Case: La Riva v. D.C. Board of Elections

1:20-cv-01937 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: July 17, 2020

Closed Date: Aug. 18, 2020

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Case Summary

This is a case about how the District of Columbia was allowed to adjust signature requirements for entry onto the ballot for different levels of elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 17, 2021, the plaintiffs - a presidential hopeful and her supporters - brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the D.C. Board of Elections for First and Fourteenth Amendment violations, stemming from the number of signatures required to be on …

This is a case about how the District of Columbia was allowed to adjust signature requirements for entry onto the ballot for different levels of elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 17, 2021, the plaintiffs - a presidential hopeful and her supporters - brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the D.C. Board of Elections for First and Fourteenth Amendment violations, stemming from the number of signatures required to be on the presidential ballot being out of step with the number required for all other elections in D.C. While the signature requirements for other elections were reduced from around 7,500 signatures to 150 signatures due to the limitations on contact imposed by COVID-19, the presidential ballot requirements remained unchanged at around 5,000 signatures. This, the plaintiffs claimed, presented an undue burden on the candidacy of minor party candidates. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief due to the measures that prevented the plaintiff candidate from being on the presidential ballot in D.C. Judge Randolph D. Moss was assigned to the case.

On July 24, 2020, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction to expedite the proceedings in light of the time-sensitivity of the issue. The plaintiffs asserted that additional delays would further infringe their constitutional rights and reduce the possibility of attaining sufficient relief.

On July 28, 2020, the D.C. Council approved a reduction in the signature requirements for the Presidential ballot to 250 signatures for the purposes of the 2020 election. This legislation was sent before the Mayor of D.C. In response to the action taken by the defendants, the plaintiffs moved to voluntarily dismiss this case. On August 18, 2020, Judge Moss ordered that the case be dismissed.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Matthew Weiner (11/18/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17360589/parties/la-riva-v-district-of-columbia-board-of-elections/


Judge(s)

Moss, Randolph Daniel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Schoen, David I. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Amarillas, Fernando (District of Columbia)

Bluming, Micah Ian (District of Columbia)

Brown, Shani C. (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Toni Michelle (District of Columbia)

Racine, Karl A. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Moss, Randolph Daniel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Schoen, David I. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Amarillas, Fernando (District of Columbia)

Bluming, Micah Ian (District of Columbia)

Brown, Shani C. (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Toni Michelle (District of Columbia)

Racine, Karl A. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:20-cv-01937

Docket [PACER]

La Riva v. District of Columbia Board of Elections

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

Docket
1

1:20-cv-01937

Complaint

La Riva v. District of Columbia Board of Elections

July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

Complaint
11

1:20-cv-01937

Joint Status Report

La Riva v. District of Columbia Board of Elections

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
14

1:20-cv-01937

Plaintiffs' Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

La Riva v. District of Columbia

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17360589/la-riva-v-district-of-columbia-board-of-elections/

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:04 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory Judgment and Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief against DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-7355388) filed by GLORIA LA RIVA, SEAN BLACKMON, NICOLE ROUSSELL, CLAIRE COOK. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

RECAP
2

ERRATA to Complaint (adding Parties' addresses) by SEAN BLACKMON, CLAIRE COOK, GLORIA LA RIVA, NICOLE ROUSSELL 1 Complaint, filed by GLORIA LA RIVA, CLAIRE COOK, NICOLE ROUSSELL, SEAN BLACKMON. (Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Randolph D. Moss. (adh, )

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER

SUMMONS Not Issued as to DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (adh, )

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER
3

REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE to DC Mayor re 2 Errata filed by GLORIA LA RIVA, SEAN BLACKMON, NICOLE ROUSSELL, CLAIRE COOK. Related document: 2 Errata filed by GLORIA LA RIVA, CLAIRE COOK, NICOLE ROUSSELL, SEAN BLACKMON. (Attachments: # 1 Summons Summons for DC Attorney General)(Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER

Case Assigned/Reassigned

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER

Summons Not Issued

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

PACER
4

SUMMONS (2) Issued Electronically as to DC Mayor, District of Columbia Attorney General(ztd) Modified on 7/21/2020 (ztd). (Entered: 07/21/2020)

July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020

PACER
5

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the District of Columbia Attorney General. Date of Service Upon District of Columbia Attorney General 7/21/2020. Answer due for ALL D.C. DEFENDANTS by 8/11/2020. (Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/21/2020)

