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Pro Se Litigation

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August 31, 2015
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Queens County Republican Committee ex rel. Maltese v. New York State Board of Elections (Arthur D. Spatt, 2:02-cv-4836) and Soleil v. New York (David G. Trager and Allyne R. Ross, 1:04-cv-3247) (E.D.N.Y.)

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August 28, 2015
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Sundwall v. Kelleher (Lawrence E. Kahn, 1:06-cv-1191) and Lanza v. Wart (David N. Hurd, 5:07-cv-848) (N.D.N.Y.)
A district judge overruled a minor party’s election-eve challenge to a requirement that persons signing ballot petitions provide accurate residential addresses in light of “the complicated ways in which villages, addresses, counties, and townships cross each other’s borders” in New York. A different district judge reached a similar decision one year later.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; primary election.

Downloadable file:
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July 28, 2015
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Van Wie v. Pataki (David N. Hurd, 1:00-cv-322), Van Allen v. Cuomo (Gary L. Sharpe, 1:07-cv-722), and Van Allen v. Walsh (Lawrence E. Kahn, 1:08-cv-876) (N.D.N.Y.)

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PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
July 8, 2015
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Shtino v. Carlin (Alexander Williams, Jr., D. Md. 8:00-cv-3699)
The district court denied a December 21, 2000, pro se complaint to enjoin presentation of Florida’s electoral votes.
Topics: Electoral College; enjoining certification; pro se party.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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February 2, 2015
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Blakely v. City of Laurel Clerk Office (Keith Starrett, S.D. Miss. 2:13-cv-72)
A would-be candidate for city council filed a pro se federal complaint alleging wrongful disqualification of his candidacy on the basis of old felony convictions. The district judge set the case for hearing nine days later. Two weeks after that, the district judge found the case to have been filed in bad faith because the plaintiff had already lost three similar state-court cases, and the judge sanctioned the plaintiff $5,000. The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal and the sanction.

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April 18, 2014
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Jones v. Alabama (Richard W. Vollmer, Jr., S.D. Ala. 1:00-cv-442)

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April 3, 2014
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Bonds v. Orr (Robert M. Dow, Jr., N.D. Ill. 1:13-cv-2610)
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on the day before an election for a high school district board of education, a federal district court judge received a complaint seeking the plaintiff’s listing as a write-in candidate. After a 3:30 hearing, the judge determined that because the plaintiff’s claims had already been pursued unsuccessfully in state court, they were barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which states that among federal courts only the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over state court proceedings.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
April 3, 2014
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Germalic v. Bullock (Richard G. Andrews, D. Del. 1:12-cv-1347)
Approximately two weeks before the 2012 presidential election, a plaintiff filed a pro se federal complaint that the state’s requirements for being a presidential candidate were too onerous. Three days after the complaint was filed, the district court denied the plaintiff injunctive relief for failure show any effort to meet ballot qualifications and for seeking relief after the ballots had been printed.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; laches.

Downloadable file:
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February 14, 2014
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

NaPier v. Baldacci (D. Brock Hornby, D. Me. 2:06-cv-151)
A minor gubernatorial candidate filed a pro se complaint two months before the 2006 general election because the state was not acceding to his orthographic preferences for his name, including the printing of “Phillip” with the letters “i” represented as just dots with eyebrows and the double “l” represented with a smile under it. The federal court determined that the case was a matter for the state court.
Topics: Pro se party; matters for state courts.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
November 4, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Woodard v. Allegheny County Board of Elections (Nora Barry Fischer, W.D. Pa. 2:12-cv-535)

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