Plaintiff Jerry Collette
Another Case, and Another Florida Ballot Challenge Hearing Scheduled
The attention of news reporters is drawn to the Florida Ballot Challenge case heard in Tallahassee on June 18. Sam Sewell, Project Manager for the Florida Ballot Challenge is very busy responding to inquiries about the case that is being reported by local, state and national media. Sewell is also reminding all interested parties that the Florida Ballot Challenge does not have all of their eggs in one basket. “Our strategy from the beginning was to have multiple cases in multiple jurisdictions using multiple legal tactics. We can provide legal fees for citizen activists in every county in Florida for what it costs to hire one attorney. Florida has other cases pending”
Also on June 18th, the response to dismiss on one of those cases was filed. So, on July 10, 2012, at 3:30 pm, Florida Circuit Court Judge Stanley Mills will conduct a hearing on motions to dismiss on behalf of the defendants, Barack Obama and the State Executive Committee of the Florida Democratic Party. The hearing will be held at the West Pasco Judicial Center, in New Port Richey, FL.
|Judge Stanley Mills|
The plaintiff in this case is Jerry Collette, a paralegal and the creator of the “Do It Yourself Ballot Challenge Kit.” Collette’s creation can be used by citizens who want to start actions against candidates not eligible to be on the Florida ballot. The organization’s goal is to have several cases filed in the various Florida Judicial Districts. The Pasco County suit is a different from the Mike Voeltz case in Tallahassee, and brought to the court under a different legal theory. Voeltz brought his case under the election code, whereas Collette has filed his case as a common law tort action. Collette is handling his case himself. Jerry Collette commented on his involvement in the case “As a paralegal, I follow legal cases in the same way other people follow celebrities or sports. I have been following the eligibility issue since it was first raised in 2008, but did not get involved. In February 2012, when an administrative hearing was scheduled on the subject in Georgia, I was very excited that it was finally going to be litigated. When I saw how the administrative judge did a sideshow, rather than allowing the plaintiffs to really get the evidence from Hawaii, I decided to see how I could help. I looked into various possible strategies, and came up with a tort approach.”
|Mike Voeltz, Sam Sewell, Jerry Collette Florida Ballot Challenge Press Conference|
Judge Mills, in a previous election related case, ordered documentation produced. Collette is hoping the judge will take a similar approach in this case, and order Obama to provide Collette access to inspection of the original government and hospital birth records, which Obama claims exist in Hawaii. Collette is asking court to keep Obama’s name off the Florida ballot if the court does not find him eligible.
The defendants claim that the Florida Democratic Party can nominate whomever it wants, then put its candidate onto the Florida ballot, and the state cannot interfere. Collette says that the Democrats are free to nominate whoever they want, even Humpty Dumpty. However, if they want to put their candidate on the state funded ballot, Florida has the right to first make sure that the candidate is eligible.
The defendants are also claiming that Collette cannot bring this type of claim in a Florida court. Collette responded by citing Article 1, Section 21, of the Florida Constitution, which says that Florida courts are open to “every person” to resolve “any injury.” Collette humorously said, “I swear that I am in the class of ‘every person’ and that the injuries I am asking the court to remedy are within the category of ‘any injury’.”
The case is Collette v. Obama, case number: 512012CA 2041WS.
Obama’s motion to dismiss
Do It Yourself Ballot Challenge Kit
Committee’s motion to dismiss
Florida Ballot Challenge
Collette’s opposition to dismissal
Obama State Ballot Challenge
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