Case: Gruver v. Barton

4:19-cv-00121 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Filed Date: June 28, 2019

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding in progress

Case Summary

Thirteen formerly incarcerated Floridians, disenfranchised for felony convictions, brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, seeking reinstatement of their voting rights. Joined as plaintiffs by the Florida NAACP, the Orange County NAACP, and the League of Women Voters of Florida, they filed their complaint on October 29, 2019. They alleged government violations of: Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution; the First, Fourteenth, Fift…

Thirteen formerly incarcerated Floridians, disenfranchised for felony convictions, brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, seeking reinstatement of their voting rights. Joined as plaintiffs by the Florida NAACP, the Orange County NAACP, and the League of Women Voters of Florida, they filed their complaint on October 29, 2019. They alleged government violations of: Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution; the First, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Twenty-Fourth Amendments; 42 U.S.C. §1983; and the National Voter Registration ACt (52 U.S.C. §20501 et seq.). They were represented by ACLU National; ACLU Florida; the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the Brennan Center for Justice; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Florida voters in 2019 to approve Amendment 4, a Florida constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to most people formerly incarcerated for felonies. The Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis later enacted Senate Bill 7066, requiring people to settle all conviction-related financial obligations before they can register or vote, regardless of ability to pay. The plaintiffs allege that this new law is tantamount to a poll tax, is racially motivated, and has a disparate impact on minority communities.

On June 30, 2019, the case was transferred from the Gainesville Division to the Tallahassee Division and consolidated with several other cases under docket #4:19-cv-00300.

An amended complaint was filed on October 29, 2019.

Summary Authors

Chandler Hart-McGonigle (4/10/2020)

Related Cases

Jones v. DeSantis, Northern District of Florida (2019)

People


Judge(s)

Frank, Michael J. (Florida)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Jones, Gary R. (Florida)

Walker, Mark Eaton (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ebenstein, Julie A. (Florida)

Giller, David Morris (New York)

Perez, Myrna (New York)

Sweren-Becker, Eliza (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Summer Denay (Florida)

Cesar, Geena Marcela (Florida)

Judge(s)

Frank, Michael J. (Florida)

Hinkle, Robert Lewis (Florida)

Jones, Gary R. (Florida)

Walker, Mark Eaton (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ebenstein, Julie A. (Florida)

Giller, David Morris (New York)

Perez, Myrna (New York)

Sweren-Becker, Eliza (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Summer Denay (Florida)

Cesar, Geena Marcela (Florida)

Davis, Ashley E. (Florida)

Feiser, Craig D. (Florida)

Hanson, Corbin Frederick (Florida)

Herron, Mark (Florida)

Jazil, Mohammad Omar (Florida)

Meros, George N Jr. (Florida)

Price, Tara R. (Florida)

Reingold, Dylan T (Florida)

Rosenthal, Oren (Florida)

Shannin, Nicholas Ari (Florida)

Swain, Robert Charles (Florida)

Todd, Stephen Mark (Florida)

Wenger, Edward M (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [Pacer] (Pre-Consolidated)

June 30, 2019 Docket

Docket [Pacer] (Consolidated)

Jan. 13, 2020 Docket
26

First Amended Complaint

Oct. 29, 2019 Complaint

Docket

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number AFLNDC−4536797.), filed by Florida State Conference of the NAACP, RAQUEL WRIGHT, EMORY MARQUIS MITCHELL, JEFF GRUVER, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA, KAREN LEICHT, BETTY RIDDLE, CLIFFORD TYSON, ORANGE COUNTY BRANCH OF THE NAACP, STEVEN PHALEN, KRISTOPHER WRENCH, JERMAINE MILLER, KEITH IVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Barton Summons, # 2 Antonacci Summons, # 3 Hogan Summons, # 4 Latimer Summons, # 5 Rossway Swan Summons, # 6 Earley Summons, # 7 Bennett Summons, # 8 White Summons, # 9 Cowles Summons, # 10 Turner Summons, # 11 Lee Summons) (EBENSTEIN, JULIE) (Entered: 06/28/2019)

June 28, 2019
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET. (EBENSTEIN, JULIE) (Entered: 06/28/2019)

June 28, 2019
3

ORDER OF TRANSFER AND CONSOLIDATION WITH PRIOR−FILED CASE. The Clerk is directed to take all necessary steps to transfer Gruver, et al., v. Barton, et al., No. 1:19cv121, from the Gainesville Division to the Tallahassee Division. When the transfer is effective, the Clerk shall close the Gainesville file. The Clerk is directed to take all necessary steps to consolidate Case Nos. 4:19cv300, 1:19cv121, and 4:19cv301 for the purposes of case management. They will be maintained on a common docket under Consolidated Case No. 4:19cv300. The Clerk is directed to connect all lawyers from the consolidated cases to Case No. 4:19cv300. A paper that is applicable to any of the consolidated case must be filed in the common docket and must not be filed separately in any other case. Signed by CHIEF JUDGE MARK E WALKER on 6/30/2019. (kjw) (Entered: 06/30/2019)

June 30, 2019
4

Intradistrict Transfer to Tallahassee Division, 111 N. Adams St., Tallahassee, FL 32301. Case # 4:19cv302−MW/MJF assigned. (kjw) (Entered: 06/30/2019)

June 30, 2019

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 28, 2019

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Formerly incarcerated people who were not allowed to vote because of outstanding legal financial obligations which they cannot pay; the Florida NAACP; the Orange County NAACP; and the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

Brennan Center for Justice

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Secretary of State (Tallahassee), State

Sarasota County (Sarasota), County

Orange County (Orange), County

Miami-Dade County (Miami-Dade), County

Manatee County (Manatee), County

Leon County (Leon), County

Indian River County (Indian River), County

Hillsborough County (Hillsborough), County

Duval County (Duval), County

Broward County (Broward), County

Alachua County (Alachua), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

National Voter Registration Act ("Motor Voter law"), 52 U.S.C. § 20501 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg)

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Equal Protection

Ex Post Facto

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Voting

Voting access

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Voting:

Voter qualifications

Voter registration rules