This case was initiated by two female South Carolina residents who wanted to marry. On October 15, 2014, they brought this claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, represented by attorneys from Lambda Legal and a private firm. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief against the State of South Carolina. Specifically, they alleged that the state violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection through enforcement of a South Carolina constitutional amendment and statutes that expressly denied same-sex couples the freedom to marry.
The District Judge Richard Gergel was assigned to this case. On October 22, 2014, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction and summary judgment. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on November 7, 2014.
On November 12, 2014, Judge Gergel granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs and issued a permanent injunction enjoining the state from enforcing any state laws or policies that prohibited the marriage of same-sex couples. Judge Gergel denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss and dismissed the governor (Haley) as a defendant pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment Immunity on the basis that there was little evidence that the governor has taken enforcement action or engaged in other affirmative acts to obstruct the plaintiff’s fundamental right to marry. Condon v. Haley
21 F.Supp.3d 572 (D.S.C. 2014).
Recognizing that the defendants would file an appeal, the court issued a one-week stay of the enforcement of the injunction to give the Fourth Circuit time to receive the defendant's petition for appeal and to consider that request. On November 12, 2014, the defendants appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied their request for a stay.
On November 20, 2014, the permanent injunction took effect.
The defendants asked the Supreme Court for a stay on December 15, 2014.
However, on December 15, 2014, the Fourth Circuit granted the defendants a stay until the Supreme Court decided the defendants' request for a stay or decided Deboer v. Snyder, PB-MI-0004
in this Clearinghouse.
The Fourth Circuit also consolidated this case with Bradacs v. Haley, PB-SC-0003
in this Clearinghouse.
On December 10, 2014, the plaintiffs moved for attorney’s fees. Five days later, the defendants moved to stay the motion for attorney’s fees. On January 5, 2015, the district court denied the defendant’s motion to deny or defer attorney’s fees. However, the defendant filed a renewed motion to deny or defer attorney’s fees on January 23, 2015.
The district court delayed action on this motion pending the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell
in this Clearinghouse. This resolved all the same-sex marriage cases on appeal to the Supreme Court.
The defendants voluntarily dismissed the appeal to the Fourth Circuit.
On August 10, 2015, the district court awarded $135,275.98 in fees and costs to the plaintiffs. By October 6, 2015, the defendant notified the court that the plaintiffs had been paid in full.Susie Choi - 03/09/2017