LULAC Response to Chavez Martinez Cardenas Motion for Injunction | Supreme Court Of The United States | Injunction

Case 3:12-cv-00296-FM Document 49 Filed 02/18/14 Page 1 of 10

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
EL PASO DIVISION
LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN
CITIZENS, INC. (LULAC)
Plaintiff,

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v.
TEXAS LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN
AMERICAN CITIZENS, LINDA CHAVEZ,
Individually, BEA MARTINEZ, Individually,
and JOEY CARDENAS, Individually,
Defendants.

Civil Action Number
EP:12-cv-0296-FM

PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR DECLARATORY
JUDGEMENT, RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT, AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE FRANK MONTALVO:
Comes now the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and files its
response to Defendants’ Motion. From the outset LULAC will state that this Motion is
frivolous, disingenuous and that the Defendants’ have knowingly misled their counsel as to the
facts in this case. Although the charges filed against these Defendants’ and at least two other
individuals by a LULAC member, the fact that the trademark infringement issue is raised at the
beginning of the charges, the Defendants’ purposely omit the laundry list of complaints against
all the people brought before the board, including the fact that some of these individuals were
involved in a plot to have the current LULAC State Director charged in Houston, Texas with
embezzlement from the Texas LULAC funds and also charges that these three Defendants filed
for claims on the Texas LULAC Board errors and omissions policy as officers of LULAC when
they were in fact not officers of LULAC. That issue is still under investigation by the insurance
company and counsel for LULAC, as t was the proceeds of the insurance claim that paid the
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judgment in this case and also caused the LULAC Texas errors and omissions policy to be
cancelled.. Nonetheless, the LULAC National Board unanimously rejected the notion of
expulsion or removal from LULAC, with the exception of Joe “Joey” Cardenas, who was
expelled from LULAC for repeated disrespect to the National President and the entire LULAC
National Board. For example, the last time Joe Cardenas stood before the National Board to
answer charges against him as LULAC State Director, and with his attorney standing at his side,
Joe Cardenas arrogantly told the National Board “Go ahead and remove me from office, I don’t
care, I will survive and so will LULAC”. That was it. Joe Cardenas did not refute a single
allegation against him. Since that time President Margaret Moran and the National Board have
endured a litany of disrespectful emails, disrespect at public and LULAC events and repeated
accusations of malfeasance against President Moran and the National Board by Joe Cardenas.
Nonetheless and despite overwhelming evidence against them, the National Board unanimously
rejected the notion of expulsion or removal from LULAC of all others, taking into consideration
there past and long history of service to LULAC. Instead the national Board ordered all others to
behave, be respectful to LULAC, its National President and all officers and to follow the
LULAC Constitution or that they would face expulsion. See, attached agreements signed by
Linda Chavez, Beatrice Martinez and Ricardo Dovalina.
In support thereof, LULAC will show the following;
PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On July 27, 2012 the Plaintiff League of United Latin American Citizens (hereinafter
referred to as LULAC) filed an Original Petition bringing forth claims for federal trademark
infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition (under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)),
common law trademark infringement and common law unfair competition claims against Texas

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League of United Latin American Citizens, Inc. (TX LULAC), and individually against Florinda
Chavez aka Linda Chavez, Beatrice Alba Martinez aka Bea Martinez and Joe Cardenas, III aka
Joey Cardenas.
On December 19, 2012 the parties entered into an Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent
Injunction (referred to as the “Order”).

