Case: Brown v. Jacobsen

6:21-cv-00092 | U.S. District Court for the District of Montana

Filed Date: Dec. 6, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is about the apportionment of electoral districts for Montana’s Public Service Commission (the “PSC”) and preventing the dilution of votes of voters in overpopulated districts.  The PSC oversees public utilities and consists of five commissioners, each elected from a regional district.  Montana Code § 69-1-104 designates five PSC districts, with one commissioner elected from each district, but does not include a mechanism for redistricting.  The Montana legislature amended § 69-1-104 …

This case is about the apportionment of electoral districts for Montana’s Public Service Commission (the “PSC”) and preventing the dilution of votes of voters in overpopulated districts.  The PSC oversees public utilities and consists of five commissioners, each elected from a regional district.  Montana Code § 69-1-104 designates five PSC districts, with one commissioner elected from each district, but does not include a mechanism for redistricting.  The Montana legislature amended § 69-1-104 in 2003, following the 2000 Census, to reapportion the districts to achieve population equality.  Despite population fluctuations among the districts as evidenced in subsequent censuses, the Montana legislature did not reapportion the districts between 2003 and 2021, when the action was filed.  According to 2020 Census data, there was a maximum population deviation among the five districts of 24.5%.

In advance of the 2022 election, On December 6, 2021, three individual residents of Montana (the “Plaintiffs”) represented by private counsel sued Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen in her official capacity in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, seeking to enjoin her from certifying candidates for Districts 1 and 5 for the 2022 elections, a declaration that the districts as then defined under Montana Code § 69-1-104 violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s one-person, one-vote rule, and relief in the form of a new electoral map.  At the outset of the case, Plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to prevent the Secretary of State from certifying candidates for commissioner in Districts 1 and 5 pending a determination on the constitutionality of the PSC districting plan.  On December 22, 2021, District Judge Donald W. Molloy issued an order temporarily restraining the Secretary of State from certifying candidates for Commissioner in District 1 and District 5 until the parties appeared for a hearing on the preliminary injunction motion, which was set for January 7, 2022.  2021 WL 6062393.

A three-judge panel (the “Court”) of Judge Molloy, Chief Judge Brian M. Morris, and Ninth Circuit Judge Paul J. Watford heard Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction on January 7, 2022.  The same day, Judge Molloy, on behalf of the panel, ordered that the temporary restraining order previously issued would remain in effect until January 18, 2022 or until an order on the preliminary injunction was entered, whichever happened first.  On January 13, 2022, the Court panel granted the Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Secretary of State from certifying candidates for Commissioner in District 1 and 5 pending a final disposition on the merits.  2022 WL 122777.

The Secretary of State moved to dismiss or to stay the case on January 12, 2022.  A week later, on January 18, the Court denied the motion because the issues had been addressed in the preliminary injunction order.

The parties filed competing motions for summary judgment on the issues, which were taken on submission.  The Court held a bench trial on March 4, 2022.  On March 8, 2022, District Judge Brian Morris issued an Opinion & Order resolving the merits of case, holding that the district map was unconstitutional and permanently enjoining the Secretary of State from certifying candidates for Commissioner under the existing district map.  Specifically, the Court determined that the three-judge panel was properly appointed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2884(a) because the impacts of the PSC’s actions were felt statewide, and the PSC is a legislative body, the Plaintiffs had standing because the existing district map created a greater than 10% deviation from the ideal population, which is presumptively unconstitutional, and, critically, because the existing PSC plan had a maximum population deviation of roughly 24%, which exceeded the presumptively reasonable 10% deviation and absent evidence to rebut that presumption, the existing PSC districts were unconstitutional and the map as expressed in § 69-1-104 were unconstitutional, specifically violating the one-person, one-vote rule of the Fourteenth Amendment.  590 F.Supp.3d 1273.

As a remedy, the Court implemented a version of the Secretary of State’s proposed redistricting plan.  The Court recognized that federal courts are subject to a higher standard than the standard applied to legislative plans when implementing districting maps and the deference to be paid to the policies and preferences of the State.  As such, it selected the Secretary of State’s plan, despite its larger population variances.  The Court further held that the map it imposed would only remain in effect in the absence of action by the Montana legislature.

