University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cucinotta v. Commonwealth PB-PA-0018
Docket / Court 451 M.D. 2013 ( State Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On September 6, 2013, a lesbian couple filed suit against the state of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth Court. Plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, alleging that two provisions of Pennsylvania's Marriage Law (23 Pa.C.S. §§ 1102 and 1704) violated the state constitution. The two provisions banned ... read more >
On September 6, 2013, a lesbian couple filed suit against the state of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth Court. Plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, alleging that two provisions of Pennsylvania's Marriage Law (23 Pa.C.S. §§ 1102 and 1704) violated the state constitution. The two provisions banned same-sex marriage and treated as void the marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into in other jurisdictions.

On May 20, 2014, in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf (No. 1:13-cv-1861), Judge John E. Jones III held that 23 Pa.C.S. §§ 1102 and 1704 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The following day, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced via press release that the Commonwealth would not appeal the court's order.

On May 23, 2014, the defendant moved to dismiss the case for mootness, arguing that there was no longer a case or controversy to be decided by the court. On June 20, 2014, the court, in a per curiam decision, denied defendant's application to dismiss. It suspended the case pending final resolution of Whitewood v. Wolf, including all appeals by those seeking to intervene in the matter. As of March 9, 2015, the case was still pending.

Priyah Kaul - 03/09/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Plaintiff Description Two Pennsylvania women in a same-sex relationship.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-PA-0012 : Whitewood v. Corbett (M.D. Pa.)
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)
451 M.D. 2013 (State Trial Court) 01/05/2015
PB-PA-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
Application to Dismiss for Mootness 05/23/2014
PB-PA-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment 09/06/2014
PB-PA-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fettner, Michael S. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0018-0001
Lyman, Cletus P. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0018-0001
Sweeney, Michael T. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0018-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Frank, Joel L. (Pennsylvania)
PB-PA-0018-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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