Pine Ridge Voting Rights Act Concludes

News coverage here. South Dakota will provide an in-person absentee voting station in Shannon County (Pine Ridge Reservation) for the same number of days as all other areas — 46 days as required under state law — compared to the six days provided to Pine Ridge. South Dakota, after the conclusion of the case, asked for costs; Judge Schreier denied that motion.

Here are the materials in Brooks v. Gant (D. S.D.):

159 DCT Order Dismissing Complaint wo Prejudice

161 South Dakota Bill of Costs

161-1 Exhibit

162 Objection

163 DCT Order Denying Bill of Costs

An excerpt from docket number 163:

Under the facts of this case, it would be unjust to require plaintiffs to pay defendants’ costs. Defendants refused to provide plaintiffs with the relief they requested until this lawsuit was filed. It was only when defendants faced actual litigation that defendants were able to work cooperatively with each other to provide the relief sought by plaintiffs. Additionally, plaintiffs stood to gain nothing personally from this Voting Rights Act litigation. The action was brought by individual plaintiffs, all of whom are persons without great means, to vindicate the voting right of all Native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge Indian  Reservation. Defendants on the other hand, who are being represented by the South  Dakota Public Assurance Alliance, have the wherewithal to afford to pay their share of the costs associated with this litigation. Had defendants voluntarily agreed to provide the relief requested by plaintiffs when approached before the litigation was filed, they could have  avoided the costs they are now seeking.

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