Brown v. Chote 8212 1583, No. 71

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBURGER
Citation36 L.Ed.2d 420,93 S.Ct. 1732,411 U.S. 452
Docket NumberNo. 71
Decision Date07 May 1973
PartiesEdmund G. BROWN, Jr., Secretary of State of California, Appellant, v. Raymond G. CHOTE. —1583

411 U.S. 452
93 S.Ct. 1732
36 L.Ed.2d 420
Edmund G. BROWN, Jr., Secretary of State of California, Appellant,

v.

Raymond G. CHOTE.

No. 71—1583.
Argued Feb. 22, 1973.
Decided May 7, 1973.

Syllabus

Appellee, who sought to run for Congress but asserted that he was unable to pay California's statutory filing fee, filed a class action in District Court, challenging the constitutionality of the filing-fee statutes. In the face of an impending filing deadline, the District Court granted appellee's motion for a preliminary injunction. Held: Given the possibility that appellee would prevail on the merits and the fact that appellee's opportunity to be a candidate would have been foreclosed, absent interim relief, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction. Pp. 456—457.

342 F.Supp. 1353, affirmed and remanded.

Henry G. Ullerich, Los Angeles, Cal., for appellant.

Philip Elman, Washington, D.C., for appellee.

Mr. Chief Justice BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case arises under 28 U.S.C. § 1253 on direct appeal from a three-judge district court in the Northern District of California. The court was convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2281 when appellee called into

Page 453

question the constitutionality of those provisions of the California Elections Code which require candidates in a primary election to pay a filing fee prior to having their names listed on the primary ballot. Cal.Elections Code §§ 6552 and 6553 (Supp.1973). Under these provisions, candidates for the Federal House of Representatives must pay $425 (1% of the annual salary of the office); candidates for the Federal Senate must pay $850 (2% of the salary of the office). Those wishing to run for statewide offices must pay similar fees ranging in amount from $192 for State Assemblyman (1% of the annual salary) to $982 for Governor (2% of the annual salary). Other portions of the California Elections Code, not challenged in the present suit, require prospective candidates to file with appropriate state officials a declaration of candidacy and sponsor certificates. Cal. Elections Code §§ 6490—6491, 6494—6495 (1961 and Supp.1973).

Appellee commenced this class action on March 3, 1972. He moved, and was granted permission, by a single district judge, to proceed in forma pauperis and as his own attorney. In his complaint, appellee asserted that he wished to become a candidate for the Federal House of Representatives from the 17th District of California, and had taken the following steps to place his name in nomination in the June 6, 1972, California primary election. On February 17, 1972, appellee called the Registrar of Voters of Santa Clara County, an official designated by state law to dispense those forms necessary to place a name in nomination. Appellee was purportedly told by the Registrar or a member of his office that he was required to pay $425 in advance in order to secure blank copies of the necessary papers. According to appellee, the Registrar's Office also advised him that the papers would be delivered in exchange for a worthless check.1

Page 454

Appellee proceeded immediately to the Registrar's Office where he presented a personal check for $425 and requested copies of the necessary forms. Across the face of the check, appellee had typed 'Written under protest for filing fee.'2 The Registrar issued the requisite papers to appellee and informed him that his check would be forwarded to the California Secretary of State when his completed papers were submitted. Subsequently, a Deputy Secretary of State informed appellee that his name would not be placed on the ballot if his check was not honored.3

Citing Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 92 S.Ct. 849, 31 L.Ed.2d 92 (1972), appellee asserted that California's filing-fee system was unconstitutional since it barred indigents, such as himself, from seeking elective office and from voting for the candidate of his choice. In addition to requesting declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, appellee moved the District Court to issue a pre-liminary injunction so as to allow him to participate as a candidate in the upcoming primary. Under state law, the final date on which appellee could submit nominating papers for that primary was March 10, 1972, one week away.

Because of the impending filing deadline, the...

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74 practice notes
  • Walters v. National Association of Radiation Survivors, No. 84-571
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1985
    ...overdrawn. See generally Doran v. Salem Inn, Inc., 422 U.S. 922, 931-932, 95 S.Ct. 2561, 2567-2568, 45 L.Ed.2d 648 (1975); Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 457, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 1735, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973). But under the abuse-of-discretion standard, appellate courts obviously may "intimate no v......
  • 43 712 Withrow v. Larkin 8212 1573, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 16, 1975
    ...him and that appellee's 'challenge to the constitutionality of said statute has a high likelihood of success.'10 Cf. Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973). While a decision to vacate and remand for fuller emendation of the findings, conclusions, and judgmen......
  • Henry v. First Nat. Bank of Clarksdale, No. 76-4200
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 21, 1979
    ...the reviewing court does not engage in the same plenary review that would be indicated on appeal of permanent relief. Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456-57, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 1735, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973); Morgan v. Fletcher, 5 Cir., 1975, 518 F.2d 236, 239; DiGiorgio v. Causey, 5 Cir., 1973, 488......
  • Environmental Council of Sacramento v. Slater, No. Civ.S-00-409 LKK/DAD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • November 6, 2000
    ...175 (1981). The limited record usually available on such motions renders a final decision on the merits inappropriate. See Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 "The [Supreme] Court has repeatedly held that the basis for injunctive relief in the federal courts has......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
74 cases
  • Walters v. National Association of Radiation Survivors, No. 84-571
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1985
    ...overdrawn. See generally Doran v. Salem Inn, Inc., 422 U.S. 922, 931-932, 95 S.Ct. 2561, 2567-2568, 45 L.Ed.2d 648 (1975); Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 457, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 1735, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973). But under the abuse-of-discretion standard, appellate courts obviously may "intimate no v......
  • 43 712 Withrow v. Larkin 8212 1573, No. 73
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 16, 1975
    ...him and that appellee's 'challenge to the constitutionality of said statute has a high likelihood of success.'10 Cf. Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973). While a decision to vacate and remand for fuller emendation of the findings, conclusions, and judgmen......
  • Henry v. First Nat. Bank of Clarksdale, No. 76-4200
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 21, 1979
    ...the reviewing court does not engage in the same plenary review that would be indicated on appeal of permanent relief. Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456-57, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 1735, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 (1973); Morgan v. Fletcher, 5 Cir., 1975, 518 F.2d 236, 239; DiGiorgio v. Causey, 5 Cir., 1973, 488......
  • Environmental Council of Sacramento v. Slater, No. Civ.S-00-409 LKK/DAD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • November 6, 2000
    ...175 (1981). The limited record usually available on such motions renders a final decision on the merits inappropriate. See Brown v. Chote, 411 U.S. 452, 456, 93 S.Ct. 1732, 36 L.Ed.2d 420 "The [Supreme] Court has repeatedly held that the basis for injunctive relief in the federal courts has......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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