington. The claims all arose in Washington to plaintiffs understanding and belief.
2.3.2 Defendant City of Spokane is named only to the extent that it is not an “arm of the State” for purposes of 42 U.S.C. 1983. Its official policy, expressed by the Fire Chief in a recent memo to all fire department employees including numerous plaintiffs is action depriving numerous plaintiffs of federally protected rights and therefore the City of Spokane is a “person” for purposes of this lawsuit and Sec. 1983 claims a proper defendant herein.
2.3.3 Brian Schaefer is the Fire Chief in Spokane, the final decisionmaker with respect to fire department employee policies. His September 2021 memo provides for the termination, or other adverse employment actions, without cause, of several plaintiffs.
2.3.4 Chief John Batiste is Chief Executive Officer of the Washington State Patrol. He is named herein only in his official capacity, and only prospective relief is requested against him.
2.2.5 Roger Millar is the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, he is named for purposes of injunctive and declaratory relief, and not for damages.
2.3.6 Donald Clintsman is the Secretary of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and is named only for such remedies as may be permitted pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment.
2.5 Twenty Three (23) Named Plaintiffs are all employees of the named agencies that appear in the complaint. Additional plaintiffs are eligible and expected to be added.
Related to Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 on September 27, 2021.
3.1 In the proclamation the Governor prohibited any person from working the the fields of healthcare, education, and state employment if that person has not been fully vaccinated.
3.2 The Proclamation allows for religious and medical exemptions however, the Proclamation explicitly gives deference to local and state agencies regarding their management of the vaccine mandate.
3.3 Due to the deference that Governor Inslee has given to state agencies, private and public health care facilities, and private and public educational facilities; several agencies have decided to create their own mandates in order to circumvent the requirements under State and Federal law as well as ignore the individual protections afforded by both the State and Federal Constitutions
IV. First Cause of Action: Injunctive Relief Against Governor Inslee; Damages where provided against non-state defendants Violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983
V. Second Cause of Action: Governor’s Proclamation is Ultra Vires and Void, Without Legal Effect; Injunctive Relief Sought
VI. Third Cause of Action: Deprivation of Religious Freedom, U.S. CONST., Amend. 1, WASH CONST. Art. 1, Sec. 11 and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the federal constitution (declaratory and injunctive relief)
VII. Fourth Cause of Action: Procedural Due Process
VIII. Fifth Cause of Action: Substantive Due Process
IX. Sixth Cause of Action: Taking and Violation of the Contracts Clause
X. Seventh Cause of Action: Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
XI. Eighth Cause of Action: Violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)
XII. Ninth Cause of Action: Cruel Punishment
XIII. Tenth Cause of Action: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
XIV. Eleventh Cause of Action: Battery
XV. Prayer for Relief
Based upon the foregoing, plaintiffs pray for relief as follows:
15.1 Injunctive and declaratory relief that the Proclamation violates federally secured rights and may not be enforced consistently with federal law;
15.2 Injunctive and declaratory relief that the orders issued by defendant heads of departments are also violative if federal law and cannot proceed consistently with federally secured rights;
15.3 Injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. 1983
15.4 Damages were allowable under the Eleventh Amendment for violations of 42 U.S.C. 1983
15.5 Attorney fees and costs under 42 U.S.C. 1988
15.6 In exercise of the Court’s Supplemental Jurisdiction, damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief as set forth herein for violations of state law, including violations of the WLAD, Separation of Powers, and other state laws as set forth hereinabove
15.7 In exercise of the Court’s Supplemental Jurisdiction, such costs and plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees as may be provided by State law
15.8 Such other and further relief as to the court is just and equitable.
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