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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Barrier v. Vasterling PB-MO-0004
Docket / Court 1416-­CV03892 ( State Court )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On February 11, 2014, plaintiffs, same-sex couples who are legally married in other states, filed suit in the circuit court of Jackson County, Missouri against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Attorney General for the State of Missouri, and the Governor of Missouri. ... read more >
On February 11, 2014, plaintiffs, same-sex couples who are legally married in other states, filed suit in the circuit court of Jackson County, Missouri against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Attorney General for the State of Missouri, and the Governor of Missouri. Plaintiffs sued for declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution. Plaintiffs sought an order that would require the State of Missouri to recognize plaintiffs' out of state marriages.

Plaintiffs argued that because the State of Missouri treats them as legal strangers, Plaintiffs are prevented from accessing the same kind of benefits as married couples who are recognized by the State. The effect, according to the Plaintiffs, is discrimination based on sexual orientation without any legitimate State purpose.

On October 3, 2014, Judge Dale Youngs issued an order granting in part a summary judgment motion in favor of the Plaintiffs. In his order, Judge Young ruled that the Missouri laws, which prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, violated the 14th Amendment in that they discriminated based on sexual orientation and were not related to a legitimate governmental interest.

Following this order, on October 6, 2014, the Attorney General for the State of Missouri, Chris Koster, issued a statement that the State would not appeal the judgment of the circuit court.

Patrick Branson - 03/16/2015


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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
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Plaintiff Description Same sex couples residing in Missouri who are legally married in other States.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
1416-CV03892 (State Trial Court) 02/11/2014
PB-MO-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
PETITION FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 02/12/2014
PB-MO-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Attorney General Koster's statement on his decision not to appeal in Barrier v. Vasterling 10/06/2014
PB-MO-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Order granting Summary Judgment in part 10/27/2014 (2014 WL 5469888)
PB-MO-0004-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Judges Youngs, Dale J. (State Appellate Court)
PB-MO-0004-0003 | PB-MO-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blank, Shane Kyle (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000
Block, Joshua A (New York)
PB-MO-0004-0001
Doty, Grant R. (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-0001 | PB-MO-0004-9000
Morgan, Jeremiah J. (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000
Rothert, Anthony E. (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-0001 | PB-MO-0004-9000
Wilcox, Gillian R. (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abbott, Cecilia O'Connor (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000
Kelly, Tara Michelle (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Whitehead, Michael K (Missouri)
PB-MO-0004-9000

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