Ultimately, the Court declared Montana Code § 69-1-104 unconstitutional; permanently enjoined the Secretary of State from certifying candidates under the 2003 PSC map; and ordered the Secretary of State to implement the map identified in its opinion, absent action by the Montana legislature, to certify candidates for Districts 1 and 5 for the 2022 elections.  Judgment was entered in favor of the Plaintiffs and against the Secretary of State in accordance with the March 8 decision the same day.

Following issuance of the judgment, on March 22, 2022, Plaintiffs moved for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $126,171.23.  The Secretary of State opposed the motion, and on July 5, 2022, the District Judge Molloy granted Plaintiffs’ motion, awarding Plaintiffs attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $89,590.80.  2022 WL 2452230.

On August 5, 2022, the Secretary of State appealed the attorneys’ fees award to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (docket 22-35634), and Plaintiffs cross-appealed two weeks later (docket 22-35673).  Following mediation, the parties ultimately privately settled the attorneys’ fees dispute and voluntarily dismissed the appeal.

As of November 2023, there have been no further developments.

Summary Authors

Joanna Schorr (11/17/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/61600333/parties/brown-v-jacobsen/


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

AT, Constance Van

Counsel, Rylee Sommers-Flanagan,

Kley, Constance Van (Montana)

Attorney for Defendant

General, Brent Adam

Jones, Emily E. (Montana)

show all people

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

6:21-cv-00092

Complaint

Dec. 6, 2021

Dec. 6, 2021

Complaint
6-8

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 8: Affidavit of Bob Brown

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Declaration/Affidavit
6-1

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 1: Montana State and County Population Totals

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6-3

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 3: Current PSC Map

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6

6:21-cv-00092

Plaintiffs' Brief in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order on Preliminary Injunction

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Pleading / Motion / Brief
6-2

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 2 to Plaintiffs' Motion for TRO - Excerpts from U.S. Census Bureau, Montana: 2010

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6-5

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 5: SB153 Proposed Map

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6-4

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 4: Map Showing Deviation as of 2013

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6-7

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 7: Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to House Judiciary Comm.

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other
6-6

6:21-cv-00092

Exhibit 6: Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to Sen. State Admin. Comm. (Jan. 25, 2013)

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Other

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/61600333/brown-v-jacobsen/

Last updated March 9, 2024, 3:04 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Christi Jacobsen, filed by Bob Brown, Hailey Sinoff, Donald Seifert. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (HEG) (Entered: 12/07/2021)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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Dec. 6, 2021

Dec. 6, 2021

Clearinghouse

Filing fee received: $ 402, receipt number AMTDC-2776867 (HEG)

Dec. 6, 2021

Dec. 6, 2021

PACER

Filing Fee Received

Dec. 7, 2021

Dec. 7, 2021

PACER
2

Summons Issued as to Christi Jacobsen and Attorney General. Original summonses emailed to counsel for service. (Attachments: # 1 Attorney General Summons) (HEG) (Entered: 12/08/2021)

Dec. 8, 2021

Dec. 8, 2021

PACER
3

ORDER appointing Judge Paul J. Watford, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, and Chief Judge Brian M. Morris pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a). Signed by Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (NOS) (Entered: 12/09/2021)

Dec. 9, 2021

Dec. 9, 2021

RECAP
4

Proof of Service filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. Service by process server on December 10, 2021. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement) (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 12/17/2021)

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

PACER
5

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction Constance Van Kley appearing for Plaintiffs Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 12/17/2021)

Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

PACER
6

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Montana State and County Population Totals, # 2 Exhibit Excerpts from U.S. Census Bureau, Montana: 2010, # 3 Exhibit Current PSC Map, # 4 Exhibit Map Showing Deviation as of 2013, # 5 Exhibit SB153 Proposed Map, # 6 Exhibit Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to Sen. State Admin. Comm., # 7 Exhibit Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to House Judiciary Comm., # 8 Exhibit Affidavit of Bob Brown) (Van Kley, Constance) (Attachment 3 replaced on 1/4/22 with flattened version.) (NOS) (Entered: 12/17/2021)

1 Exhibit Montana State and County Population Totals

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2 Exhibit Excerpts from U.S. Census Bureau, Montana: 2010

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3 Exhibit Current PSC Map

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4 Exhibit Map Showing Deviation as of 2013

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5 Exhibit SB153 Proposed Map

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6 Exhibit Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to Sen. State Admin. Comm.

