Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture Posted On
Posted By Steffy Alen

Respondent union brought an action to secure possession of union books and records while appellant union treasurer brought a proceeding in mandamus to compel the union to admit him to the office of treasurer and pay him the salary of such office. The Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California) entered judgments for the union. The treasurer appealed.

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After the treasurer was elected to his position in the union, the members of the union adopted an amendment to the union constitution and by-laws which required him to be an elevator operator. He refused to accept such employment and refused to turn over the books, claiming that he was entitled to draw his salary as treasurer for the remainder of his term. In the union’s action for possession of the books, the trial court dismissed the treasurer’s counterclaim and cross-complaint for payment of his salary. The court upheld the judgment in the mandamus proceeding holding that the amendment was legal and valid, but held that the treasurer should have been permitted to file his counterclaim and cross-complaint in the union’s action. First, the law does not prevent one who has appointed an agent for a specified term from revoking the agency. Even though the union had the power to remove the treasurer from office, it could be liable for breach of an employment contract. Second, the trial court’s decision to strike the treasurer’s counterclaim and cross-complaint denied him a trial of his claim for damages for breach of contract.


The judgment in the mandamus proceeding was affirmed, but the judgment in the action on behalf of the union was reversed with directions to allow the filing of the treasurer’s counterclaim and cross-complaint and to proceed to a trial of the single issue of his claim for back salary.

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