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FILED

AUG 252014
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURT
DISTRICTOFsoumDAKOTA
SOUmERNDIVISION

soumDAKOTALIBERTARIAN )
PARTY;EXECUTIVECOMMITTEE )
OF mEsoumDAKOTA )
LIBERTARIANPARTY;and )
RYANGADDY, ) CIV14- '-ll32
)
Plaintiffs, )
vs. )
) COMPLAINT
)
JASONM.GANT,inhisofficial )
capacityas SecretaryofStateforthe )
StateofSouthDakota, )
)
Defendant. )
Plaintiffs,SouthDakotaLibertarianParty,ExecutiveCommitteeof theSouth
DakotaLibertarianParty,andRyanGaddy,byandthroughcounsel,intheirComplaint
againstJasonM.Gant,inhisofficialcapacityasSecretaryofStatefortheStateofSouth
Dakota,herebystateasfollows:
JURISDICTIONANDVENUE
1. PlaintiffsbringthiscivilactioninthisCourtpursuantto42 U.S.C. 1983.
2. Federaljurisdictionforthisactionisproperunder28U.S.C. 1331,
1343(a),2201 and2202.Federalsupplementaljurisdictionisproperunder28U.S.C.
1367(a).
3. Venueisproperinthisjudicialdistrictunder28U.S.C. 1391(b).
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PARTIES
4. TheSouthDakotaLibertarianPartyisarecognizedpoliticalpartyinthe
Stateof SouthDakota.
5. TheExecutiveCommitteeof theSouthDakotaLibertarianPartyisagroup
ofpersonswhoserveasPartyofficersorganizedundertheParty'sbylaws.Thecurrent
ExecutiveCommitteemembersofthePartyare:EmmettReistroffer,Chair;Samuel
Saunders,ViceChair;NathanBarton,Secretary-Treasurer;LeeStranahan,EastRiverAt-
Large;andBobNewland,WestRiverAt-Large.
6. RyanGaddyisaUnitedStatescitizenandresidesinMinnehahaCounty,
SouthDakota.
7. JasonM.GantistheSecretaryofStatefortheStateofSouthDakota.
SecretaryGantissuedinhisofficialcapacityas SecretaryofStatefortheStateofSouth
Dakota.Assuch,SecretaryGanthasadutytooverseethestatewideelectoralprocess
fromthisofficeinaccordancewithfederal andstatelaw.SecretaryGantmaintainsa
publicofficeinHughesCountyintheStateofSouthDakota.
STATEMENTOFFACTS
8. In SouthDakota,qualifiedpoliticalpartiesnominatecandidatesforcertain
statewidepublicofficesbyprimaryorbystateconvention.Nominationsofcandidatesby
stateconventionrequiremajorityvoteof thevotescastandcertificationtotheSecretary
ofStatewithinthreedaysof thecloseof thepartyconvention.TheSecretaryofState
mustreceivethecertificationsforpartynominationbythe"secondTuesdayinAugust"
orAugust12,2014.SouthDakotaCodifiedLaws("SDCL") 12-5-21 and 12-5-22.
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9. TheSouthDakotaLibertarianParty("SDLP"),aqualifiedpartywith
bylaws,heldtheirpartyconventiononSaturday,August9,2014,inSiouxFallsatthe
MainLibraryDowntown.AttheSDLPstateconvention,thepartynominatedRyan
GaddyforthecandidacyofPublicUtilitiesCommissioner("PUC"),astateofficer
position.TheSDLPalsonominatedEmmettReistrofferforSecretaryof State,Kurt
EvansforStateAuditor,KenSantemaforStateTreasurer,JohnEnglishfor
Commissionerof SchoolandPublicLands,andChadHaberforAttorneyGeneral.
10. OnAugust11,2014,theSecretaryofState'sofficereceivedtheofficial
certificationsoftheSDLP'scandidatesnominatedatthestateconvention.Aweeklater
onthefollowingMonday,August 18,2014,SecretaryGantprovidedwrittennotification
totheSDLPandChainnanReistrofferthattheSecretaryofState'sofficehadreceived
theofficialcertificationof statewidecandidatesfromtheparty.Gant'sletterthen
acknowledgedthecertificationlistofnamesof thecandidates: GaddyforPUC,
ReistrofferforSecretaryofState,EvansforStateAuditor, SantemaforStateTreasurer,
EnglishforCSPL,andHaberforAttorneyGeneral.
11. SecretaryGant'slettertothepartyandChainnanReistrofferthenstated:
"IncheckingthevoterregistrationsofthecandidateslistedaboveonAugust 11,2014,
twoofthemwerefoundtoberegisteredRepublicans,ChadHaberandRyanGaddy.
PursuanttoSDCL 12-6-3.2,nopersonmaysignadeclarationof candidacyorbe
nominatedasapoliticalcandidateforapartyunlessthatpersonisaregisteredvoterwith
thatpartyaffiliation."
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12. Secretary Gant's letter then documented the events ofChad Haber's voter
registration change and statutory compliance thereof. Secretary Gant wrote:
On August 13,2014, the Minnehaha County Auditor's office received, in
the mail, a voter registration form from Chad Haber dated August 9,2014,
changing his political party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian. On
August 14,2014, the Minnehaha County Auditor's office received another
voter registration form from Chad Haber dated August 8, 2014. This time,
the voter registration form came via Driver's Licensing pursuant to SDCL
12-4-2.