July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020

PACER
6

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Date of Service Upon the Mayor for the District of Columbia on 07/21/2020. (Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/21/2020)

July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020

PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Micah Ian Bluming on behalf of DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Bluming, Micah) (Entered: 07/22/2020)

July 22, 2020

July 22, 2020

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Shani Brown on behalf of All Defendants (Brown, Shani) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020

July 23, 2020

PACER
9

Emergency MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Requesting Expedited Consideration - Election Related) by SEAN BLACKMON, CLAIRE COOK, GLORIA LA RIVA, NICOLE ROUSSELL (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Exh. "1" - Gloria La Riva Declaration, # 2 Declaration Exh. "2" Richard Winger Declaration and C.V.)(Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/24/2020)

1 Declaration Exh. "1" - Gloria La Riva Declaration

View on PACER

2 Declaration Exh. "2" Richard Winger Declaration and C.V.

View on PACER

July 24, 2020

July 24, 2020

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: In light of the Plaintiff's emergency motion for preliminary injunction 9, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a telephonic status conference on July 27, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. The Clerk of Court is directed to provide the parties with dial-in information. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 7/27/20. (lcrdm3, )

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER
10

ERRATA by SEAN BLACKMON, CLAIRE COOK, GLORIA LA RIVA, NICOLE ROUSSELL 9 Emergency MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Requesting Expedited Consideration - Election Related) filed by GLORIA LA RIVA, CLAIRE COOK, NICOLE ROUSSELL, SEAN BLACKMON. (Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/27/2020)

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Telephonic Status Conference held on 7/27/2020. Defendants' Response due by 7/31/2020; Plaintiffs' Reply due by end of day on 8/3/2020; Joint Status Report due by end of day on 7/30/2020. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt)

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER

~Util - Set/Reset Hearings AND .Order

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER

~Util - Set/Reset Deadlines AND Status Conference

July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020

PACER
11

Joint STATUS REPORT Filed by All Parties by SEAN BLACKMON, CLAIRE COOK, GLORIA LA RIVA, NICOLE ROUSSELL. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration)(Schoen, David) (Entered: 07/30/2020)

1 Declaration

View on PACER

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' joint status report 11, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction shall be filed on or before August 14, 2020 and Plaintiff's reply shall be due on or before August 18, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 7/30/20. (lcrdm3, )

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

PACER

~Util - Set/Reset Deadlines AND .Order

July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

PACER
12

Consent 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: 08/06/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Aug. 6, 2020

Aug. 6, 2020

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Defendant's consent motion for extension of time 12, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. Defendant shall file its response to the Plaintiff's complaint on or before September 1, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/6/20. (lcrdm3, )

Aug. 6, 2020

Aug. 6, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines AND Order on Motion for Extension of Time to

Aug. 6, 2020

Aug. 6, 2020

PACER
13

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction by DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Bluming, Micah) Modified on 8/13/2020 (ztd). (Entered: 08/13/2020)

1 Memorandum in Support

View on PACER

2 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Aug. 13, 2020

Aug. 13, 2020

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Defendant's Consent Motion for Extension of Time, 13, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. Defendant shall file its response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction, 9, on or before August 18, 2020, and Plaintiffs' shall file their reply to Defendant's response on or before August 24, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 08/13/2020. (lcrdm3)

Aug. 13, 2020

Aug. 13, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 8/18/2020; Reply due by 8/24/2020. (kt)

Aug. 13, 2020

Aug. 13, 2020

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to

Aug. 13, 2020

Aug. 13, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Aug. 13, 2020

Aug. 13, 2020

PACER
14

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by All Plaintiffs (Schoen, David) (Entered: 08/18/2020)

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Plaintiffs' Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, Dkt. 14, it is hereby ORDERED that the case is dismissed. The Clerk of Court is hereby ORDERED to terminate the case. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 08/18/2020. (lcrdm3)

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 2020

PACER

.Order

Aug. 18, 2020

Aug. 18, 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

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 17, 2020

Closing Date: Aug. 18, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A Socialist Party candidate for President of the United States, as well as supporters of the candidate seeking to be made electors.

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 (District of Columbia), City

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):

Equal Protection

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Voluntary Dismissal

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Voting access

Voting:

Candidate qualifications

Election administration