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7 Exhibit Letter from Chairman Bill Gallagher to House Judiciary Comm.

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8 Exhibit Affidavit of Bob Brown

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Dec. 17, 2021

Dec. 17, 2021

Clearinghouse
7

ORDER re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Hailey Sinoff, Donald Seifert, Bob Brown: Plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction is GRANTED IN PART. It is granted insofar as Jacobsen is temporarily restrained as explained in this Order. The Court reserves ruling on the remainder of Plaintiffs' motion until the parties appear for a hearing. ORDER Setting Hearing on Motion 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction: Motion Hearing set for 1/7/2022 at 9:00 AM in the Russell Smith Courthouse, Missoula, MT before Judge Paul J. Watford, Judge Donald W. Molloy, and Chief Judge Brian M. Morris. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 12/22/2021. (dle) (Entered: 12/22/2021)

Dec. 22, 2021

Dec. 22, 2021

Clearinghouse

Set/Reset Hearings: Motion Hearing set for 1/7/2022 at 9:00 AM in Missoula, MT before Judge Donald W. Molloy and Chief Judge Brian Morris. (NOS)

Dec. 22, 2021

Dec. 22, 2021

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings - SDM

Dec. 30, 2021

Dec. 30, 2021

PACER
8

RESPONSE to Motion re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 01/03/2022)

Jan. 3, 2022

Jan. 3, 2022

Clearinghouse
9

REPLY to Response to Motion re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (NEF regenerated to Defendant following addition of counsel to the docket.) (NOS) (Entered: 01/05/2022)

Jan. 5, 2022

Jan. 5, 2022

Clearinghouse
10

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Donald W. Molloy, Judge Paul J. Watford (appearing via Zoom), and Chief Judge Brian Morris (appearing via Zoom): Motion Hearing held on 1/7/2022 re 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. Counsel Constance Van Kley, Rylee Sommers-Flanagan, and Joel Krautter appearing on behalf of plaintiffs. Counsel Brent Mead appearing on behalf of defendant. Counsel Van Kley and Mead provide argument, answer questions as asked by judge panel. Written order forthcoming. Hearing commenced at 9:07 a.m. and concluded at 10:07 a.m. (Court Reporter: Janet Davis (via Zoom)) (Law Clerk: T. Nickol) (Hearing held in Missoula, MT) (NOS) (Entered: 01/07/2022)

Jan. 7, 2022

Jan. 7, 2022

PACER
11

ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that the temporary restraining order as stated in the previous Order, (Doc. 7 ), shall remain in effect until January 18, 2022, or until an order on the preliminary injunction is entered, whichever happens first. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 1/7/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 01/07/2022)

Jan. 7, 2022

Jan. 7, 2022

Clearinghouse

Motion Hearing - SDM

Jan. 7, 2022

Jan. 7, 2022

PACER
12

Defendants's ANSWER to 1 Complaint by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 01/12/2022)

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

PACER
13

MOTION to Dismiss or Alternatively to Stay Proceedings Brent Adam Mead appearing for Defendant Christi Jacobsen (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 01/12/2022)

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

PACER
14

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 13 MOTION to Dismiss or Alternatively to Stay Proceedings filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 01/12/2022)

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

Clearinghouse
15

Joint Stipulated Motion to Incorporate Prior Briefing Brent Adam Mead appearing for Defendant Christi Jacobsen (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order) (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 01/12/2022)

