Case: Alliance Party v. D.C. Board of Elections

1:20-cv-02319 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Aug. 21, 2020

Closed Date: Dec. 7, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case involved the District of Columbia’s signature requirements for ballot qualification during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill B-23-0864 lowered the signatures required for third-party presidential candidates to qualify for the D.C. ballot from 5,007 to 250. The political party Alliance Party and two third-party presidential filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 21, 2020. They were represented by private counsel and sued the District of Columbia …

This case involved the District of Columbia’s signature requirements for ballot qualification during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill B-23-0864 lowered the signatures required for third-party presidential candidates to qualify for the D.C. ballot from 5,007 to 250. The political party Alliance Party and two third-party presidential filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on August 21, 2020. They were represented by private counsel and sued the District of Columbia Board of Elections. The case was assigned to Judge Boasberg.

The plaintiffs alleged that they had not been given adequate notice of the signature decrease, resulting in them abandoning their effort to collect signatures because they thought it would be impossible to collect 5,0007 signatures while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The deadline for submitting petitions to appear on the ballot had passed the day before the bill was passed on August 6, 2020. Plaintiffs alleged that independent and third-party presidential candidates who ceased attempting to collect signatures to meet the 5,007 threshold had their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights violated because they could not take advantage of the signature reduction until it was too late.

Suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiffs contended that their equal protection rights were violated because notice was given to other candidates, but not independent or third-party presidential candidates. The plaintiffs also alleged that their First Amendment and due process rights were violated because they had not been given timely notice to exercise their fundamental right of political speech. In addition to declaratory relief, the plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the new bill, and also sought a deadline extension that would allow presidential candidates to continue gathering signatures until September 1, 2020. For future elections the plaintiffs sought a permanent injunction requiring the defendants to provide at least two-weeks notice for any changes to the signature requirement. Finally, the plaintiffs sought attorneys’ fees.

A week after filing their complaint, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order on August 28, 2020. They now sought to extend the filing deadline to September 8, 2020. The plaintiffs made two primary arguments. First, the defendant’s lack of notice irreparably harmed non-major party candidates by effectively denying ballot access. Second, defendant could handle the deadline extension as a single worker could certify 500 signatures within two days. The court denied this motion during a motion hearing held on September 3, 2020.

The 2020 general election was held on November 3. Two days later, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the law at issue would not be in effect for future elections and, therefore, the case was moot. After the plaintiffs failed to respond to the motion, the court granted it on December 7, 2020.

This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Eric Gripp (7/9/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17469533/parties/alliance-party-v-district-of-columbia-board-of-elections/


Judge(s)

Boasberg, James Emanuel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barlow, Benjamin S. (District of Columbia)

Dunlap, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)

Rossi, Paul A. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bluming, Micah Ian (District of Columbia)

Brown, Shani C. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Boasberg, James Emanuel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barlow, Benjamin S. (District of Columbia)

Dunlap, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)

Rossi, Paul A. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bluming, Micah Ian (District of Columbia)

Brown, Shani C. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:20-cv-02319

Docket [PACER]

Alliance Party v. District of Columbia Board of Elections

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

Docket
1

1:20-cv-02319

Plaintiffs' Civil Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Alliance Party v. District of Columbia Board of Elections

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17469533/alliance-party-v-district-of-columbia-board-of-elections/

Last updated Aug. 9, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-7495544) filed by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 08/21/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

Aug. 21, 2020

Aug. 21, 2020

RECAP
2

ERRATA by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE 1 Complaint, filed by ROQUE DE LA FUENTE, ALLIANCE PARTY. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 08/26/2020)

Aug. 26, 2020

Aug. 26, 2020

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge James E. Boasberg. (zsb)

Aug. 27, 2020

Aug. 27, 2020

PACER
3

SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 08/27/2020)

Aug. 27, 2020

Aug. 27, 2020

PACER

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Aug. 27, 2020

Aug. 27, 2020

PACER
4

Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(Dunlap, Thomas). Added MOTION for Preliminary Injunction on 8/31/2020 (zrdj). (Entered: 08/28/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

View on RECAP

2 Exhibit A

View on PACER

3 Exhibit B

View on PACER

4 Exhibit C

View on PACER

5 Exhibit D

View on PACER

6 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Aug. 28, 2020

Aug. 28, 2020

PACER
5

ENTERED IN ERROR.....CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE re 3 Summons Issued Electronically, 2 Errata Complaint. (Dunlap, Thomas) Modified on 9/2/2020 (eg). (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER
6

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE re 4 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Preliminary Injunction . (Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Ben S. Barlow on behalf of ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE (Barlow, Ben) (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Micah Ian Bluming on behalf of DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Bluming, Micah) (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Shani Brown on behalf of All Defendants (Brown, Shani) (Entered: 08/31/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER
11

