Student Activities Center(502)


Cases Brought Before The Supreme Court

Any student, Recognized Student Organization, or Council at the University of Louisville may bring an action before the SGA Supreme Court.

A student may initiate an action by delivering a written petition to the Clerk of the Court, or depositing a written petition in the Chief Justice Mailbox in the SGA Office W310 in the Student Activities Center. Also the Supreme Court authorizes petitions to be submitted electronically to

The respondent to any petition filed with the Supreme Court may file any valid counterclaim or cross claim.

To be acted on by the Supreme Court, any petition, counterclaim, cross claim, impleader or motion for recusal must:

  • clearly and accurately state the petitioner or petitioners’ name or names;
  • clearly and accurately state the respondent or respondents’ name or names;
  • clearly and accurately state the action or actions that are disputed by the petitioner or petitioners, including the time, place and manner of said action or actions, to the best of the petitioners’ knowledge;
  • clearly and accurately state the specific provision or provisions of the SGA Constitution, By-Laws, or Election Rules the petitioner alleges are violated by the disputed action;
  • clearly and accurately set forth the relief sought by the petitioner or petitioners;
  • include, at the end of the petition, the following words: “I hereby represent to the Supreme Court of the Student Government Association my belief in good faith that to the best of my knowledge the allegations contained herein are true”;
  • bear the signature of each petitioner underneath the representation.

Parties To Actions Before The Supreme Court

Any student, RSO, SGA officer or organ, including the Student Senate, may be named as the respondent in any petition brought before the Supreme Court.  All respondents have the right to be served with a copy of the petition filed against them; to respond to said complaint with a written answer for consideration by the Supreme Court; to appear before the Supreme Court and be heard; and to file any and all counterclaims and cross claims that meet the requirements above.

Any party to any action, if authorized by the Supreme Court, may implead any third party, subject to the requirements above.

The Supreme Court may strike any respondent from any petition if the petition neither adequately alleges that said respondent has acted in any way contrary to the Constitution, By-Laws, or Election Rules of the SGA, nor adequately alleges that said respondent must be a party to the action in order for the relief requested to be given.

As the SGA Constitution sets forth a federal system similar to that of the United States Constitution, compelling Councils to act as respondents before the Supreme Court would violate the structure of government set forth by the SGA Constitution.  Therefore, just as the states are immune from court action under the United States Constitution unless they assent to being sued, so are the Councils immune from suit under the SGA Constitution unless they assent to be respondents in any given suit and represent the same in writing, which must be delivered to the Supreme Court with the petition.

Actions Before The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court may summarily dismiss any action brought before it that does not conform to the requirements of above.

Service of a copy of the petition to all respondents, or a good faith effort to personally serve all respondents that is adjudged to be fair by the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court may order all parties to appear before it, no less than 14 days from the time of service, except for alleged election violations.  The Supreme Court may determine time allotted for responses in election cases, but at least 24 hours must be allotted for responses, unless the respondent voluntarily waives the 24 hour response time.  Any party failing to respond within the allotted time is subject to summary judgment against them.

Respondents to any petition brought before the Supreme Court must be informed by the Clerk of the Court and they may submit an answer to the petition to the Supreme Court and appear in person before the Supreme Court and be heard.

Upon conclusion of any case before it, the Supreme Court will issue a written opinion explaining its ruling and any relief granted.  A copy of this opinion will be transmitted to each party to the action and to the SGA President and Executive Vice President.

Prior Supreme Court decisions shall be treated as legal precedent under the SGA Constitution and By-Laws and may not be overturned save on reconsideration of the same case or changes made to the Constitution or By-Laws.

Violation Notification And Election Contest Procedures

No candidate may contest an election unless he complies with the provisions below or unless he demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court compelling justification for his failure to do so.

Each candidate, or his authorized campaign worker, shall notify in writing the Supreme Court or an election official designated by the Court of any alleged violation of an election rule at the time when the alleged violation occurs or when he or any of his campaign workers discover the alleged violation, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The violation notification shall describe the alleged violation and shall state the date, time and place of the alleged violation; the name of the alleged violator, if known, or his description; the name, address and telephone number of the person who observed or discovered the alleged violation; the name, address and telephone number of the person making the complaint; and the name of the candidate he represents, if any.  The Court shall provide a form for this purpose, but the unavailability of the form shall permit the complaint to be submitted in written or electronic form.

The election official who receives the violation notification shall endorse his name and the time of receipt upon the form and shall direct an immediate investigation.

Any candidate wishing to contest an election shall file a written complaint with the Court within the time period for contesting an election specified. The complaint shall state each alleged violation.  Any violation not listed in the complaint shall not be considered by the Court.

Any violation for which the notification was not timely filed as required shall not be considered by the Court unless the Court finds that the candidate had a compelling justification for his failure to comply with that rule. Ignorance of the requirement shall not constitute a justification.


Decisions of the Supreme Court may be appealed back to the Supreme Court.  The Court has the authority to hear the case if there is new information provided.

It has been ruled that the Senate shall not overturn a ruling and that provision of the By-Laws is Unconstitutional.

Hearing Timeline And Information


Any person requesting a hearing or appealing to the Supreme Court shall make a timely filing in writing to the Chief Justice or his/her designate.  The writing must contain the nature of the claim, and the remedy sought.  This filing shall be made public. 


Upon application for hearing by direct request or appeal, the Chief Justice shall take steps to notify all parties with a direct interest in the complaint or appeal and all associate justices.  Such notification must adequately represent the nature of the claim.


Within five business days of the request for hearing or appeal, the Chief Justice and at least one other associate justice, chosen by vote of the associate justices, shall meet with representatives of the parties with an interest in the case to discuss the hearing, schedule or proceedings, presentation of claims, evidence, and witnesses, and any motions that will be made.  The parties may waive the pre-hearing be contacting the Supreme Court through a designated method.


In a closed session prior to the commencement of a hearing, the Chief Justice shall brief all justices on the case at hand, including the finding of the pre-hearing meeting.  The Chief Justice or his/her designate shall call the hearing to order and read the complaint(s) before the court.  Each party to the suit will be allowed adequate time to present their case with the complaining party(s) case heard first and the responding party(s) defense second.  Each side may rebut the other’s case.


The Supreme Court shall deliberate in a closed meeting and render its written decision within forty-eight hours of the last hearing in a case. All written decisions shall be made public.