The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 30, 2009
Tentative furlough ruling now final

In a legal equivalent of waving a white flag, attorneys for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't ask for a chance to change a judge's mind after he said that several furlough lawsuits filed around the state shouldn't be pulled into Sacramento Superior Court.

As a result, Judge Timothy Frawley's tentative ruling Thursday stands: The furlough cases are dissimilar enough to keep in separate courts.

A hearing over whether to coordinate the cases had been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today in Frawley's courtroom. But after the judge issued the tentative ruling to keep the cases separate, the governor's attorney's didn't call to confirm that they wanted to argue their side at the hearing. The court gives attorneys until 4 p.m. the day that a tentative ruling is handed down to verify that they still want the scheduled hearing.

That means the ruling stands.

Schwarzenegger's lawyers had argued that several furlough lawsuits in various superior courts should be brought to Sacramento for the sake of convenience and in the "interest of justice." State employee unions, led by California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, have opposed the idea. Schwarzenegger has won a few furlough cases in Sacramento. He lost two in San Francisco, where three more lawsuits are pending. Four cases in Alameda County are set for a Nov. 16 hearing. Those cases would have probably been delayed had Schwarzenegger won the coordination argument.

Click here for our new Furlough Fight spreadsheet to see where this case fits in the litigation universe.

And click here for more about Frawley's tentative-now-final decision.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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