This Order was signed by this Honorable Court on

December 20, 2012. As part of this agreement the parties entered into numerous permanent
injunctions against Defendants Chavez, Martinez and Cardenas. Among the permanent
injunctions, Defendants Chavez, Martinez and Cardenas were enjoined from… “referring to
themselves as officers or directors of TX LULAC, except in their former capacities as officers or
directors of TX LULAC” and other stipulations in the Agreed Judgment in the record of this
case.
ARGUMENT
There is nothing in this Agreed Judgment that prohibits the facts of the trademark
infringement issue to be brought up by any LULAC member or by the National Board itself.
Doing so, would cause this honorable court to dwell itself into the internal matters of a non-profit
volunteer organization. That notion is disfavored and rejected by state and federal courts across
the country.
THE COURTS SHOULD NOT INTERFERE WITH THE INTERNAL MATTERS OF
NON-PROFIT VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS:
The Defendants seek from this Court a Declaratory Judgment pursuant to FRCP 57, 60,
and 65, ordering LULAC not to remove or sanction these Defendants as members of LULAC
and seeks to have this honorable court remove the Agreed Permanent Injunction against these
Defendants’ for trademark infringement against LULAC. Defendants’ effectively embroil this
court in the internal matters of a non-profit voluntary organization. The courts throughout the
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country have a long standing policy of non-judicial intervention in the internal matters of nonprofit volunteer organizations and federal and Texas law has followed this long standing policy.
The argument that follow explain the reasoning underlying this policy.
The Federal Exhaustion Doctrine
It has long been established that a party will normally be denied judicial relief for injury
until available administrative remedies have been exhausted. As the Supreme Court stated in one
of the leading cases dealing with the exhaustion doctrine, Myers v. Bethlehem Shipbuilding
Corp., 303 U.S. 41, 50-51, 58 S.Ct. 459, 463, 82 L.Ed. 638 (1938):
(T)he long settled rule of judicial administration (is) that no one is entitled to judicial
relief for a supposed or threatened injury until the prescribed administrative remedy has been
exhausted.
The rule applies in federal courts to both state and federal administrative remedies, and has
been said to be of special force in federal-state cases. Illinois Commerce Commission v.
Thomson, 318 U.S. 675, 63 S.Ct. 834, 87 L.Ed. 1075 (1943); Natural Gas Pipeline Co. v.
Slattery, 302 U.S. 300, 58 S.Ct. 199, 82 L.Ed. 276 (1937); Gilchrist v. Interborough Rapid
Transit Co., 279 U.S. 159, 49 S.Ct. 282, 73 L.Ed. 652 (1929). As the Court explained in Public
Service Commission v. Wycoff Co., 344 U.S. 237, 246-47, 73 S.Ct. 236, 241-42, 97 L.Ed. 291
(1952):
Even when there is no incipient federal-state conflict, the declaratory judgment procedure
will not be used to pre-empt and prejudge issues that are committed for initial decision to
an administrative body or special tribunal any more than it will be used as a substitute for
statutory methods of review....
Many of the important policy purposes of the doctrine requiring exhaustion of federal
administrative proceedings as a precedent to judicial relief were articulated by the Supreme
Court in McKart v. United States, 395 U.S. 185, 193-95, 89 S.Ct. 1657, 1662-63, 23 L.Ed.2d 194
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(1969): (1) to avoid premature interruption of the administrative process; (2) to let the agency
develop the necessary factual background upon which decisions should be based; (3) to permit
the agency to exercise its discretion or apply its expertise; (4) to improve the efficiency of the
administrative process; (5) to conserve scarce judicial resources, since the complaining party
may be successful in vindicating rights in the administrative process and the courts may never
have to intervene; (6) to give the agency a chance to discover and correct its own errors; and (7)
to avoid the possibility that "frequent and deliberate flouting of administrative processes could
weaken the effectiveness of an agency by encouraging people to ignore its procedures."
When the complaining party seeks federal court review of state action, the reasons stated in
McKart are overlaid by forceful considerations of federalism and comity which counsel the
exhaustion of administrative relief before the intervention of the federal judiciary into the
dispute. K. Davis, Administrative Law § 20.01 (Supp.1970). Cf. National League of Cities
v. Usery, 426 U.S. 833, 96 S.Ct. 2465, 49 L.Ed.2d 245 (1976) (state autonomy in certain
employment decisions); Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S.Ct. 746, 27 L.Ed.2d 669
(1971) (non-intervention of federal courts in pending state court action absent exceptional
circumstances); Railroad Commission v. Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496, 501, 61 S.Ct. 643,
645, 85 L.Ed. 971 (1949) (abstention because of "scrupulous regard for the rightful
independence of the state governments"). Qutoted from, Patsy vs. Florida International
University, 634 F.2d 900 (5tht Cir. 1981)
The League of United Latin American Citizens (“LULAC”), this nation’s oldest and most
widely respected Latino civil rights organization, presents to this Court for resolution the
question of who determines the internal matters of LULAC, a voluntary, not-for-profit
association. LULAC’s governing documents contain important limitations on its officers and its
members in general, limitations which protect LULAC’s mandate, preserve LULAC’s identity,
and ensure a fair process for airing its grievances and appeals of those grievances. The LULAC
Constitution and By-laws also provide a process to interpret and rule on any disputes relating to
those limitations.

Despite LULAC’S determination to govern itself and its members in

accordance with its rules and constitution the Defendant’s via their petition for Declaratory
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Judgment, would have this Court interfere with LULAC’s membership and eligibility
determinations and to discipline its’ member in accordance with the LULAC Constitution, ByLaws and Protocol. But LULAC—unlike the Defendants has followed its constitutional
processes and rules and reasonably determined that the Defendants had committed numerous acts
causing them to be brought before the National Board. As stated above none of the Defendants
were removed or expelled from LULAC, except Joe Cardenas, and this was done for a litany of
reasons.

The Defendants and the other individuals involved in the hearing still have the

opportunity to appeal the decision of the LULAC National BoardT to the National Assembly.
Therefore these Defendants have not exhausted their administrative remedies available to them
under the governing rules, Constitution and By-laws and Protocol of LULAC.
The National Assembly is the supreme authority of the League [and is composed of the
National Board of Directors, District Directors, and Certified Delegations of the Councils].”
LULAC Constitution Art. VI § 1(a).

“As supreme authority of the League the National

Assembly is hereby vested with all legislative, judicial and executive powers set forth in this
Constitution and Bylaws and all adopted resolutions.” LULAC Constitution Art. VI § 1(b).
“Under the authority of the National Assembly, the National Board of Directors 1 shall
execute the mandates of the National Assembly and administer the League in the interim
between National Conventions, being empowered . . . To suspend any Council or recall its
charter for acts contrary to or not in keeping with LULAC principles and constitutional
provisions,” LULAC Constitution Art. VI § 2(b)(6)” and “To listen to appeals from members

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The National Board of Directors includes the National President, the Immediate Past National President, the
Naitonal Vice Presidents, Past National Presidents, National Treasurer, the National Youth President, State
Directors, and appointed officers, which include the National Secretary, the National Legal Advisory, the National
Parliamentarian, the National Chaplain, and the National Director of Publicity. See LULAC Constitution Art. VI §
2(a).

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and/or Councils including charges of suspension or expulsion from the League and to rule
according to the facts of the case . . . .” LULAC Constitution Art. VI § 2(b)(4).
In this case, the Defendants ignore their administrative remedies of appeal and review,
for which they now seek this court to dwell into the internal matters of LULAC.
State Law follows Non-Intervention Policy
Traditionally, courts are not disposed to interfere with the internal management of
a voluntary association. Dickey v. Club Corp. of Am., 12 S.W.3d 172, 176
(Tex.App.—Dallas 2000, pet. denied) (citing Harden v. Colonial Country Club,
634 S.W.2d 56, 59 (Tex.App.—Fort Worth 1982, writ ref'd n.r.e.)). By becoming
a member, a person subjects himself, within legal limits, to the organization's
power to make and administer its rules. Dickey, 12 S.W.3d at 176; Harden, 634
S.W.2d at 59. A private, nonprofit organization has the right to manage, within
legal limits, its own affairs without interference from the courts. Dickey, 12
S.W.3d at 176; Butler v. Hide–A–Way Lake Club, Inc., 730 S.W.2d 405, 410
(Tex.App.—Eastland 1987, writ ref'd n.r.e.); Harden, 634 S.W.2d at 59; Combs v.
Tex. State Teachers Ass'n, 533 S.W.2d 911, 913 (Tex.Civ.App.—Austin 1976,
writ ref'd n.r.e.). As long as a governing body does not decide a dispute by
legislating a resolution instead of exercising judicial-type interpretation, does not
transgress the bounds of reason, or contravene public policy, the courts cannot
interfere. Dickey, 12 S.W.3d at 176; Butler, 730 S.W.2d at 410; Harden, 634
S.W.2d at 59. Thus, judicial review is proper only when the actions of the
organization are illegal, against some public policy, or are arbitrary or capricious.
Dickey, 12 S.W.3d at 176; Butler, 730 S.W.2d at 410; Harden, 634 S.W.2d at 60.
Accordingly, a review of a private association's actions are severely limited under
the common law in Texas. Courts have gone so far as to state that they will not review a
private association's failure to conduct its business according to its own procedures
except for the purpose of protecting some civil or property right.
. . . the threshold standards for bringing any recognized common law suit against
a voluntary private association are substantial. Screwmen's Benev. Ass'n v.
Benson, 13 S.W. 379 (Tex. 1890) (action by individual against charitable
corporation seeking injunctive relief and damages arising from expulsion)
A member of a voluntary association is bound by a sentence of expulsion against
him lawfully rendered by a tribunal created in pursuance of its constitution, and
clothed with that power. The rule also applies at least to such incorporated
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societies as are not organized principally for commercial gain. By uniting with the
society, the member assents to and accepts the constitution, and impliedly binds
himself to abide by the decision of such boards as that instrument may provide,
for the determination of disputes arising within the association. The decisions of
these tribunals, when organized under the constitution, and lawfully exercising
these powers, though they involve the expulsion of a member, are no more subject
to collateral attack for mere error than are the judgments of a court at law. But if
the tribunal act illegally; if it declare a sentence of expulsion for an offense for
which that penalty is not provided by the constitution and laws of the association;
and if there be no right of appeal, within the association, reserved for the redress
of the injury,-the courts will review the proceedings, and, if found illegal, will
treat them as null, and restore the member to his privileges as such.
Dickey v. Club Corp. of America, 12 S.W.3d 172 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2000, pet. denied)
(upholding grant of summary judgment in favor of not-for-profit golf club)
Plaintiffs “make the conclusory statement that their ‘valuable property rights and
civil rights are at risk because of the unilateral actions of the [Club];’ however,
[plaintiffs] do not specify what rights are at risk. Membership in a golf club is not
a ‘valuable property right,’ and the involvement of a property right alone does not
necessarily authorize judicial intervention in the absence of arbitrariness, fraud, or
collusion. With respect to [plaintiffs’] civil rights, the[y] . . . have not alleged
gender inequity or discrimination. Their sole complaint is that they are not
allowed to play golf together on Saturday mornings. If the courts were to
intervene each time members of a golf club felt that restrictions on tee times were
unreasonable, operation of such clubs would become unmanageable and valuable
judicial resources would be wasted. . . . We conclude that the Dickeys' claim is
absent evidence of fraud, illegality, or that the Dickeys' valuable property rights
or civil rights are in jeopardy. Thus, the doctrine of judicial non-intervention
applies, and the [plaintiffs’] claim that Canyon Creek’s bylaws violate their
contractual rights under the membership agreement is not subject to our review.
By voluntarily becoming members of Canyon Creek and agreeing to be bound by
its bylaws, the [plaintiffs’] subjected themselves to the Club’s power to make and
administer its rules. Dickey, id.
LULAC Texas Actions Against its Members
Defendant Linda Chavez complains to this Court on action taken against her by
the Texas LULAC State Board. The Texas LULAC State Board is not a party to the
underlying case and what occurred or did not occur has not been brought before the
National Board or to the National Executive Board. In fact the first time this counsel
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heard of this allegation was in the Motion herein. Linda Chavez has not to the best of my
knowledge brought this complaint to the National level, therefore has totally failed in her
administrative remedies. If in fact the allegations are true, this would have nothing to do
with her illegal act of trademark infringement or the injunction against her.
WHEREFORE PREMISES CONSIDERED and all the above, the Defendants are not
entitled, except under very limited circumstances to have a court second-guess determinations
regarding its membership, and LULAC respectfully asks this Court to so declare by denying
their Motion for Declaratory Judgment and Relief from Judgment.
Respectfully submitted,
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF:

