The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages began the legal process to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.
“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”
Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take in order to seize the Kleins’ house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment.
On July 2, Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for the emotional, physical, and psychological damages they caused Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to make a wedding cake.
Since then, the Kleins have been vocal about their plans to resist the order, and they told The Daily Signal they have no intention of backing down.
“There’s legal reasons and there’s also kind of personal reasons,” Aaron Klein told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If a civil court or a circuit court judge had made this order, I would consider it legally binding. But when a bureaucracy does it and I didn’t get due process, I don’t call it legally binding.”
Talking about the personal reasons, Aaron cited a July interview in Willamette Week, where the complainants suggested that the case wasn’t about money.
“We didn’t have a choice in how this was prosecuted,” Rachel Bowman-Cryer said. “We didn’t have a choice in the fine. If we had been given the option, we probably would have said: ‘Just apologize. Just say you’re sorry and go away.’”
Her wife, Laurel, added, “[W]e’re not asking for anything. We’ve never asked for a penny from anybody.”