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STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS IN THE FIRST JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

COUNTY OF DORCHESTER DORCHESTER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY,

)

Civil Action No.: 2012-CP-18-1632

1 Plaintiff,

VS.

) ) \I

DORCHESTER COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY (Carroll Duncan, as Chairman), SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN PARTY (Matt Moore as Executive Director & Chad Connolly, as Chairman), DORCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS (Joshua Dickard as Executive Director), SOUTH CAROLINA STATE ELECTION COMMISSION (Marci Andino, as Executive Director & Chris Whitmire as Director of Public Information and Trainir ~ g; ) Defendants.

ANSWER

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1 ) ) ) ) )

1 )

TO THE PLAINTIFF AND ITS ATTORNEY, JAMES E. SMITH, JR., ESQUIRE: Comes now the Intervenor, Sean Michael Bennett (hereinafter referred to as

Intervenor), to hereby fully answer the allegations of the Plaintiff's Verified Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Writ of Mandamus, Application for Temporary Restraining Order, and Motion for Injunctive Relief and show this Honorable Court as follows: FOR A FIRST DEFENSE Each and every allegation of the Complaint is denied, unless hereinafter admitted, qualified or explained. The Statement of the Case and introductory paragraph labeled number 1 on page 2 of the Complaint, are mere statements by Plaintiff which do not require a response, and are therefore denied.


3.

Upon information and belief, the allegations of paragraph 1 under the Support

for Grant of TRO Injunctive Relief, Declaratory Judgment, and W r ~ tof Mandamus at the bottom of page 2 of the Complaint are admitted. 4.

Upon information and belief, the allegations of paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 3

of the Complaint are admitted.

5.

As to the allegations of paragraph 4 on page 3 of the Complaint, it is admitted

that the Dorchester County Republican Party is a County committee of the South Carolina Republican Party and is certified by the South Carolina Election Commission. It is denied that the Dorchester Republican Party is certified by the Anderson County Board of Elections and Voter Registration. It is further admitted that Carroll Duncan is the Chairperson of the Dorchester County Republican Party.

6.

Upon information and belief, the allegations of paragraph 5 on page 3 are

admitted.

7.

The allegations of paragraphs 6 and 7 on page 4 of the Complaint are

statements of law which do not require a response and are therefore denied.

8.

The allegations of paragraph 8 on page 4 of the Complaint are a statement of

law which does not require a response and are therefore denied, and Intervener further denies that Plaintiff should be exempt from submitting security as set forth in Rule 65(c) of the SCRCP.

9.

The allegations of paragraphs 9, 10, and 11 on page 4 of the Complaint are

denied and strict proof is demanded hereof. 10.

The allegations of paragraphs 12, 13, and 14 on page 5 of the Complaint are

denied and strict proof is demanded hereof. 11.

As to the allegations of paragraph 15 on page 5 of the Complaint, Intervener

would crave reference to the Supreme Court decisions in Anderson v. S.C. Election 2


Comm'n. and Florence Countv Democratic Partv v. Florence Countv Republican Party. Anything alleged in paragraph 15 that is inconsistent with these two court decisions is hereby denied. 12.

The allegations of paragraph 16 on page 6 of the Complaint are denied and

strict proof is demanded hereof. 13.

The allegations of paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 6 of the Complaint are

statements of law which do not require a response and are therefore denied. 14.

The allegations of paragraph 4 on page 6 of the Complaint are denied and

strict proof is demanded hereof. 15.

The allegations of paragraph 5 on page 7 of the Complaint are denied and

strict proof is demanded hereof. 16.

As to the allegations of paragraphs 6, 7, and 8 on page 7 of the Complaint,

Intervenor would crave reference to the Orders of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Any allegations in paragraphs 6, 7, and 8 that are inconsistent with the Orders of the Supreme Court are hereby denied. 17.

The allegations of paragraph 9 on page 7 are denied and strict proof is

demanded hereof. 18.

The allegations on paragraph 10 on page 7 are a statement of law which do

not require a response and are therefore denied. 19.

The allegations of paragraph 11, 12, and 13 on page 8 of the Complaint are

hereby denied and strict proof is demanded hereof. FOR A SECOND AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (Rule 12(b)(l))

20.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the First

Defense as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein.


21.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for lack of

jurisdiction over the subject matter under Rule 12(b)(l) of the SCRCF. FOR A THIRD AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (Rule 12(b)(4))

22.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein. 23.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for insufficiency of

process under Rule 12(b)(4) of the SCRCP. FOR A FOURTH AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (Rule 12(b)(5))

24.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein. 25.

Intervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for insufficiency of

service of process under Rule 12(b)(5) of the SCRCP. FOR A FIFTH AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (Rule 12(b)(6))

26.

Inte,venor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein.

27.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for failure to state

facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action under Rule 12(b)(6) of the SCRCP FOR A SIXTH AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (Rule 12(b)(7))

28.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein. 29.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for failure to join a

party under Rule 19 pursuant to Rule 12(b)(7) of the SCRCP.


FOR A SEVENTH AND AFFlRMATlVE DEFENSE (Rule 65(c))

26.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein.

27.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for failure to post

security pursuant to Rule 65(c) of the SCRCP.

FOR AN EIGHTH AND AFFlRMATlVE DEFENSE (Laches) 28.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein.

29.

Intervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff because the

Plaintiff is barred by the Doctrine of Laches. FOR A NINTH AND AFFlRMATlVE DEFENSE (Administrative Remedies)

30.

lntervenor realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein. 31.

lntervenor moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff for failure to

exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing this legal action in the Dorchester County Court of Common Pleas.

FOR A TENTH AND AFFlRMATlVE DEFENSE (Temporary lnjunction and Writ of Mandamus Improper) 32.

Intervener realleges and incorporates each and every allegation of the

previous Defenses as if fully set forth and repeated verbatim herein.

33.

Intervener moves to dismiss the Complaint of the Plaintiff due to the fact that

a request for a Te,,iporary lnjunction and Writ of Mandamus are improper and should be dismissed.


WHEREFORE, having fully answered the Complaint of the Plaintiff, Intervenor, Sean Michael Bennett, prays that the same be dismissed, that costs be assessed to the Plaintiff, that Intervenor be awarded attorneys' fees and costs, and for such other and further relief that this Honorable Court deems just and proper. Summerville, South Carolina

Respectfully submitted,

Robert D. Robbins Attorney at Law, LLC I10 N. Maii7 Street Summerville, SC 28483 Phone: (843) 285-7100 Facsimile: (843) 285-7199 ATTORNEY FOR SEAN MICHAEL BENNETT


Answer Bennett