United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
DEMETRIUS BUROFF and IAN BARNHART, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
DAVID GLADIEUX, in his official capacity, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Ian Barnhart's
Second Motion to Certify Class [ECF No. 36], filed on March
7, 2018. Defendant David Gladieux, in his official capacity
as Allen County Sheriff, filed his Response to the
Plaintiff's Motion [ECF No. 38] on March 21, 2018, and
the Plaintiff filed his Reply [ECF No. 39] on March 28, 2018.
This matter is now fully briefed and ripe for review.
Plaintiff filed this action individually and behalf of all
others similarly situated, alleging that the Defendant
systematically disenfranchised hundreds of eligible voters
who were being confined in the Allen County Jail during the
2016 general election. (Amend. Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 18.)
The Plaintiff is a United States citizen, over eighteen years
of age, and a resident of Allen County, Indiana (Id.
¶ 5.) The Plaintiff was held in the Allen County Jail as
a pretrial detainee on misdemeanor criminal charges from on
or about October 31, 2016, to on or about December 15, 2016.
(Id. ¶ 4.) The Defendant at all relevant times
served as the Allen County Sheriff and operated the Allen
County Jail (Id. ¶ 6.)
Plaintiff alleges that on November 8, 2016, he was eligible
to vote in the 2016 General Election, but the Defendant
prevented him from doing so from the Allen County Jail.
(Id. ¶¶ 14, 18, 24, 25.) Additionally, the
Plaintiff was denied access to in-person early voting,
absentee ballots, or any other means of voting. (Id.
¶¶ 19-21, 25.) The Plaintiff initiated this lawsuit
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3)
on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated as
members of the following proposed class:
All individuals held at the Allen County Jail on November 8,
2016, who on that date were U.S. citizens, residents of
Indiana, were at least eighteen years of age, were not
serving a sentence for a conviction of a felony crime, had
not previously voted in the 2016 general election, were
provided neither an absentee ballot nor transportation to a
voting center, and were registered to vote or had been denied
the opportunity to vote while held in the Allen County Jail.
(Id. ¶ 7.) The Plaintiff seeks monetary damages
on behalf of himself and the class.
6, 2017, the Plaintiff, along with another previously named
Plaintiff, Demetrius Buroff, moved for class certification
[ECF No. 19]. The Defendant challenged the Plaintiffs'
Motion and asserted that (1) neither of the named Plaintiffs
had standing to bring a claim individually or on behalf of
the class, and (2) neither of the named Plaintiffs could
satisfy the typicality and adequate representation
requirements of Rule 23. On November 13, 2017, the Court
denied [ECF No. 32] the Plaintiffs' Motion, with leave to
refile, finding that the Plaintiffs had failed to satisfy the
numerosity requirement. The Court noted the availability of
information regarding which individuals were held at the
Allen County Jail on November 8, 2016, and whether they were
registered to vote and instructed that the Plaintiffs could
potentially show the requisite numerosity after review of
such information and subsequent presentation of it to the
Court. The Court also dismissed Buroff as a party because he
had not been registered to vote at the relevant time, and
therefore lacked standing.
23 does not set forth a mere pleading standard.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 351
(2011). Instead, plaintiffs bear the burden to show that a
proposed class satisfies Rule 23. Arwa Chiropractic, P.C.
v. Med-Care Diabetic & Med. Supplies, Inc.,
14-C-5602, 2017 WL 4339788, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 29, 2017)
(citing Messner v. Northshore Univ. Healthsystem,
669 F.3d 802, 811 (7th Cir. 2012)). A plaintiff satisfies
Rule 23 when he meets all of the requirements of Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 23(a) and one of the requirements of Rule
23(b). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23; Rosario v.
Livaditis, 963 F.2d 1013, 1017 (7th Cir. 1992). First,
the plaintiff must show:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or ...