University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Libertarian Party v. Hazeltine VR-SD-0037
Docket / Court 3:2000cv03021 ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Case Summary
On May 4, 2000, the Libertarian Party of South Dakota and several concerned citizens filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. The plaintiffs sued South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private counsel, they asked the court for both declaratory ... read more >
On May 4, 2000, the Libertarian Party of South Dakota and several concerned citizens filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. The plaintiffs sued South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private counsel, they asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the State misinterpreted state election law when it denied Libertarian Party candidate Brian Lerohl’s request to be added to the primary election ballot. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the Libertarian Party should be designated a “political party” pursuant to SDCL 12-6-7.

Arguments focused on the requirements of the “political party” designation. In its May 25, 2000, answer, the State claimed that because the Libertarian Party had not, in the 1998 election, achieved the requisite percentage of votes to be considered a “political party,” it had to reregister as a “new party” for the 2000 election. The State asserted that a “new party” must meet a higher threshold of signatures on a nominating petition than a party with a “voting history.” The Libertarian Party had not satisfied this requirement.

On August 8, 2000, the District Court (Judge Richard H. Battey) ordered in favor of the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, granting declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees.

Nick Niles - 06/23/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Race
Race, unspecified
Voting
Candidate qualifications
Election administration
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of South Dakota
Plaintiff Description The Libertarian Party, a 2000 Libertarian candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, and a frequent Libertarian candidate for public office
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:00-cv-03021-RHB (D.S.D.) 05/04/2000
VR-SD-0037-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 05/04/2000
VR-SD-0037-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 08/08/2000 (D.S.D.)
VR-SD-0037-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Battey, Richard Howard (D.S.D.)
VR-SD-0037-0001 | VR-SD-0037-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hyde, Kent (South Dakota)
VR-SD-0037-0002 | VR-SD-0037-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Wald, Sherri Sundem (South Dakota)
VR-SD-0037-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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