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Case Name Tully v. Okeson VR-IN-0028
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01271 ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker.

COVID-19 Summary: This putative class-action lawsuit was ... read more >
NOTE: This case is being tracked in close to real time by the Stanford/MIT Healthy Elections Project. So for more current information, see their tracker.

COVID-19 Summary: This putative class-action lawsuit was filed on April 29 by twelve individual voter plaintiffs and a non-profit corporation against the Indiana Secretary of State and members of the Indiana Election Commission to challenge Indiana’s absentee voting laws. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. On August 21, the plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction was denied. The plaintiffs appealed the court’s decision to the Seventh Circuit shortly after. The case is ongoing.


On April 29, twelve Indiana voters who did not qualify to vote by mail in the general election under Indiana’s voting law and a non-profit corporation filed a suit against the Indiana Secretary of State and members of the Indiana Election Commission. The plaintiffs challenged Indiana’s excuse requirement to vote absentee, alleging that Indiana’s absentee voting law unconstitutionally burdened their right to vote and violated the equal protection clause against the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, they sought an order requiring the state to extend mail voting to all Indiana voters and to permit no-excuse absentee voting for the November elections. The plaintiffs also sought attorney fees, and were represented by private attorneys. The case was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and assigned to Judge James Patrick Hanlon.

On May 4, the plaintiffs amended the complaint to include an allegation that the challenged law violated the Twenty-Sixth Amendment as it denied Indiana voters under the age of sixty-five their right to vote by mail. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on June 8 and a motion for class certification for a class of all Indiana voters on June 16.

The defendants filed a response in opposition to the preliminary injunction and class certification on July 24. On August 18, the defendants filed a motion to consolidate the case with another case posing a constitutional challenge on Indiana’s absentee voting laws, Common Cause Indiana et al. v. Election Commission Members et al. The motion for consolidation was denied on August 20, finding that they have not shown that many of the same facts will be relevant in both cases, or that the legal issues are substantially the same. 2020 WL 4877434.

On August 21, the plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction was denied. 2020 WL 4926439. The court concluded that Indiana’s excuse requirement was a policy choice and not a violation of equal protection. The same day, the court accepted the Disability Rights Education and Defend Fund’s motion to file an amici curiae brief, filed earlier in the month.

On August 24, the plaintiffs appealed the court’s decision to the Seventh Circuit. The motion to certify class remains pending, and the case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 09/28/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
COVID-19
Mitigation Denied
Mitigation Requested
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Election administration
Voter qualifications
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Indiana Election Commission
Indiana Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description twelve Indiana voters who did not qualify to vote by mail in the general election under Indiana’s voting law and a non-profit corporation on behalf of all Indiana voters
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
None
Source of Relief None yet
None
Filed 04/29/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
S.D. Ind.
09/14/2020
1:20-cv-01271
VR-IN-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Ind.
04/29/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
VR-IN-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
05/04/2020
Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 6]
VR-IN-0028-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
06/08/2020
Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 13 (13-1 to 13-14) & 14]
VR-IN-0028-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
06/16/2020
Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 17 & 18]
VR-IN-0028-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
07/24/2020
Response in Opposition to Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 50]
VR-IN-0028-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
07/24/2020
Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 53]
VR-IN-0028-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
07/31/2020
Plaintiffs' Reply Memorandum in Support of their Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 62]
VR-IN-0028-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
08/11/2020
Tully v. Okeson [ECF# 64]
VR-IN-0028-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
08/20/2020
Order Denying Motion to Consolidate [ECF# 71]
VR-IN-0028-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Ind.
08/21/2020
Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 72] (481 F.Supp.3d 816)
VR-IN-0028-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hanlon, James Patrick (S.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0009 | VR-IN-0028-0010 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Pryor, Doris L. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Glickstein, Jed W. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Groth, William R. (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0001 | VR-IN-0028-0002 | VR-IN-0028-0003 | VR-IN-0028-0004 | VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Isaac, Gary A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Legner, Brett E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Scodro, Michael Anthony (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-9000
Sniderman, Mark W. (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0001 | VR-IN-0028-0002 | VR-IN-0028-0003 | VR-IN-0028-0004 | VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Strauss, Jeffrey M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0008 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abshire, Courtney Lyn (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0006 | VR-IN-0028-0007 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Fisher, Thomas M. (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0007 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Garn, Jefferson S. (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0006 | VR-IN-0028-0007 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Hudson, Kian James (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0007 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Nijjar, Parvinder Kaur (Indiana) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0006 | VR-IN-0028-0007 | VR-IN-0028-9000
Other Lawyers Clarke, Bridget A. (California) show/hide docs
VR-IN-0028-0005 | VR-IN-0028-9000

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