University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Rolando v. Fox PB-MT-0002
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-00040-BMM ( D. Mont. )
State/Territory Montana
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On May 21, 2014, four same-sex couples -- three female couples and one male couple -- filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, under Section 1983 and the 14th Amendment, against the Attorney General of Montana, the Director of the Montana Department of Revenue, and the ... read more >
On May 21, 2014, four same-sex couples -- three female couples and one male couple -- filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, under Section 1983 and the 14th Amendment, against the Attorney General of Montana, the Director of the Montana Department of Revenue, and the Clerk of Court of Cascade County. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and private attorneys, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Their complaint challenged the validity of Art. XIII, Section 7 of the Montana Constitution and related statutory provisions that bar marriage between same-sex couples or preclude recognition of same-sex marriages validly entered into in another state. Art. XIII, Section 7 provides that "[o]nly a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." The plaintiffs also challenged all Montana statutes that refer to marriage as a relationship between the opposite sexes, to the extent that those provisions operate as a ban on same-sex marriage.

On November 19, 2014, the court (Judge Brian Morris) granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. The order also declared that Montana's ban on same-sex marriage violated plaintiffs' rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court (Judge Morris) permanently enjoined the state from enforcing Article XIII, Section 7 of the Montana Constitution and related statutory provisions, to the extent that they prohibit same-sex marriage and do not recognize same-sex marriages validly contracted outside of Montana. The injunction took effect immediately.

On November 20, 2014, the defendants filed for appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case is currently pending on appeal.

Priyah Kaul - 12/01/2014


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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
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cascade County
State of Montana
State of Montana
Plaintiff Description Four same-sex couples living in Montana.
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
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)
4:14-cv-00040-BMM (D. Mont.) 11/20/2014
PB-MT-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 05/21/2014
PB-MT-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Order 11/19/2014 (2014 WL 6476196 / 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 164112) (D. Mont.)
PB-MT-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Morris, Brian Matthew (D. Mont.)
PB-MT-0002-0002 | PB-MT-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alke, Benjamin J (Montana)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Borenstein, Ruth N. (California)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Goetz, James H (Montana)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Plunkett, Stuart Christopher (California)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Regier, Emily Friesen (California)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Ruiz, Ariel F (New York)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Taylor, Jim (Montana)
PB-MT-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bennion, Jonathan W. (Montana)
PB-MT-0002-9000
Mattioli, Mark W. (Montana)
PB-MT-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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