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

PACER
16

ORDER granting 5 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Jacobsen is preliminarily enjoined from certifying candidates for Commissioner in District 1 and 5, pending a final disposition on the merits. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the temporary restraining order, (Doc. 7 ), is MOOTED in light of the preliminary injunction. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy, Circuit Judge Paul J. Watford, and Chief Judge Brian M. Morris on 1/13/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 01/13/2022)

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

Clearinghouse
17

ORDER. Response to Motion to Dismiss: 1/13/2022. Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss: 1/14/2022. Discovery due by 2/2/2022. Motions due by 2/7/2022. Proposed Final Pretrial Order due by 2/28/2022. Bench Trial set for 3/4/2022 at 9:00 a.m. at the Russell Smith Courthouse in Missoula, Montana. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 1/13/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 01/13/2022)

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

PACER

Set Deadlines/Hearings: Bench Trial set for 3/4/2022 at 9:00 a.m. in the Russell Smith Courthouse in Missoula, MT, before Chief Judge Brian M. Morris. (NOS)

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

PACER
18

RESPONSE to Motion re 13 MOTION to Dismiss or Alternatively to Stay Proceedings filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 01/13/2022)

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

Clearinghouse

Set/Reset Hearings: Bench Trial set for 3/4/2022 at 09:00 AM in Missoula, MT before Paul J. Watford. (JEH)

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

PACER

Set Deadlines/Hearings - SDM

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings - SDM

Jan. 13, 2022

Jan. 13, 2022

PACER
19

ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that the joint stipulated motion to incorporate arguments made in prior briefing, (Doc. 15 ), is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Jacobsen's motion to dismiss, (Doc. 13 ), is DENIED. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 1/18/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 01/18/2022)

Jan. 18, 2022

Jan. 18, 2022

Clearinghouse
20

NOTICE of Appearance by Emily E. Jones on behalf of Christi Jacobsen (Jones, Emily) (Entered: 01/27/2022)

Jan. 27, 2022

Jan. 27, 2022

PACER
21

MOTION for Summary Judgment Constance Van Kley appearing for Plaintiffs Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

PACER
22

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

Clearinghouse
23

Statement of Undisputed Fact re: 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Affidavit of Constance Van Kley and Exhibits 1-A through 1-E, # 2 Exhibit 2010 Districting Commission Plan, # 3 Exhibit 2020 Districting Commission Criteria, # 4 Exhibit Expert Report of Honorable Jim Regnier, # 5 Affidavit Second Affidavit of Constance Van Kley) (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

1 Affidavit Affidavit of Constance Van Kley and Exhibits 1-A through 1-E

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2 Exhibit 2010 Districting Commission Plan

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3 Exhibit 2020 Districting Commission Criteria

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4 Exhibit Expert Report of Honorable Jim Regnier

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5 Affidavit Second Affidavit of Constance Van Kley

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Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

Clearinghouse
24

MOTION for Summary Judgment Brent Adam Mead appearing for Defendant Christi Jacobsen (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

PACER
25

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

Clearinghouse
26

Statement of Undisputed Fact re: 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Christi Jacobsen filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/07/2022)

Feb. 7, 2022

Feb. 7, 2022

Clearinghouse
27

NOTICE by Greg Gianforte for 28 U.S.C. 2284(b) Service (Milanovich, Anita) (Entered: 02/08/2022)

Feb. 8, 2022

Feb. 8, 2022

PACER
28

ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(6)(2), Plaintiffs are directed to serve the Governor with the Complaint, (Doc. 1 ), the January 13, 2022 scheduling order, (Doc. 17 ), and this Order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court is directed to add Anita Milanovich and Governor Gianforte to CM/ECF. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 2/8/2022. (NOS) Modified on 2/9/2022 NEF regenerated to counsel for Gianforte (HEG). (Entered: 02/08/2022)

Feb. 8, 2022

Feb. 8, 2022

RECAP

Remark: Governor Gianforte and his counsel Anita Milanovich have been added to CM/ECF as an interested party and will receive all electronic notifications in this matter. (HEG)

