Case: Alaska Libertarian Party v. Fenumiai

3:20-cv-00127 | U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska

Filed Date: June 3, 2020

Closed Date: July 13, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This action, initially being tracked by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project, was filed on June 3, 2020 by the Alaska Libertarian Party, seeking lowered signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2020 Presidential Election. The court issued an order on July 10 stating that it was unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on July 13, 2020. The Alaska Libertarian Party filed this case …

COVID-19 Summary: This action, initially being tracked by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project, was filed on June 3, 2020 by the Alaska Libertarian Party, seeking lowered signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2020 Presidential Election. The court issued an order on July 10 stating that it was unlikely to grant the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case on July 13, 2020.


The Alaska Libertarian Party filed this case on June 3, 2020 against the Alaska Director of Elections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, seeking a waiver of the signature requirements to appear on the ballot for the 2020 Presidential Election, in light of COVID-19. The state's requirements provide that one method for obtaining ballot access is submitting a petition with signatures equal to 1% of the votes cast in the preceding Presidential election in Alaska at least 90 days prior to the general election. The plaintiffs argued that this signature requirements violated their First Amendment Rights to free speech, expression, and association, which are incorporated to apply to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs requested declaratory relief that the ballot access laws in the state were unconstitutional. They also requested an injunction to prohibit the enforcement of the ballot access laws and attorneys' fees. The case was assigned to Judge John W. Sedwick.

On June 11, 2020, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. They requested that the court either reduce or eliminate the petition requirement, or extend the 90 day deadline. In their motion, the plaintiffs suggested a signature threshold of 20% of the normal threshold, or equal to 0.2% of the votes cast in the 2016 Presidential Election.

On July 10, 2020, Judge Sedwick submitted an order that he was likely to deny the motion for a preliminary injunction. The court remarked that the purpose of this order was to give the plaintiffs an opportunity to increase their signature gathering efforts and noted that signature gathering efforts had not been made in many highly populated areas or had been targeted to registered Libertarian voters.

On July 13, 2020, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Nicholas Gillan (3/11/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17221344/parties/alaska-libertarian-party-v-fenumiai/


Judge(s)

Sedwick, John W. (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Amodio, Thomas P (Alaska)

Wiest, Christopher David (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Clarkson, Kevin G (Alaska)

Mills, Cori (Alaska)

Paton-Walsh, Margaret A (Alaska)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Fenumiai, Gail (Alaska)

Judge(s)

Sedwick, John W. (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Amodio, Thomas P (Alaska)

Wiest, Christopher David (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Clarkson, Kevin G (Alaska)

Mills, Cori (Alaska)

Paton-Walsh, Margaret A (Alaska)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Fenumiai, Gail (Alaska)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:20-cv-00127

Docket [PACER]

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

Docket
1

3:20-cv-00127

Plaintiffs' Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

Complaint
5

3:20-cv-00127

Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Preliminary Injunction with Declaration of Scott Kohlhaas in Support

June 11, 2020

June 11, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
11 & 12

3:20-cv-00127

Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Cross-Motion to Dismiss

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
14

3:20-cv-00127

Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Preliminary Injunction with Declaration of Scott Kohlhaas in Support

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
17

3:20-cv-00127

Order from Chambers

July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

Order/Opinion
18

3:20-cv-00127

Plaintiffs' Notice of Dismissal Under FRCP 41(a) without Prejudice

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17221344/alaska-libertarian-party-v-fenumiai/

Last updated Aug. 4, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against Jon Watts, Alaska Libertarian Party ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 097--2885277.), filed by Jon Watts, Alaska Libertarian Party. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Amodio, Thomas) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

RECAP
2

MOTION for Leave to Appear as Pro Hac Vice (Non-Resident ) Attorney Christopher D Wiest. ( Pro Hac Vice Admission fee $150.00 paid. Receipt number 097--2885295.) by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts.(Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 06/03/2020)

June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

PACER
3

Unissued summons re Defendant G. Fenumiai, (Attachments: # 1 Unissued Summons re Defendant K. Meyer)(LMH, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 06/04/2020)

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

PACER

Summons Issued as to Gail Fenumiai and Kevin Meyer. (LMH, COURT STAFF)

