University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name In Re: King PB-AL-0009
Docket / Court n/a ( State Court )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On February 9, 2015, the federal court orders in Searcy v. Strange (PB-AL-0005 in this Clearinghouse) and Strawser v. Strange (PB-AL-0010 in this Clearinghouse) took effect: ... read more >
On February 9, 2015, the federal court orders in Searcy v. Strange (PB-AL-0005 in this Clearinghouse) and Strawser v. Strange (PB-AL-0010 in this Clearinghouse) took effect: Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was now illegal, at least according to the federal courts. In response, on February 11, 2015, two conservative groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program, filed an emergency petition in the Alabama Supreme Court, purportedly as "relators" on behalf of the State of Alabama. The petition sought a writ of mandamus ordering the state's probate judges "not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and not to recognize any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples."

On February 13, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the respondents, the state probate judges, to respond to the petition, if they chose to, by February 18. Two justices dissented from this order.

On March 3, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court granted the conservative group's petition for writ of mandamus. The Court's opinion enjoined Alabama's probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Court permanently enjoined four probate judges, the named respondents, and temporarily enjoined all other probate judges except Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis.

Probate Judge Davis was under a February 12 federal injunction, which forbid him from refusing to issue marriage licenses to the Strawser plaintiffs. Because of the conflicting injunction, the probate judge asked to be dismissed from the state action. The Alabama Supreme Court refused. Instead, the Court ordered him, by March 5, to advise it on whether there was a true conflict. The Court implied that there was no conflict if the February 12 federal injunction required Probate Judge Davis to issue licenses only to the plaintiffs in that case.

On March 10, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court added Probate Judge Davis as a respondent to the mandamus proceeding. This enjoined him from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses.

Two days later, the Alabama Supreme Court enjoined all Alabama probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed requested a rehearing. He asked the Court to amend its March 3 order so that it would become ineffective if the U.S. Supreme Court found same-sex marriages bans unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges (PB-OH-0003 in this Clearinghouse), in which a decision is expected by the end of June 2015. On March 20, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court denied Probate Judge Reed's rehearing request. If the plaintiffs win in Obergefell, the parties will have to come back to court and fight things out.

David Hamstra - 04/15/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
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
Non-profit NON-religious organization
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Alabama Probate Judges
Plaintiff Description Two conservative groups filing as "relators" on behalf of the State of Alabama
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
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‚Äôs 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus 02/11/2015
PB-AL-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
[Order Granting Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus] 03/03/2015 (2015 WL 892752 / 2015 Ala.LEXIS 33)
PB-AL-0009-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
[Corrected Pages of Pages 104 and 132-133 from March 3 Order Granting Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus] 03/05/2015 (2015 WL 892752 / 2015 Ala.LEXIS 33)
PB-AL-0009-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Order 03/10/2015 (2015 WL 1036064 / 2015 Ala.LEXIS 35)
PB-AL-0009-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Order 03/12/2015
PB-AL-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Order 03/20/2015
PB-AL-0009-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Judges Bolin, Michael F (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0005
Bryan, Tommy (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005 | PB-AL-0009-0006
King, Alan Court not on record
PB-AL-0009-0002 | PB-AL-0009-0003
Main, James Allen (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005 | PB-AL-0009-0006
Murdock, Glenn (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005 | PB-AL-0009-0006
Parker, Tom (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005 | PB-AL-0009-0006
Shaw, Greg (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005
Stuart, Lyn (State Supreme Court)
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0006
Wise, Ronald W. Court not on record
PB-AL-0009-0004 | PB-AL-0009-0005 | PB-AL-0009-0006
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gannam, Roger K. (Florida)
PB-AL-0009-0001
Johnston, A. Eric (Alabama)
PB-AL-0009-0001
McLure, Samuel J. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0009-0001
Mihet, Horatio G. (Florida)
PB-AL-0009-0001
Staver, Mathew D. (Florida)
PB-AL-0009-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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