Case: Freeman v. Parker

4:13-cv-03755 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Dec. 26, 2013

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 26, 2013, three city employees married to same-sex partners filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the city of Houston. The plaintiffs, represented by an attorney from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the Texas state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage (Texas Marriage Amendment and the Texas…

On December 26, 2013, three city employees married to same-sex partners filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the city of Houston. The plaintiffs, represented by an attorney from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the Texas state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage (Texas Marriage Amendment and the Texas DOMA) were unconstitutional, and to enjoin the City of Houston from withdrawing or denying spousal benefits for same-sex spouses of city employees.

The case began after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Windsor v. United States (PB-NY-0017 in this Clearinghouse), when the City of Houston changed its benefits policy: same-sex spouses of city employees, who were legally married in another state, could now qualify for spousal benefits. Three city employees enrolled for these benefits. But on December 17, 2013, a state court, the District Court for Harris County, Texas, issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the City to "cease and desist providing benefits to same-sex spouses of employees that have married in jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage." As a result, the City told the plaintiffs that the spousal benefits they currently had might be interrupted and terminated, while different-sex spouses would continue to receive their city benefits. In response, the plaintiffs brought this suit in federal district court arguing that the denial of benefits and the ban on same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

On August 29, 2014, the District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Judge Sim Lake) granted plaintiffs' unopposed motion for a preliminary injunction and stay, thereby preventing the City from terminating same-sex spousal benefits until the case was resolved, and staying the proceedings pending the final decision on the constitutionality of the Texas marriage ban in De Leon v. Perry (PB-TX-0004 in this Clearinghouse).

While De Leon was being considered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court released its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, holding that state bans on same-sex marriage violated the liberty and equality guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment. On July 1, 2015, the Fifth Circuit released its decision in De Leon, applying the Obergefell decision and finding the Texas marriage ban unconstitutional.

On July 6, 2015, Judge Sim Lake dismissed this case, finding Plaintiffs' claims moot in light of the recent decisions in both Obergefell and De Leon. Both parties were ordered to bear their own costs and fees. This case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Megan Dolan (8/5/2014)

David Hamstra (3/22/2015)

Michael Beech (3/24/2019)

Related Cases

De Leon v. Perry, Western District of Texas (2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4393627/parties/freeman-v-parker/


Judge(s)

Lake, Simeon Timothy III (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Upton, Kenneth D. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Feldman, David M. (Texas)

Ramsey, Judith L. (Texas)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

Lake, Simeon Timothy III (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Upton, Kenneth D. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Feldman, David M. (Texas)

Ramsey, Judith L. (Texas)

Other Attorney(s)

Mitchell, Jonathan F. (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:13-cv-03755

Docket [PACER]

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Docket
1

4:13-cv-03755

Plaintiffs' Original Complaint for Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief and Declaratory Judgment

Dec. 26, 2013

Dec. 26, 2013

Complaint
13

4:13-cv-03755

Order Granting Preliminary Injunction and Staying Proceedings Pending Final Determination of the Constitutionality of Texas Marriage Ban

Aug. 29, 2014

Aug. 29, 2014

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4393627/freeman-v-parker/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0541-12532522) filed by Noel Freeman, Ronald Reeser, Yadira Estrada. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "A", # 2 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "B", # 3 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "C", # 4 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet)(Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 12/26/2013)

1 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "A"

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2 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "B"

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3 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit "C"

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4 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet

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Dec. 26, 2013

Dec. 26, 2013

PACER
2

Request for Issuance of Summons as to All Defendants, filed. (Attachments: # 1 2nd Summons (City))(Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 12/26/2013)

1 2nd Summons (City)

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Dec. 26, 2013

Dec. 26, 2013

PACER
3

ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 4/25/2014 at 03:00 PM in Courtroom 9B before Judge Sim Lake(Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified.(ckrus, 4) (Entered: 12/27/2013)

Dec. 27, 2013

Dec. 27, 2013

PACER
4

NOTICE TO TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO STATE LAW by Yadira Estrada, Noel Freeman, Ronald Reeser, filed. (Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 01/03/2014)

Jan. 3, 2014

Jan. 3, 2014

PACER
5

MOTION for Leave to File Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party by State Of Texas, filed. Motion Docket Date 2/7/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Amicus Brief)(Mitchell, Jonathan) (Entered: 01/17/2014)

