University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cowger v. United States PB-OH-0005
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-335 ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On February 18, 2014, a same-sex couple in the state of Ohio, represented by private counsel, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio. The same day, the plaintiffs filed a motion to seal the complaint, which the Court (Judge Christopher A. Boyko) granted the ... read more >
On February 18, 2014, a same-sex couple in the state of Ohio, represented by private counsel, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio. The same day, the plaintiffs filed a motion to seal the complaint, which the Court (Judge Christopher A. Boyko) granted the next day.

Though same-sex marriage is not legal in Ohio, the plaintiffs were married in New York and have an adopted daughter. They claimed that Ohio's lack of recognition for their marriage violated their constitutional rights, and also prevented them from qualifying for family coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The plaintiffs filed a notice of dismissal on March 28, 2014, after they were able to obtain a single family insurance policy. The dismissal was granted by Judge Christopher A. Boyko on March 31, 2014.

Megan Dolan - 08/12/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
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 Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Ohio
United States of America
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs were a same-sex couple residing in Ohio claimed that their constitutional rights were violated by Ohio's lack of recognition for their marriage, which also prevented them from qualifying for family coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
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)
1:14-cv-00335-CAB (N.D. Ohio) 03/31/2014
PB-OH-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Judges Boyko, Christopher A. (N.D. Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cowger, Alfred R. jR. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Martin, Jacklyn Gonzalez (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coontz, Bridget C (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Olson, Lisa A (District of Columbia)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Pierce, Sarah E. (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Ruiz, David Augustin (Ohio)
PB-OH-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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