University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard PB-SD-0001
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-04081-KES ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization National Center for Lesbian Rights
Case Summary
On May 22, 2014, plaintiffs, a group of same-sex couples, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against various state and county officials. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought a declaratory judgment that South Dakota' ... read more >
On May 22, 2014, plaintiffs, a group of same-sex couples, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against various state and county officials. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought a declaratory judgment that South Dakota's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage violate plaintiffs' rights, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to equal protection, due process, and travel. Plaintiffs also sought a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the state's same-sex marriage bans or from declining to issue a marriage license because the applicants were of the same gender. Plaintiffs included both same-sex couples with valid out-of-state marriage licenses and same-sex couples seeking to get married in South Dakota.

On November 14, 2014, the District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier), on defendant's motion, dismissed plaintiffs' right-to-travel claim. Plaintiffs had argued that South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban violated their right to travel by creating two Americas: one group of states where plaintiffs could travel and enjoy the protections that come with marriage and another group of states (including South Dakota) where they couldn't travel without being stripped of their marital status and accompanying legal protections. The District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier) rejected this argument; the burden that plaintiffs identified applied equally to new and existing citizens of South Dakota and was dissimilar to cases in which a violation of the right to travel was found.

On January 12, 2015, the District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier) held that South Dakota's same-sex marriage bans violate the Constitution, granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and denying defendants' motion for summary judgment. Over plaintiffs' objections, however, the court stayed the effects of the judgment, citing the substantial and novel legal questions at stake. Thus, unlike in many states, no same-sex marriages occurred in South Dakota.

On January 26, 2015, the defendants filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. A few days later, the Eighth Circuit granted the parties' joint motion for an expedited appeal. Argument is set both in this case and in two other same-sex marriage cases, Lawson v. State of Missouri (PB-MO-0006 in this Clearinghouse) and Jernigan v. McDaniel (PB-AR-0004 in this Clearinghouse), for the second week of May.

On February 10, 2015, plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate the stay in the district court. On March 2, 2015, the District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier) denied this motion. The court concluded that once the defendants filed their notice of appeal, jurisdiction over most issues in the case, including the stay, was transferred to the court of appeals. Therefore, plaintiffs could file their motion to vacate the stay only in the Eighth Circuit, not in the district court. Plaintiffs are unlikely to do so. That's because in Lawson v. State of Missouri, a similar same-sex marriage case discussed above, the Eighth Circuit denied a motion to vacate the lower court's stay.

The defendants' appeal of the district court's January 12th order is ongoing, but being held in abeyance pending the expected June 2015 resolution in the Supreme Court of Obergefell v. Hodges.

David Hamstra - 02/22/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Right to travel
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of South Dakota
Plaintiff Description Same-sex couples with valid out-of-state marriage licenses and same-sex couples seeking to get married in South Dakota
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Lesbian Rights
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 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-MO-0006 : Lawson v. Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds (W.D. Mo.)
PB-AR-0004 : Jernigan v. Crane (E.D. Ark.)
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-4081 (D.S.D.) 03/02/2015
PB-SD-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Declaratory Relief 05/22/2014
PB-SD-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting In Part And Denying In Part Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss 11/14/2014 (2014 WL 6386903 / 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 160340) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 01/12/2015 (2015 WL 144567 / 2015 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4018) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Vacate 03/02/2015 (2015 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 25856) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0004.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Schreier, Karen E. (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0002 | PB-SD-0001-0003 | PB-SD-0001-0004 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Minter, Shannon (California)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Newville, Joshua A (Maryland)
PB-SD-0001-0001 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Riggins, Kylie (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Stoll, Christopher Francis (California)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Voigt, M. Debra (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-0001 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Robert B. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Bailey, Ellie J. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Bell, Justin Lee (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Giedd, Roxanne (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Hallem, Jeffrey P. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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