38 Cal.App.3d 637, 13032, Annenberg v. Southern Cal. Dist. Council of Laborers

Docket Nº:13032
Citation:38 Cal.App.3d 637, 113 Cal.Rptr. 519
Opinion Judge:[10] Gardner
Party Name:Annenberg v. Southern Cal. Dist. Council of Laborers
Attorney:[7] Richman & Garrett and Lionel Richman for Defendants and Appellants. [8] Adams, Duque & Hazeltine, Earl C. Adams, John H. Brinsley, Perry L. Hirsch, Best, Best & Krieger and Paul T. Selzer for Plaintiff and Respondent.
Case Date:April 15, 1974
Court:California Court of Appeals

Page 637

38 Cal.App.3d 637

113 Cal.Rptr. 519

Welter H. ANNENBERG, Plaintiff and Respondent,


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DISTRICT COUNCIL OF LABORERS and its affiliated Local 1184, etc., et al., Defendants and Appellants.

Civ. 13032.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Second Division

April 15, 1974.

Page 638

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Richman & Garrett and Lionel Richman, Los Angeles, for defendants and appellants.

Adams, Deque & Hazeltine and Earl C. Adams, John H. Brinsley and Perry L. Hirsch, Los Angeles, and Best, Best & Krieger and Paul T. Selzer, Riverside, for plaintiff and respondent.

Page 640


GARDNER, Presiding Justice.

Defendants appeal from an order granting a preliminary injunction enjoining all picketing of plaintiff's private residence.

Plaintiff is a man of considerable wealth and prominence--currently, ambassador to the Court of Saint James. He maintains a vacation home in the Palm Springs area which home is located on his own private eighteen-hole championship golf course. He employs a permanent staff of 38 persons of which 15 are gardeners or greens-keepers on the golf course. He has a private security force of 8. The entire estate is enclosed by a chain link fence. His guests include persons of such public stature as Presidents of the United States, governors, senators, cabinet members, and individuals prominent in the entertainment world.

Defendant Union, as collective bargaining agent representing plaintiff's greens-keepers, instituted a strike and placed pickets at the entrance of the estate. On a proper and adequate showing that the picketing involved disturbances, coercion and harassment, a temporary restraining order issued limiting the number and location of pickets and restraining all disturbances, coercion and harassment. After the temporary restraining order was in effect, further disturbances occurred. Finally, a preliminary injunction was issued enjoining all picketing. However, it was issued not on the basis of any showing of disturbances resulting from the picketing but on the ground that the picketing violated the plaintiff's constitutional right to privacy and that the 'policy of the law,' as set forth in section 923 of the Labor Code, did not extend to domestic employees.

The first issue to be determined is whether any domestic employee has the right to picket the private home of his employer.

However, before addressing ourselves to this issue, some underbrush must be cleared away.

Defendants make a somewhat tongue-in-cheek contention that by reason of his imposing guest list and his position of prominence, plaintiff's home is dedicated to a public use to such an extent that it has become the functional equivalent of private property dedicated to public use. (Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551, 92 S.Ct. 2219, 33 L.Ed.2d 131; Central Hardware Co. v. N.L.R.B., 407 U.S. 539, 92 S.Ct. 2238, 33 L.Ed.2d 122.) By this contention defendants argue that they may picket plaintiff's home just as they might picket the White House or a governor's mansion. (Flores v. City & County of Denver, 122 Colo. 71.) However,

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plaintiff's position in life and his guest list, impressive though each may be, did not cause his home to 'assume to some significant degree the functional attributes of (private) property devoted to public use.' (Central Hardware Co. v. N.L.R.B., Supra, 407 U.S. 547, 92 S.Ct. 2243.) Plaintiff's home has not become the functional equivalent of public property by reason of his status as a public figure or his awesome guest list. It is reading too much into this record to conclude that plaintiff's home has become some kind of a quasi-public establishment.

Neither is there an issue as to any right of the defendants to come upon plaintiff's Private property for picketing purposes. While Lloyd Corp., supra, and Central Hardware, supra, as well as their predecessor, Amalgamated Food Emp. Union Local 590 v. Logan Valley Plaza, 391 U.S. 308, 88 S.Ct. 1601, 20 L.Ed.2d 603, (see also Schwartz-Torrance Investment Corp. v. Bakery & Confectionery Workers' Union, 61 Cal.2d 766, 40 Cal.Rptr. 233; In re Lane, 71 Cal.2d 872, 79 Cal.Rptr. 729) dealt with the right of pickets to come upon private property when that private property had become the functional equivalent of public property, defendants do not here contend that they have the right to go upon plaintiff's private property to conduct their picketing activities. While a showing was made in support of the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that trespasses on plaintiff's private property had occurred, defendants do not now contend they have, or had, any right so to do. They merely contend that they have the right to use the public streets adjacent to plaintiff's home for the purpose of peaceful picketing. At the hearing on the preliminary injunction, the defendants were willing to stipulate to a continuance of the relief granted to the plaintiff in the temporary restraining order. Somehow, as so often happens, this offer to stipulate was lost in a welter of words incident to an acrimonious exchange between attorneys.

The parties in their briefs argue eloquently and at great length (112 pages) on such issues as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, equal protection of the law, privileges and immunities, the redress of grievances, the right to acquire, possess, protect and enjoy property, the oppression and exploitation of domestic employees, and the disturbances which gave rise to the preliminary injunction. While all these issues bear peripherally on the basic issue before us, we deem a full discussion of each of these issues as presented in the briefs to be an injudicious use of judicial resources.

Strangely enough, the issue of the right of domestic employees to picket the homes of their employers has presented itself but fleetingly in the plethora

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of reported cases to be found in the abundantly litigated field of labor-management relations.

We take it as well established that employees of a business or industry which is involved in a labor dispute have no constitutional right to picket the private residences of other employees or of the employers of that business or industry. (State v. Zanker, 179 Minn. 355, 229 N.W. 311; State v. Perry et al., 196 Minn. 481...

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