Case: City of Kings Mountain v. Holder

1:10-cv-01153 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: July 8, 2010

Closed Date: Oct. 22, 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This suit was filed on July 8, 2010 by the City of Kings Mountain, North Carolina seeking an exemption from the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “Act”).  The City of Kings Mountain extends into two North Carolina counties – Cleveland and Gaston – and is a covered jurisdiction subject to the special provisions of the Act, including Section 5 of the Act.  Under Section 5, the City or Kings Mountain is required to obtain preclearance from either the Attorney General of the …

This suit was filed on July 8, 2010 by the City of Kings Mountain, North Carolina seeking an exemption from the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “Act”).  The City of Kings Mountain extends into two North Carolina counties – Cleveland and Gaston – and is a covered jurisdiction subject to the special provisions of the Act, including Section 5 of the Act.  Under Section 5, the City or Kings Mountain is required to obtain preclearance from either the Attorney General of the United States or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for any change in voting standards, practices, and procedures since the Act’s November 1, 1964 coverage date for the state of North Carolina.  

Since 1965, the Act has allowed states subject to the special provisions of the Act to exempt themselves from coverage under the Act’s special provisions, but only if such states can satisfy standards established in the Act.  The exemption process is known as “bailout.”  As amended in 1982, Section 4 of the Act provides that states, as well as political subdivisions within such states, that are covered under the special provisions of the Act are entitled to a declaratory judgement in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia if satisfying certain conditions in the 10 years preceding the filing of the action.  These conditions include:

1.      No test or device has been used either for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, within the State or political subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment;

2.      No final judgment has been entered by any court determining that the political subdivision has denied or abridged the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group;

3.      No Federal examiners have been assigned to the political subdivision;

4.      All governmental units within the political subdivision have complied with the preclearance provisions of Section 5 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. §1973c; and

5.      The Attorney General has not interposed any objection to any proposed voting change within the political subdivision and no declaratory judgment has been denied with regard to such a change by this Court under Section 5.

6.      A showing that, during the pendency of the declaratory judgment action seeking such exemption:

a.       Any voting procedure or method of election within the state or political subdivision exists which inhibits or dilutes equal access to the electoral process has been eliminated;

b.      Constructive efforts have been made by the political subdivision to eliminate any intimidation or harassment of persons exercising rights under the Voting Rights Act; and

c.       Expanded opportunities for convenient registration and voting exist within the State or political subdivision.

Section 4(b) of the Act provides that governmental entities and their political subdivisions identified as employing devices infringing on the right to vote are subject to special provisions requiring preclearance before implementing new voting-related laws or devices.  By virtue of lying between Cleveland and Gaston County, North Carolina, Kings Mountain was subject to the preclearance requirements.

On July 8, 2010, the City of Kings Mountain filed a complaint and motion to convene a three-court judge, seeking a declaratory judgment from the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division that the City of Kings Mountain fully complied with all conditions of Section 4 of the Act and, accordingly, should be exempted from coverage pursuant to the “bailout” provision of the Act.  The relief sought by the City of Kings Mountain included requesting that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia take the following actions:

1.      Convene a three-judge court to hear the claims raised in its complaint;

2.      Enter a declaratory judgment that the City of Kings Mountain is entitled to a bailout from the special provisions of the Act; and

3.      Grant such other relief as may be necessary and proper as the needs of justice may require.

On July 19, 2020, the motion to convene a three-judge court was granted.

On September 21, 2010, the parties jointly moved for approval of a consent judgment and decree.  In the joint motion, the parties stipulated that the City of Kings Mountain met all of the requirements of Section 4(a) of the Act, allowing for the bailout pursuant to Section 4(b) of the Act.  

On October 22, 2010, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered the consent judgment and decree, exempting the City of Kings Mountain from the special provisions of the Act, but retaining jurisdiction over the matter for an additional ten years from the date of the consent judgment and decree.

This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Corey Nevers (10/24/2023)

Geoffrey Fay (11/16/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4892896/parties/city-of-kings-mountain-v-holder/


Judge(s)

Friedman, Paul L. (District of Columbia)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Hebert, Joseph Gerald (District of Columbia)

Attorney for Defendant

Berkower, Risa (District of Columbia)

Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:10-cv-01153

Complaint for Declaratory Relief Under Voting Rights Act

City Of Kings Mountain V. Holder, Et Al

July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

Complaint
4

1:10-cv-01153

Appearance of Counsel

City Of Kings Mountain V. Holder, Et Al

July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

Other
6

1:10-cv-01153

Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Judgment and Decree

City Of Kings Mountain V. Holder, Et Al

Sept. 21, 2010

Sept. 21, 2010

Pleading / Motion / Brief
7

1:10-cv-01153

Consent Judgment and Decree

City Of Kings Mountain V. Holder, Et Al

Oct. 22, 2010

Oct. 22, 2010

Order/Opinion

746 F.Supp.2d 746

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4892896/city-of-kings-mountain-v-holder/

Last updated March 9, 2024, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against ERIC HOLDER, THOMAS A. PEREZ ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616031069) filed by CITY OF KINGS MOUNTAIN. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(jf, ) (Entered: 07/09/2010)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

Clearinghouse

Summons (3) ssued as to ERIC HOLDER, THOMAS A. PEREZ, USA (jf, )

July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

PACER
2

UNOPPOSED MOTION to convene three-judge court by CITY OF KINGS MOUNTAIN (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(jf, ) (Entered: 07/09/2010)

July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010

PACER
3

ORDER granting 2 plaintiff's Motion to Convene Three-Judge Court Signed by Judge Paul L. Friedman on 7/19/2010. (zmm, ) (Entered: 07/19/2010)

July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

PACER
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Risa Berkower on behalf of ERIC HOLDER, THOMAS A. PEREZ (Berkower, Risa) (Entered: 07/22/2010)

July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

Clearinghouse
5

ORDER of USCA filed 7/26/10, designating Circuit Judge David S. Tatel and District Judge Paul L. Friedman to serve with District Thomas F. Hogan to hear and determine this case. Circuit Judge Tatel will preside. (signed by Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals on 7/26/10.(jeb, ) (Entered: 07/29/2010)

July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010

PACER
6

Joint MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment by ERIC HOLDER (Attachments: # 1 Consent Judgment and Decree)(Heffernan, Brian) (Entered: 09/21/2010)

1 Consent Judgment and Decree

View on RECAP

Sept. 21, 2010

Sept. 21, 2010

Clearinghouse
7

CONSENT JUDGMENT & DECREE Signed by U.S. Circuit Judge David S. Tatel, District Judge Paul L. Friedman and District Judge Thomas F. Hogan on 10/22/10. (jeb, ) (Entered: 10/22/2010)

Oct. 22, 2010

Oct. 22, 2010

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 8, 2010

Closing Date: Oct. 22, 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Political Subdivision of the State of North Carolina

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice (District of Columbia), Federal

Attorney General of the United States (District of Columbia), Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Voting Rights Act, section 5, 52 U.S.C. § 10304 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1973c)

Available Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2010 - None

Issues

Voting:

Voting: Physical/Effective Access

Voter registration rules