University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Fisher-Borne v. Smith PB-NC-0001
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-589 ( M.D. N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On June 13, 2012, several same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of North Carolina, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the court to declare that laws banning same-sex couples from ... read more >
On June 13, 2012, several same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of North Carolina, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the court to declare that laws banning same-sex couples from participating in second parent adoption violate the U.S. Constitution, direct the defendants to recognize same-sex out-of-state marriages, allow same-sex couples to enter into marriage in North Carolina, and enjoin the defendants from enforcing any laws that prohibit same-sex marriage or adoption by same-sex couples.

The plaintiffs claimed that North Carolina's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. Additionally, they alleged that the state's ban on same-sex marriages deprived the couples and minor children of the same flow of benefits (including medical benefits) that a different-sex couple would receive and obstructed their ability to build their family.

On February 10, 2015,The court placed this case in abeyance pending the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States declared, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy in reference to the case Obergefell v. Hodges, that he right to marry was fundamental. In the opinion the Court held that it demeans gay and lesbian couples to deprive them of access to marriage. The 14th Amendment therefore does not allow states to ban same-sex marriage. Kennedy was joined without further writing by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. Each of the four dissenters--Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--wrote a dissent.

In the case of Fisher-Borne v. Smith, the court denied the defendant's motion to appeal on August 12, 2015. The plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney's fees on October 13 of that same year.

Megan Dolan - 11/09/2015


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Adoption
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The State of North Carolina
Plaintiff Description Several same-sex couples residing in North Carolina who wish to have a state-recognized marriage.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PB-VA-0005 : Bostic v. McDonnell (E.D. Va.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
1:12−cv−00589 (M.D. N.C.) 11/05/2015
PB-NC-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 06/13/2012
PB-NC-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
First Amended Complaint 07/19/2013
PB-NC-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge 06/02/2014
PB-NC-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Osteen, William Lindsay Jr. (M.D. N.C.)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Peake, Joi Elizabeth (State Trial Court, M.D. N.C.) [Magistrate]
PB-NC-0001-0003 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beeney , Garrard R (New York)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Bradley, Catherine M (New York)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Brook, Christopher (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Castleman, David A (New York)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Esseks, James Dixon (New York)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Falcone, Jeremy M (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Kleysteuber, William R. A. (New York)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Meyler, Daniel W (New York)
PB-NC-0001-9000
O'Donnell, Patrick P. (District of Columbia)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Richardson, Amy E. (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Sasser, Jonathan D (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-0002 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Saxe, Rose A. (New York)
PB-NC-0001-0001 | PB-NC-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Balentine, Grady L. Jr. (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Bullock, Mabel Y (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Eastman, John C. (California)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Everett-Perry, Kathy R. (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Johnson, Noel H. (Indiana)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Payne, John Mark (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Potter, Robert Daniel (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Vanderhulst, Joseph A. (Indiana)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Vysotskaya de Brito, Olga Eugenia (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Whitehead, Charles Gibson (North Carolina)
PB-NC-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -