National Voter Registration Act Settlement in Massachusetts

National Voter Registration Act Settlement in Massachusetts

March 18, 2015
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Plaintiffs New England Area Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP-NEAC”) and New England United for Justice (“NEU4J”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”)1 brought this Action alleging violations of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”), 52 U.S.C. § 20506 (formerly 42 U.S.C. § 1973gg-5), by William F. Galvin, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (“SOC”); Marylou Sudders (as successor to John Polanowicz), in her official capacity as Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (“EOHHS”); Thomas G. Massimo (as successor to Stacey Monahan), in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance (“DTA”); and Daniel Tsai (as successor to Kristin Thorn), in his official capacity as Director of the Office of Medicaid (“MassHealth”) (collectively “Defendants”). The Complaint was filed on May 15, 2012 against the SOC, DTA, and EOHHS. An Amended Complaint, adding MassHealth as a Defendant, was filed with the Court’s approval on March 17, 2014 (Doc. 138, 143). Plaintiffs allege widespread past and ongoing violations of Section 7 of the NVRA by Defendants and are seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Defendants, for their part, have denied the allegations and any violation of law.

Plaintiffs and Defendants SOC, DTA, and EOHHS entered into an Interim Agreement on July 5, 2012 (Doc. 35-1), by which, among other things, these parties agreed to a stay of litigation. The stay was approved by the Court (Doc. 31) and expired on December 31, 2012. Thereafter, litigation resumed.

Plaintiffs and DTA now desire to resolve and settle this Action without further litigation and expense. Plaintiffs and DTA agree to the following terms in full and final resolution and settlement, and dismissal with prejudice, of Plaintiffs’ claims against DTA in this Action. By entering into this settlement agreement (“Agreement”), DTA does not admit any liability or any violation of the NVRA or any other law, and this Agreement shall not constitute evidence of any wrongdoing or violation of law. This Agreement does not resolve or settle Plaintiffs’ claims under Section 7 of the NVRA brought against Defendants SOC, EOHHS, and MassHealth.

[Read the full settlement here