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Case: Duncan v. LaRose

2:20-cv-02295 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Filed Date: May 6, 2020

Closed Date: Aug. 24, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is about the constitutionality of Ohio’s ballot access laws. The plaintiff, an individual Ohio voter and repeated independent presidential candidate, filed this complaint pro se on May 6, 2020, against the Governor of Ohio, the Secretary of State of Ohio, and the Ohio General Assembly in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that the state’s 5000 signature requirement and deadline of August 5 to appear on the Nove…

This case is about the constitutionality of Ohio’s ballot access laws. The plaintiff, an individual Ohio voter and repeated independent presidential candidate, filed this complaint pro se on May 6, 2020, against the Governor of Ohio, the Secretary of State of Ohio, and the Ohio General Assembly in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, arguing that the state’s 5000 signature requirement and deadline of August 5 to appear on the November 2020 ballot violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights as applied during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plaintiff argued that the enforcement of the signature requirement made it virtually impossible for him to get his name on the ballot without violating the Governor’s public health orders. The plaintiff also argued that the exclusion of his name from the ballot would deprive him of his ability to make his choice as a voter. He requested that the court declare the signature requirement unconstitutional, as applied to his candidacy. He also requested an injunction requiring the defendants to decrease the signature requirement or to place his name on the ballot despite his failing to meet the required number of signatures. The case was assigned to Judge Michael H. Watson.

On May 13, 2020, the plaintiff moved for an emergency preliminary injunction. The court denied the motion on May 15, 2020 WL 6600626. The court stated that the plaintiff’s motion did not warrant a complete review because it failed to comply with Local Rule 7.2(a)(1), which requires all motions to be accompanied by a supporting memorandum.

On May 29, 2020, the plaintiff filed another motion for a preliminary injunction. On June 3, the court held a telephone conference with the parties, during which the plaintiff was given an opportunity to provide additional information that would support the motion. At the end of the hearing, the court orally denied the motion. On June 4, the court issued an order providing more detailed reasoning and citations explaining its decision to deny the motion. 2020 WL 6600627. The court found it important that Ohio’s stay-at-home order, which the plaintiff argued hindered his ability to gather signatures, specifically exempted First Amendment-protected conduct and that the restrictions were currently being lifted. The court therefore found that the plaintiff was not likely to succeed on the merits of his claim.

Between June 2 and June 8, the defendants each filed motions to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. On August 24, 2020, the court granted the motions to dismiss. 2020 WL 4933914. The court relied on a virtually identical case, Hawkins v. DeWine, 968 F.3d 603. The Hawkins court had concluded that the state’s justifications for the ballot restrictions outweighed the intermediate burden on the plaintiffs. Since the plaintiff here did not provide any basis for the court to distinguish this case from Hawkins, the court granted the motions to dismiss. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Nicholas Gillan (12/20/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17132308/parties/duncan-v-larose/


Judge(s)

Deavers, Elizabeth Preston (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Buchanan, Heather L. (Ohio)

Watson, Halli B. (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Deavers, Elizabeth Preston (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Buchanan, Heather L. (Ohio)

Watson, Halli B. (Ohio)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:20-cv-02295

Docket [PACER]

Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 24, 2020

Docket
1

2:20-cv-02295

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Complaint
6

2:20-cv-02295

Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Order/Opinion
16

2:20-cv-02295

Opinion and Order

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Order/Opinion
21

2:20-cv-02295

Opinion and Order

Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 24, 2020

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17132308/duncan-v-larose/

Last updated Sept. 26, 2022, 6:04 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by Richard Duncan against Mike DeWine, Frank LaRose and Ohio General Assembly. (er) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Clearinghouse

Filing fee: $ 400.00, receipt number 200COL061602 (jlk)

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER

Filing Fee Received

May 7, 2020

May 7, 2020

PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Mike DeWine, Frank LaRose and Ohio General Assembly. (Attachments: # 1 Summons Form, # 2 Summons Form) (sem) (Entered: 05/11/2020)

