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Case: Ivey v. Lamone

1:20-cv-01995 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Filed Date: July 7, 2020

Closed Date: July 20, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

During the November 2020 election, an individual (the plaintiff in this case) wanted to become an independent candidate for Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District on the November 2020 general election ballot. However, COVID-19 restrictions and communication issues from the Maryland Board of Elections provided some obstacles to her goal.  To become a candidate, the plaintiff needed to get signatures from 1% of the total number of registered and eligible voters (voters that can vote for the po…

During the November 2020 election, an individual (the plaintiff in this case) wanted to become an independent candidate for Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District on the November 2020 general election ballot. However, COVID-19 restrictions and communication issues from the Maryland Board of Elections provided some obstacles to her goal. 

To become a candidate, the plaintiff needed to get signatures from 1% of the total number of registered and eligible voters (voters that can vote for the position that the nomination is seeking to fulfill). The form provided and approved by the Maryland Board of Elections (SBE) was a PDF not able to be filled or edited.

The plaintiff tried communication with SBE to solve this issue. The defendant was the State Administer of Elections in the SBE. The SBE was slow to communicate, sometimes not responding at all. 

The plaintiff found that another party seeking nomination was using a different form to collect signatures. This form was an electronic PDF that was fillable and preferable to the plaintiff. The plaintiff asked SBE if they could use this form on June 2, 2020. After no response, The plaintiff set up a fillable PDF form. Then, on June 10, the SBE responded that this format would likely be unacceptable.

In addition to these communication barriers, there were COVID-19 barriers to get signatures from eligible voters. These barriers include Maryland Governor Hogan's orders to close non-essential businesses and large group gatherings.

When businesses started to open up and gatherings were partly allowed, the plaintiff was able to get a few signatures on the previously approved form through canvasing, but not nearly as many as she would have without any COVID-19 restrictions in place, or had the alternative PDF form been approved.

The plaintiff filed her complaint on July 7, 2020 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Judge Richard D. Bennett heard the case. This complaint claimed that the signature requirement violated her rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. She challenged the 1% signature requirement by requesting injunctive relief for the 0.5% requirement (granted to the Green and Libertarian parties) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She also requested a signature deadline extension. 

The parties agreed to settle through a joint motion for consent judgment on July 20, 2020. 

The same day, the court granted in part and denied in part this settlement. The court granted for the plaintiff and against the defendant that the signatures requirement for candidates seeking nomination by petition in Maryland was reduced by 50% to less than 5,000 registered voters, 0.5% of total eligible voters, or at least 125 signatures from eligible voters. The court denied other relief sought by the plaintiff. The court then ordered the state of Maryland to cover the plaintiff's attorneys' fees. 2020 WL 4197044.

This case has no further proceedings as of September 26, 2022. Thus, the state of Maryland was presumably able to pay the attorneys' fees and the case is likely closed through settlement.

Summary Authors

Isabel Hershey (9/26/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17334732/parties/ivey-v-lamone/


Judge(s)

Bennett, Richard D. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Stichel, Henry M. (Maryland)

Judge(s)

Bennett, Richard D. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Stichel, Henry M. (Maryland)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:20-cv-01995

Docket [PACER]

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

Docket
1

1:20-cv-01995

Verified Complaint for Injunctive Relief, Declaratory Relief, and Other Relief

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

Complaint
5

1:20-cv-01995

Consent Judgment

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17334732/ivey-v-lamone/

Last updated Sept. 28, 2022, 5:56 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Linda H Lamone, filed by Amber Ivey. (Attachments: # 1 Verification of Complaint, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Summons)(Stichel, Henry) (Entered: 07/07/2020)

1 Verification of Complaint

View on PACER

2 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

3 Summons

View on PACER

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

Clearinghouse
2

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Amber Ivey (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Stichel, Henry) (Entered: 07/07/2020)

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER
3

Summons Issued 21 days as to Linda H Lamone.(dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 07/07/2020)

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER

CIVIL CASE FILING FEE: $ 400, receipt number 0416-8741493(Stichel, Henry)

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER

Civil Case Filing Fee

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER

Notice to Pay Civil Filing Fee

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER

Per Counsel, this case was opened without indication of the filing fee prompt. Counsel may pay the case filing fee within 48 hours. To pay online, select the event Civil Case Filing Fee which is found under Civil Events --> Other Filings --> Other Documents. Otherwise, forward a check made payable to Clerk, U.S. District Court and note the assigned case number on the check or cover letter. (dass, Deputy Clerk)

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

PACER

Status Conference

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

PACER

Telephone Status Conference held on 7/13/2020 (not on the record) before Judge Richard D. Bennett. (cags, Deputy Clerk)

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

PACER
4

Joint MOTION for Judgment (Entry of Consent Judgment) by Amber Ivey (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Stichel, Henry) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

Clearinghouse
5

CONSENT JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Richard D. Bennett on 7/20/2020. (dass, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 07/20/2020)

July 20, 2020

July 20, 2020

Clearinghouse

Case Details

State / Territory: Maryland

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Healthy Elections COVID litigation tracker

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 7, 2020

Closing Date: July 20, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A prospective independent candidate for Maryland’s Seventh Congressional District on the November 2020 general election ballot.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State Administrator of Elections, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting:

Challenges to at-large/multimember district/election