University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Vo v. Gee IM-LA-0017
Docket / Court 2:16-cv-15639-ILRL-MBN ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization National Immigration Law Center
Case Summary
On October 18, 2016, a Louisiana naturalized citizen filed this lawsuit against the State of Louisiana in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for denying his constitutional rights to marriage. Proceeding under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the plaintiff challenged the ... read more >
On October 18, 2016, a Louisiana naturalized citizen filed this lawsuit against the State of Louisiana in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana for denying his constitutional rights to marriage. Proceeding under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of Louisiana’s Act 436, which required all applicants for a marriage license to provide a certified birth certificate and permitted this requirement to be waived by individuals born in the U.S. The plaintiff, born in an Indonesian refugee camp without a birth certificate, alleged that Act 436 violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment because it prevents certain foreign-born individuals from exercising their fundamental right to marriage. The plaintiff sought a declaration that the State's denial of his marriage license violated the Constitution, in addition to a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining defendants from further denying a marriage license to the plaintiff.

On February 2, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction. Amicus briefs were filed in support of the plaintiff by Constitutional Accountability Center, ACLU, and National Center for Lesbian Rights. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on February 23.

On March 23, Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle granted the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction and denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The Court found that the plaintiff had standing and that he satisfied all the necessary elements for a preliminary injunction. 2017 WL 1091261.

The plaintiff then filed the first amended complaint on April 12, 2017 with minor modifications. On May 24, the plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment, declaratory judgment, and permanent injunction.

On August 8, Judge Lemelle granted the plaintiff’s motions. The court found that Louisiana failed to demonstrate that “this classification based on national origin furthers a compelling governmental interest that justify treating this Plaintiff and other similarly situated U.S. citizens differently from U.S. born citizens.” In addition, the court found that the plaintiff has also demonstrated actual success on the merits of the due process claim. 301 F.Supp.3d 661.

On February 21, 2018, Judge Lemelle ordered the defendants to pay the plaintiff $154,754 in attorney’s fees and costs.

The case is now closed.

Sichun Liu - 05/15/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Department of Health and Hospitals for the State of Louisiana
Plaintiff Description Naturalized Louisiana citizen
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Immigration Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2016
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:16-cv-15639 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-LA-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 77] (2017 WL 1091261) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0017-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 82]
IM-LA-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Permanent Injunction [ECF# 96] (301 F.Supp.3d 661) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0017-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons [ECF# 119] (2018 WL 999910) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0017-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Lemelle, Ivan L. R. (E.D. La.) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0002 | IM-LA-0017-0004 | IM-LA-0017-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brumme, Marley Ann (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Delaney, Ryan P. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Gilford, Lisa (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Hamilton, Bruce Warfield (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Hirsch, Maximillian W. (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Horth-Neubert, Stacy R. (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Huerta, Alvaro M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Preciado, Nora (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Rosenbaum, Jennifer Jean (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Schilling, Ellie T. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
White, Jeffery B. (California) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Yanik, Mary C. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-0001 | IM-LA-0017-0003 | IM-LA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Elliott, Neal Risley Jr. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Faulk, Julie I. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Fontenot, Cearley W. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Guest, Lance Sterling (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
McIntire, Patrick Bayard (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Oats, Stephen J. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000
Theunissen, Laura Kay Austin (Louisiana) show/hide docs
IM-LA-0017-9000

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