May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020

PACER
4

CERTIFICATE of Mailing of the complaint and issued summons sent by certified mail to the defendants by the Clerk on 5/12/20. (sem) (Entered: 05/12/2020)

May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020

PACER
5

MOTION for Emergency Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Richard Duncan. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (ew) (Entered: 05/13/2020)

1 Envelope

View on PACER

May 13, 2020

May 13, 2020

RECAP
6

OPINION and ORDER denying 5 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Michael H. Watson on 5/15/2020. (jk) (This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.) (Entered: 05/15/2020)

May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

Clearinghouse
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Halli Brownfield Watson for Defendants Mike DeWine, Frank LaRose, Ohio General Assembly (Watson, Halli) (Entered: 05/19/2020)

May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Heather L. Buchanan for Defendants Mike DeWine, Frank LaRose, Ohio General Assembly (Buchanan, Heather) (Entered: 05/19/2020)

May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

PACER
9

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Defendant Frank LaRose. Served on 5/15/2020. Answer due 6/5/2020. (ew) (Entered: 05/20/2020)

May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020

RECAP
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Defendant Mike DeWine. Served on 5/22/2020. Answer due 6/12/2020. (ew) (Entered: 05/27/2020)

May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

PACER
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Defendant Ohio General Assembly. Served on 5/14/2020. Answer due 6/4/2020. (ew) (Entered: 05/28/2020)

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

PACER
12

Civil Cover Sheet by Plaintiff Richard Duncan. (ew) (Entered: 05/29/2020)

May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020

RECAP
13

MOTION for Emergency Preliminary Injunction by Plaintiff Richard Duncan. (ew) (Entered: 05/29/2020)

May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020

RECAP

NOTICE of Hearing - Telephone Status Conference set for 6/3/2020 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Michael H. Watson. (jk)

June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

PACER

Notice of Hearing

June 1, 2020

June 1, 2020

PACER
14

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM by Defendant Frank LaRose. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, Duncan v. Husted, USCA/6th Cir., Case No. 15-4017 Order) (Watson, Halli) (Entered: 06/02/2020)

1 Exhibit A, Duncan v. Husted, USCA/6th Cir., Case No. 15-4017 Order

View on RECAP

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

RECAP
15

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM by Defendant Ohio General Assembly. (Watson, Halli) (Entered: 06/02/2020)

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020

RECAP
16

OPINION and ORDER denying 13 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Michael H. Watson on 6/4/2020. (jk) (This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.) (Entered: 06/04/2020)

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Clearinghouse
17

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM by Defendant Mike DeWine. (Watson, Halli) (Entered: 06/08/2020)

June 8, 2020

June 8, 2020

RECAP
18

RESPONSE in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss filed by Plaintiff Richard Duncan. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Envelope) (ew) (Entered: 06/12/2020)

1 Exhibit

View on RECAP

2 Envelope

View on PACER

June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020

RECAP
19

REPLY to Response to Motion re 14 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM filed by Defendant Frank LaRose. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Thompson v. DeWine, 6th Cir. No. 20-3526 (June 16, 2020)) (Watson, Halli) (Entered: 06/22/2020)

June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020

RECAP
20

RELATED CASE MEMORANDUM ORDER: The Judges agree that this case and case number 2:13-cv-1157 are NOT related. Signed by Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley and Judge Michael H. Watson on 7/1/2020. (er)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.) (Entered: 07/01/2020)

July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020

PACER
21

OPINION and ORDER Granting 14 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; Granting 15 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; Granting 17 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Plaintiff's claims are Dismissed with Prejudice. The Clerk is Directed to enter Judgment in favor of Defendants and Terminate this case. Signed by Judge Michael H. Watson on 08/24/2020. (mdr)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.) (Entered: 08/24/2020)

Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 24, 2020

Clearinghouse
22

JUDGMENT entered pursuant to the Opinion and Order signed by Judge Michael H. Watson on 08/24/2020. (mdr)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.) (mdr). (Entered: 08/24/2020)

Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 24, 2020

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Ohio

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. 24, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

An individual Ohio voter who ran for U.S. President since 2004 in 4 elections

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Ohio, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1985

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

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied