University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Brown v. Snyder VR-MI-0069
Docket / Court 11-685-CZ ( State Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Attorney Organization Center for Constitutional Rights
Case Summary
On June 22, 2011, 34 named plaintiffs, all residents of the State of Michigan, filed suit in Ingham County Circuit Court against Governor Rick Synder and Andrew Dillon in his capacity as Treasurer of the State of Michigan. The complaint alleges that the Local Government and School District Fiscal ... read more >
On June 22, 2011, 34 named plaintiffs, all residents of the State of Michigan, filed suit in Ingham County Circuit Court against Governor Rick Synder and Andrew Dillon in his capacity as Treasurer of the State of Michigan. The complaint alleges that the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, which allows for the appointment of emergency city and school board managers, violates the plaintiffs’ right to an elected republican form of government under the Constitution of the State of Michigan.

The Act, commonly known as the emergency financial manager law, gave the governor the power to declare a local government or school district to be in a state of “financial emergency.” If the governor determined that said entity did not have a satisfactory plan to resolve the emergency, the act further empowered him or her to appoint an emergency financial manager who would act in place of the local governing body. The law empowered the unelected emergency manager to unilaterally repeal existing laws and ordinances, enact new laws or ordinances, and act in violation of city or school board charters.

The complaint contained five counts outlining the specific ways in which the Act undermines the Michigan Constitution and violates the rights of its citizens.

On November 6, 2012, the voters of Michigan repealed the Act via voter referendum rendering this case moot. A month later, the Michigan State Legislature passed a revised emergency manager law which was subsequently signed by the Governor on December 26, 2012.

Plaintiffs’ counsel filed a direct follow-up complaint (Phillips v. Snyder) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. This case can be found on this Clearinghouse here.

Andrew Plague - 02/12/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Challenges to at-large/multimember district/election
Election administration
Vote decision rules
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) State of Michigan
Plaintiff Description Thirty four residents of the State of Michigan who allege that their right to an elected republican form of government under the Constitution of the State of Michigan was violated.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Center for Constitutional Rights
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing VR-MI-0070 : Phillips v. Snyder (E.D. Mich.)
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
VR-MI-0069-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2011
Press Release
VR-MI-0069-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/22/2011
Executive Message of Governor Rick Snyder
VR-MI-0069-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/12/2011
Order ( “[t]he Executive Message remains under consideration.”) (807 N.W.2d 302)
VR-MI-0069-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/27/2012
Source: State Court Website
Judges Markman, Stephen J. Court not on record
VR-MI-0069-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Charney, Darius (New York)
VR-MI-0069-0001 | VR-MI-0069-0004
Flynn, Keith D. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Goodman, William Harry (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Hurwitz, Julie H. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Mack, Richard G. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Paris, Anthony D. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Philo, John C. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001 | VR-MI-0069-0004
Sanders, Herbert A. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Stump, Brandon M. (Michigan)
VR-MI-0069-0001
Other Lawyers Snyder, Allen R. (District of Columbia)
VR-MI-0069-0003

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