University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pareto v. Ruvin PB-FL-0013
Docket / Court 2014-001661-CA-01 ( State Court )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization National Center for Lesbian Rights
Case Summary
On January 21, 2014, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed suit in Florida state court against the County Clerk of Miami-Dade County after they were denied marriage licenses because they are of the same gender. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Florida's prohibition on ... read more >
On January 21, 2014, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed suit in Florida state court against the County Clerk of Miami-Dade County after they were denied marriage licenses because they are of the same gender. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Florida's prohibition on same-sex marriage violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Represented by private counsel and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as attorneys fees.

The case was assigned to state Judge Sarah Zabel. On July 25, 2014, she struck down the same-sex marriage ban, as applicable in Miami-Dade County. She wrote:
The recognition that the right to marry encompasses categories of people not traditionally considered to be accorded that right has been slow in coming, but it has become increasingly obvious that it is not constitutionally permissible to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

The flood of cases that have come out since Windsor amply demonstrates this truth as not one court has found a same-sex marriage ban to be constitutional. As case after case has come out, unified in their well-reasoned constitutional condemnation of the deprivation of one class of person's right to marry, the answer to the question of whether it is constitutionally permissible to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry has become increasingly obvious: Of course it is not. Preventing couples from marrying solely on the basis of their sexual orientation serves no governmental interest. It serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society.


News reports say that Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has appealed and that the ruling is stayed pending resolution of that appeal.

Tifani Sadek - 01/21/2014
- 07/26/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Clerk of the Courts of Miami-Dade County
Plaintiff Description Six same-sex couples who wish to marry but are prohibited from doing so by Florida state law.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Lesbian Rights
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2014-1661-CA-01 (State Trial Court) 07/25/2014
PB-FL-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 01/21/2014
PB-FL-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 07/25/2014
PB-FL-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Zabel, Sarah (State Trial Court)
PB-FL-0013-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alonso, Cristina (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Codell, David C. (California)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Cohen, Jeffrey Michael (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Faggianelli, Nancy J. (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Meeks, Mary B. (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Minter, Shannon (California)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Orr, Asaf (California)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Prats, Luis (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Schwartz, Elizabeth (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Stoll, Christopher Francis (California)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Walbolt, Sylvia H. (Florida)
PB-FL-0013-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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