Case: Crossey v. Boockvar

20-00266 | Pennsylvania state trial court

Filed Date: April 22, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries. The petitioners sought declaratory and injunctive relief against restrictions in vote by mail in Pennsylvania. They also sought a preliminary injunction as to the June 2 primary election which the court denied on May 28. The plaintiffs appealed, but Supreme…

COVID-19 Summary: On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries. The petitioners sought declaratory and injunctive relief against restrictions in vote by mail in Pennsylvania. They also sought a preliminary injunction as to the June 2 primary election which the court denied on May 28. The plaintiffs appealed, but Supreme Court later dismissed the appeal as moot on June 4 as the primary election was held on June 2.


On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries at the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs argued that the current obstacles voters encounter when requesting a mail ballot was violated the Free and Equal Elections Clause, Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Pennsylvania constitution. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys.

The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief ordering the defendants to:

-Provide prepaid postage on all absentee and mail-in ballots;

-Implement additional emergency procedures to ensure that ballots delivered after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day due to mail service delays or disruptions, would be counted if otherwise eligible, to the extent that such procedures did not trigger Act 77’s non-severability clause;

-Allow voters to designate a third party to assist in collecting and submitting absentee or mail-in ballots and ensure that all such ballots would be counted if otherwise eligible; and

-Provide uniform guidance and training to election officials involved in verifying mail ballots and implement procedures to ensure that voters receive reasonable notice and an opportunity to cure signature-related defects on absentee or mail-in ballots before any ballot was rejected.

On May 8, the plaintiffs submitted a motion for preliminary injunction and expedited review for the approaching June 2 primary election. On May 11, the Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore and the Senate Majority Leader sought to intervene. Three days later, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives also moved to intervene.

On May 28, the motion for preliminary injunction and expedited review was denied and the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. On June 4, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as moot as the primary election was held on June 2.

On June 17, the case was transferred to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after the defendant’s objections to the commonwealth court's jurisdiction over the case. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (7/5/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Leavitt, Mary Hannah (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bonin, Adam Craig (Pennsylvania)

Brailey, Emily R. (District of Columbia)

Command, Stephanie I. (District of Columbia)

DelBello, James Edmond Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Elias, Marc Erik (District of Columbia)

Newkirk, Zachary (District of Columbia)

Nkwonta, Uzoma (District of Columbia)

Schirack, Sarah Langberg (Alaska)

Wallen, Zachary Michael (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Leavitt, Mary Hannah (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bonin, Adam Craig (Pennsylvania)

Brailey, Emily R. (District of Columbia)

Command, Stephanie I. (District of Columbia)

DelBello, James Edmond Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Elias, Marc Erik (District of Columbia)

Newkirk, Zachary (District of Columbia)

Nkwonta, Uzoma (District of Columbia)

Schirack, Sarah Langberg (Alaska)

Wallen, Zachary Michael (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aronchick, Mark A. (Pennsylvania)

Hangley, Michele D. (Pennsylvania)

Kotula, Kathleen Marie (Pennsylvania)

Marvoudis, Dimitrios (Pennsylvania)

Matthias, Chistina Crane (Pennsylvania)

Rickabaugh, Jessica A. (Pennsylvania)

Tucker, Joe H. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Wiygul, Robert (Pennsylvania)

Other Attorney(s)

Bresso, Gineen (Virginia)

Crosland, E. S. (District of Columbia)

Evans, James Randolph (Georgia)

Gallagher, Kathleen A. (Pennsylvania)

Giancola, Russell David (Pennsylvania)

Gordon, Philip M. (Virginia)

Gore, John M. (District of Columbia)

Holt, Dallin B (Virginia)

Lienhard, Jonathan (Virginia)

Limburg, Richard P. (Pennsylvania)

Shapiro, Mathieu Jode (Pennsylvania)

Sheehy, Shawn Toomey (Virginia)

Tabas, Lawrence J. (Pennsylvania)

Torchinsky, Jason Brett (Virginia)

Winklosky, Devin Arlie (Pennsylvania)

Yoon, Hyun (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-00266

Docket

Pennsylvania state appellate court

June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020

Docket

20-00266

Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Pennsylvania state appellate court

April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Complaint

20-00266

Memorandum in Support of Petitioners' Application for Preliminary Injunction

Pennsylvania state appellate court

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

20-00266

Petitioners' Emergency Application for Special Relief in the Nature of a Preliminary Injunction and for Expedited Review

Pennsylvania state appellate court

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

32 MAP 2020

Brief of Appellants

Crossey v. Bookvar

Pennsylvania state supreme court

May 30, 2020

May 30, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

319 M.D. 2020

Memorandum Opinion by President Judge Leavitt

Delisle v. Boockvar

Pennsylvania state appellate court

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

Order/Opinion

32 MAP 2020

Order

Pennsylvania state supreme court

235 A.3d 1066

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 28, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 22, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Perkins Coie

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Secretary of the Commonwealth, State

Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting access

Voting:

Election administration

Voter qualifications

Voter registration rules