Doughty v. State Employees' Ass'n of New Hampshire, No. 19-1636 (1st Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court granting a Union's motion to dismiss two Hampshire state employees' (Appellants) complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, holding that Appellants' claim based on Janus v. American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), was not cognizable under section 1983.
Appellants sought retrospective relief for themselves and other state employees who were not members of the State Employees' Association of New Hampshire (the Union) but were forced to pay "agency fees" to it prior to the decision in Janus. In Janus, the United States Supreme Court overruled its decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), and held that "agency fee" arrangements violate the First Amendment. The district court granted the Union's motion to dismiss Appellants' complaint for failure to state a claim. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court correctly held that Appellants' damages claim failed.