Feb. 9, 2022

Feb. 9, 2022

PACER
29

ORDERED: Jacobsen is directed to submit at least one proposed map in conjunction with its responsive briefing. Consistent with the January 13, 2022 scheduling order, such a proposal shall be due on or before February 22, 2022. (See Doc. 17.) Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 2/9/2022. (HEG) (Entered: 02/09/2022)

Feb. 9, 2022

Feb. 9, 2022

RECAP

Remark

Feb. 9, 2022

Feb. 9, 2022

PACER
30

NOTICE by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Nonobjection Regarding Applicability of 22 U.S.C. 2284 (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/11/2022)

Feb. 11, 2022

Feb. 11, 2022

PACER
31

RESPONSE to Motion re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit, # 2 Exhibit) (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/22/2022)

1 Affidavit

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2 Exhibit

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Feb. 22, 2022

Feb. 22, 2022

Clearinghouse
32

RESPONSE to Motion re 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F) (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/22/2022)

1 Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit B

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3 Exhibit C

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4 Exhibit D

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5 Exhibit E

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6 Exhibit F

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Feb. 22, 2022

Feb. 22, 2022

Clearinghouse
33

Proposed Pretrial Order submitted for review by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Thomas Report, # 2 Exhibit Thomas Rebuttal, # 3 Exhibit Regnier Report, # 4 Exhibit Thomas Affidavit, # 5 Exhibit Plaintiffs' Exhibit List, # 6 Exhibit Defendants' Exhibit List) (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/28/2022)

1 Exhibit Thomas Report

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2 Exhibit Thomas Rebuttal

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3 Exhibit Regnier Report

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4 Exhibit Thomas Affidavit

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5 Exhibit Plaintiffs' Exhibit List

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6 Exhibit Defendants' Exhibit List

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Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

PACER
34

REPLY to Response to Motion re 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Clearinghouse
35

JOINT Proposed Findings of Fact by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) Modified on 3/1/2022 to add text to clarify (HEG). (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Clearinghouse
36

Proposed Findings of Fact by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Clearinghouse
37

Proposed Findings of Fact by Greg Gianforte, Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Clearinghouse
38

NOTICE OF INTENT TO USE ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE OR VIDEO CONFERENCING by Christi Jacobsen (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

RECAP
39

AMENDED Proposed Findings of Fact . (Mead, Brent) Modified on 3/1/2022 to clarify docket text (HEG). (Entered: 02/28/2022)

Feb. 28, 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Clearinghouse
40

REPLY to Response to Motion re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 03/01/2022)

March 1, 2022

March 1, 2022

Clearinghouse
41

FINAL PRETRIAL ORDER. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 3/2/2022. (Attachments: # 1 Plaintiffs' Exhibit List, # 2 Defendant's Exhibit List) (NOS) (Entered: 03/02/2022)

1 Plaintiffs' Exhibit List

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2 Defendant's Exhibit List

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March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

RECAP
42

NOTICE OF INTENT TO USE ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE OR VIDEO CONFERENCING by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 03/02/2022)

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

PACER
43

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Donald W. Molloy, Circuit Judge Paul J. Watford, and Chief Judge Brian Morris: Final Pretrial Conference and Bench Trial held on 3/4/2022. Counsel Constance Van Kley, Joel Krautter, and Rylee Sommers-Flanagan appearing on behalf of plaintiffs. Counsel Brent Mead and Emily Jones appearing on behalf of defendant. Final pretrial conference held. Stipulated exhibits admitted: Plaintiffs exhibits 1-6, Defendant exhibit 21-28. Parties stipulate to admission of expert reports in lieu of witness testimony. Matter called for bench trial. Counsel Van Kley presents case for plaintiffs. Counsel Mead presents case for defendant. Rebuttal by Plaintiffs. Written determination forthcoming. Hearing commenced at 9:05 a.m. and concluded at 12:07 p.m. (Attachments: # 1 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 1, # 2 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 2, # 3 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 3, # 4 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 4, # 5 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 5, # 6 Plaintiffs' Exhibit 6, # 7 Defendant's Exhibit 21, # 8 Defendant's Exhibit 22, # 9 Defendant's Exhibit 23, # 10 Defendant's Exhibit 24, # 11 Defendant's Exhibit 25, # 12 Defendant's Exhibit 26, # 13 Defendant's Exhibit 27, # 14 Defendant's Exhibit 28) (Court Reporter: JoAnn Corson) (Law Clerk: T. Nickols) (Hearing held in Missoula) (NOS) (Entered: 03/04/2022)

