University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pidgeon v. Parker PB-TX-0006
Docket / Court 4:13-CV-03768 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On December 17, 2013, plaintiffs, two Houston residents and taxpayers, filed a lawsuit in the Harris County, Texas family law court under the Texas Family Code; the Houston City Charter; and the Texas Constitution against the City of Houston. The plaintiffs sought temporary and permanent ... read more >
On December 17, 2013, plaintiffs, two Houston residents and taxpayers, filed a lawsuit in the Harris County, Texas family law court under the Texas Family Code; the Houston City Charter; and the Texas Constitution against the City of Houston. The plaintiffs sought temporary and permanent injunctions to prevent the City from making the City's employee benefits program available to same sex spouses of City of Houston employees. The state court judge issued a temporary order in the plaintiffs' favor, which remains in effect.

On December 27, 2013, the City removed the case to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. The City argued that the case asserted a federal claim, because the complaint alleged that the City had violated a section of the Houston City Charter that refers to federal law. The defendants also asserted that the decision to begin offering benefits to same-sex spouses of employees was required by the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ____, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013). The plaintiffs disagreed; they argued that the case was a state law matter and asked the District Court to send the case back to state court.

On August 28, 2014, United States District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal remanded the case finding that the district court lacked removal jurisdiction because the plaintiffs' complaint did not present a federal question.

The case continues in state court.

Jamie Haberichter - 09/11/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) City of Houston
Plaintiff Description Houston residents and taxpayers opposed making City's employment benefits program available to same sex spouses of employees.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2013 - n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Links William G. v. Pataki
http://www.bazelon.org/william-g-v-pataki/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez
http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Williams v. Quinn
http://www.bazelon.org/williams-v-quinn/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. Commonwealth of Virginia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-virginia/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. North Carolina
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-north-carolina/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  U.S. v. Georgia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-georgia/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  O'Toole v. Cuomo [Formerly DAI v. Cuomo]
http://www.bazelon.org/otoole-v-cuomo/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Amanda D. v. Hassan
http://www.bazelon.org/amanda-d-v-hassan/
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2013-75301 (State Trial Court)
PB-TX-0006-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
4:13−cv−0376 (S.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiffs' Original Petition . . . [ECF# 1]
PB-TX-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/17/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on TRO [ECF# 1]
PB-TX-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/27/2013
Removal [ECF# 1]
PB-TX-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 35] (46 F.Supp.3d 692) (S.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0006-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Rosenthal, Lee Hyman Court not on record
PB-TX-0006-0004 | PB-TX-0006-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Olson, Leif A. (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-9000
Saenz, Jonathan M. (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-0001
Talton, Robert (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-0001
Woodfill, Jared R (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-0001 | PB-TX-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Feldman, David M. (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-0003 | PB-TX-0006-9000
Other Lawyers Mitchell, Jonathan F. (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-9000
Upton, Kenneth D. (Texas)
PB-TX-0006-9000

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