University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Fletcher v. Lamone VR-MD-0041
Docket / Court 8:11-cv-03220-RWT ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Case Summary
On November 10, 2011, nine African-American voters in Maryland filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against Maryland, under Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked for both declaratory ... read more >
On November 10, 2011, nine African-American voters in Maryland filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against Maryland, under Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked for both declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that Maryland intentionally violated minority rights after the 2010 Census by only creating two minority-majority districts (out of eight total) despite 40% of the population being a minority.

The plaintiffs argued that Maryland's approach to census data that required prisoners to be considered at their last known address, rather than at their correctional facility (and eliminating any prisoners whose last known address was outside the state from consideration) violated the Voting Rights Act, as well as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Over 70% of those not considered were black. The District Court (Judge Roger Titus) granted a motion allowing for a three-judge panel to hear the case (2011 WL 5854636) and later denied a motion to intervene by six additional Maryland residents (2011 WL 6097770).

On December 23, 2011, the three-judge panel (opinion written by Judge Paul Niemeyer) granted Maryland's motion for summary judgment because states are allowed to tinker with census data as long as their method was not haphazard, inconsistent, or conjectural (831 F.Supp.2d 887). The Supreme Court summarily affirmed (without opinion) on June 25, 2012, 133 S.Ct. 29.

Jonathan Forman - 06/10/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Voting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Voting
Redistricting/district composition
Vote dilution
Causes of Action Voting Rights Act, section 5, 42 U.S.C. § 1973c
Voting Rights Act, section 2, 42 U.S.C. § 1973
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Maryland
Plaintiff Description Nine African-Americans voters in Maryland claiming that the new redistricting plan intentionally discriminates against racial minorities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
8:11-cv-03220-RWT (D. Md.) 10/16/2012
VR-MD-0041-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/10/2011
VR-MD-0041-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Attachments to Complaint 11/10/2011
VR-MD-0041-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion (granting plaintiffs' motion for three-judge panel) 11/21/2011 (2011 WL 5854636) (D. Md.)
VR-MD-0041-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion (denying individual petitioners' motion to intervene) 12/05/2011 (2011 WL 6097770) (D. Md.)
VR-MD-0041-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion of the Three-Judge Court 12/23/2011 (831 F.Supp.2d 887) (D. Md.)
VR-MD-0041-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Denial of Cert 06/25/2012 (133 S.Ct. 29 / 183 L.Ed.2d 671)
VR-MD-0041-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Niemeyer, Paul Victor (Fourth Circuit, D. Md.)
VR-MD-0041-0008
Titus, Roger W. (D. Md.)
VR-MD-0041-0003 | VR-MD-0041-0005 | VR-MD-0041-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Mayes, James Paul (North Carolina)
VR-MD-0041-0001 | VR-MD-0041-0002 | VR-MD-0041-9000
Smith, Clarence Paul (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Torchinsky, Jason Brett (Virginia)
VR-MD-0041-0001 | VR-MD-0041-0002 | VR-MD-0041-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Friedman, Dan (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Rowe, Kathryn M. (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Snyder, Adam Dean (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Sullivan, Steven M. (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Other Lawyers Ho, Dale E. (New York)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Jeon, Deborah A. (Maryland)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Kajstura, Aleks (Massachusetts)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Wagner, Peter J. (Massachusetts)
VR-MD-0041-9000
Wright, Brenda (District of Columbia)
VR-MD-0041-9000

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