Case: Costanza and Brewer v. Caldwell

13-01049 | Louisiana state trial court

Filed Date: 2013

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Plaintiffs, a same-sex couple who live in Louisiana, and had legally married in California, filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to have their marriage recognized by the state of Louisiana and the ability for one plaintiff to legally adopt the biological son of her partner. On July 26, 2013, Judge Edward B. Broussard dismissed the case. The case was appealed.On September 22, 2014, Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the state's…

Plaintiffs, a same-sex couple who live in Louisiana, and had legally married in California, filed a lawsuit in state court seeking to have their marriage recognized by the state of Louisiana and the ability for one plaintiff to legally adopt the biological son of her partner. On July 26, 2013, Judge Edward B. Broussard dismissed the case. The case was appealed.

On September 22, 2014, Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that the state's Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional under the due process clause, the equal protection clause, and the full-faith and credit clause of the federal constitution. The ruling ordered that the couple's marriage be recognized and granted a same-sex couple's second-parent adoption.

On September 25, the state of Louisiana appealed, putting the ruling on hold. on July 7, 2015, the Louisiana Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal as moot. 167 So.3d 619 (2015). In its per curiam order, the Court explained that while the appeal was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court had decided Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), which held that state bans on same-sex marriage violate both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Obergefell Court also ruled that there is "no lawful basis" to uphold so-called "recognition bans"—such as Louisiana's laws banning recognition of same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states.

Following Obergefell, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held La. Const. Art. XII, § 15, La. Civ.Code art. 89, and La. Civ.Code art. 3520(B) violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and enjoined the State of Louisiana and its officials from enforcing those provisions as well as Revenue Information Bulletin No. 13-024. Robicheaux v. Caldwell, PB-LA-0002 in this Clearinghouse.

Describing those interceding cases, the Louisiana Supreme Court held here that they were binding upon it. Accordingly, it said, "Through the action of the federal courts, plaintiffs have received all the relief they requested in their motion for summary judgment, which forms the basis for this appeal. Given these developments, there is no longer a justiciable controversy for this court to resolve." It therefore dismissed the case as moot. However, it also "emphasize[d] that the freedom of religious organizations to perform marriage ceremonies according to the dictates of their faith is not implicated herein."

Summary Authors

Patrick Branson (4/13/2015)

People


Judge(s)

Crichton, Scott J. (Louisiana)

Guidry, Greg Gerard None (Louisiana)

Hughes, Jefferson D. III (Louisiana)

Knoll, Jeannette (Louisiana)

Rubin, Edward D. (Louisiana)

Weimer, John L. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baier, Paul R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caldwell, James David (Louisiana)

Duncan, S. Kyle (District of Columbia)

Johnson, J. Michael (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Crichton, Scott J. (Louisiana)

Guidry, Greg Gerard None (Louisiana)

Hughes, Jefferson D. III (Louisiana)

Knoll, Jeannette (Louisiana)

Rubin, Edward D. (Louisiana)

Weimer, John L. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baier, Paul R. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caldwell, James David (Louisiana)

Duncan, S. Kyle (District of Columbia)

Johnson, J. Michael (Louisiana)

Phillips, Trey (Louisiana)

Thornhill, Jessica M.P. (Louisiana)

Wilton, Patricia Hill (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2013-0052

Order

Sept. 22, 2014

Sept. 22, 2014

Order/Opinion

2013-0052

Defendant's Motion for Appeal

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

Pleading / Motion / Brief

2014-CA-2090

Opinion

Costanza v. Caldwell

Louisiana state supreme court

167 So.3d 619

July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 25, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Same-Sex Marriage

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Same-sex couple who were legally married in California and moved to Louisiana.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Louisiana , State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Full faith and credit

Equal Protection

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Adoption

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Marriage

Discrimination-basis:

Sexual orientatation