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Case Name Jernigan v. Crane PB-AR-0004
Docket / Court 4:13-cv-00410-KGB ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On July 15, 2013, three same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas' laws prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples and forbidding the recognition of legitimate same-sex ... read more >
On July 15, 2013, three same-sex couples filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas' laws prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples and forbidding the recognition of legitimate same-sex marriages entered into in other states. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Amendment 83 of the Arkansas Constitution violated plaintiffs' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Two of the plaintiff couples sought to marry under the laws of Arkansas. The third plaintiff couple, married under the laws of New York, sought recognition of their marriage in Arkansas. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that Amendment 83 and other Arkansas laws denying same-sex couples from marrying were unconstitutional, and to require that the State permit same-sex couples to marry and recognize same-sex couples married under the laws of other states.

On July 18, 2013, Judge James Leon Holmes recused himself from the case due to long-standing, close personal and professional relationships with the drafters of Arkansas Amendment 83.

The defendants answered on November 21, 2013 and moved to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiffs then moved for summary judgment. The court (Judge Kristine G. Baker) heard both motions on November 20, 2014 and issued its opinion and order on November 25, 2014. Judge Baker struck down Arkansas' gay-marriage ban as unconstitutional on the basis that it restricted the plaintiffs' fundamental right to marry in violation of the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the district court put its ruling on hold pending a timely appeal to the Eighth Circuit; the defendants filed notice of appeal on December 23, 2014.

The Eighth Circuit deferred further consideration on April 29, 2015, pending the Supreme Court's resolution of Obergefell v. Hodges. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment does not allow states to ban same-sex marriage. Justice Kennedy found that the right to marry is fundamental, and it demeans gay and lesbian couples to deprive them of access to marriage.

On August 11, 2015, in light of the decision in Obergefell, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling, holding that the challenged laws are unconstitutional. 796 F.3d 976.

The district court awarded the plaintiffs $19,950.00 in attorneys' fees, and the Eighth Circuit granted the plaintiffs $7,463.75 in attorneys' fees for the appeal.

The case is now closed.

Carlyn Williams - 11/01/2013
Alex Wharton - 12/02/2014
Virginia Weeks - 02/19/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Attorney General's Office
County Clerk's Office
Governor of Arkansas
Plaintiff Description Two lesbian couples wishing to marry and a gay couple married under the laws of New York seek recognition of their marriage under the state laws of Arkansas challenge Arkansas's prohibition on same-sex marriage.
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Filed 07/15/2013
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PB-MO-0006 : Lawson v. Jackson County Department of Recorder of Deeds (W.D. Mo.)
PB-SD-0001 : Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard (D.S.D.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
E.D. Ark.
12/04/2015
4:13-cv-00410-KGB
PB-AR-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Ark.
07/15/2013
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1-2]
PB-AR-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Ark.
07/18/2013
Order of Recusal [ECF# 3]
PB-AR-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Ark.
11/25/2014
Order and Opinion [ECF# 40] (64 F.Supp.3d 1260)
PB-AR-0004-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/11/2015
[USCA Opinion] [Ct. of App. ECF# 68] (796 F.3d 976)
PB-AR-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Baker, Kristine Gerhard (E.D. Ark.) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0003 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Benton, William Duane (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0004
Holmes, James Leon (E.D. Ark.) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-0002
Kearney, Jesse L Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0001
Smith, Lavenski R. (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0004
Wollman, Roger Leland (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cowan, Sarah (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-9000
Mann, Angela Griffith (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Maples, Cheryl (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-9000
Pike, R. Keith (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Wagoner, Jack III (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-0001 | PB-AR-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fuqua, David M. (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-9000
Jorgensen, Colin R. (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-9000
Mahfouz, Nga (Arkansas) show/hide docs
PB-AR-0004-9000

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