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Case Name American Association of People With Disabilities v. Harris DR-FL-0002
Docket / Court 01-01275-CV-J-25-HTS ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On November 8, 2001, three Florida citizens who are each either manually or visually impaired and registered to vote in Duval County, along with the American Association of People With Disabilities, filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville division ... read more >
On November 8, 2001, three Florida citizens who are each either manually or visually impaired and registered to vote in Duval County, along with the American Association of People With Disabilities, filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville division against the Secretary of State for the State of Florida, the Supervisor of Elections in Duval County and the Members of the Jacksonville, Florida City Council, asserting three claims: a Florida constitutional claim based on the right to a "direct and secret" vote under Art. VI, § 1, Fla. Const. (2001), an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim under 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and a Rehabilitation Act (RA) claim under 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, as well as the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, asked the court to invalidate Florida's third party assistance statue, § 101.051.

The defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim for relief, citing mainly the Sixth Circuit's holding in Nelson v. Miller. On October 16, 2002, the district court, (Judge Ralph W. Nimmons, Jr.) dismissed the plaintiffs' state constitutional claims, finding that the "direct and secret" language was satisfied by the Florida third party assistance statute. The district court also dismissed plaintiffs' ADA and RA claims, but permitted plaintiffs to replead, noting that the amended complaint must clearly allege the factual bases for plaintiffs' "reliance upon the more generic proscription [of the ADA] in contradistinction to the acts' more specific proscriptions. Additionally all claims against the members of the Jacksonville city council were dismissed with prejudice.

On November 5, 2002, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint against the Secretary of State for Florida, the Director of the Division of Elections, and the Supervisor of Elections for Duval County. The defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint, as another attack on Florida's third party assistance statute, already declared valid by the dismissal of the first complaint, or alternatively for summary judgment. Plaintiffs also moved for summary judgment. On August 19, 2003, the district court (Judge Wayne E. Alley) allowed the amended complaint to proceed under two ADA regulations, 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.151(b) & 35.160, and a claim of "generic discrimination," and denied both parties motions for summary judgment.

A bench trial was held from September 23, 2003 to October 1, 2003. On March 26, 2004, the District Court (Judge Wayne E. Alley) issued a declaratory judgment and an injunction against the County's Supervisor of Elections. The court bypassed the questions of whether the Florida election law, as amended, passed ADA and Rehabilitation Act muster but found that the Supervisor of Elections had failed to satisfy the requirements of a regulation promulgated under the ADA, 28 C.F.R. § 35.151(b). The court held that the purchase of optical scan voting equipment was an "alteration" to an existing "facility" that failed to make voting in Duval County "readily accessible to visually and manually impaired voters" to the "maximum extent feasible." Based on this violation, the court enjoined the Supervisor of Elections to provide, by April 12, 2004, at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine at twenty percent of the polling places in Duval County and to install, by May 14, 2004, an unspecified number of touch screen voting machines with audio capacity, as certified by the Department of State.

On March 31, 2004, the Supervisor of Elections appealed the Order and Judgment, asserting that the case was moot because HAVA Title III superseded the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. Defendant additionally moved for a stay of the injunctive relief. The stay was granted on April 16, 2004, and was in effect until August 15, 2007.

While the Supervisor of Elections' appeal was pending, the following events took place. The Director of the Division of Elections certified the touch screen system manufactured by Diebold Election Systems, Inc. for use in Florida. The Florida legislature appropriated $11,600,000 to the counties to comply with HAVA, Title III, and Florida law on voting accessibility. The appropriation triggered the deadline for at least one Title III-compliant voting machine to be available in each precinct by July 1, 2005. In April 2005, the City of Jacksonville enacted an ordinance appropriating a $1,187,543.79 grant from the state to purchase at least one accessible voting machine for each precinct. On July 29, 2005, the City and Diebold entered into a purchase agreement for Diebold's touch screen machines.

Given this information, on August 8, 2005, the Appellate Court for the Eleventh Circuit, while retaining jurisdiction over the appeal, remanded the case to the district court to answer two questions of fact: (1) whether the City had a contract to provide Duval County with enough accessible voting machines to place one machine in each voting precinct, and (2) if such a contract existed, whether the voting machines would be in place and ready for use by the next election. The district court held an evidentiary hearing and answered both questions in the affirmative. Based on this, the Appellate Court for the Eleventh Circuit held that the case was moot and, on August 17, 2007, entered an order dismissing it.

On September 18, 2007, the district court, acting on its own initiative, entered a final judgment against the Supervisor of Elections in conformance with the its March 26, 2004 declaratory judgment and injunction. On October 4, 2007, the Supervisor of Elections moved the district court to vacate this judgment and to dismiss the case with prejudice. On December 3, 2007, the district court entered an order denying the motion. The next day, the Supervisor of Elections appealed the district court's judgment and order. On May 11, 2010 Judges Gerald B. Tjoflat, Edward E. Carnes, and Joseph M. Hood held in favor of the Supervisor of Elections and ordered the district court to vacate their judgment and dismiss the case with prejudice.

Caitlin Howitt - 07/18/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Jacksonville City Council
Office of Supervisor of Elections
State of Florida, Division of Elections
State of Florida, Office of Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description Citizens of Duval County, Florida, who are registered to vote in that county, and who have either visual or manual impairments that have prevented them from casting independently a secret ballot.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
04-11566-JJ (U.S. Court of Appeals) 04/24/2008
DR-FL-0002-9003.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
07-15004-CC (U.S. Court of Appeals) 08/13/2010
DR-FL-0002-9002.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:01-cv-01275-HLA-HTS (M.D. Fla.) 03/23/2011
DR-FL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/08/2001
DR-FL-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum of Law 12/21/2001
DR-FL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Harris and Roberts 12/26/2001
DR-FL-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Harris and Roberts 01/18/2002
DR-FL-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Stafford and City Council 01/18/2002
DR-FL-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint, or, Alternatively, for Summary Judgment and Memorandum of Law 05/21/2002
DR-FL-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part the Motions to Dismiss 10/16/2002 (227 F.Supp.2d 1276) (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 11/05/2002
DR-FL-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants Smith and Kast's Dispositive Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum of Law 11/26/2002
DR-FL-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consolidated Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment 12/05/2002
DR-FL-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment Against Defendant Stafford on Count I (ADA) of the Amended Complaint 04/14/2003
DR-FL-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 04/23/2003
DR-FL-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment 06/25/2003
DR-FL-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants Hood and Kast's Response to Plaintiffs' Supplemental Memorandum 07/02/2003
DR-FL-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response to Plaintiffs' Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or For Summary Judgment 07/02/2003
DR-FL-0002-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying in Part and Granting in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment, and Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment 08/19/2003 (278 F.Supp.2d 1345) (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Declaratory Judgment 03/24/2004 (310 F.Supp.2d 1226) (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion of Supervisor John Stafford for Stay Pending Appeal 04/06/2004
DR-FL-0002-0026.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant Stafford's Motion to Stay Pending Appeal 04/12/2004
DR-FL-0002-0027.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Stay Pending Appeal 04/16/2004 (2004 WL 1041536) (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0032.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Initial Brief of Appellant Stafford 05/12/2004
DR-FL-0002-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Appellees 08/24/2004
DR-FL-0002-0024.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief of Appellant Stafford 09/13/2004
DR-FL-0002-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Dismissal 08/17/2007
DR-FL-0002-0028.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Vacate Amended Order and Judgment Entered on September 20, 2007, Order Entered on March 24, 2004, Judgment Entered on March 26, 2004, For Dismissal of Case and Supporting Memorandum 10/04/2007
DR-FL-0002-0029.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Vacate Docket Numbers 294, 295, 215, and 216, and Opposition to Motion For Dismissal of the Case 10/22/2007
