The National Grange today said a court case will continue against the California State Grange and members of its Executive Committee, despite the denial of a request for extraordinary relief in the form of an injunction against the CSG by a judge on Oct. 17.
National Grange President Ed Luttrell said the injunction was filed because suspended State Grange President Bob McFarland and the CSG Executive Committee chose to ignore Grange by-laws and procedures and refused to abide by the very rules they took an oath to follow. The legal case seeks to enforce the suspension of the Charter of the California State Grange. The injunction would have allowed the National Grange to immediately prevent CSG, its Executive Committee and employees from conducting further business, including the signing of contracts, until such time as the issues of the Charter suspension had been judicially determined. Now the case will take time to weave through the judicial process.
The National Grange’s request for interim relief was denied as the judge ruled that the dispute was better suited to full trial on the merits. There was no denial by the court of the suspension of the CSG Charter. The status quo remains that the CSG Charter has been suspended. Any action taken by the CSG Executive Committee or by the suspended Master McFarland is without authority under Grange Law and places the CSG Charter in peril. The judge’s decision failed to acknowledge National Grange’s by-laws that have been a governing set of rules for the organization since 1867. These by-laws, such as those in any organization, allow for an orderly, balanced and fair process to resolve disputes. The Constitution of the CSG expressly acknowledges the supremacy of the laws of the National Grange. While efforts are always taken to resolve disputes before entering the Grange’s judicial process, when necessary, that process has successfully fairly adjudicated disputes time and time again over these many years.
The National Grange is sorely dismayed at the CSG’s snubbing of Grange law and tradition, law and tradition that has maintained a strong organization at the community, state and national level for nearly 150 years. The actions by the CSG, through its Executive Committee, jeopardizes the entire governance structure of the Grange. The National Grange will continue its efforts to maintain the integrity of this historic organization, and preserve its internal procedures.
Ed Luttrell, President