University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bassett v. Snyder PB-MI-0003
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-10038-DML-MJH ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
On January 5, 2012, several same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the State of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by the national and state ACLU and by private counsel, filed suit under 42 U. ... read more >
On January 5, 2012, several same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the State of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by the national and state ACLU and by private counsel, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Declaratory Judgment Act, claiming that Michigan Public Act 297 of 2011 (the "Public Employee Domestic Partner Benefit Restriction Act"), violated their rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that "by stripping family health care benefits only from the committed same-sex domestic partners of certain gay and lesbian public employees within the State of Michigan while allowing public employees' other family members access to such benefits, and by preventing public employers from offering such benefits to employees' same-sex domestic partners in the future," the State was in violation of the equal protection clause and the substantive component of the due process clause. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On March 2, 2012, the State moved to dismiss the complaint, and on March 7, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. A hearing on both motions was held on August 7. Almost a year later, and following the Supreme Court's ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, the court granted in part and denied in part the defendant's motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction (2013 WL 3285111). The court dismissed the plaintiffs' due process claim, but allowed their equal protection claim to proceed. The preliminary injunction forbade enforcement of Michigan Public Act 297 while the litigation was ongoing.

In mid February 2014, both the State and the plaintiffs filed motions for summary judgment. The court [Judge David M. Lawson] granted the plaintiff's request for summary judgment on November 12, 2014, and granted a permanent injunction of the Michigan Public Act 297 of 2011.

Christopher Schad - 08/27/2012
Jonathan Forman - 07/25/2013
Benjamin St. Pierre - 11/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The State of Michigan
Plaintiff Description Several same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:12-cv-10038 (E.D. Mich.) 02/25/2015
PB-MI-0003-9002.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 02/17/2012
PB-MI-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 03/07/2012
PB-MI-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Motion Hearing 08/13/2012
PB-MI-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Supplemental Brief Scope of Injunctive Relief 08/21/2012
PB-MI-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Supplemental Brief on the Appropriate Scope of Injunctive Relief 08/21/2012
PB-MI-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Granting In Part and Denying In Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/28/2013 (951 F.Supp.2d 939) (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/14/2014
PB-MI-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/17/2014
PB-MI-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, and Granting Permanent Injunction 11/12/2014 (59 F.Supp.3d 837) (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0003-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 11/12/2014 (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hluchaniuk, Michael J. (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
PB-MI-0003-9002
Lawson, David M. (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0003-0004 | PB-MI-0003-0007 | PB-MI-0003-0010 | PB-MI-0003-0011 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crawford, Amy E. (Illinois)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0004 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Goad, Amanda C. (New York)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Kaplan, Jay (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-0009 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Knight, John A. (Illinois)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0004 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-0009 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-0009
Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0004 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-0009 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Weidenhammer, Bradley H. (Illinois)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Welch, Donna M. (Illinois)
PB-MI-0003-0002 | PB-MI-0003-0003 | PB-MI-0003-0006 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Donnelly, Mark E. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0005 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Murphy, Michael F (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0008 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Nelson, Margaret A. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0004 | PB-MI-0003-0005 | PB-MI-0003-0008 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Schuette, Bill (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0005 | PB-MI-0003-0008
Wood, Rock A (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-0008 | PB-MI-0003-9002
Other Lawyers Hayden, Andrea E. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-9002
Singer, Abraham (Michigan)
PB-MI-0003-9002

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