DR-FL-0002-0030.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Motions to Stay and to Vacate 12/03/2007 (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0031.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Initial Brief of Appellant Holland 02/05/2008
DR-FL-0002-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Appellees 04/10/2008
DR-FL-0002-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief of Appellant Holland 04/29/2008
DR-FL-0002-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion Denying Plaintiff's Request for Injunction 05/11/2010 (605 F.3d 1124)
DR-FL-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Judges Adams, Henry Lee Jr. (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0031 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Alley, Wayne Edward (W.D. Okla.)
DR-FL-0002-0017 | DR-FL-0002-0018 | DR-FL-0002-0032 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Carnes, Edward Earl (Eleventh Circuit)
DR-FL-0002-0002
Edmondson, James Larry (Eleventh Circuit)
DR-FL-0002-0028
Hood, Joseph Martin (E.D. Ky.) [Magistrate]
DR-FL-0002-0002
Kravitch, Phyllis A. (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
DR-FL-0002-0028
Nimmons, Ralph Wilson Jr. (M.D. Fla.)
DR-FL-0002-0007
Snyder, Howard T. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
DR-FL-0002-0002 | DR-FL-0002-0028
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baldridge, J. Douglas (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0001 | DR-FL-0002-0005 | DR-FL-0002-0006 | DR-FL-0002-0008 | DR-FL-0002-0011 | DR-FL-0002-0012 | DR-FL-0002-0014 | DR-FL-0002-0027 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Bruskin, Robert M. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0021 | DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000
Caldwell, Rodney K. (Texas)
DR-FL-0002-9003
Dimitroff, Sashe D. (Texas)
DR-FL-0002-0021 | DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Foley, Danielle R. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0024
Ganzfried, Jerrold J. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9002
Gardner, Elaine (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0021 | DR-FL-0002-0024 | DR-FL-0002-0027 | DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Howie, Brian A. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Keeling, Kevin A. (Texas)
DR-FL-0002-0021 | DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Khassian, Heather M. (Texas)
DR-FL-0002-0021 | DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Lawrence, Gregory A. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Oddo, Danielle R. (Maryland)
DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Ripley, Richard A. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0024 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Rothman, Ari N (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0024 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Sigler, R. William (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0024 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Taylor, Courtney O. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Thomas, M. Scott (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0030 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002
Verrocchio, Vincent E. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0024 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Williams, Lois G. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-0001 | DR-FL-0002-0005 | DR-FL-0002-0006 | DR-FL-0002-0008 | DR-FL-0002-0011 | DR-FL-0002-0012 | DR-FL-0002-0014 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Wiseman, Alan M. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Defendant's Lawyers Arpen, Tracey Irwin Jr. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0003 | DR-FL-0002-0009 | DR-FL-0002-0013 | DR-FL-0002-0016 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Butterworth, Robert A. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0004
Christ, Charles J. Jr. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0015
Doran, Richard Edward (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0010
Finkel, Charles Alan (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0004 | DR-FL-0002-0010 | DR-FL-0002-0015 | DR-FL-0002-9000
Makar, Scott D (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0003 | DR-FL-0002-0009 | DR-FL-0002-0013 | DR-FL-0002-0016 | DR-FL-0002-0023 | DR-FL-0002-0025 | DR-FL-0002-0026 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Mueller, Ernst Dieter (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0020 | DR-FL-0002-0022 | DR-FL-0002-0023 | DR-FL-0002-0025 | DR-FL-0002-0026 | DR-FL-0002-0029 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9002 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Mullaney, Richard A. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0003 | DR-FL-0002-0009 | DR-FL-0002-0013 | DR-FL-0002-0016 | DR-FL-0002-0020 | DR-FL-0002-0022 | DR-FL-0002-0026 | DR-FL-0002-0029 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Teal, Jason R. (Florida)
DR-FL-0002-0003 | DR-FL-0002-0009 | DR-FL-0002-0013 | DR-FL-0002-0016 | DR-FL-0002-0023 | DR-FL-0002-0025 | DR-FL-0002-0026 | DR-FL-0002-9000 | DR-FL-0002-9003
Other Lawyers Blanck, Peter (New York)
DR-FL-0002-9002
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9002
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
DR-FL-0002-9002
Samberg-Champion, Sasha M. (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9002
Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)
DR-FL-0002-9002

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