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Case Name Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard PB-SD-0001
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-04081-KES ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Attorney Organization National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Case Summary
On May 22, 2014, the plaintiffs, a group of same-sex couples, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against various state and county officials. The plaintiffs included both same-sex couples with valid out-of-state marriage licenses ... read more >
On May 22, 2014, the plaintiffs, a group of same-sex couples, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against various state and county officials. The plaintiffs included both same-sex couples with valid out-of-state marriage licenses and same-sex couples seeking to get married in South Dakota. Represented by private counsel, they sought a declaratory judgment that South Dakota's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage violated their rights to equal protection and due process under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as their right to travel. The plaintiffs also sought a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from enforcing the state's same-sex marriage bans or from declining to issue a marriage license because the applicants were of the same sex.

On November 14, 2014, the District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier), on defendant's motion, dismissed the plaintiffs' right-to-travel claim. The plaintiffs had argued that South Dakota's same-sex marriage ban violated their right to travel by creating two Americas: one group of states where plaintiffs could travel and enjoy the protections that come with marriage and another group of states (including South Dakota) where they couldn't travel without being stripped of their marital status and accompanying legal protections. The District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier) rejected this argument; the burden that plaintiffs identified applied equally to new and existing citizens of South Dakota and was dissimilar to cases in which a violation of the right to travel was found. 61 F.Supp.3d 845.

On January 12, 2015, the District Court (Judge Karen E. Schreier) held that South Dakota's same-sex marriage bans violated the Constitution, granting the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and denying the defendants' motion for summary judgment. Over the plaintiffs' objections, however, the court stayed the effects of the judgment pending appeal, citing the substantial and novel legal questions at stake. Thus, unlike in many states, no same-sex marriages occurred in South Dakota. 61 F.Supp.3d 862.

On January 26, 2015, the defendants filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. A few days later, the Eighth Circuit granted the parties' joint motion for an expedited appeal.

On February 10, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate the stay in the district court. On March 2, 2015, Judge Schreier denied this motion. She concluded that once the defendants filed their notice of appeal, jurisdiction over most issues in the case, including the stay, were transferred to the Court of Appeals. Therefore, the plaintiffs could file their motion to vacate the stay only in the Eighth Circuit, not in the district court.

The Eighth Circuit ordered on April 29, 2015 that they would defer consideration of this case, pending the expected June 2015 resolution in the Supreme Court of Obergefell v. Hodges. While this case was pending, the plaintiffs filed a suggestion to summarily affirm a motion to vacate the stay, and the defendants filed a suggestion of mootness and a motion to vacate the District Court's judgment.

On August 11, 2015, the Eighth Circuit held in a Per Curiam opinion that the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges did not render this case moot, and affirmed the District Court's decision in favor of the plaintiffs. Although South Dakota made assurances of complying with the Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Eighth Circuit held that the assurances did not rendered the case moot. However, the Court did hold that the assurances may have had an impact on the necessity of the injunctive relief previously granted to the plaintiffs, but denied the current motion pending by plaintiffs, leaving that discretion to the District Court. 799 F.3d 918.

Back in District Court on September 9, 2015, Judge Schreier granted the plaintiffs' motion to vacate the stay in light of the mandate from the Eighth Circuit. On September 28th, the Judge Schreier from the District Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for attorney's fees and costs. Two days later, on September 30th, the Eighth Circuit awarded the plaintiffs' appellate attorney's fees and costs. The exact amount of attorney's fees and costs granted is not available in Pacer. A satisfaction of judgment was ordered by the District Court on October 13, 2015. This case is now closed.

David Hamstra - 02/22/2015
Mackenzie Walz - 03/16/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Right to travel
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
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 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) State of South Dakota
Plaintiff Description Same-sex couples with valid out-of-state marriage licenses and same-sex couples seeking to get married in South Dakota
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
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-AR-0004 : Jernigan v. Crane (E.D. Ark.)
Docket(s)
4:14-cv-4081 (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Permanent Injunction and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-SD-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting In Part And Denying In Part Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss [ECF# 38] (2014 WL 6386903 / 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 160340) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 50] (2015 WL 144567 / 2015 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4018) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Vacate (2015 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 25856) (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0004.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/02/2015
Source: Bloomberg Law
Opinion (799 F.3d 918)
PB-SD-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/11/2015
Source: Westlaw
Judges Benton, William Duane (Eighth Circuit)
PB-SD-0001-0005
Schreier, Karen E. (D.S.D.)
PB-SD-0001-0002 | PB-SD-0001-0003 | PB-SD-0001-0004 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Smith, Lavenski R. (Eighth Circuit)
PB-SD-0001-0005
Wollman, Roger Leland (Eighth Circuit)
PB-SD-0001-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Engel, Timothy M. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Minter, Shannon (California)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Newville, Joshua A (Maryland)
PB-SD-0001-0001 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Riggins, Kylie (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Stoll, Christopher (California)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Voigt, M. Debra (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-0001 | PB-SD-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Robert B. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Bailey, Ellie J. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Bell, Justin Lee (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Giedd, Roxanne (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000
Hallem, Jeffrey P. (South Dakota)
PB-SD-0001-9000

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