March 4, 2022

March 4, 2022

PACER
44

OPINION and ORDER: IT IS ORDERED that Montana Code Annotated § 691104 is DECLARED unconstitutional. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Secretary Jacobsen is permanently enjoined from certifying candidates under the 2003 Commission map. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Secretary Jacobsen will implement the above map, absent action by the Montana legislature, to certify candidates for Districts 1 and 5 for the 2022 elections. Morris, Chief Judge CONCURRING. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy, Circuit Judge Paul J. Watford and Chief Judge Brian M. Morris on 3/8/2022. (HEG) Modified on 3/8/2022 to update docket text(HEG). (Entered: 03/08/2022)

March 8, 2022

March 8, 2022

Clearinghouse
45

JUDGMENT in favor of the Plaintiffs and against the Defendant. (HEG) (Entered: 03/08/2022)

March 8, 2022

March 8, 2022

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46

APPLICATION FOR TAXATION OF COSTS by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit) (Van Kley, Constance) (Main Document 46 replaced on 3/25/2022) (HEG). Modified on 3/25/2022 main document replaced with a flattened pdf (HEG). (Entered: 03/22/2022)

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

PACER
47

MOTION for Attorney Fees Constance Van Kley appearing for Plaintiffs Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 03/22/2022)

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

PACER
48

Brief/Memorandum in Support re 47 MOTION for Attorney Fees filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 6, # 6 Exhibit 7) (Van Kley, Constance) (Attachment(s) added on 3/22/2022: # 7 Exhibit 5 - inadvertently left off when filed) (SGN). (Entered: 03/22/2022)

1 Affidavit

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2 Affidavit

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3 Exhibit

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4 Exhibit

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5 Affidavit

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6 Exhibit

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7 Affidavit

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March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Clearinghouse
49

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 48 Brief/Memorandum in Support, 46 Application for Taxation of Costs, 47 MOTION for Attorney Fees Brent Adam Mead appearing for Defendant Christi Jacobsen (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order) (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 03/30/2022)

March 30, 2022

March 30, 2022

PACER
50

ORDER granting 49 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response re 47 MOTION for Attorney Fees. Any response to Plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees shall be due on or before April 21, 2022. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 3/31/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 03/31/2022)

March 31, 2022

March 31, 2022

PACER
51

Costs Taxed in amount of $ 502.00 against Defendants. (HEG) (Entered: 04/05/2022)

April 5, 2022

April 5, 2022

PACER
52

ORDER: To clarify, the March 31, 2022 order granting the extension of the response deadline applies to the defendant's response to Plaintiffs' request for attorney fees and request for non-taxable costs. The order does not apply to Plaintiffs' request for taxable costs as authorized by statute. Moreover, the award of $502 in taxable costs to Plaintiffs does not preclude the defendant from challenging any of Plaintiffs' requested non-taxable cost amount. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 4/6/2022. (HEG) (Entered: 04/06/2022)

April 6, 2022

April 6, 2022

RECAP
53

RESPONSE to Motion re 47 MOTION for Attorney Fees Response in Opposition filed by Christi Jacobsen. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Affidavit of B Mead, # 2 Affidavit Affidavit of D lang, # 3 Exhibit RSF Travel & Hearings, # 4 Exhibit RSF Communications, # 5 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Complaint, # 6 Exhibit Krautter-Complaint, # 7 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Prelim. Inj., # 8 Exhibit Krautter-Prelim. Inj., # 9 Exhibit Upper Seven-Motion to Stay, # 10 Exhibit Krautter-Motion to Stay, # 11 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Proposed Maps, # 12 Exhibit Krautter-proposed Maps, # 13 Exhibit Krautter-Travel, # 14 Exhibit Krautter-Communications, # 15 Exhibit Krautter- MSJ, # 16 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-MSJ, # 17 Exhibit Linfesty-Vague Billing, # 18 Exhibit Affidavit of J Metropoulos) (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 04/21/2022)

