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Case Name Majors v. Jeanes PB-AZ-0004
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-00518-JWS ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
On March 12, 2014, a number of same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state's Department of Health Services and the Department of Revenue. The plaintiffs, represented both by private counsel and the Lambda Legal ... read more >
On March 12, 2014, a number of same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the state's Department of Health Services and the Department of Revenue. The plaintiffs, represented both by private counsel and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the state's refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and its refusal to recognize lawfully entered same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, violated the plaintiffs' 14th Amendment equal protection and due process rights.

The plaintiffs were divided into two groups: those who wished to marry in Arizona, but were denied, and those who had lawfully married elsewhere, but whose marriages the state refused to recognize. They claimed the state's statutory and constitutional ban on same sex marriage harmed them in the following ways: deprived them of certain legal protections; penalized the couples in their tax returns; prevented the couples from jointly adopting children; prevented the couples from receiving benefits afforded to families of armed service veterans. A number of plaintiffs claimed the specific harm that the state had refused to list them as spouses on the death certificates of their deceased husbands and wives.

On Aug. 20, 2014, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction against the state with regard to one of the already-married couples: One of the spouses had just died, and the plaintiffs asked the court to require the state to prepare a death certificate recognizing the couple's marriage.

On Sept. 12, 2014, the district court (Judge John W. Sedwick) granted the plaintiff's motion, determining that the plaintiff was likely to prevail on the merits, and that he was likely to irreparably suffer both emotional and financial harm without the injunction.

On Oct. 7, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Reinhardt, Gould, and Berzon) affirmed an Idaho district court's finding in Latta v. Otter, PB-ID-0001 in this clearinghouse, that that state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional. At the same time, the 9th Circuit overturned a Nevada district court upholding its state's ban.

On Oct. 16, 2014, Judge Sedwick granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147960. He based his decision on the recent 9th Circuit ruling that found bans on same sex marriage to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. He also immediately enjoined the state from prohibiting same-sex marriages. The next day, Arizona's Attorney General (Thomas Horne) issued a letter instructing the clerks of all Arizona county courts to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on October 17, 2014, finding the Arizona Constitutional Provision to deny same-sex couples equal protection under the law. The defendants appealed the grant of summary judgment to the Ninth Circuit on November 18, 2014. The parties voluntarily dismissed the appeal on September 10, 2015. On December 18, 2015, the district court entered judgment for the plaintiffs for $302,140.11 in attorneys' fees and costs.

Andrew Junker - 10/15/2014
Elizabeth Heise - 11/13/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Disparate Treatment
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Record-keeping
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Arizona
Arizona
Plaintiff Description Same-sex couples denied marriage licenses in Arizona.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:14-cv-00518-JWS (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-AZ-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 50]
PB-AZ-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/05/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion [granting TRO that forced state to issue a death certificate recognizing the SSM of the deceased] [ECF# 75] (2014 WL 4541173) (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/12/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Arizona AG letter to court clerks [instructing them to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples]
PB-AZ-0004-0005.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 10/17/2014
Order and Opinion [granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment] [ECF# 88] (14 F.Supp.3d 1313) (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment for Plaintiffs' Attorneys' Fees and Costs [ECF# 111] (D. Ariz.)
PB-AZ-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sedwick, John W. (D. Alaska) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0001 | PB-AZ-0004-0004 | PB-AZ-0004-0006
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barr, Daniel C. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
DAnneman, Alexis Elizabeth (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Eckstein, Paul F. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Eidenbach, Kristin T (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Johnson, Joshua J. (California) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002
OCampo, Carmina (California) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Pizer, Jennifer Carol (California) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Stratford, Barry Grant (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0002 | PB-AZ-0004-0003 | PB-AZ-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allison, Todd Mitchell (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Babione, Byron J. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Campbell, James A. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Connelly, Kenneth J (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Dalton, J. Caleb (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Ellman, Robert Lawrence (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000
Horne, Thomas C. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-0005
Sweeney, Kathleen Patricia (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-AZ-0004-9000

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