University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Majors v. Jeanes PB-AZ-0004
Docket / Court Case 2:14-cv-00518-JWS ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
On March 12, 2014, a number of same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state's Department of Health Services and the Department of Revenue. The plaintiffs, represented both by private counsel and the Lambda Legal ... read more >
On March 12, 2014, a number of same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state's Department of Health Services and the Department of Revenue. The plaintiffs, represented both by private counsel and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the state's refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and its refusal to recognize lawfully entered same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, violated the plaintiffs' 14th Amendment equal protection and due process rights.

The plaintiffs were divided into two groups: those who wished to marry in Arizona, but were denied, and those who had lawfully married elsewhere, but whose marriages the state refused to recognize. They claimed the state's statutory and constitutional ban on same sex marriage harmed them in the following ways: deprived them of certain legal protections; penalized the couples in their tax returns; prevented the couples from jointly adopting children; prevented the couples from receiving benefits afforded to families of armed service veterans. A number of plaintiffs claimed the specific harm that the state had refused to list them as spouses on the death certificates of their deceased husbands and wives.

On Aug. 20, 2014, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction against the state with regard to one of the already-married couples: One of the spouses had just died, and the plaintiffs asked the court to require the state to prepare a death certificate recognizing the couple's marriage.

On Sept. 12, 2014, the district court (Judge John W. Sedwick) granted the plaintiff's motion, determining that the plaintiff was likely to prevail on the merits, and that he was likely to irreparably suffer both emotional and financial harm without the injunction.

On Oct. 7, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Reinhardt, Gould, and Berzon) affirmed an Idaho district court's finding that that state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional. At the same time, the 9th Circuit overturned a Nevada district court upholding its state's ban.

On Oct. 16, 2014, Judge Sedwick granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147960. He based his decision on the recent 9th Circuit ruling that found bans on same sex marriage to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. He also immediately enjoined the state from prohibiting same-sex marriages.

The next day, Arizona's Attorney General (Thomas Horne) issued a letter instructing the clerks of all Arizona county courts to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Andrew Junker - 10/15/2014


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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
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Record-keeping
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Arizona
Arizona
Plaintiff Description Same-sex couples denied marriage licenses in Arizona
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
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
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
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)
2:14-cv-00518-JWS (D. Ariz.) 10/14/2014
PB-AZ-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 03/12/2014
PB-AZ-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 08/05/2014
PB-AZ-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion [granting TRO that forced state to issue a death certificate recognizing the SSM of the deceased] 09/12/2014 (2014 WL 4541173) (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion [granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment] 10/17/2014 (14 F.Supp.3d 1313) (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona AG letter to court clerks [instructing them to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples] 10/17/2014
PB-AZ-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges Sedwick, John W. (D. Alaska)
PB-AZ-0004-0001 | PB-AZ-0004-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barr, Daniel C. (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
DAnneman, Alexis Elizabeth (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Eckstein, Paul F. (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Eidenbach, Kristin T (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Johnson, Joshua J. (California)
PB-AZ-0004-0002
OCampo, Carmina (California)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Pizer, Jennifer Carol (California)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Stratford, Barry Grant (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allison, Todd Mitchell (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Babione, Byron J. (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Campbell, James A. (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Connelly, Kenneth J (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Dalton, J. Caleb (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Ellman, Robert Lawrence (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Horne, Thomas C. (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-0005
Sweeney, Kathleen Patricia (Arizona)
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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