University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Caspar v. Snyder PB-MI-0005
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-11499-MAG-MKM ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On April 14, 2014, several same-sex couples, who were married in Michigan on March 22, 2014, filed a lawsuit in the United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties ... read more >
On April 14, 2014, several same-sex couples, who were married in Michigan on March 22, 2014, filed a lawsuit in the United Stated District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state of Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and private counsel, asked the court to declare that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional when applied to Michigan same-sex couples whose marriages were valid at the time they were entered into, enjoin the defendants from refusing to recognize marriages that were at the time they were entered into, and award the plaintiffs costs of suit and reasonable attorney's fees.

The plaintiffs were all married in Michigan on March 22nd, 2014, during the window of time between the decision in DeBoer v. Snyder, which overturned the ban on same-sex marriage and the stay issued by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which enjoined the state from enforcing the ban on same-sex marriage. The plaintiffs' marriages were legal at the time they were solemnized. Since the stay, the governor of Michigan has announced that the benefits and rights associated with the plaintiffs' marriages have been "suspended." The plaintiffs alleged that this suspension puts their marriages in a state of legal limbo and violates their rights to due process and equal protection.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction on May 29th, 2014. Six days later, a motion to stay was filed by the defendant, and on July 1st, they also filed a motion to consolidate cases.

On January 15, 2015, the District Court (Judge Goldsmith) ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, preliminarily enjoining the State of Michigan from refusing to recognize the marriages of all same-sex couples lawfully married the state between the district court's decision in DeBoer v. Snyder and before the issuance of the stay by the Sixth Circuit. The court also denied the defendant's motions to stay, to dismiss, and to consolidate cases.

Megan Dolan - 07/01/2014
Thomas Topping - 03/02/2015


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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
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Michigan
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs are several same-sex couples that were married in Michigan on March 22nd, 2014.
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 Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
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)
4:14−cv−11499 (E.D. Mich.) 02/20/2015
PB-MI-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 04/14/2014
PB-MI-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order (1) Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 17), And (2) Denying Defendants' Motions For a Stay (Dkt. 20), To Dismiss (Dkt. 21), And to Consolidate Cases (Dkt. 27) 01/15/2015 (2015 WL 224741) (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Goldsmith, Mark Allan (E.D. Mich.)
PB-MI-0005-0003 | PB-MI-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kaplan, Jay (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-0001 | PB-MI-0005-9000
Knight, John A. (Illinois)
PB-MI-0005-0001 | PB-MI-0005-9000
Korobkin, Daniel S. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Merriweather-Tucker, Brooke A. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Mortenson, Julian Davis (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-0001 | PB-MI-0005-9000
Nickelhoff, Andrew A. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-0001 | PB-MI-0005-9000
Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Booth, Joshua O. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Grossi, Christina M. (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Murphy, Michael F (Michigan)
PB-MI-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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