1 Affidavit Affidavit of B Mead

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2 Affidavit Affidavit of D lang

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3 Exhibit RSF Travel & Hearings

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4 Exhibit RSF Communications

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5 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Complaint

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6 Exhibit Krautter-Complaint

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7 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Prelim. Inj.

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8 Exhibit Krautter-Prelim. Inj.

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9 Exhibit Upper Seven-Motion to Stay

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10 Exhibit Krautter-Motion to Stay

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11 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-Proposed Maps

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12 Exhibit Krautter-proposed Maps

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13 Exhibit Krautter-Travel

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14 Exhibit Krautter-Communications

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15 Exhibit Krautter- MSJ

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16 Exhibit Upper Seven Law-MSJ

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17 Exhibit Linfesty-Vague Billing

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18 Exhibit Affidavit of J Metropoulos

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April 21, 2022

April 21, 2022

Clearinghouse
54

REPLY to Response to Motion re 47 MOTION for Attorney Fees filed by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. (Van Kley, Constance) (Entered: 05/05/2022)

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Clearinghouse
55

OPINION and ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees and non-taxable costs, (Doc. 47 ), is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that post-judgment interest shall accrue at the rate of 1.03% from the date of the judgment until paid. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 7/6/2022. (NOS) (Entered: 07/06/2022)

July 6, 2022

July 6, 2022

Clearinghouse
56

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 55 Order on Motion for Attorney Fees, by Christi Jacobsen. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number AMTDC-2914849. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Statement of Representation) (Mead, Brent) (Entered: 08/05/2022)

1 Supplement Statement of Representation

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Aug. 5, 2022

Aug. 5, 2022

RECAP
57

USCA Case Number 22-35634 and Time Schedule Order for 56 Notice of Appeal filed by Christi Jacobsen. (HEG) (Entered: 08/09/2022)

Aug. 9, 2022

Aug. 9, 2022

RECAP
58

NOTICE OF CROSS APPEAL by Bob Brown, Donald Seifert, Hailey Sinoff. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number AMTDC-2921748. Appeal Record due by 8/19/2022. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Attachment A - Statement of Representation) (Sommers-Flanagan, Rylee) (Entered: 08/19/2022)

Aug. 19, 2022

Aug. 19, 2022

PACER
59

USCA Case Number 22-35673 and Time Schedule Order for 58 Notice of Cross Appeal, filed by Hailey Sinoff, Donald Seifert, Bob Brown. (HEG) (Entered: 08/24/2022)

Aug. 24, 2022

Aug. 24, 2022

PACER
60

ORDER of USCA as to 58 Notice of Cross Appeal, filed by Hailey Sinoff, Donald Seifert, Bob Brown, 56 Notice of Appeal filed by Christi Jacobsen. This case shall be held in abeyance. The Clerk is directed to temporarily close this courts docket for administrative purposes until July 31, 2023. (HEG) (Entered: 11/09/2022)

Nov. 9, 2022

Nov. 9, 2022

PACER
61

MANDATE of USCA as to 58 Notice of Cross Appeal, filed by Hailey Sinoff, Donald Seifert, Bob Brown, 56 Notice of Appeal filed by Christi Jacobsen. (HEG) (Entered: 05/16/2023)

May 16, 2023

May 16, 2023

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Montana

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) project

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 6, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Residents of certain districts in Montana who intended to vote in upcoming elections for District Commissioners.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Montana Secretary of State, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Redistricting

State Statute Struck Down

Order Duration: 2021 - None

Issues

Voting:

Redistricting/district composition

Vote dilution

Voting: General & Misc.