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Case: English v. Chester County

2:10-cv-00244 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Jan. 20, 2010

Closed Date: July 20, 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about African American voters registered in the Lower Oxford East precinct in Chester County, Pennsylvania who had to wait as long as seven hours in line to vote -- far longer than voters elsewhere in the County. On January 20, 2010, Five African American voters filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Chester County, the Chester County Board of Elections, three county commissioners, and the director of Chester County Voter Servi…

This is a case about African American voters registered in the Lower Oxford East precinct in Chester County, Pennsylvania who had to wait as long as seven hours in line to vote -- far longer than voters elsewhere in the County. On January 20, 2010, Five African American voters filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Chester County, the Chester County Board of Elections, three county commissioners, and the director of Chester County Voter Services. The voters, represented by private counsel, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the ACLU Foundation, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that Chester County failed to provide an adequate and accessible polling place and other resources in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 42 U.S.C. § 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

On February 12, 2010, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The court denied the motion on March 17, 2010, because the parties were actively involved in discussions over a possible resolution of the case.

On April 21, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a voluntary motion to dismiss the case with prejudice after the parties entered into a settlement agreement. The defendants agreed to relocate the polling place location, modify the precinct boundaries, and provide the new polling place with resources equivalent to those provided to similarly-sized precincts with similar numbers of registered voters. The defendants also agreed to pay the parties' attorneys fees in the amount of $60,000, as well as nominal damages of one dollar to each plaintiff.  Judge Hart granted the motion on April 22, 2010. The court retained jurisdiction to resolve issues arising under the settlement agreement. This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Rita Elfarissi (9/27/2022)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:10-cv-00244

Complaint

Jan. 20, 2010

Jan. 20, 2010

Complaint
9

2:10-cv-00244

Order

March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

Order/Opinion

2:10-cv-00244

Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release

July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010

Settlement Agreement

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/12605043/english-v-chester-county/

Last updated Oct. 20, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against all defendants ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 016266.), filed by GOLDEN ENGLISH, DARCEL JONES, AARON LLOYD, WANDA HAVELOW, SHANISHA SMITH. (Attachments: # 1 Cover Sheet, # 2 Designation Form, # 3 Tracking Form)(tj, ) (Entered: 01/20/2010)

Jan. 20, 2010

Jan. 20, 2010

PACER

Summons Issued; 6 Given to counsel 1/20/10 as to CHESTER COUNTY, CHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, CAROL AICHELE, TERENCE FARRELL, KATHI COZZONE, JAMES FORSYTHE. (tj, )

Jan. 20, 2010

Jan. 20, 2010

PACER
2

NOTICE of Appearance by JOEL L. FRANK on behalf of CHESTER COUNTY, CHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, CAROL AICHELE, TERENCE FARRELL, KATHI COZZONE, JAMES FORSYTHE with Certificate of Service(FRANK, JOEL) (Entered: 01/26/2010)

Jan. 26, 2010

Jan. 26, 2010

PACER
3

MOTION to Dismiss Complaint filed by CHESTER COUNTY, CHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, CAROL AICHELE, TERENCE FARRELL, KATHI COZZONE, JAMES FORSYTHE.Supporting Brief & Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E)(LAMB, WILLIAM) (Entered: 02/12/2010)

Feb. 12, 2010

Feb. 12, 2010

PACER
4

MOTION for Pro Hac Vice filed by GOLDEN ENGLISH, DARCEL JONES, AARON LLOYD, WANDA HAVELOW, SHANISHA SMITH.Affidavit, Certificate of Service.(WILSON, PHILLIP) (Entered: 02/16/2010)

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

PACER

Filing fee: $ 40, receipt number 017726 re: 4 (ti, )

Feb. 17, 2010

Feb. 17, 2010

PACER
5

Joint Stipulation for Extension of Time to File Answer by GOLDEN ENGLISH, WANDA HAVELOW, DARCEL JONES, AARON LLOYD, SHANISHA SMITH.Certificate of Service.(WILSON, PHILLIP) (FILED IN ERROR BY ATTORNEY; COPY FORWARDED TO CLERK/JUDGE FOR APPROVAL) Modified on 2/23/2010 (nd). (Entered: 02/22/2010)

Feb. 22, 2010

Feb. 22, 2010

PACER
6

ORDER THAT THE MOTION FOR ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE IS GRANTED. BRYAN SELLS, ESQ. MAY PRACTICE IN THIS COURT ON THIS CASE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LOCAL R. CIV.P. 83.5.2 (b); ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE STEWART DALZELL ON 2/22/10. 2/22/10 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED, E-MAILED.(jl, ) (Entered: 02/22/2010)

Feb. 22, 2010

Feb. 22, 2010

PACER
7

STIPULATION AND ORDER THAT PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 7.4(b)(2), IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED BY COUNSEL FOR PARTIES THAT PLAINTIFFS SHALL HAVE UNTIL AND INCLUDING 3/13/2010 TO ANSWER, PLEAD OR OTHERWISE MOVE TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS. SIGNED BY HONORABLE STEWART DALZELL ON 2/23/10. 2/23/10 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED. (ti, ) (Entered: 02/23/2010)

Feb. 23, 2010

Feb. 23, 2010

PACER
8

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 3 MOTION to Dismiss Complaint filed by GOLDEN ENGLISH, WANDA HAVELOW, DARCEL JONES, AARON LLOYD, SHANISHA SMITH.Memorandum, Certificate of Counsel, Certificate of Service.(WILSON, PHILLIP) (Entered: 03/11/2010)

March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

PACER
9

ORDER THAT THE MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO.3) IS DENIED AS MOOT WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO ITS REASSERTION IF THE PARTIES ARE UNABLE TO RESOLVE THIS DISPUTE; THE MOTION FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME (DOC. NO.8) IS DENIED AS MOOT; DEFENDANTS' DEADLINE TO RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT IS STAYED UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT, ETC. SIGNED BY HONORABLE STEWART DALZELL ON 3/16/10. 3/17/10 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED, E-MAILED.(kk, ) (Entered: 03/17/2010)

March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

Clearinghouse
10

ORDER THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH LOC. R. CIV. P. 72.1 AND 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(3), THIS CASE IS REFERRED TO JUDGE JACOB P. HART FOR MEDIATION; AND THE CLERK OF COURT SHALL TRANSFER THIS CASE FROM OUR ACTIVE DOCEKT TO OUR CIVIL SUSPENSE DOCKET PENDING THE OUTCOME OF MEDIATION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE STEWART DALZELL ON 4/13/10. 4/14/10 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ti, ) (Entered: 04/14/2010)

April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

PACER
11

ORDER THAT A SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR 4/21/2010, AT 10:00 AM IN ROOM 3006, UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE, 601 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106. SIGNED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE JACOB P. HART ON 4/14/10. 4/14/10 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ti, ) (Entered: 04/14/2010)

April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

PACER
12

NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by GOLDEN ENGLISH, WANDA HAVELOW, DARCEL JONES, AARON LLOYD, SHANISHA SMITH (WILSON, PHILLIP) (Entered: 04/21/2010)

April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

RECAP
13

Minute Entry for proceedings held before MAGISTRATE JUDGE JACOB P. HART: Settlement Conference held on 4/21/10. Court Reporter: Deborah Stevenson. (ti, ) (Entered: 04/21/2010)

April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

PACER
14

ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITH PREJUDICE PURSUANT TO LOCAL RULE 41.1(b). This court shall retain jurisdiction to resolve issues arising under the settlement agreement, etc.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE STEWART DALZELL ON April 22, 2010. April 22, 2010 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ea, ) (Entered: 04/22/2010)

April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010

RECAP
15

ORDER THAT A STATUS/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE HAS BEEN SCHEDULED BEFORE THE UNDERSIGNED ON 7/6/2010, AT 10:00 AM IN ROOM 3006, UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE, 601 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106. SIGNED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE JACOB P. HART ON 6/22/10. 6/22/10 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ti, ) (Entered: 06/22/2010)

June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010

PACER
16

ORDER THAT THE STATUS/SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR 7/19/2010, AT 9:30 AM IN ROOM 3006, UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE, 601 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106. SIGNED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE JACOB P. HART ON 6/29/10. 6/29/10 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(ti, ) (Entered: 06/29/2010)

June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010

PACER
17

Minute Entry for proceedings held before MAGISTRATE JUDGE JACOB P. HART: Settlement Conference held on 7/19/10. Court Reporter: ESR. (ti, ) (Entered: 07/20/2010)

July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) project

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 20, 2010

Closing Date: July 20, 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Five African American voters located in Lower Oxford Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Law Center (PILCOP)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Chester County, Pennsylvania (Lower Oxford Township, Chester), County

Voters Services (Lower Oxford Township, Chester), County

Chester County Board of Elections (Lower Oxford Township, Chester), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Voting Rights Act, section 2, 52 U.S.C. § 10301 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973)

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Amount Defendant Pays: $60,005

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - governmental

Disparate Impact

Voting

Voting access

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Voting:

Election administration