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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides a second Indiana case today

In David Snyder v. J. King et al (SD Ind., Lawrence), a 20-page opinion (with a concurring opinion by CJ Wood starting on p. 18), Judge Kanne writes:

This case is about small town politics, a bare-knuckle brawl, and the right to vote. But the appeal before us is limited to drier subjects: sovereign immunity, and the pleading requirements for a civil rights action against a municipality. The district judge dismissed the state-affiliated defendants on immunity grounds, and found that the plaintiff failed to state a claim against the county-affiliated defendants. He then went on to consider whether injunctive or declaratory relief might be available to the plaintiff, but that was unnecessary. His initial findings were correct, and they dispose of the case entirely. We affirm the dismissal. * * *

We acknowledge that the right to vote is fundamental, and we do not take any case alleging its infringement lightly. But it is incumbent on a litigant to identify a proper defendant for his suit and to properly plead an action against that defendant. Snyder has not done so. Because Snyder has waived any challenge to the dismissal of the State Defendants, and because he has failed to state a claim against the County defendants, we AFFIRM the district court’s dismissal of his suit.

WOOD, Chief Judge, concurring in the judgment. I agree with my colleagues that David Snyder’s suit against the Co‐ Directors of the Indiana Election Division (the State Defendants) and the named members of the St. Joseph County Voter Registration Board (the County) must be rejected as a matter of law. My path to that conclusion is, however, somewhat different from theirs. * * *

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 11, 2014 08:29 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions