Haggard v. Meier, 10850

Citation368 N.W.2d 539
Decision Date22 May 1985
Docket NumberNo. 10850,10850
PartiesClarence HAGGARD, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Ben MEIER, North Dakota Secretary of State; Kent Conrad, Candidate for North Dakota Tax Commissioner; Scott Hove, Candidate for North Dakota Tax Commissioner; North Dakota Democratic Party, a political organization; and North Dakota Republican Party, a political organization, Defendants and Appellees. Civ.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Dakota

Phillip J. Brown (argued), Bismarck, for plaintiff and appellant.

Terry Adkins (appearance), Asst. Atty. Gen., and Craig E. Sinclair (appearance), Asst. Atty. Gen., Bismarck, for defendant and appellee Ben Meier.

Kenneth M. Jakes (argued), Bismarck, for defendant and appellee Kent Conrad.

Harold L. Anderson (appearance), and David E. Reich (appearance) of Pearce, Anderson & Durick, Bismarck, for defendants and appellees Democratic Party and Republican Party.

VANDE WALLE, Justice.

The appellant, Clarence Haggard, was an aspirant in the June 1984 primary election for nomination as a candidate to the no-party office of State Tax Commissioner. Haggard's opponents, Kent Conrad and Scott Hove, were nominated in the primary election as candidates for the office in the general election on November 6, 1984. In that election, Conrad was elected State Tax Commissioner, and he currently holds that office.

On July 19, 1984, following the primary election, Haggard filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in which he asserted that Conrad, Hove, and the North Dakota Republican and Democratic parties violated certain provisions of North Dakota law governing the election of officers on the no-party ballot. Haggard asserted that those provisions were violated when Conrad and Hove sought, and the political parties adopted, resolutions or endorsements of support and provided other forms of support for the candidates. The district court entered a summary judgment dismissing Haggard's action on the ground that the activities of Conrad, Hove, and the political parties did not violate the no-party laws of this State. We affirm.

On appeal, Haggard asserts that the district court erred in its determination that the activities of Conrad, Hove, and the political parties did not violate the following no-party laws, which provide in relevant part:

"... The tax commissioner shall be elected on a no-party ballot and he shall be nominated and elected in the manner now provided for the nomination and election of the superintendent of public instruction...." Art. V, Sec. 12, N.D. Const.

"16.1-11-08. Reference to party affiliation in petition and affidavit prohibited for certain offices. No reference shall be made to a party ballot or to the party affiliation of a candidate in a petition and affidavit filed by or on behalf of a candidate for nomination in the primary election to an elective county office, the office of judge of the supreme court, judge of the district court, commissioner of labor, superintendent of public instruction, or tax commissioner."

"16.1-11-37. Vote required for nomination on no-party ballot--Partisan nominations prohibited. The number of persons to be nominated as candidates for any one no-party office shall be that number of persons who receive the highest number of votes and who total twice the number of available positions for the office, if that many persons are candidates for nomination. Provided, however, that no person shall be deemed nominated as a candidate for any no-party office at any primary election unless the number of votes received by him equals the number of signatures required to be obtained on a petition to have a candidate's name for the office placed on the primary ballot. No partisan nominations shall be made for any of the offices mentioned in section 16.1-11-08."

Article V, Sec. 12, N.D. Const., provides that the Tax Commissioner shall be elected on a no-party ballot. It is undisputed that the 1984 primary and general election ballots prepared by the Secretary of State for the office of State Tax Commissioner were designated "no-party" ballot and that the candidates' names were placed on the ballots without any indication of or reference to party affiliation.

Section 16.1-11-08, N.D.C.C., provides that a petition and affidavit filed by a candidate for the office of State Tax Commissioner shall contain no reference "to a party ballot or to the party affiliation of a candidate." It is undisputed that the nomination petitions and affidavits filed by Conrad and Hove contained no reference to a party ballot or to the candidates' party affiliation.

Section 16.1-11-37, N.D.C.C., provides that "no partisan nominations" shall be made for the office of State Tax Commissioner. Haggard asserts that the resolutions of support adopted by the respective political parties for Conrad and Hove constituted party endorsements for the office in violation of this provision. Haggard thus reasons that a "resolution of support" is a "party endorsement" which is the same as a "partisan nomination" within the meaning of the above-cited statutes. We disagree.

A candidate for a State office can have his name placed on the ballot for nomination in the primary election by one of two methods: (1) a certificate of endorsement signed by the State chairman of a legally recognized political party, or (2) a petition signed by a requisite number of qualified electors. Section 16.1-11-06, N.D.C.C. However, under our current law, a candidate for nomination to a no-party office such as that of State Tax Commissioner can have his name placed on the ballot only by the second method of filing a petition with the requisite number of signatures, because Section 16.1-11-37, N.D.C.C., prohibits "partisan nominations" for those offices. Consequently, a person who desires to have his name placed on the primary ballot for nomination to the office of State Tax Commissioner cannot do so by presenting to the Secretary of State a certificate of endorsement by a recognized political party. With regard to no-party offices such a...

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15 cases
  • Aanenson v. Bastien
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 21, 1989
    ...so as to legislate additional requirements or proscriptions which the words of the provisions do not themselves provide. Haggard v. Meier, 368 N.W.2d 539 (N.D.1985); section 1-02-05, N.D.C.C. The legislature made no exception for complicity in section 5-01-06, N.D.C.C. A statute must be con......
  • Swenson v. Northern Crop Ins., Inc.
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 24, 1993
    ...Aviation, Inc., 390 N.W.2d 544, 546 (N.D.1986) (legislative intent is presumed clear from the face of the statute); Haggard v. Meier, 368 N.W.2d 539, 541 (N.D.1985) (it is improper for courts to attempt to construe statutory provisions so as to legislate additional requirements or proscript......
  • Geary v. Renne
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • July 24, 1989
    ...has ruled that these statutes do not prohibit political parties from issuing resolutions or "other forms of support." Haggard v. Meier, 368 N.W.2d 539 (N.D.1985). Oklahoma prohibits candidates for judicial offices from making his party affiliation public. Okla.Stat.Ann. tit. 20, Sec. 1404.1......
  • MKB Mgmt. Corp. v. Burdick
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • October 28, 2014
    ...Conversely, words cannot be read into a law in an attempt to support an interpretation the legislature did not express. Haggard v. Meier, 368 N.W.2d 539, 541 (N.D.1985).e. Gestational LimitThe last significant difference between the protocols involves the time window during which the proced......
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