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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DALLAS DIVISION

RENATO DE LOS SANTOS AND HILDA RAMIREZ DUARATE, Plaintiffs,

v.
THE CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS, Defendant

§ § § § § § § § § §

C.A. NO. 3:12-CV-02596-M

DEFENDANT'S ORIGINAL ANSWER Defendant The City of Dallas ("Defendant" or "City") files this, its Original Answer in this cause, responding to Plaintiffs' "Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief' ("Complaint"). 1 RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS' ALLEGATIONS 1. Paragraph 1 - Defendant admits the allegations in the first, second, fourth, fifth

and seventh sentences that merely describe the nature of the complaint; except that Defendant denies the allegation in the second sentence that the City's existing single-member district system dilutes the voting strength of Hispanics; and also denies (sentence 5) that the existing system cancels out, minimizes or dilutes the voting strength of Hispanics. Defendant denies the allegations of the third sentence. Defendant lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations of the sixth sentence of the paragraph, that Plaintiffs are Hispanic residents of the City. 2. Paragraph 2 - Defendant admits that this case is brought under the United States

Constitution and the cited statutes, but denies that those provisions are violated or necessarily
1 References to "Paragraph x" are to numbered paragraphs in Plaintiffs' Complaint. The statement "Defendant lacks sufficient information to admit or deny" means that Defendant lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the allegation, as permitted under FRCP 8(b)(5).

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relevant. Defendant also denies that the Declaratory Judgment Act provides any independent basis for jurisdiction. Defendant admits that venue is proper in this Court for such claims. 3. allegations. 4. Paragraphs 5-8 - Defendant admits these allegations, except that the City is Paragraphs 3-4 - Defendant lacks sufficient information to admit or deny these

located partially in five (5) counties (Dallas, Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall Counties); and also noting that the proportions recited as percentage values in Paragraphs 7 and 8 are only approximate (rounded off). 5. Paragraph 9 - Defendant admits that the current Dallas City Council structure

includes fourteen (14) council members elected from single-member districts and a mayor elected at large. 6. Paragraph 10 - Defendant admits these allegations to the extent they mean that

the 2010 Census data indicated that the City's then-existing single-member districts had a total deviation in total population that exceeded the usual judicial rule-of-thumb standard of ten percent (10%) variation and that therefore redistricting was required in order to comply with the so-called one person-one vote (equal population) standard of the Fourteenth Amendment; but denies that the City's districts violated applicable law, and any other allegations in this paragraph. 7. Paragraph 11 - Defendant admits that the City adopted a new redistricting plan on

October 5, 2011, to be implemented at the City Council elections in 2013. Defendant denies that the population and demographic data cited for the new plan are accurate. Defendant denies that the stated value for the total "top to bottom" deviation of district populations is correct. 8. Paragraph 12 - Defendant admits that of the fourteen single-member districts in

the City'S new plan, at least three districts appear to be districts from which Hispanic voters may 2

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be able to elect candidates of their choice; but Defendant asserts that there may be additional districts from which candidates of Hispanic voters' choice may be elected: Four of the fourteen districts have a substantial majority Hispanic population. All other allegations in Paragraph 12 are denied. 9. Paragraph 13 - Defendant denies that the City's new single-member districts are

not fairly drawn. Whether Hispanics could elect candidates of their choice from hypothetical different districts is speculative, and Defendant lacks sufficient information to admit or deny such an allegation. Defendant does deny that in a fourteen single-member district system, four compact, contiguous districts each having a Hispanic numerical majority of citizen-voting-age population can be drawn. Defendant denies the other allegations in this paragraph. 10. Paragraph 14 - Defendant admits that the City's new districting plan pairs two

incumbents in a district numbered identically to the current district from which the Hispanic incumbent was elected; but denies that this violates any legal requirement regarding redistricting, and further denies that there is any legal requirement that incumbents not be paired. The

standards adopted by the City for drawing a redistricting plan included the criterion that "[t]he configuration of districts shall be neutral as to incumbents. The districts must not be configured for the purpose of either protecting or defeating an incumbent." (2011 Guideline 3. b.l) 11. Paragraph 15 - Defendant admits that in the new plan two of the incumbent

council members' residences are located outside the new districts that bear the numbers of the districts in the prior plan from which these incumbents have been elected; but denies that this violates any legal requirement regarding redistricting, and further denies that there is any legal requirement that incumbents' residences not be drawn out of the new district having the same number designation as the numbered district from which they were elected in the previous plan. The standards adopted by the City for drawing a redistricting plan included the criterion that
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"[t]he configuration of districts shall be neutral as to incumbents. The districts must not be configured for the purpose of either protecting or defeating an incumbent." (2011 Guideline

3.b.!)
12. Paragraph 16 - Defendant denies the allegation. Defendant admits that under the

new City districting plan, two incumbent city council members will reside outside the territory of the new single-member districts bearing the numbers of the districts in the former districting plan from which they were elected. Defendant notes, however, that the ordinance adopting the new districts specifies that the new plan will be implemented at the 2013 City Council election; therefore, no current incumbent resides outside his or her current district. 13. Paragraph 17 - Defendant admits this allegation, insofar as it recognizes a truism:

