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Case Name Crossey v. Boockvar VR-PA-0116
Docket / Court 266-MD-2020 ( State Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries. The petitioners sought declaratory and injunctive relief ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries. The petitioners sought declaratory and injunctive relief against restrictions in vote by mail in Pennsylvania. They also sought a preliminary injunction as to the June 2 primary election which the court denied on May 28. The plaintiffs appealed, but Supreme Court later dismissed the appeal as moot on June 4 as the primary election was held on June 2.


On April 22, 2020, three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans filed this lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries at the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs argued that the current obstacles voters encounter when requesting a mail ballot was violated the Free and Equal Elections Clause, Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Pennsylvania constitution. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys.

The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief ordering the defendants to:
-Provide prepaid postage on all absentee and mail-in ballots;
-Implement additional emergency procedures to ensure that ballots delivered after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day due to mail service delays or disruptions, would be counted if otherwise eligible, to the extent that such procedures did not trigger Act 77’s non-severability clause;
-Allow voters to designate a third party to assist in collecting and submitting absentee or mail-in ballots and ensure that all such ballots would be counted if otherwise eligible; and
-Provide uniform guidance and training to election officials involved in verifying mail ballots and implement procedures to ensure that voters receive reasonable notice and an opportunity to cure signature-related defects on absentee or mail-in ballots before any ballot was rejected.

On May 8, the plaintiffs submitted a motion for preliminary injunction and expedited review for the approaching June 2 primary election. On May 11, the Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore and the Senate Majority Leader sought to intervene. Three days later, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives also moved to intervene.

On May 28, the motion for preliminary injunction and expedited review was denied and the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. On June 4, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as moot as the primary election was held on June 2.

On June 17, the case was transferred to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after the defendant’s objections to the commonwealth court's jurisdiction over the case. The case is ongoing.

Averyn Lee - 07/05/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Election administration
Voter qualifications
Voter registration rules
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Director of the Bureau of Election Services and Notaries
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Plaintiff Description Three Pennsylvania voters and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 04/22/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
266 MD 2020 (State Court of Appeals)
VR-PA-0116-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/24/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
VR-PA-0116-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2020
Source: State Court Website
Petitioners' Emergency Application for Special Relief in the Nature of a Preliminary Injunction and for Expedited Review
VR-PA-0116-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2020
Source: State Court Website
Memorandum in Support of Petitioners' Application for Preliminary Injunction
VR-PA-0116-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2020
Source: State Court Website
Brief of Appellants
VR-PA-0116-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2020
Source: State Court Website
Memorandum Opinion by President Judge Leavitt
VR-PA-0116-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/02/2020
Source: State Court Website
Order
VR-PA-0116-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/04/2020
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Leavitt, Mary Hannah Court not on record show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonin, Adam Craig (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Brailey, Emily R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Command, Stephanie I. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Elias, Marc Erik (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Newkirk, Zachary (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Nkwonta, Uzoma (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0001 | VR-PA-0116-0002 | VR-PA-0116-0003 | VR-PA-0116-0005 | VR-PA-0116-9000
Schirack, Sarah Langberg (Alaska) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Aronchick, Mark A. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Hangley, Michele D. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Kotula, Kathleen Marie (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Marvoudis, Dimitrios (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Matthias, Chistina Crane (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Rickabaugh, Jessica A. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Tucker, Joe H. Jr. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Wiygul, Robert (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Other Lawyers Bresso, Gineen (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Crosland, Stewart (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
DelBello, James Edmond Jr. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Evans, James Randolph (Georgia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Gallagher, Kathleen A. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Giancola, Russell David (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Gordon, Philip M. (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Gore, John M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Lienhard, Jonathan (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Limburg, Richard P. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Shapiro, Mathieu Jode (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Sheehy, Shawn Toomey (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Tabas, Lawrence J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Torchinsky, Jason Brett (Virginia) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Wallen, Zachary Michael (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000
Winklosky, Devin Arlie (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
VR-PA-0116-9000

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