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9 IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON
IN AND FOR KING COUNTY
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11 PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOOTBALL No.
OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION,
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13 Plaintiff, COMPLAINT
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vs.
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WASHINGTON OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
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and WASHINGTON INTERSCHOLASTIC
17 ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATION and TODD
STORDAHL, in his official and individual
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capacity,
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Defendants.
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22 The Plaintiff, by and through their attorneys of record, Tyler K. Firkins of Van Siclen,

23 Stocks and Firkins, files this complaint against Defendants, and states and alleges as follows:
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I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
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26 1.1 This is a claim brought by the Pacific Northwest Football Officials

27 Association (PNFOA) against the Washington Officials Association (WOA) and Washington
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Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA). On May 2, 2011, the WOA disciplined the
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30 PNFOA for wearing pink whistles with their uniforms during October 2010 as part of a
COMPLAINT - 1 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 fundraiser and awareness event for Susan G. Komen For the Cure, an organization that
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advocates for breast cancer treatment and research. Although at the time the PNFOA planned
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and started the event, there was no WOA rule regulating the whistle color or limiting what
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5 kinds of charitable organizations officials could support, the WOA determined that the pink
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whistles violated the uniform code. Part of the discipline was also based on the PNFOA’s
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refusal to punish its own members for exercising their free speech rights by writing in the
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9 press, speaking to the press, and commenting on blogs about the pink whistle controversy.
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The WIAA organizes interscholastic athletic competitions for over 800 middle and high
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schools in Washington state—the vast majority of all public and private schools. The WOA
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13 has an exclusive agreement with the WIAA, such that to officiate at WIAA games, officials
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must be members of the WOA. Thus, the PNFOA officials are faced with a difficult decision:
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they can submit to the irrational and arbitrary decisions of the WOA; they can stop officiating
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17 (thereby harming the schools and students that they serve); or they can attempt to change the
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situation. This suit is the PNFOA’s attempt to change the situation.
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II. PARTIES
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21 2.1 The Plaintiff, the PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOOTBALL OFFICIALS
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ASSOCATION, is a nonprofit corporation with its primary place of business in King County,
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Washington.
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25 2.2 The Defendant, the WASHINGTON OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION, is a
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nonprofit corporation with its primary place of business in King County, Washington.
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COMPLAINT - 2 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 2.3 The Defendant, the WASHINGTON INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES
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ASSOCIATION, is a nonprofit corporation with its primary place of business in King
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County, Washington.
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5 III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
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3.1 Jurisdiction and venue are proper in the Superior Court of King County
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because the defendants have an office for the transaction of business in King County and
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9 transact business in King County.
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IV. STATEMENT OF FACTS
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4.1 The WIAA is a statewide body that organizes interscholastic athletic and fine
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13 arts competitions at the high school and junior high/middle school level.
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4.2 The vast majority of Washington public junior high schools, middle schools,
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and high schools are WIAA member schools.
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17 4.3 WIAA has monopoly power over interscholastic athletic competition in
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Washington State.
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4.4 Washington courts have repeatedly held that the WIAA is a state actor for
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21 purposes of constitutional claims.
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4.5 WOA is a statewide body established by the WIAA as a separate nonprofit
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corporation in or about 1999 to regulate and price officiating services for WIAA games.
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25 4.6 WOA membership is required to officiate at WIAA games. This requirement
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is enacted via the WIAA Handbook, via the WOA Constitution and Bylaws, and via a
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statewide agreement between the WIAA and WOA. The agreement sets prices and divides
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29 territory for officiating services. The WOA Bylaws prohibit member officials from charging
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COMPLAINT - 3 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 fees other than those set by WOA/WIAA. Thus, the WIAA and WOA have used these
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contractual arrangements to extend the WIAA’s monopoly in administration and regulation
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of school sporting events into a second monopoly in officiating services for the WOA. This is
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5 an antitrust violation generally known as “tying.” Because these arrangements prevent the
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PNFOA from offering its services to schools as a potential competitor to WOA either
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independently or as part of a different organization, PNFOA is harmed in its business or
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9 property by this unlawful tying.
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4.7 The PNFOA is currently a member of the WOA and entitled to expect that
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the WOA will follow its own Constitution, Bylaws, and other rules.
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13 4.8 The WOA Constitution provides that it is the responsibility of the WOA
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Executive Board to create new rules and regulations or propose changes to existing rules and
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regulations.
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17 4.9 The WOA Bylaws limit the power of the WOA Commissioner to interpreting
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the rules and regulations approved by the WOA Executive Board. It is not within the
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Commissioner’s power to create rules or to change rules.