In any single-member district system, a districting plan that complies with the legal standards announced in Thornburg v. Gingles can always be drawn; but Defendant denies that the City's current districting plan violates those standards, or any standards under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or other applicable law. 14. Paragraph 18 - Defendant admits that in prior legal challenges to the City under

section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, courts have found violations of section 2; but denies that conditions and practices in the City continue to violate section 2, or that they deny Hispanics fair and equal participation in the electoral process or abridge or otherwise violate Hispanics' rights to vote in City elections. Defendant denies the remaining allegations. 15. Paragraph 19 - Defendant denies the allegations of the first sentence. Plaintiffs

appear to assert (in Paragraph 13) that Hispanic voters in Dallas are entitled to have four majority Hispanic districts in the City; Defendant denies that relative turnout as between Hispanics and Anglos in the City alters or reduces the showing Plaintiffs must make to satisfy the threshold requirements stated in Thornburg v. Gingles - e.g., that to maintain such a claim under section 2,

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Plaintiffs must demonstrate that it is possible to draw four compact, contiguous districts, each having an Hispanic numerical majority of the citizen-voting-age population. The remainder of the paragraph cites and quotes judicial opinions, which speak for themselves and do not require admission or denial; Defendant denies that those legal sources support Plaintiffs' claims. 16. Paragraph 20 - Plaintiffs make legal argument, not factual assertions. Applicable

law speaks for itself, and does not require that Defendant admit or deny it; but Defendant denies that relative rates of turnout as between various demographic groups modifies the showing Plaintiffs must make under Thornburg v. Gingles. 17. Paragraphs 21-22 - These allegations are too general to admit or deny

categorically, so Defendant denies them. 18. Paragraph 23 - Defendant denies these allegations. Currently there are three

Hispanic members of the Dallas City Council. Based on reasonable estimates of the relative proportion of the City's citizen voting age population that is Hispanic, this is greater than but approximately equal to proportional representation. 19. 20. Paragraphs 24-26 - Defendant denies these allegations. Paragraph 27 - The City admits that it does not enjoy qualified or absolute

immunity, or 11 th Amendment immunity, for redistricting actions. Otherwise, these are legal assertions, to which Defendant responds the law speaks for itself. 21. 22. Paragraph 28 - Defendant denies these allegations. Prayer for Relief (unnumbered) - Defendant denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to

any of the relief requested. The City's present single-member district system does not injure Plaintiffs, does not unlawfully dilute Hispanic voting strength or deny Plaintiffs or other Hispanics any rights secured by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Plaintiffs are not entitled to injunctive relief. The City's present districting plan is lawful. Plaintiffs are not entitled to 5

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recover costs, expenses or attorneys' fees. No other relief is appropriate since Plaintiffs have not been injured by the City.
ADDITIONAL ANSWER AND DEFENSES

23.

Plaintiff De Los Santos lacks standing, since in the new plan he will reside in a

district in which there is a Hispanic numerical majority of the voting age population. 24. Plaintiffs lack standing because they cannot demonstrate that four compact,

contiguous districts can be drawn, each having a Hispanic numerical majority of the citizenvoting-age population, as required by Thornburg v. Gingles. 25. Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted, because they

cannot demonstrate that four compact, contiguous districts can be drawn, each having an Hispanic numerical majority of the citizen-voting-age population, as required by Thornburg v.
Gingles.

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Respectfully submitted,
SYDNEY W. FALK, JR. Texas State Bar No. 06795400 sfalk@bickerstaff.com C. ROBERT HEATH Texas State Bar No. 09347500 bheath@bickerstaff.com BICKERSTAFF HEATH DELGADO ACOSTA LLP 3711 South MoPac Expressway Building One, Suite 3000 Austin, Texas 78746 Telephone: (512) 472-8021 Facsimile: (512) 320-5638 MARICELA MOORE

Texas State Bar No. 24032753 maricela@fghlaw.net FARROW-GILLESPIE & HEATH LLP 1700 Pacific Avenue, Suite 3700 Dallas, Texas 75201 Telephone: (214) 361-5600 Facsimile: (214) 203-0651 THOMAS PERKINS Texas State Bar No. 15790850 t.perkins@dallascityhall.com CHRISTOPHER J. CASO Texas State Bar No. 03969230 chris.caso@dallascityhall.com DALLAS CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE Dallas City Hall 1500 Marilla, Suite 7DN Dallas, Texas 75201 Telephone: (214) 670-3491 Facsimile: (214) 670-0622

s/ Sydney W. Falk Jr.
By: Sydney W. Fal . , Jr.

?J~~

ATTORNEYS FOR THE CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that on the 2nd day of October, 2012, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of Court using the CMlECF system, and a true and correct copy has been served on counsel of record listed below as indicated: Roland L. Rios Rolando L. Rios & Associates, PLLC Milam Building 115 East Travis, Suite 1024 San Antonio, Texas 78205 Telephone: (210) 222-2102 (210) 222-2898 Facsimile: rrios@rolandorioslaw.com Jason C.N. Smith Law Office of Art Brender 600 8th Avenue Fort Worth, Texas 76104 Telephone: (817) 334-0171 Facsimile: (817) 334-0274 Attorneys for Plaintiffs

s/Sydney W. Falk, Jr.
Sydney W. F , Jr.

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