University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name United States v. State of Florida VR-FL-0169
Docket / Court 4:12-cv-00285-WS-CAS ( N.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On June 12, 2012, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit against the State of Florida and the Florida Secretary of State in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The DOJ brought this action under Section 8 of the National Voter ... read more >
On June 12, 2012, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit against the State of Florida and the Florida Secretary of State in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The DOJ brought this action under Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 1973gg-9, alleging that the State of Florida violated the NVRA by conducting a systematic program to purge voters from its voter registration rolls within the statutorily-required 90-day quiet period before an election for federal office. In addition, the DOJ alleged that Florida's use of inaccurate and unreliable voter verification procedures violated NVRA's requirements that any such program be uniform and nondiscriminatory. The DOJ sought a declaratory judgment and an injunction against Florida taking any further steps in connection with its voter purge program.

On June 15, 2012, the DOJ moved for a temporary restraining order to enjoin the State from implementing the program. Various organizations, including the Judicial Watch, True the Vote, and the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law filed amicus briefs in support of the motion.

On June 28, 2012, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle denied the motion finding that the State had "abandoned the [voter purge] program." Judge Hinkle held that the State's program did not violate the 90-day quiet period provision of the NVRA. However, Judge Hinkle noted that it was likely that the voter purge was invalid because it was not "uniform" and "non-discriminatory." Judge Hinkle emphasized that it was possible for the State to design a program program that "accurately identifies noncitizens who are registered to vote without unnecessarily challenging citizens could meet the requirement of uniformity and nondiscrimination," but that the current program likely violated the NVRA. 870 F. Supp. 2d 1346 (N.D. Fla. 2012).

In June of 2012, four individuals and an organization, Judicial Watch, moved to intervene in this action, claiming that if noncitizens were improperly registered to vote, it would dilute the votes of properly registered voters. Another organization, True the Vote, moved to intervene as well, wanting to ensure that the state properly maintained accurate voting lists.

On September 27, 2012, the parties moved jointly to stay the proceedings until after the election. Judge Hinkle granted the motion on October 10, 2012. Judge Hinkle denied the motions to intervene on November 6, 2012, finding that the intervening parties had their interests adequately represented by the State.

On January 10, 2013, the parties jointly stipulated to dismiss this action, and on January 16, 2013, Judge Hinkle dismissed the case. Although the legality of the program was not fully litigated in this case, in 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the 2012 voter purge program did, in fact, violate the NVRA. Arcia v. Fla. Sec'y of State, 772 F.3d 1335 (11th Cir. 2014). More information about that case can be found at VR-FL-0170 in this Clearinghouse.

- 06/28/2012
John He - 10/16/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Voting
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action National Voter Registration Act ("Motor Voter law"), 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg
Defendant(s) Florida
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
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 2013
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing VR-FL-0168 : Mi Familia Vota Education Fund v. Detzner (M.D. Fla.)
VR-DC-1166 : Florida Department of State v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.D.C.)
VR-FL-0170 : Arcia v. Detzner (S.D. Fla.)
Docket(s)
4:12−cv−00285 (N.D. Fla.) 01/16/2013
VR-FL-0169-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Regarding Violation of Civil Rights Act and National Voter Registration Act] 06/11/2012
VR-FL-0169-0002.pdf | Detail
Complaint 06/12/2012
VR-FL-0169-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section
Order Denying A Temporary Restraining Order 06/28/2012 (870 F.Supp.2d 1346) (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0169-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal 01/10/2013 (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0169-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Closing the File 01/16/2013 (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0169-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hinkle, Robert Lewis (N.D. Fla.)
VR-FL-0169-0003 | VR-FL-0169-0004 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Stampelos, Charles A (N.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
VR-FL-0169-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Garrett, Jenigh Juliette (New York)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Herren, T. Christian Jr. (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0005
Marsh, Pamela (Florida)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0002 | VR-FL-0169-0005
Russ, John Albert IV (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Shore, Elise S. (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0001 | VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carvin, Michael (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Davis, Ashley E. (Florida)
VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Fedeli, Christopher Alan (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-9000
Katsas, Gregory G. (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Lunny, Christopher Brian (Florida)
VR-FL-0169-9000
Nordby, Daniel E. (Florida)
VR-FL-0169-9000
Postman, Warren David (District of Columbia)
VR-FL-0169-0005 | VR-FL-0169-9000
Rodriguez, Raquel Aurora (Florida)
VR-FL-0169-9000
Other Lawyers Kasdan, Diana (New York)
VR-FL-0169-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -