COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details


Walker v. Barnett


Walker v. Barnett, No. 4:20-cv-04059 (D.S.D.), 2020 WL 2543171

  Case Summary Plaintiff started circulating petition to be on ballot for US Senate, but because of Covid-19, social distancing recommendations, and lack of alternative ways to circulate the petition by the Secretary of State and unknown federal employyes, he files a pro se civil suit against the US, the unknown federal employees, two state employees (the Secretary of State and Department of Labor) in the USDC Dist of SD. Plaintiff additionally states that the Dept of Labor delayed his workers comp payment and treatment, adding to his inability to be placed on the ballot. Plaintiff requests federal injunction for his name to be placed on the ballot, $1M+ for loss of income, and a "declared emergency."
Filed 03/30/2020
State South Dakota
Type of Court Federal
Circuit Eighth Circuit
Status Closed (Dismissed)
Last Updated 10/15/2020
Issue Tag(s) Petition Signature Requirement (Threshold Number, Deadline/Time to Collect, E-signatures)
Candidate Signature Requirement (Threshold Number, Deadline/Time to Collect, E-signatures)
Complaint(s) 03/30/1930: Complaint filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 05/19/2020: Order/Ruling, Plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of fees was granted, but his motion for appointment of counsel was denied because the Court stated that the claims do not appear to be factually or legally complex and Plaintiff can adequately present them. The motion for declared emergency was also denied because there was no precedent showing the Court had this authority. Claims agains the US were denied because Plaintiff didn't demonstrate waiver of sovereign immunity. Bivens claim against unknown federal employees based on failure to assist him in gaining access to the ballot was denied; the Court finds that the remedy the Plaintiff's seeking is a change in policy and the US Supreme Court woud not expand Bivens' remedy to the Plaintiff's claim. The monetary claim against the 2 state employees is also dismissed, but the Court cannot at this time say the claims for injunctive relief are wholly without merit. The Court directs that these two defendants be served.
05/23/2020: Order/Ruling, Plaintiff's motion to take judicial notice of certain judicial opinions, court records, and rules of evidence are denied because they are not facts relevant to issues pending before the court following the court's recent screening order
09/22/2020: Order/Ruling, The court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to lawfully serve the defendants under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and for failure to establish standing to pursue his claim.
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