Case: Garcia v. Griswold

1:20-cv-01268 | U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Filed Date: May 6, 2020

Closed Date: Aug. 28, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about a U.S. Senate candidate seeking to be placed on the 2020 Democratic primary ballot after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the usual signature gathering process. On May 6, 2020, the candidate and her campaign organization filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The campaign sued the Colorado Secretary of State alleging that she wrongfully kept the candidate off of the ballot. Represented by private counsel, the campaign sought a de…

This is a case about a U.S. Senate candidate seeking to be placed on the 2020 Democratic primary ballot after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the usual signature gathering process. On May 6, 2020, the candidate and her campaign organization filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. The campaign sued the Colorado Secretary of State alleging that she wrongfully kept the candidate off of the ballot. Represented by private counsel, the campaign sought a declaratory judgement that, in light of COVID-19, the state's requirement that she strictly comply with the election code violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and that she substantially complied with the law regarding ballot access. Further, the campaign sought an order that the candidate's name be placed on the Democratic primary ballot, arguing that COVID-19 seriously hampered its efforts to collect the required number of valid signatures. Judge William J. Martinez was assigned to the case.

For the candidate's name to be placed on the ballot, the campaign needed to submit 1,500 valid signatures to the Secretary from each congressional district in the state. They instead submitted over 1,500 "gross" signatures (not yet checked for validity by the Secretary) from Congressional Districts 1, 2, 3, and 7, but fewer than 1,500 in other districts. The Secretary determined that the campaign had collected 89.5% of the required number of validated signatures. On April 20, the campaign received an "insufficiency notice" from the Secretary, in effect notifying them that the candidate's name would not be on the ballot. 

On April 24, the campaign filed suit in Denver District Court (a state trial court), seeking the same relief granted to another U.S. Senate candidate in a different case, Griswold v. Ferrigno Warren. The Secretary was ordered to put that candidate's name on the ballot after the Denver District Court found that the candidate had substantially complied with the electoral code’s signatures requirement given the difficulties caused by COVID-19.

On April 30, the Denver District Court ordered the Secretary to place the candidate in this case on the ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed both decisions, however, holding that "strict compliance" with the number of signatures was required to be placed on the ballot. The decision in this case was announced on May 6, the same day the Secretary was required to certify the ballot.

On May 7, the court denied the campaign's motion for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. On August 21, 2020, nearly two months after the Democratic primary election was held, the court issued an amended order retroactively explaining the grounds of its decision. The court explained that since the deadline to certify the ballot had passed, granting the campaign’s requested relief would have thrown the electoral process into disarray and jeopardized the federal statutory deadline to mail ballots to overseas servicemembers. On August 28, the campaign and the Secretary stipulated to a voluntary dismissal of this action.

Summary Authors

Ethan Haughie (2/4/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17135988/parties/garcia-v-griswold/


Judge(s)

Varholak, Scott T. (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Padden, Amy L. (Colorado)

Werge, Thomas E.M. (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kotlarczyk, Michael (Colorado)

Sullivan, Grant T (Colorado)

Weiser, Philip J. (Colorado)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

Varholak, Scott T. (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Padden, Amy L. (Colorado)

Werge, Thomas E.M. (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kotlarczyk, Michael (Colorado)

Sullivan, Grant T (Colorado)

Weiser, Philip J. (Colorado)

Other Attorney(s)

Martinez, William Joseph (Colorado)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:20-cv-01268

Docket [PACER]

Aug. 28, 2020

Aug. 28, 2020

Docket
1

1:20-cv-01268

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Complaint
12

1:20-cv-01268

Order Denying Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction

2020 WL 2505888

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

Order/Opinion
24

1:20-cv-01268

Order Denying Preliminary Injunction

2020 WL 4003648

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

Order/Opinion
30

1:20-cv-01268

Amended Order Denying Preliminary Injunction

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

Order/Opinion
31

1:20-cv-01268

Joint Stipulation of Dismissal

Aug. 28, 2020

Aug. 28, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17135988/garcia-v-griswold/

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:18 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Jena Griswold (Filing fee $ 400,Receipt Number 1082-7283560)Attorney Thomas E.M. Werge added to party Lorena Garcia(pty:pla), filed by Lorena Garcia. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons)(Werge, Thomas) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Clearinghouse
2

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Grant T. Sullivan on behalf of Jena GriswoldAttorney Grant T. Sullivan added to party Jena Griswold(pty:dft) (Sullivan, Grant) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
3

