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Case Name Knapp v. City of Coeur D'Alene PB-ID-0004
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-00441-REB ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On October 17, 2014, a Christian couple who are ordained ministers and run a wedding chapel in Idaho filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against the City of Coeur d'Alene. The plaintiffs, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, ... read more >
On October 17, 2014, a Christian couple who are ordained ministers and run a wedding chapel in Idaho filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against the City of Coeur d'Alene. The plaintiffs, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, asked the court to prohibit the city from enforcing the anti-discrimination ordinance that prohibits the plaintiffs from refusing to marry same-sex couples. The plaintiffs also sought a declaratory judgment that this ordinance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and damages. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that, because they are ordained ministers who believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, an ordinance that prohibits them from refusing to marry same-sex couples violates their religious freedom. Furthermore, because each day that the couple refuses to perform a single same-sex wedding ceremony counts as a new charge against them, they could be sentenced to thirty years in jail and $30,000 in fines for refusing to marry one couple for a month.

On three subsequent occasions, the parties stipulated to a brief stay of proceedings, and indicated to the court that a settlement of the action was a distinct possibility. The action did not settle and, on February 23, 2015, the defendant moved to dismiss the claim.

On March 16, 2015, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. They allege a violation of (1) their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, including compelled speech, viewpoint discrimination, unconstitutional conditions, and unbridled discretion; (2) their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion; (3) their rights under the Idaho Free Exercise of Religion Protected Act (FERPA); (4) their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection; and (5) Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. Plaintiffs sought compensatory and nominal damages, temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, a declaratory judgment, and attorneys’ fees.

On March 31, 2015, Judge Ronald E. Bush denied plaintiffs’ motion for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction as moot, as the passage of time since the original filing, the multiple stays, and the amended complaint presented a different context than the one which prompted the motion originally. This meant that the defendant’s motion to dismiss was also denied as moot.

On March 25, 2016, the court filed a memorandum opinion and (1) found that the plaintiffs had standing to bring a claim for economic injuries for the single day of October 15, 2014 when they closed their business location; (2) granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the first amended complaint as the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring a claim for economic injuries for other periods; and (3) that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to the anti-discrimination ordinance. 172 F.Supp.3d 1118.

On April 12, 2016, the defendant served an offer of judgment on plaintiffs. On April 29, 2016, plaintiffs accepted the offer and notified the court accordingly. The court subsequently awarded plaintiffs $1000.01, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs prior to the date of the offer of judgment. $1000.01 was paid to the plaintiffs on May 3, 2016, and filed as satisfaction of judgment on May 24, but there was no mention of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Katherine Reineck - 02/01/2015
Dawn Lui - 12/04/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) City of Coeur d'Alene
Plaintiff Description A Christian couple who operate a wedding chapel and wish to refuse to marry same-sex couples
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:14-cv-00441-REB (D. Idaho)
PB-ID-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/24/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-ID-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 29]
PB-ID-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 32] (D. Idaho)
PB-ID-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Decision and Order [ECF# 43] (D. Idaho)
PB-ID-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bush, Ronald E. (D. Idaho) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0003 | PB-ID-0004-0004 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cortman, David A. (Georgia) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0001 | PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Gray, Rory Thomas (Georgia) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Robinson, Virginia McNulty (Idaho) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0001 | PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Scruggs, Jonathan A (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Sharp, John Matthew (Georgia) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-9000
Tedesco, Jeremy D. (Arizona) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0001 | PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Theriot, Kevin H. (Kansas) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-0002 | PB-ID-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Landon Scott (Idaho) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-9000
Naylor, Jacob H. (Idaho) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-9000
Naylor, Kirtlan G. (Idaho) show/hide docs
PB-ID-0004-9000

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