13. Secretary Gant's letter then documented the events ofRyan Gaddy's voter
registration change and statutory compliance thereof. Secretary Gant wrote:
On August 13,2014, the Minnehaha County Auditor's office received, in
the mail, a voter registration form from Ryan Gaddy dated August 9,2014,
changing his political party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.
Pursuant to SDCL 12-4-6.1, a voter registration shall be considered to be
effective on the date in which the card is received by the county auditor.
However, if the card was completed at one ofthe agencies listed in 12-4-
2, [and] is received by the auditor within five days following any voter
registration deadline and is dated by the deadline, the card shall be
considered to be effective on the date in which it was signed at the agency.
14. Secretary Gant then concluded his letter to SDLP and Chairman Reistroffer
with a final decision on the SDLP's nominated candidates Chad Haber and Ryan Gaddy:
Since Mr. Haber completed the registration form at an approved agency
pursuant to 12-4-2, prior to voter registration deadline, his nomination is
certified. Mr. Gaddy's voter registration form was received after his
nomination at the state convention, he was considered a Republican at the
time ofnomination. Therefore, Ryan Gaddy cannot be certified as
candidate for public utilities commissioner.
15. The operation ofthe South Dakota statutes 12-4-2, 12-4-6.1, and 12-6-
3.2 as currently applied and enforced against the South Dakota Libertarian Party
disqualifies the Party's nomination ofRyan Gaddy as a candidate for the office of PUC.
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CLAIMS AND GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
16. Plaintiffs claim that SDCL 12-6-3.2, which provides that, "No person
may sign a declaration of candidacy or be nominated as a political candidate for a party
unless that person is a registered voter with that party affiliation," is unconstitutional. A
state voting regulation that denies ballot access to a political party's nominee because of
non-membership violates the party's freedom of association. Tashjian v. Republican
Party o/Connecticut, 479 U.S. 208, 215 (1986). The Supreme Court decision in Tashjian
was cited in a 2011 case in which the U.S. District Court for the District ofNew Mexico
struck down a state law similar to the ballot access regulation at issue here. The New
Mexico federal district court held the law to be a violation of the party's First
Amendment right to association because it restricted the party's choice of candidates.
Woodruffv. Herrera, ClV No. 09-449 (D. New Mexico, Doc. 224, 23-26, March 31,
2011). After reciting the Court's language in Tashjian, the New Mexico federal district
court lectured that, "the Supreme Court was unequivocal in stating that states may not
prevent parties from nominating non-members for public office." ld. at 25.
17. lfthe Court determines that SDCL 12-6-3.2 is a reasonable state
regulation, Plaintiffs claim the defendant's action still violates the First and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs claim the failure of Secretary
Gant to certify the nomination ofthe SDLP's candidate for statewide office
impermissibly burdens the First Amendment rights of association ofthe Party and the due
process rights ofthe Party to freedom ofassociation under the Fourteenth Amendment.
The defendant's refusal to certify Ryan Gaddy on the general election ballot also unduly
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burdens Mr. Gaddy who elected to participate in the political process by joining the
SDLP and the Party in tum elected to associate politically with him and nominated him
as candidate for public office. Secretary Gant's refusal to place the SDLP's nominee on
the ballot implicates the Party's right to free association and an individual's basic rights
to expressive political activity.
18. Plaintiffs' further claim that, ifSDCL 12-6-3.2 is found a reasonable state
election regulation, Secretruy Gant has failed to show any precise state interest that is
served by withholding Mr. Gaddy's name from the ballot box. Plaintiffs accept that a
state has an important interest in keeping elections fair, honest, and orderly, which
necessarily requires "substantial regulation." Storer v. Brown, 415 U.S. 724, 729 (1974).
However, in the present case, Secretary Gant's refusal to certifY the South Dakota
Libertarian Party's nominee was determined on a narrowly restrictive and ultimately
arbitrruy interpretation of state laws. As a result, the defendant's rationale for withholding
Ryan Gaddy from the ballot is unfair and unnecessruy. Therefore, no precise state interest
can justifY the state's decision to reject the Libertarian Party's nominated candidate for
public office under these circumstances.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
19. WHEREFORE, in the interests of liberty and civil rights, Plaintiffs request
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relief from the Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 in violation ofthe right to freedom of
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association for the advancement of common political objectives guaranteed by the First
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and Fourteenth Amendments.
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20. Plaintiffsrequestpreliminaryinjunctivereliefanddeclaratoryrelieffrom
theCourt.Expeditedjudicialreliefisnecessaryandwarrantedhere.TheCourtshould
notethissuitpresentstime-sensitiveissuesgiventheupcomingprintingofthegeneral
electionballot.
21. PlaintiffsrequesttheCourttoenjoinSecretaryGant,andhisemployees
andagents, fromprintingtheNovember2014generalelectionballotwithoutthenameof
theSDLP'snomineeforPUC.PlaintiffsfurtherrequesttheCourttoorderSecretaryGant
tocertifYthecandidacyof RyanGaddyonsaidballot.
22. PlaintiffsrequesttheCourttoawardreasonableattorney'sfeesandcosts
pursuantto42U.S.C. 1983 and1988(b).
23. PlaintiffsrequestanyotherrelieftheCourtfinds equitableandjust.
Respectfullysubmitted,
SOUTHDAKOTALIBERTARIANPARTY;
EXECUTIVECOMMITTEEOFTHESOUTH
DAKOTALIBERTARIANPARTY;and
RYANGADDY
~ I V ~
EdwardK.Welch
2400SouthEuclid
SiouxFalls,SouthDakota57105
(605)280-1500
edwardkwelchlaw@gmail.com
Date:August25,2014
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