Case: Griego v. Oliver

13-cv-02757 | New Mexico state trial court

Filed Date: March 21, 2013

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 21, 2013, four women (two couples) appeared at the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seeking marriage licenses. The clerk turned them down, acting under the guidance of a previous state attorney general's opinion. The couples brought suit that same day in New Mexico state court, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer & Browne, APC…

On March 21, 2013, four women (two couples) appeared at the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, seeking marriage licenses. The clerk turned them down, acting under the guidance of a previous state attorney general's opinion. The couples brought suit that same day in New Mexico state court, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer & Browne, APC, and local cooperating attorneys. They argued that the marriage statute did not bar a same-sex marriage, and that they have a constitutional right to marriage equality under the state constitution's equal protection clause, due process clause, and other clauses.

On August 29th, 2013, the court (Judge Alan Malott) granted the plaintiffs an injunction against the clerks of New Mexico's Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. And, on September 3rd, 2013, the final declaratory judgment was issued by the court. This judgment favored the plaintiffs, and announced that current state laws do not prohibit same-sex marriage, the defendants shall not deny marriage licenses to otherwise qualified same-sex couples, and that each party shall bear its own fees and costs. Griego v. Oliver, 2013 WL 5768197 (N.M. Dist. 2013).The judgment included the reasoning that though the writers of New Mexico's gender neutral marriage laws may not have considered same-sex couples when choosing the language of the statute, the state constitution of New Mexico prohibited discrimination based on sex.

On December 19, 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the district court decision in Griego v. Oliver, 316 P.3d 865. The Supreme Court held that the state's statutory scheme prohibited same-sex marriage, but that the statutory scheme violated the state constitution equal protection clause.

An administrative order of closure for this case was issued on June 16th, 2014.

Summary Authors

Margo Schlanger (3/21/2013)

Megan Dolan (7/10/2014)

Andrew Junker (12/9/2014)

Related Cases

Gering v. Garbagni, New Mexico state trial court (2013)

People


Judge(s)

Bosson, Richard C. (New Mexico)

Daniels, Charles W. (New Mexico)

Maes, Petra Jimenez (New Mexico)

Malott, Alan M. (New Mexico)

Vigil, Barbara J. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Esseks, James Dixon (New York)

Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)

Ives, Laura Schauer (New Mexico)

Kierst, Peter S. (New Mexico)

Minter, Shannon (California)

Judge(s)

Bosson, Richard C. (New Mexico)

Daniels, Charles W. (New Mexico)

Maes, Petra Jimenez (New Mexico)

Malott, Alan M. (New Mexico)

Vigil, Barbara J. (New Mexico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Esseks, James Dixon (New York)

Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)

Ives, Laura Schauer (New Mexico)

Kierst, Peter S. (New Mexico)

Minter, Shannon (California)

Mostoller, Lynn E. (New Mexico)

Schuler, Eric W (New Mexico)

Smith, Alexandra Freedman (New Mexico)

Stoll, Christopher (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Rachel A. (New Mexico)

Ross, Stephen C. (New Mexico)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

March 21, 2013 Docket

City Attorney's Office Opinion for Public Distribution & Inclusion in City Council Packets

No Court

March 19, 2013 Press Release

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

March 21, 2013 Complaint

Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Aug. 16, 2013 Complaint

Final Declaratory Judgment

2013 WL 5768197

Sept. 3, 2013 Order/Opinion

Opinion

316 P.3d 865

Dec. 19, 2013 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New Mexico

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Same-Sex Marriage

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 21, 2013

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are several same-sex couples who appeared at the defendant's offices on March 21, 2013 and sought a marriage license and were denied.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Clerk of Bernalillo County (Bernalillo), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General:

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Marriage

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Sexual orientatation

Affected Gender:

Female

Male