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Pro Se Litigation

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July 9, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Briscoe v. Biggs (Eric F. Melgren, D. Kan. 2:10-cv-2488)
A would-be independent candidate for Congress filed a pro se petition for a writ of mandamus ordering his inclusion on the November ballot on the grounds that he was excluded because of improperly invalidated ballot petition signatures. The court denied immediate relief for lack of a likelihood of success on the merits and to protect the public interest in orderly elections.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
June 19, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Nogueras Cartagena v. María Calderón (Hector M. Laffitte, D.P.R. 3:01-cv-1789)

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PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
May 7, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Swanson v. Pitt (Myron H. Thompson, M.D. Ala. 2:04-cv-534)
A would-be candidate for the United States Senate filed a pro se federal complaint alleging that it was improper to exclude him as a candidate in a primary election for having previously run as an independent. The district judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order; later, he granted the defendants summary judgment.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; pro se party.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
April 18, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Doe v. Miller (Gloria M. Navarro, D. Nev. 2:10-cv-1753)
On October 8, 2010, the Republican candidate for secretary of state filed a pro se federal complaint seeking relief from a county’s failure to mail absentee ballots to some overseas voters on time. The district judge dismissed the complaint as moot because of efforts election officials had already undertaken to remedy the error.
Topics: Absentee ballots; Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA); pro se party.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
March 5, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Brown v. Glynn County Board of Elections and Voter Registration (Anthony A. Alaimo, S.D. Ga. 2:05-cv- 218)

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PDF icon Case Study 1 page
March 5, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Pearlman v. Gonzales (Martha Vázquez, D.N.M. 6:98-cv-1160) and Pearlman v. Vigil-Giron (Bruce D. Black, D.N.M. 1:00-cv-1475)

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
January 24, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Freeman v. McKnight (Gary L. Sharpe, N.D.N.Y. 1:07-cv-1123)
A candidate who earned more voting-booth votes than his opponent, but who trailed after absentee ballots were counted, filed a pro se action to nullify absentee ballots because their mailing envelopes had been discarded so timely mailing could not be verified. The judge determined that the plaintiff had not provided the defendants with proper notice or shown entitlement to immediate injunctive relief.
Topics: Absentee ballots; pro se party; enjoining certification.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 1 page
January 15, 2013
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Bursey v. South Carolina Election Commission (Cameron McGowan Currie, D.S.C. 3:10-cv-1545)
After an unknown candidate defeated a well-known candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge a Republican incumbent U.S. Senator, a pro se plaintiff filed a federal complaint to enjoin election officials from clearing the primary election data from the election machines. After he learned more about the election data, the plaintiff dropped his plea for emergency relief and eventually dismissed his action voluntarily.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
September 11, 2012
Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone

Napolitano v. Davidson (Lewis T. Babcock, D. Colo. 1:04-cv-2114)
A pro se plaintiff challenged a ballot initiative that would change the allocation of the state’s Electoral College votes in the same election, alleging uncertainty in the strategic value of presidential votes. After expedited hearing, the court dismissed the complaint as too speculative.
Topics: Ballot measure; pro se party; intervention; recusal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Downloadable file:
PDF icon Case Study 2 pages
January 1, 2011
Donna J. Stienstra, Jared J. Bataillon, Jason A. Cantone

This report is based on a study conducted by the Federal Judicial Center for the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management. The study sought information from district court clerks of court about programs, services, and materials their courts have developed to assist pro se litigants and to assist staff in handling pro se cases. The study also sought information from district court chief judges about the impact of pro se litigants on judges and chambers staff and what measures the judges have taken to meet the demands of these cases.

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