June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020

PACER

1 - Summons Issued

June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020

PACER
4

CLERK'S NOTICE re 2 Application to Appear Pro Hac Vice. The Application to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Christoper Wiest, at docket 2, is authorized under D.Ak. LR 83.1(d). (SDW, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 06/07/2020)

June 7, 2020

June 7, 2020

PACER

Clerks Notice Approving Non-Resident Attorney Application

June 7, 2020

June 7, 2020

PACER
5

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Expedited consideration requested) by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of Kohlhaas, # 2 Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 06/11/2020)

1 Affidavit Declaration of Kohlhaas

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order Proposed Order

View on PACER

June 11, 2020

June 11, 2020

RECAP
6

MOTION to Expedite consideration of DN 5, Motion for Preliminary Injunction by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of C. Wiest, # 2 Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 06/11/2020)

1 Affidavit Declaration of C. Wiest

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order Proposed Order

View on PACER

June 11, 2020

June 11, 2020

RECAP
7

JUDGE SEDWICK ORDER re 6 Motion to Expedite. The motion to expedite at docket 6 is GRANTED. Defendants shall respond to plaintiffs' motion at docket 5 for injunctive relief no later than June 29, 2020. Plaintiffs may file a reply no later than July 7, 2020. (GMM, CHAMBERS STAFF) (Entered: 06/12/2020)

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion to Expedite

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

PACER
8

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Alaska Libertarian Party. Kevin Meyer served on 6/10/2020, answer due 7/1/2020. (Amodio, Thomas) (Entered: 06/16/2020)

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

PACER
9

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Alaska Libertarian Party. Gail Fenumiai served on 6/10/2020, answer due 7/1/2020. (Amodio, Thomas) (Entered: 06/16/2020)

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

PACER
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Alaska Libertarian Party. (Amodio, Thomas) Modified on 6/24/2020 to Create relationship to document #9. (SDW, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 06/16/2020)

June 16, 2020

June 16, 2020

PACER
11

RESPONSE in Opposition re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Expedited consideration requested) Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Cross-Motion to Dismiss filed by Gail Fenumiai. (Paton-Walsh, Margaret) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

RECAP
12

DECLARATION of Gail Fenumiai re 11 Response in Opposition to Motion, by Gail Fenumiai. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit)(Paton-Walsh, Margaret) (Entered: 06/29/2020)

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

2 Exhibit

View on PACER

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

RECAP
13

JUDGE SEDWICK TEXT ORDER re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. When plaintiffs file their reply in support of their emergency motion at docket 5, they shall include as an exhibit a report advising the court about their signature gathering efforts. The report shall focus on the period of time beginning on the date the motion at docket 5 was filed thru the date the reply is filed. The report shall list the number of persons engaged in collecting signatures each day, the city or town where each such person gathered signatures each day, and the aggregate number of signatures obtained each day. The report shall also state how many signatures have been obtained by electronic means. The report shall advise the total number of all signatures obtained to the date the reply is filed including those obtained before filing the motion at docket 5. Finally, the report shall state how many persons will continue to gather signatures. (GMM, CHAMBERS STAFF) (Entered: 06/30/2020)

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

PACER

Order

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

PACER
14

REPLY to Response to Motion re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Expedited consideration requested) filed by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts. (Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 07/03/2020)

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

RECAP
15

DECLARATION of Scott Kohlhaas (supplemental with signature gathering update) re 14 Reply to Response to Motion by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts. (Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 07/03/2020)

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

RECAP
16

ERRATA by Gail Fenumiai 11 Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Gail Fenumiai. (Paton-Walsh, Margaret) (Entered: 07/08/2020)

July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

PACER
17

ORDER re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. (SDW, COURT STAFF) (Entered: 07/10/2020)

July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

RECAP
18

NOTICE of Dismissal without prejudice under FRCP 41(a)(1)(A)(i) by Alaska Libertarian Party, Jon Watts (Wiest, Christopher) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Alaska

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Healthy Elections COVID litigation tracker

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 3, 2020

Closing Date: July 13, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Alaska Libertarian Party and the Chair of the Alaska Libertarian Party

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Alaska Director of Elections (Juneau, Juneau), State

Lieutenant Governor of Alaska (Juneau, Juneau), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Election administration