Krell v. Gray, 126 Cal. App. 4th 1208 (2005)

Robert Krell, the assistant principal at Pacoima Middle School, issued a reprimand to Fleming Gray, a substitute teacher at the school, after Gray refused to permit one of his students to use the restroom during class. Gray filed a grievance with the LAUSD, and the matter was settled by removing the reprimand from Gray’s file in exchange for his agreeing not to return to the school for substitute work. A few months later, Gray began to picket the school and pass out leaflets critical of Krell and some of the students. At the same time, Krell began receiving daily threats by telephone and mail, including ones that said “Die Krell Racist.” In response, the LAUSD filed a petition for an injunction on behalf of its employee under Code of Civil Procedure § 527.8, which was denied on the ground that Gray’s conduct did not constitute unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence. Thereafter, Krell himself filed a petition seeking an injunction against Gray under Section 527.6, which was granted. The Court of Appeal held that the trial court’s denial of the employer’s injunction did not collaterally estop Krell from obtaining an injunction under Section 527.6, and it rejected Gray’s assertion that his conduct constituted “peaceful picketing” under Section 527.3. Finally, the Court held that although an injunction was appropriate in this case to the extent it was designed to prevent harassing acts by Gray, a blanket prohibition against naming Krell on Gray’s signs and in his written materials and a 100-yard distance restriction were too restrictive.