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS served on 8/31/2020 (eg) (Entered: 09/02/2020)

Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 31, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: After discussions with the parties, the Court ORDERS that a telephonic hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order shall take place on September 3, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. Chambers will contact the parties with dial-in information. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 9/1/2020. (lcjeb1)

Sept. 1, 2020

Sept. 1, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings: TRO/Preliminary Injunction Hearing set for 9/3/2020 at 03:00 PM in Telephonic/VTC before Judge James E. Boasberg. (znbn)

Sept. 1, 2020

Sept. 1, 2020

PACER

.Order

Sept. 1, 2020

Sept. 1, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings

Sept. 1, 2020

Sept. 1, 2020

PACER
10

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Paul A. Rossi, Filing fee $ 100, receipt number ADCDC-7542323. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 09/02/2020)

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

PACER

NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: re 5 Certificate of Service was entered in error and will be refiled by the Clerk's Office. (eg)

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING 10 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of PAUL A. ROSSI. Counsel should register for e-filing via PACER and file a notice of appearance pursuant to LCvR 83.6(a). Click for instructions. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 09/02/2020. (lcjeb2)

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

PACER
12

Memorandum in opposition to re 4 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Bluming, Micah) (Entered: 09/02/2020)

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

RECAP

Notice of Corrected Docket Entry

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Sept. 2, 2020

Sept. 2, 2020

PACER
13

REPLY to opposition to motion re 4 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE. (Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 09/03/2020)

Sept. 3, 2020

Sept. 3, 2020

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge James E. Boasberg: Preliminary Injunction held on 9/3/2020 re 4 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by ROQUE DE LA FUENTE, ALLIANCE PARTY, Motion Hearing held on 9/3/2020 re 4 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by ROQUE DE LA FUENTE, ALLIANCE PARTY. Oral arguments heard and motion DENIED, for the reasons stated on the record. (Court Reporter Lisa Grififith.) (znbn)

Sept. 3, 2020

Sept. 3, 2020

PACER

Motion Hearing AND Preliminary Injunction

Sept. 4, 2020

Sept. 4, 2020

PACER
14

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiffs' Complaint by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Bluming, Micah) (Entered: 09/17/2020)

Sept. 17, 2020

Sept. 17, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING Defendant's 14 Motion for Extension of Time. The Court ORDERS that Defendant shall file its Answer or otherwise respond to Plaintiffs' Complaint by November 5, 2020. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 09/17/2020. (lcjeb2)

Sept. 17, 2020

Sept. 17, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 11/5/2020. (znbn)

Sept. 17, 2020

Sept. 17, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to

Sept. 17, 2020

Sept. 17, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Sept. 18, 2020

Sept. 18, 2020

PACER
15

MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Bluming, Micah) (Entered: 11/05/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

View on RECAP

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 5, 2020

Nov. 5, 2020

PACER
16

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 15 MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 11/16/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 16, 2020

Nov. 16, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's 16 Motion for Extension of Time. The Court ORDERS that: (1) Plaintiffs shall respond to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss by December 3, 2020; and (2) Defendant shall file its reply by December 17, 2020. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/17/2020. (lcjeb2)

Nov. 17, 2020

Nov. 17, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 12/3/2020. Replies due by 12/17/2020. (znbn)

Nov. 17, 2020

Nov. 17, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply

Nov. 17, 2020

Nov. 17, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Nov. 17, 2020

Nov. 17, 2020

PACER
17

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by ALLIANCE PARTY, ROQUE DE LA FUENTE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Dunlap, Thomas) (Entered: 11/18/2020)

Nov. 18, 2020

Nov. 18, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER GRANTING 17 Motion to Withdraw. The appearances of Attorneys Thomas M. Dunlap and Benjamin S. Barlow are terminated. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 11/18/2020. (lcjeb2)

Nov. 18, 2020

Nov. 18, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney

Nov. 18, 2020

Nov. 18, 2020

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: As Plaintiffs have never responded to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss despite an extension, the Court ORDERS that: 1) The 15 Motion is GRANTED as conceded per LCvR 7(b); and 2) The case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 12/07/2020. (lcjeb2)

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

PACER
18

CLERK'S JUDGMENT in favor of DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS against ALLIANCE PARTY & ROQUE DE LA FUENTE. Signed by Nicole Bell-Norwood, Courtroom Deputy on 12/7/2020. (nbn) (Entered: 12/07/2020)

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Dec. 7, 2020

Dec. 7, 2020

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

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: Aug. 21, 2020

Closing Date: Dec. 7, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Alliance Party and two third-party presidential candidates

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

District of Columbia Board of Elections (Washington), State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Voting

COVID-19:

Mitigation Requested

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Election administration