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Michael T. Kotlarczyk on behalf of Jena GriswoldAttorney Michael T. Kotlarczyk added to party Jena Griswold(pty:dft) (Kotlarczyk, Michael) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
4

ADVISORY NOTICE OF NONCOMPLIANCE WITH COURT RULES/PROCEDURES:re: 1 Complaint, filed by attorney Thomas E.M. Werge. DO NOT REFILE THE DOCUMENT. Action to take - counsel must submit a change of contact request through the Attorney Services Portal Account pursuant to D.C.COLO.LAttyR 5(c) and 3.5 of the Electronic Case Filing Procedures (Civil cases).(Text Only Entry) (cmadr, ) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
5

Case assigned to Judge Lewis T. Babcock and drawn to Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak. Text Only Entry (cmadr, ) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
6

SUMMONS issued by Clerk. (Attachments: # 1 Magistrate Judge Consent Form) (cmadr, ) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
7

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by Plaintiffs Lorena Garcia, Lorena For Colorado. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6, # 7 Exhibit 7, # 8 Exhibit 8, # 9 Exhibit 9, # 10 Exhibit 10, # 11 Appendix Information for Temporary Restraining Order, # 12 Proposed Order (PDF Only) Proposed Order)(Werge, Thomas) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

PACER
8

RESPONSE to 7 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction filed by Defendant Jena Griswold. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E)(Kotlarczyk, Michael) (Entered: 05/07/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
9

NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Amy L. Padden on behalf of All Plaintiffs Attorney Amy L. Padden added to party Lorena Garcia(pty:pla), Attorney Amy L. Padden added to party Lorena For Colorado(pty:pla) (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 05/07/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
10

Emergency MOTION to Intervene by Intervenor Maya Wheeler. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief)(Martinez, Leonard) (Entered: 05/07/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
11

MEMORANDUM RETURNING CASE by Judge Lewis T. Babcock. This case is randomly reassigned to Judge William J. Martinez for all further proceedings. All future pleadings should be designated as 20-cv-01268-WJM. (agarc, ) (Entered: 05/07/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
12

ORDER: Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction 7 is DENIED; Defendant shall respond to Proposed Intervenor's Emergency Motion to Intervene 10 on or before Monday, May 11, 2020. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 05/07/2020. (wjmlc1) (Entered: 05/07/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

Clearinghouse
15

ADVISORY NOTICE OF NONCOMPLIANCE WITH COURT RULES/PROCEDURES:re: 9 Notice of Entry of Appearance filed by attorneyAmy Padden.Attorney or pro se has used an incorrect signature format in violation of D.C.COLO.LCivR 5.1(a) and 4.3(a) of the Electronic Case Filing Procedures (Civil cases). DO NOT REFILE THE DOCUMENT. In the future, the filer must affix an electronic s/signature and s/followed by a typed, not an inked, signature to all future documents.(Text Only Entry) (angar, ) (Entered: 05/08/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
16

ADVISORY NOTICE OF NONCOMPLIANCE WITH COURT RULES/PROCEDURES:re: 10 Emergency MOTION to Intervene filed by attorneyLeonard Martinez.The s/signature did not match the filers name on the account for which the login and password are registered. DO NOT REFILE THE DOCUMENT. Action to take - future documents must be filed pursuant to D.C.COLO.LCivR 5.1(a) and 4.3(c) of the Electronic Case Filing Procedures (Civil cases).(Text Only Entry) (angar, ) (Entered: 05/08/2020)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
13

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak. Magistrate Judge Varholak, or such other Magistrate Judge who may in the future be reassigned this case, is designated to conduct NDISPO proceedings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a) and (b). Court sponsored alternative dispute resolution is governed by D.C.COLO.LCivR 16.6. On the recommendation or informal request of the Magistrate Judge or on the request of the parties by motion, the court may direct the parties to engage in an early neutral evaluation, a settlement conference, or another alternative dispute resolution proceeding. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 5/8/2020. Text Only Entry (wjmsec, ) (Entered: 05/08/2020)

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

PACER

Order

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

PACER

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

PACER
14

ORDER: Counsel for the parties and all counsel who may later enter an appearance shall review and familiarize themselves with the undersigned's Revised Practice Standards (as most recently revised effective December 1, 2019 and as they may be amended from time to time), which may be downloaded here. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 5 /8/2020. Text Only Entry (wjmsec, ) (Entered: 05/08/2020)

May 8, 2020

May 8, 2020

PACER
17

REPLY to Response to 7 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order filed by Plaintiffs Lorena Garcia, Lorena For Colorado. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 11 - Supplemental declaration of L. Garcia, # 2 Exhibit 12 - Email to chambers)(Padden, Amy) (Entered: 05/11/2020)

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion to Withdraw

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion to Intervene

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER
18

MOTION to Withdraw Motion to Intervene by Intervenor Maya Wheeler. (Martinez, Leonard) (Entered: 05/11/2020)

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER
19

RESPONSE to 10 Emergency MOTION to Intervene filed by Defendant Jena Griswold. (Sullivan, Grant) (Entered: 05/11/2020)

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER
20

ORDER: Before the Court is Proposed Intervenor Maya Wheeler's Emergency Motion to Intervene 10, and also her Motion to Withdraw Motion to Intervene 18 . The latter motion is GRANTED and the former motion is therefore DEEMED WITHDRAWN. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 05/11/2020. Text Only Entry (wjmlc1) (Entered: 05/11/2020)

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER
21

MOTION for Leave to file Surreply by Defendant Jena Griswold. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Kotlarczyk, Michael) (Entered: 05/14/2020)

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Leave

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

PACER
22

ORDER granting The Secretary of State's Motion for Leave to File Surreply 21 . The Defendant's Motion is GRANTED for good cause shown. The Secretary of State's Surreply (ECF No. [21-1]) is ACCEPTED AS FILED. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 5/14/2020. Text Only Entry(wjmsec, ) (Entered: 05/14/2020)

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

PACER
23

MINUTE ORDER This matter is set for a Telephonic Status Conference on 7/16/2020 10:15 AM before Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak. The parties shall participate in the conference by calling 888.808.6929 at the scheduled time and utilizing access code: 2805116#. The Court notes that the parties may hear the conclusion of a prior hearing at the time they call in, and are instructed to simply wait until their case is called. SO ORDERED, by Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak on 7/02/2020. Text Only Entry (stvlc1, ) (Entered: 07/02/2020)

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

PACER

Minute Order

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

PACER
24

ORDER denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction 7, by Judge William J. Martinez on 07/15/2020 nunc pro tunc to 5/7/2020. (wjmlc1) (Entered: 07/15/2020)

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

Clearinghouse
25

MINUTE ENTRY for Telephonic Status Conference held before Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak on 7/16/2020. ORDERED: Dismissal Papers or a Status Report will be due thirty (30) days from todays date. FTR: 402. (morti, ) (Entered: 07/16/2020)

July 16, 2020

July 16, 2020

PACER
26

Unopposed MOTION to Amend/Correct/Modify 24 Order by Plaintiffs Lorena Garcia, Lorena For Colorado. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Padden, Amy) (Entered: 07/27/2020)

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER
27

Joint STATUS REPORT by Plaintiffs Lorena Garcia, Lorena For Colorado. (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 08/17/2020)

Aug. 17, 2020

Aug. 17, 2020

PACER
28

MINUTE ORDER Pursuant to 27 Status Report, the parties shall file dismissal papers or a further report regarding the status of settlement within seven days after a ruling on 26 Motion to Amend 24 Order Denying Preliminary Injunction. SO ORDERED, by Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak on 8/18/2020. Text Only Entry (stvlc1, ) (Entered: 08/18/2020)

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

PACER

Minute Order

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

PACER
29

ORDER: This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Amend Order Denying Preliminary Injunction 26, which seeks to correct an erroneous date in the Order Denying Preliminary Injunction 24 . The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend 26 and will enter an amended order which corrects the date and reflects the revision. SO ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 8/21/2020. Text Only Entry(wjmlc1) (Entered: 08/21/2020)

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

PACER
30

Amended ORDER Denying 7 Preliminary Injunction. ORDERED by Judge William J. Martinez on 8/21/2020. (angar, ) Modified on 8/21/2020 to correct text (angar, ). (Entered: 08/21/2020)

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

Clearinghouse

Order on Motion to Amend/Correct/Modify

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

PACER
31

STIPULATION of Dismissal of Case by Plaintiffs Lorena Garcia, Lorena For Colorado. (Padden, Amy) (Entered: 08/28/2020)

Aug. 28, 2020

Aug. 28, 2020

PACER
32

Civil Case Terminated pursuant to 31 STIPULATION of Dismissal filed in this case on 8/28/2020. Text Only Entry (angar, ) (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 28, 2020

Aug. 28, 2020

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Colorado

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Healthy Elections COVID litigation tracker

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 6, 2020

Closing Date: Aug. 28, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prospective candidate for U.S. Senate and campaign organization

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Colorado Secretary of State, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Equal Protection

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Election administration