By:______/s/__________________
Luis Roberto Vera, Jr.
SBN: 20546740
111 Soledad Street, 1325
San Antonio, Texas 78205
210-225-3300; Fax: 210-225-9516
Manuel G. Escobar, Jr.
LULAC National Legal Advisor
SBN: 06665800
201 West Poplar
San Antonio, Texas 78212
210-225-5592; Fax: 210-212-5653
Ray Velarde
SBN: 20530050
1216 Montana Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79902
915-532-6003; Fax: 915-542-2341

VERIFICATION
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I, Luis Roberto Vera, Jr. attorney for the League of United Latin American verify that the
facts stated herein are true and correct and within my personal knowledge and belief. This
document is verified by me under the pains and penalty of perjury.

_____/s/___________________
Luis Roberto Vera, Jr.

CERTIFICAE OF SERVICE
I CERTIFY THAT A TRUE AND CORRECT CPY OF THE FOREGOING WAS
SERVED ON THE Defendants’ attorney, Robert “Woody” Wilson by electronic mail and
through the EFS on this 18 day of February 2014.
_____/s/_________________
Luis Roberto Vera, Jr.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
EL PASO DIVISION
LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN
CITIZENS, INC. (LULAC)
Plaintiff,
v.
TEXAS LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN
AMERICAN CITIZENS, LINDA CHAVEZ,
Individually, BEA MARTINEZ, Individually,
and JOEY CARDENAS, Individually,
Defendants.

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Civil Action Number
EP:12-cv-0296-FM

ORDER
On this ____day of February, 2014 the Court considered the Defendants Motion for
DeclaratoryJudgment and Relief from Judgment and Preliminary Injunctin. After onsideration of
the briefs and evidence of this case, the Court Denies Defendants Motion.
__________
Date

__________________________
Federal District Judge Frank Montalvo

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