LA Sec of State Says Federal Court “Lacks Jurisdiction” in Monroe Voting Case

William Crawford, Jr. an attorney for Louisiana Secretary of StateL (SOS) Tom Schedler said yesterday in a court filing that the U. S. Federal District court in Monroe “lacks subject-matter jurisdiction” on whether the voters of the City of Monroe have a right to a timely election and are entitled to equal protection of the law.

See here the document: Affirmative Defense and Answer

Crawford also argued that the plaintiffs filed their complaint in an improper venue, and that it should have been filed in Baton Rouge.

The filing is the latest development in the federal lawsuit (Clark v Marx) filed in mid-December by District Five Councilman Eddie Clark and Monroe resident Byrd Minter.

The controversy started when the Monroe City Council failed to timely adopt a redistricting plan for the five council districts. Council chair Jay Marx claimed that the delay would violate a provision of the city charter that required a six-month wait between the redistricting plan adoption and qualifying for the council elections.

The original March 2012 elections were postponed until November.

The plaintiffs in their suit allege that having the sitting council members serving almost a year beyond their specified terms, in mal-apportioned districts, violated their right to equal representation. They also argued that several other provisions of the city’s charter would be violated if the elections were moved to November.

A hearing is scheduled for 9:00 AM Tuesday, January 3, 2012, in federal court in front of Chief District Judge Robert James.

The courthouse is located at 201 Jackson Street in Monroe. The courtroom is on the second floor.

In other developments in the case, a telephone status conference among the parties in the case was held yesterday.

See here the minutes of that meeting.

One Response to “LA Sec of State Says Federal Court “Lacks Jurisdiction” in Monroe Voting Case”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Paul Hurd is a real estate closing lawyer and is not sufficiently skilled in this kind of legal practice. He does not even know who or where to serve on behalf of the plaintiffs. The case plaintiffs may seek relief from a malpractice attorney for any fees paid or for the loss of their interest in this case. Paul should put his insurance carrier on notice.
    This is the best reporting available on this interesting issue.

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