Back in July we relayed that a judge had approved the Orange County Employees Association's request for a preliminary injunction so that the city of Costa Mesa would be temporarily blocked from cutting hundreds of workers’ jobs. In an update, the city’s layoff plan will still be on hold because a state appeals court rejected the city’s request to lift the injunction. Recently Costa Mesa filed a 43-page petition for a writ of mandate, but the three-judge panel threw it out, and in the process dismissed the city’s argument that although the city has not enacted any legislation, the injunction assumes illegality. In response to the appeals court’s action, City Attorney Tom Duarte commented that “Obtaining writ relief is difficult. It is even more difficult still where there is a right to appeal the original ruling, which is the case here. The city will now proceed with a formal appeal of the trial court's preliminary injunction ruling.”
You’ll recall the lawsuit against the city was filed by the Orange County Employees Association on behalf of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, as the labor groups are arguing that the layoffs are a violation of the union’s contract and state law. OCEA spokeswoman Jennifer Muir applauded the court’s rejection of the city’s writ of mandate, commenting that “Courts continue to reject any justification for the City Council majority's outsourcing scheme. We sincerely hope this latest rebuke by the courts will motivate the council to abandon its needless campaign against its employees and all the residents who have urged them to stop dismantling the city.”
Since the injunction will remain in place for now, it will not be lifted until a final ruling on the city’s outsourcing plan is issued by a judge or jury as the case proceeds. That being said, Costa Mesa wants to file a formal appeal against the trial court's injunction.