Palo Alto, CA
COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO
Alexander E. Rawls,
Bill Jones as the Secretary of State, the State of California and Dwight Beattie, as the Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County,
No. 98 CS 00514
Amended Complaint for Declaratory relief and petition for Writ of Mandate.
To determine the validity of California Government Code §24004.3, ballot qualifications for office of county sheriff.
Hearing Date: March 13th, 11:00 A.M., Dept. 23.
1. Plaintiff is a United States citizen more than 35 years of age, a resident of the State of California and a duly registered voter in Santa Clara County California.
2. Plaintiff hereby applies for the issuance of a writ of mandate under Section 13314 of the Elections Code based on the allegations set forth below.
3. Defendant Bill Wilson [oops, a friend of mine] is now, and at all times mentioned herein was, the duly appointed, qualified and acting Secretary of State of the State of California. Dwight Beattie is now, and at all times mentioned herein was, the duly appointed, qualified and acting Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County. They are charged with enforcing the statutes herein referred to.
4. According to Election Code §10015, the Superior Court of California in Sacramento County is the exclusive venue for election cases where the Secretary of State is named as a defendant.
(Complaint for Declaratory Relief)
5. A neglect of duty is about to occur in that the plaintiff, Alexander Rawls, is being denied access to the ballot in the primary election for the office of Sheriff of Santa Clara County in violation of his Constitutional rights under the First, Fourteenth, and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article I sections 1,2,3 and 7 of the California State Constitution.
6. California Government code §24004.3 requires that candidates for the office of County Sheriff have extended experience in California law enforcement (the number of years of experience required varying with the candidate's educational background). That is, current and recent members of an arm of government itself are established as an absolutely privileged class in the election process. This constitutes an assault on the accountability of government to The People which, in particular, violates the rights of the plaintiff, who is attempting to run for the office of County Sheriff in the direct primary elections scheduled for June 2nd, 1998.
7. On January 8th, the day that the Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County made the Candidate's Guide for the primary election, plaintiff picked up said guide and discovered that candidates for Sheriff are required to have law enforcement background. Also, according to the guide, when filling out Declaration of Candidacy papers: "the candidate declares that (s)he meets the statutory and/or constitutional qualifications for the office sought". Not meeting the existing statutory qualifications, plaintiff could not proceed with the nomination process without comitting purjury. Nomination signature sheets and all the other forms that must be completed to complete the nomination process are not made available until candidates complete the Declaration of Candidacy form so they are not at this point completed either. The candidate meets and or is prepared to meet in a few days all of the existing requirements for nomination except for the requirement of years of law enforcement experience.
7. The statute requiring this background, both on its face and as applied, violates equal protection of the plaintiff's first amendment rights to speak and assemble so as to participate in the political process and to have his views represented. It violates both his right to vote for someone who represents the views of the civilian (non-law-enforcement) population and it violates his right to seek to represent the viewpoint of the civilian population, and present his own political platform to The People for them to consider and accept or reject on its merits.
8. A declaration from this court invalidating this statute is necessary and appropriate at this time. No recourse besides suit is available to the plaintiff in this matter, and California Election Code Section 13314 provides that "[this] action or appeal shall have priority over all other civil matters." If declaratory relief is not granted, plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury.
(Petition for Writ of Mandate)
Plaintiff re-alleges Paragraphs 1 through 7 above and incorporates them as fully set forth.
9. Plaintiff ask the court for a Writ of Mandate placing him on the ballot as a candidate for Sheriff of Santa Clara County in the June 2nd primary election of 1998. Such a Writ of Mandate from this court is necessary and appropriate at this time. By the time this case is heard the March 11th nomination deadline will be getting near or may have passed, so that even if the ballot restriction herein protested is struck down, the filing deadline may present another insurmountable obstacle to plaintiff's candidacy, an obstacle that proceeds from the original invalid statute and the fact that plaintiff has had to take the time to sue to overcome it. The issuance of a Writ of Mandate will not substantially interfere with the conduct of the election. California Election Code Section 13314 provides that "[this] action or appeal shall have priority over all other civil matters." No recourse besides suit is available to the plaintiff in this matter. If Writ of Mandate is not granted, plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury.
Wherefore, plaintiff prays judgement as follows:
1. That Government Code §24004.3 of the State of California be invalidated and a Writ of Mandate issued to the defendants requiring them to allow the plaintiff to proceed with the nomination process and afford him sufficient time to complete the requirements for nomination, including the gathering of signatures, and requiring the defendants, upon recipt of the completed nomination materials, to place plaintiff on the ballot for Sheriff of Santa Clara County.
2. That because the purpose of the filing fee is to raise a hurdle that keeps the ballot from being cluttered by unserious candidates (Lubin v. Panish), and because plaintiff is demonstrating his seriousness by spending substantial resources to overcome this ballot access hurdle, he pray that he be granted relief from the filing fee in a degree equivalent to the resources he has expended in pursuing this suit.
The filing fee for the office of Sheriff is $1,315.60. Plaintiff has incurred costs of $190 for filing fees, plus $60 to have a process server file his suit in Sacramento and serve the subpoena, plus another hundred and fifty for copying and Fed Ex'ing, plus another hundred to make two trips up to Sacramento himself for his day in court, plus the lost wages for the 7 full days now he has spent researching the law and writing this brief, plus the lost wages from coming up to Sacramento for his 2 days in court. Plaintiff works as a carpenter to put himself through graduate school, earning the princely sum of $30/hr. Thus his lost wages for nine days work comes to $2160, which together with the other costs comes to over $2660, which is more twice the filing fee. If the court could grant plaintiff relief from the filing fee it would be much appreciated.
If this relief is granted, plaintiff ask that it be included in the Writ of Mandate that the defendants are to waive the filing fee for plaintiff's nomination.
3. For such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.
I am the plaintiff in the above-entitled action; I have read the forgoing
complaint/petition and know the contents thereof; the same is true of my own knowledge.
Dated:__________, 19___ ____________________
Alexander Rawls, Plaintiff
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