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21 4.10 As of October, 2010, the uniform rules for WOA members officiating at
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football games were contained in the National Federation of State High School Associations
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(“NFHS”) Football Officials Manual, plus the 2010 WIAA/WOA Areas of Emphasis and
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25 Washington State Exceptions to NFHS Mechanics (“2010 WIAA/WOA Exceptions”). The
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2010 WIAA/WOA Exceptions state that all changes to that document must be approved by
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the WIAA Executive Director.
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COMPLAINT - 4 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 4.11 Neither set of uniform rules specified that whistles had to be any particular
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color or colors. The color of many other parts of an official’s attire, such as the belt, pants,
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shoes, and even shoelaces, are specified. Otherwise, the 2010 WIAA/WOA Exceptions state
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5 only that officials’ uniforms must be clean and neat looking.
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4.12 Neither set of rules specified which charities officials could or could not
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support or do promotional events with. No section of the WOA Constitution or Bylaws
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9 regulated charity involvement either. When joining WOA, PNFOA had no notice or
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expectation that WOA viewed itself as entitled to regulate PNFOA’s decisions about what
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charities or community organizations to support.
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13 4.13 The WOA Bylaws state that “Providing unwarranted or derogatory press
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releases and/or interviews” may be considered misconduct.
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4.14 In the past, PNFOA had done promotions with various charities without
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17 incident. For example, in 2009, PNFOA supported the “Fallen Hero” fund for slain Seattle
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Police Officer Timothy Brenton, and raised $3800 for his family. Typically, every year the
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PNFOA raises money for sportsmanship awards to local football teams, usually resulting in 1
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21 or 2 $500 scholarships for student athletes. The WOA had never objected to these events or
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indicated that the WOA had any authority to regulate them.
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4.15 Based on its previous experience and on the absence of any regulation
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25 regarding whistle color or charitable associations, the PNFOA decided in August 2010 that
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during October, 2010, breast cancer awareness month, its football officials would wear pink
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whistles at football games to publicize Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and that on the
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29 weekend of October 21-23, 2010, PNFOA officials would be encouraged to donate their pay
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COMPLAINT - 5 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As part of the promotion, some crews of PNFOA officials
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began wearing pink whistles the first weekend of October, 2010. PNFOA chose to support
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Susan G. Komen for the Cure because many of PNFOA’s officials either know someone
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5 affected by breast cancer, or have been affected by breast cancer themselves.
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4.16 The October, 2010 WOA Newsletter, received by most members via e-mail on
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October 18, 2010, after the month had started, included an item on page 3 stating that
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9 “Although the idea of officials using pink whistles in tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness is a
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great idea, the WOA had made the decision that football officials will participate in the
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Prostate Cancer Awareness efforts.” This does not appear to have been a decision of the
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13 WOA Executive Board, as it was not addressed at any of the previous Board meetings. This
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was also the first that the PNFOA had heard of the WOA “decision” regarding charity
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promotions during football season, which had already been underway for approximately a
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17 month and a half.
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4.17 Todd Stordahl is the WOA Commissioner. In 2010, Mr. Stordahl and his wife
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Kerri Stordahl were the WOA’s only two paid staff, and received combined salaries of
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21 approximately $130,000. The WOA receives a yearly grant of approximately $20,000 from
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the WIAA. It is believed that there are other financial connections between the WOA and
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WIAA. However, the vast majority of WOA funding comes from dues paid by the member
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25 officials. Football officials are paid $52-54 per varsity game, less for non-varsity events.
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4.18 Todd Stordahl made the decision regarding use of pink whistles and charity
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promotions without WIAA approval. Todd Stordahl also made that decision without approval
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29 of the WOA Executive Board. WIAA approval is required for any change to the WOA
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COMPLAINT - 6 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 uniform rules. Under the WOA Constitution, only the WOA Executive Board may create new
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rules.
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4.19 Concerned about the information in the newsletter and unsure whether it
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5 meant that WOA as an organization was choosing to support the prostate cancer awareness
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event, or whether it meant that WOA was prohibiting member organizations from doing other
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charitable promotions, the PNFOA contacted WOA Commissioner Todd Stordahl for
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9 clarification and on October 18, 2010, three days before the main promotional weekend for
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the Susan G. Komen event and nearly three weeks after PNFOA officials had started wearing
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pink whistles, PNFOA was told that the WOA would consider use of pink whistles a
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13 violation of the uniform code. PNFOA asked Mr. Stordahl what would happen if they did the
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promotion anyway, and Mr. Stordahl said PNFOA would be disciplined, up to and including
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loss of playoff assignments.
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17 4.20 Per the Agreement between WIAA Member Schools, Leagues, and Districts
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and WOA Associations and Boards ¶ 14, postseason officials’ assignments “shall be based on
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the percentage of schools serviced by each association/board.” Thus both the WIAA schools
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21 and local WOA member boards such as PNFOA have an expectation that postseason
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assignments will be made in this way and not in any other.
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4.21 The PNFOA membership and board met on October 19, 2010 and, after
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25 reviewing the relevant rules, Constitution, and Bylaws of the WOA, determined that Mr.
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Stordahl did not have the authority to issue new rules on his own, that the existing rules
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regulated neither whistle color nor association with charitable organizations, and that rather
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COMPLAINT - 7 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 than pull the plug on a long-planned event when it was already underway, the PNFOA would
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go ahead with the pink whistle awareness events as planned.
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4.22 On October 20, 2010, one PNFOA member posted a comment on a Seattle
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5 Times blog regarding the “pink whistle” controversy, saying “no good deed goes
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unpunished.” Mr. Stordahl immediately contacted PNFOA officials requesting that contact
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with the media be stopped. PNFOA sent an email to its membership asking them not to
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9 comment. On October 21, 2010, the story appeared on KING 5, CBS, and other media
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sources. Mr. Stordahl at that point did interviews with the media. PNFOA remained silent.
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On October 22, 2010, a PNFOA member, Gavin Anderson, did an interview on KING 5. On
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13 October 23, 2010, the story went national via the AP and CNN. One more PNFOA official
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posted a comment on the Seattle Times blog at this point, and another PNFOA member who
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works in news media reported a story and included the detail that applause greeted the
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17 PNFOA’s decision at the October 19, 2010 membership meeting.
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4.23 Mr. Stordahl at this point demanded that all three PNFOA members and
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officials who had reported on the story, spoken to the media, or commented on blogs be
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21 suspended from officiating for one year.
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4.24 In January 2011, the WOA Executive Board met to consider punishment for
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the PNFOA and its officials. At the meeting, PNFOA representatives were asked to
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25 recommend discipline for the “uniform violation” and to “perform a complete investigation
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into comments made by members of the PNFOA to the media.” The PNFOA representatives
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were also instructed to report back to the WOA Board indicating the results of the
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29 investigation and the PNFOA’s own recommendations for its punishment.
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COMPLAINT - 8 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 4.25 On April 12, 2011, the PNFOA responded to the WOA Executive Board’s
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requests. In response to the alleged “uniform violation,” the PNFOA pointed out that at the
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time of the pink whistle awareness event, there was no uniform rule in place regarding
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5 whistle color, and therefore the PNFOA had never been in violation of the uniform code and
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there was also no reason to seek advance permission from the WOA to wear the whistles.
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The PNFOA was willing to accept a letter of reprimand for the pink whistle event, but also
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9 suggested that the WOA Executive Board should “provide clearer guidelines regarding what
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the formal method is for disseminating rule changes.”
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4.26 As for the public speech by PNFOA members, as requested by the WOA, the
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13 PNFOA investigated the three members who had media contact. It was determined that the
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members’ comments to the media were not “derogatory,” and therefore did not warrant
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discipline beyond a reprimand. There was also a question of whether blog comments could
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17 properly be considered an “interview” or “press release.” The member who had reported on
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the applause at the meeting received a formal letter of reprimand, forfeited a week of game
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assignments, and was instructed not to record future PNFOA meetings or events without
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21 prior written authorization.
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4.27 On May 2, 2011, the WOA Executive Board met to consider discipline for the
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PNFOA and its officials. On May 6, 2011, via e-mail, the PNFOA was informed of the
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25 following discipline:
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“1) For an association-wide violation of the uniform code during the
27 2010 football season, PNFOA receives a letter of reprimand from the
WOA Executive Board.
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29 2) For the unanimous decision of the PNFOA Board of Directors to
intentionally ignore a direct policy interpretation given them by the
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COMPLAINT - 9 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 WOA Commissioner, PNFOA receives 2-years of probation, 3
semifinal/final allocations in 2011 and 6 semifinal/final allocations in
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2012.
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3) For the failure of the PNFOA Board of Directors to discipline their
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members who violated PNFOA and WOA policies, within the timeline
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of probation.
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7 Per the WOA Constitution and By-Laws, there are no appeals available
through the WOA.”
