STATE OF MINNESOTA

 

IN SUPREME COURT

 

C8-02-1048

Original Jurisdiction

 

Todd P. Zettler

 

                                    Petitioner,

 

vs. 

Filed: July 3, 2002

Office of Appellate Courts

Jesse Ventura, Governor of the State

of Minnesota, and Mary Kiffmeyer,

Minnesota Secretary of State

 

                                    Respondents.

 

O R D E R

            On June 27, 2002, petitioner filed a petition under Minn. Stat. § 204B.44 (2000) seeking relief from an alleged wrongful act by the secretary of state in her refusal to accept affidavits of candidacy for a judicial seat in the First Judicial District and her anticipated failure to place the seat on the ballot for the upcoming election.  The petition also asks the court to enjoin the governor from appointing a successor to the current officeholder.  

            The relevant provision of section 204B.44 authorizes a petition to prevent “any wrongful act, omission, or error of any election judge, municipal clerk, county auditor, canvassing board or any of its members, the secretary of state, or any other individual charged with a duty concerning an election.”  Minn. Stat. § 204B.44(d).  The petition does not assert that the governor is charged with a duty concerning the election at issue.  Rather, the governor’s duties in this context relate to appointment of judges rather than the election of judges. 

            A hearing was held on July 2, 2002.  The filing period for the office at issue runs from July 2, 2002 to July 16, 2002. 

            Based upon all the files, records and proceedings herein,

            IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that because the petition does not assert that the governor is charged with a duty concerning the election at issue, the petition is dismissed as to the governor;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the petition is granted as to the secretary of state and the secretary of state is ordered to accept affidavits of candidacy for the First District judicial seat currently held by Judge Eugene Atkins and to place the seat on the ballot for election in 2002;

            IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that so as not to impair the orderly election process, this order is issued with an opinion (Blatz, C.J., Page, Anderson, Paul H., and Gilbert, JJ) and dissent (Anderson, Russell A., Stringer, JJ) to follow. 

            Dated:  July 3, 2002

                                                                                    BY THE COURT:

 

 

                                                                                    __________________________

                                                                       

            Kathleen A. Blatz

                                                                                    Chief Justice