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ARIZONA SUPERIOR COURT, PIMA COUNTY HON. RICHARD E.

GORDON JUDGE

KENNETH ALLEN Plaintiff

VS.
BARACK OBAMA, BRAD R. NELSON and DEMOCRATIC PARTY Defendants

IN CHAMBERS RULING

On February 17, 2012, Plaintiff filed his Complaint for Constitutional Violations of the Article II section I clause 5 and Ballot Challenge pursuant to AR.S. § 16-351(B) and for [D]eclaratory and [I]njunctive [R]elief. Today, on February 24,2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend [B]allot [C]hallenge and [C]omplaint [P]ursuant to Rules of Civil Procedure 15. For the following reasons, the Court
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dismiss the current Laura Stafford Judicial Administrative Assistant

Complaint, but will grant Plaintiff's motion to amend insofar it will allow Plaintiff to file an amended complaint

Plaintiff seeks to challenge President Barak Obama's qualifications to run for re-election as President of the United States of America based on his contention that President Obama is not a natural born citizen. Plaintiff claims that PreSident Obama should not be in office, should be removed from office, and that his name Should not be on the Arizona ballot for re-election. (Complaint at 4.)

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Arizona law provides an expedited process for challenging candidates appearing on its ballots. AR.S. §

16-351. The Court, therefore, held a status conference yesterday morning at which a representative of the Pima

County Attorney's Office and Plaintiff attended. Both service of process and time restrictions were addressed.

The Court believes, to the extent that Plaintiff is entitled to any relief under AR.S. § 16-351, it must rule on te pending challenge within ten calendar days, inclusive of weekends and holidays. AR.S. § 16-351(A). Thus,

judicial resolution is due Monday, February 27, 2012. Additionally, service of process must be made upon

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with no additional filing fee.

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CASE NO. C20121046 DATE: February 24, 2012

FILED PATRICIA NOLAND CLERK, SupeRIOR COURT 2124/20121:13:53 PM

RULING

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Date: February 24,2012

certain specified individuals and, importantly, it must be completed "immediately after the action is filed and in no event more than twenty-four hours after filing the action, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and other legal holidays." A.R.S. § 16-351(C), (D).

"Election contests are purely statutory and are dependent on statutory provisions for their conduct."
Pacion v. Thomas, 225 Ariz. 168, 170
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12, 236 P.3d 395, 397 (2010) (citations omitted). While the judicial
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deadlines within the election statutory scheme are discretionary, elector related deadlines are not.

Brousseau v. Fitzgerald, 138 Ariz. 453, 456, 675 P.2d 713, 716 (1984). Plaintiff explained at the hearing that

apparently included requests for waiver of service. The waiver of service rule (Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.1(c)) provides for generous response deadlines and thus it is completely inconsistent with the shortened process contemplated by the election challenge statutes. There is no possible way, in light of the deficient service in this case, that this matter can be resolved within the time frame set forth under A.R.S. § 16-351, or even close to the time frames.

The Court finds it unnecessary and improper to address the jurisdictional issues raised at the hearing without the input of the named defendants. The Court warned Plaintiff that it might be too late to cure any service defects and, upon review of the case law and rules, the Court concludes that the case must be dismissed, albeit without prejudice.

As noted, Plaintiff also has sought leave to file an amended complaint. Again, the amendment rules are inconsistent with the extremely shortened time frames at play in election contests. Because, however, there is no impending election involving President Obama and because in most cases a party is entitled to amend a complaint once as a matter of right before a responsive pleading is served, see Ariz. R. Civ. P. 15(a), the Court will allow Plaintiff to re-file the amended version of his Complaint - but he must start anew. Out of fairness, the amended complaint may be filed with no new filing fee. Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED DENYING and DISMISSING without prejudice Plaintiff's February 17, 2012,

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Complaint brought pursuant to A.R.S. § 16-351.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED GRANTING Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Ballot Challenge

and Complaint Pursuant to Rules of Civil Procedure 15 insofar as Plaintiff is allowed to file a new amended

complaint with no filing fee; to avoid the filing fee, the amended complaint anew and must be filed no later than

March 1, 2012.

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he has not personally served Defendants. but, instead, he sent the pleadings to them by certified mail and

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Case No.:

C20121046

Laura Stafford Judicial Administrative Assistant

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Date: February 24,2012

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other pending matters in the current lawsuit are denied without
prejudice and all pending deadlines in the current lawsuit are vacated.

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~ lsi HON. RICHARD E, Go'RDON
(ID: S09fcOld-7SdS-41l0-b4cS-17ecddZ96303)

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Daniel S. Jurkowitz, Esq. Kenneth Allen Clerk of Court - Accounting - Ray Vermeulen

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Laura Stafford Judicial Administrative Assistant

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Case No.:

RULING

C20121046