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9 4.28 Repeatedly, throughout this controversy, the PNFOA has attempted to give the
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WOA the opportunity to back down gracefully from a legally unsupportable position that has
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been a public relations disaster for the WOA. The PNFOA has repeatedly offered, for
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13 example, to accept some appropriate discipline and then do a joint event and joint donation
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with WOA in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure so that WOA could replace some of
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the critical media coverage with a positive story. These offers were not accepted.
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17 4.29 Due to the WOA’s monopoly on school officiating, in order to officiate at
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public school athletic events, officials must submit to the rules, regulations, and decisions of
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the WOA. This now appears to include submitting to arbitrary and unpredictable last-minute
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21 decisions regarding the officials’ rights of free expression and free association, as well as
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retaliation for exercising those rights and for expressing disagreement with the WOA.
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V. CLAIMS
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25 5.1 The plaintiffs reallege each and every fact stated herein above and further
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allege that the WOA is a state actor for constitutional purposes, and that the rules,
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regulations, and procedures of the WOA and of WOA Commissioner Todd Stordahl are
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29 unconstitutional for vagueness, overbreadth, and undue discretion in the regulation of speech
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COMPLAINT - 10 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 and expressive conduct. The plaintiffs make a claim for damages and injunctive relief under
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42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a claim for declaratory and injunctive relief under the Washington
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Constitution.
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5 5.2 The plaintiffs reallege each and every fact stated herein above and further
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allege that the WOA is a state actor for constitutional purposes, and that the actions of the
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WOA and of WOA Commissioner Todd Stordahl are unconstitutional as a content-based
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9 restraint on speech and expressive conduct. The plaintiffs make a claim for damages and
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injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a claim for declaratory and injunctive relief
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under the Washington Constitution.
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13 5.3 The plaintiffs reallege each and every fact stated herein above and further
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allege that the WOA is a state actor for constitutional purposes, and that the actions of the
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WOA and of WOA Commissioner Todd Stordahl are unconstitutional as retaliation for
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17 exercise of PNFOA and PNFOA members’ First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs make a
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claim for damages and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a claim for declaratory
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and injunctive relief under the Washington Constitution.
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21 5.4 The plaintiffs reallege each and every fact stated herein above and further
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allege that WOA is in breach of its rules, Constitution, and Bylaws, that those documents
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amount to a contract with the member associations, and that therefore the WOA’s actions are
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25 a breach of its contract with the PNFOA and are void and unenforceable, and that plaintiffs
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are entitled to damages and to injunctive relief.
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5.5 The plaintiffs reallege each and every fact stated herein above and further
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29 allege that the agreements by which the WIAA grants an exclusive monopoly on officiating
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COMPLAINT - 11 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 to the WOA are “tying,” an antitrust violation under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act,
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and that plaintiffs are entitled to damages and to injunctive relief.
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VI. DAMAGES
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5 6.1 As a direct and proximate result of the actions of the defendants named herein,
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and each of them, the plaintiffs have sustained both economic and non-economic damages, to
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be proven at the time of trial.
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9 6.2 Plaintiff is entitled to recovery of attorney’s fees and litigation expenses
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incurred herein.
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6.3 On all claims brought under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act, Plaintiff
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13 is entitled to treble damages under RCW 19.86.090.
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VII. PRAYER FOR RELIEF
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WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendants and requests the
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17 following relief:
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7.1 For injunctive relief prohibiting the tying arrangement between the WIAA and
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WOA and allowing competition in the market for officiating services;
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21 7.2 For injunctive relief prohibiting the WOA from violating the PNFOA and
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PNFOA members’ First Amendment rights;
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7.3 For judgment for all economic and non-economic damages, in an amount to be
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25 shown at trial, including treble damages for damages available under the Consumer Protection
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Act;
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COMPLAINT - 12 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917
1 7.4 For judgment for all interest on each item of damages from the date incurred
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until paid at a maximum statutory rate, including prejudgment interest in an amount to be
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proven at the time of trial;
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5 7.5 For judgment for all reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred herein;
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7.6 Such other and further relief as the Court shall deem to be just and equitable.
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DATED this 2nd day of June, 2011.
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9 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
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11 /S/ TYLER K. FIRKINS
Tyler K. Firkins, WSBA #20964
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Attorneys for Plaintiffs
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COMPLAINT - 13 VAN SICLEN, STOCKS & FIRKINS
A Professional Services Corporation
721 45TH Street N.E.
Auburn, WA 98002-1381
(253) 859-8899 • Fax (253) 859-8917