On September 18, U.S. District Court Judge John W. Darrah issued an opinion in Miller v Broderick, 13-cv-2281 (northern district of Illinois), in favor of the Defendant, Maureen Broderick, who functioned as an election board member in a local election earlier this year in New Lenox, Illinois. The plaintiff, Kathleen Miller, had filed a petition to be on the ballot for School Board. She signed one form relating to candidacy on the wrong line. Broderick, a member of the same board who was not up for re-election, and who was Secretary of the Board, challenged the petition. Then she withdrew her objection, but had a friend file the same type of objection.
Because Broderick was Secretary of the Board, she had the legal power to rule on the petition challenge, and she voted to keep Miller off the ballot. Miller then filed a lawsuit and a state court put her back on the ballot. Then, Miller sued Broderick in federal court. But Judge Darrah ruled that members of election boards are acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, and that they cannot be sued for actions they take in their capacity as public officials.