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Case Assignment

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This repository of materials was developed as a companion to the manual, Navigating Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code, to provide courts with examples of case documents and other resource materials related to issues likely to arise in Chapter 9 cases. Documents are included from cases filed by variety of debtors: cities, townships, and counties; medical-related entities, such as county hospitals and authorities; and political subdivisions, such as sanitary and improvement districts, water districts, and off-track betting authorities.

The materials have been placed into the following categories. Some documents relating to multiple categories have been placed in the most relevant categories and cross-references are made between the categories. Some significant documents have been put into more than one category.

We welcome suggestions about other materials that may be helpful to courts for inclusion in the Chapter 9 repository. Please send your ideas and materials to Beth Wiggins at ch9bankr_repository@fjc.gov.

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Under § 921(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, the chief judge of the court of appeals designates the bankruptcy judge to administer the case. This page provides resources regarding the designation of the bankruptcy judge in a Chapter 9 case, including general guidance for the bankruptcy clerk of court in requesting the designation of a bankruptcy judge from the court of appeals, CM/ECF event codes needed for the designation, a sample request and order for designation, and requests and designation orders used in a selection of cases.

Designation of Bankruptcy Judge is one of several Chapter 9 Online Repository categories.

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Tomasik v. Goins (William J. Haynes, Jr., M.D. Tenn. 3:13-cv-1118)
A federal complaint filed on October 9, 2013, alleged that ballot access rules were so onerous that the Libertarian Party was unable to qualify for a November 21 special election for a state house seat. After an October 31 hearing, the district judge granted the plaintiffs relief, based in part on his rulings in previous related cases. He awarded the plaintiffs $26,091 in attorney fees and costs.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; case assignment; attorney fees; early voting.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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True the Vote v. Hosemann (Michael P. Mills, N.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-144) and True the Vote v. Hosemann (Henry T. Wingate and Nancy F. Atlas, S.D. Miss. 3:14-cv-532)
A federal complaint sought voter information to investigate the possibility of voting in a runoff senatorial primary election for one party after voting in another party’s earlier primary election. The judge who was assigned the case determined that it should have been brought in the other district, which includes the capital. A second suit there was transferred to a district in another state within the circuit because of the federal bench’s close ties with the incumbent senator, a candidate in the runoff primary election. The transferee judge dismissed claims under the National Voter Registration Act for failure to comply with the Act’s notice requirements. By the time of decision, the defendants had disclosed to the plaintiffs all of the information required by the Act anyway.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: National Voter Registration Act; primary election; recusal; case assignment; attorney fees; matters for state courts.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Hawkins v. Blunt (Scott O. Wright and Richard E. Dorr, W.D. Mo. 2:04-cv-4177)
The case concerndc whether voters could cast provisional ballots at polling places to which they were not assigned. Claims were mooted by the state’s agreeing to alter its procedures for counting provisional ballots.
Subject: Provisional ballots. Topics: Help America Vote Act (HAVA); provisional ballots; intervention; case assignment; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Loeber v. Spargo (Lawrence E. Kahn, N.D.N.Y. 1:04-cv-1193)
A pro se complaint filed a few weeks before the 2004 general election challenged New York districting, among other things. After a hearing on concerns that a United Nations body would oversee New York elections, the district judge dismissed the complaint as speculative and for not naming as defendants parties against whom an injunction would provide the plaintiffs with their desired relief. In 2010, the court of appeals affirmed dismissal of an amended complaint for failure to state a federal cause of action.
Subject: Polling place activities. Topics: Pro se party; malapportionment; Help America Vote Act (HAVA); interlocutory appeal; three-judge court; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Stockman v. Williams (Lee Yeakel and Sam Sparks, W.D. Tex. 1:06-cv-742)
On September 19, 2006, an independent candidate for Congress filed a federal action to get his name on the ballot. The assigned judge was away that week, so another judge presided over a temporary restraining order hearing. Because absentee ballots would be issued in a few days’ time, and because the plaintiff did not name all necessary defendants, immediate relief was denied. The originally assigned judge determined the following week that the case was filed too late to obtain relief.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Davis v. Johnson (2:14-cv-11818) and Moore v. Johnson (2:14-cv-11903) (Gershwin A. Drain and Matthew F. Leitman, E.D. Mich.)
Two cases challenged a requirement that ballot petition signatures be collected by registered voters. One case concerned an election for a local school board and the other case concerned election to Congress. Following recusal by the judge who was assigned the first case, the cases were assigned to a new judge who issued a preliminary injunction against the registration requirement for collectors of signatures, and the state elected not to appeal.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Voting Rights Defense Project v. Depuis (William Alsup, N.D. Cal. 3:16-cv-2739)
A federal complaint filed 18 nights before a primary election accused election officials in two counties of not adequately informing independent voters of their rights to vote in some parties’ presidential primary elections. A week later, the plaintiffs sought to shorten time on a motion for a preliminary injunction, but they did not file their injunction motion until the district judge brought the deficit to their attention. Six days before the election, the judge held a hearing and denied immediate relief. On the one hand, the plaintiffs waited too long to achieve effective relief. On the other hand, there was only a weak showing of federal jurisdiction.
Topics: Matters for state courts; laches; primary election; party procedures; early voting; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Matheson v. New York City Board of Elections (Edward R. Korman, 1:03-cv-4170), Marchant v. New York City Board of Elections (Kiyo A. Matsumoto, 1:11-cv-4099), and Marchant v. New York City Board of Elections (Roslynn R. Mauskopf, 1:10-cv-3847) (E.D.N.Y.) and Marchant v. New York City Board of Elections (Katherine Polk Failla, 1:13-cv-5493), Escoffery-Bey v. New York City Board of Elections (Jesse M. Furman, 1:13-cv-5656), Keeling v. Sanchez (Paul A. Engelmayer, 1:13-cv-5731), and Newsome v. New York City Board of Elections (Ronnie Abrams, 1:13-cv-5787) (S.D.N.Y.)
In 2003, 2010, 2011, and 2013, supporters of a perennial New York primary election candidate filed federal actions—the first three in the Eastern District of New York and the last in the Southern District of New York—challenging the candidate’s exclusion from the ballot for insufficient ballot petition signatures. The first action was successful. Similar actions on behalf of other candidates filed in the Southern District of New York in 2013 were unsuccessful, in once case because relief had been obtained in parallel state court proceedings.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; matters for state courts; pro se party; case assignment; attorney fees; intervention.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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