1 Proposed Order

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2 Amicus Brief

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Jan. 17, 2014

Jan. 17, 2014

PACER
6

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time To File Answer by City Of Houston, Annise D Parker, filed. Motion Docket Date 2/13/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Proposed Order Granting Motion for Extension of Time)(Ramsey, Judith) (Entered: 01/23/2014)

1 Proposed Order Proposed Order Granting Motion for Extension of Time

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Jan. 23, 2014

Jan. 23, 2014

PACER
7

ORDER granting 6 Motion for Extension of Time. Answer or Other Responsive Pleading due by 2/7/2014. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4) (Entered: 01/23/2014)

Jan. 23, 2014

Jan. 23, 2014

PACER
8

RESPONSE in Opposition to 5 MOTION for Leave to File Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party, filed by Yadira Estrada, Noel Freeman, Ronald Reeser. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit US v Olis - Exhibit A, # 2 Proposed Order Order Denying Motion)(Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 02/06/2014)

1 Exhibit US v Olis - Exhibit A

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2 Proposed Order Order Denying Motion

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Feb. 6, 2014

Feb. 6, 2014

PACER
9

ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by City Of Houston, Annise D Parker, filed.(Feldman, David) (Entered: 02/07/2014)

Feb. 7, 2014

Feb. 7, 2014

PACER
10

RESPONSE in Opposition to 5 MOTION for Leave to File Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party, filed by City Of Houston, Annise D Parker. (Feldman, David) (Entered: 02/07/2014)

Feb. 7, 2014

Feb. 7, 2014

PACER
11

NOTICE OF CANCELLATION, filed. The Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference set for 4/25/2014 at 3:00 PM is cancelled. (aboyd, 4) (Entered: 04/10/2014)

April 10, 2014

April 10, 2014

PACER
12

Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction, Unopposed MOTION to Stay Pending Final Determination of the Constitutionality of Texas Marriage Ban ( Motion Docket Date 9/18/2014.) by Yadira Estrada, Noel Freeman, Ronald Reeser, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Noel Freeman Affd, # 2 Affidavit Yadira Estrada Affd, # 3 Affidavit Ronald Reeser Affd, # 4 Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 08/28/2014)

1 Affidavit Noel Freeman Affd

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2 Affidavit Yadira Estrada Affd

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3 Affidavit Ronald Reeser Affd

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4 Proposed Order Proposed Order

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Aug. 28, 2014

Aug. 28, 2014

PACER
13

PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND ORDER TO STAY granting 12 Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction AND Unopposed MOTION to Stay Pending Final Determination of the Constitutionality of Texas Marriage Ban (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4) (Entered: 08/29/2014)

Aug. 29, 2014

Aug. 29, 2014

RECAP
14

ORDER denying without prejudice 5 MOTION for Leave to File Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4) (Entered: 08/29/2014)

Aug. 29, 2014

Aug. 29, 2014

RECAP
15

Unopposed MOTION to Lift Stay, Unopposed MOTION To Dissolve Preliminary Injunction( Motion Docket Date 7/23/2015.), Unopposed MOTION to Dismiss 13 Preliminary Injunction, and Dismiss Case as Moot Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) by Yadira Estrada, Noel Freeman, Ronald Reeser, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order Lifting Stay, Dissolving Preliminary Injunction, and Dismissing Case as Moot)(Upton, Kenneth) (Entered: 07/02/2015)

1 Proposed Order Order Lifting Stay, Dissolving Preliminary Injunction, and Dismis

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July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

PACER
16

FINAL ORDER LIFTING STAY, DISSOLVING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND DISMISSING CASE AS MOOT granting 15 Unopposed MOTION to Lift Stay, Unopposed MOTION To Dissolve Preliminary Injunction, Unopposed MOTION to Dismiss 13 Preliminary Injunction and Dismiss Case as Moot Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2). Case terminated on 7/6/2015. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd, 4) (Entered: 07/06/2015)

July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Same-Sex Marriage

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 26, 2013

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are several same-sex couples living in the city of Houston who wish to be granted spousal benefits.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Lambda Legal

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Houston (Houston), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Marriage

Discrimination-area:

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Sexual orientatation