Case: In Re: King

n/a | Alabama state trial court

Filed Date: Feb. 9, 2015

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 9, 2015, the federal court orders in Searcy v. Strange (PB-AL-0005 in this Clearinghouse) and Strawser v. Strange (PB-AL-0010 in this Clearinghouse) took effect: Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was now illegal, at least according to the federal courts. In response, on February 11, 2015, two conservative groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program, filed an emergency petition in the Alabama Supreme Court, purportedly as "relators" on behalf of the …

On February 9, 2015, the federal court orders in Searcy v. Strange (PB-AL-0005 in this Clearinghouse) and Strawser v. Strange (PB-AL-0010 in this Clearinghouse) took effect: Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage was now illegal, at least according to the federal courts. In response, on February 11, 2015, two conservative groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and the Alabama Citizens Action Program, filed an emergency petition in the Alabama Supreme Court, purportedly as "relators" on behalf of the State of Alabama. The petition sought a writ of mandamus ordering the state's probate judges "not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and not to recognize any marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples."

On February 13, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered the respondents, the state probate judges, to respond to the petition, if they chose to, by February 18. Two justices dissented from this order.

On March 3, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court granted the conservative group's petition for writ of mandamus. The Court's opinion enjoined Alabama's probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Court permanently enjoined four probate judges, the named respondents, and temporarily enjoined all other probate judges except Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis.

Probate Judge Davis was under a February 12 federal injunction, which forbid him from refusing to issue marriage licenses to the Strawser plaintiffs. Because of the conflicting injunction, the probate judge asked to be dismissed from the state action. The Alabama Supreme Court refused. Instead, the Court ordered him, by March 5, to advise it on whether there was a true conflict. The Court implied that there was no conflict if the February 12 federal injunction required Probate Judge Davis to issue licenses only to the plaintiffs in that case.

On March 10, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court added Probate Judge Davis as a respondent to the mandamus proceeding. This enjoined him from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses.

Two days later, the Alabama Supreme Court enjoined all Alabama probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed requested a rehearing. He asked the Court to amend its March 3 order so that it would become ineffective if the U.S. Supreme Court found same-sex marriages bans unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges (PB-OH-0003 in this Clearinghouse), in which a decision is expected by the end of June 2015. On March 20, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court denied Probate Judge Reed's rehearing request. If the plaintiffs win in Obergefell, the parties will have to come back to court and fight things out.

Summary Authors

David Hamstra (4/15/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Bolin, Michael F (Alabama)

Bryan, Tommy (Alabama)

King, Alan (Alabama)

Main, James Allen (Alabama)

Murdock, Glenn (Alabama)

Parker, Tom (Alabama)

Shaw, Greg (Alabama)

Stuart, Lyn (Alabama)

Wise, Ronald W. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gannam, Roger K. (Florida)

Judge(s)

Bolin, Michael F (Alabama)

Bryan, Tommy (Alabama)

King, Alan (Alabama)

Main, James Allen (Alabama)

Murdock, Glenn (Alabama)

Parker, Tom (Alabama)

Shaw, Greg (Alabama)

Stuart, Lyn (Alabama)

Wise, Ronald W. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gannam, Roger K. (Florida)

Johnston, A. Eric (Alabama)

McLure, Samuel J. (Alabama)

Mihet, Horatio G. (Florida)

Staver, Mathew D (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

Feb. 11, 2015 Complaint

[Order Granting Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus]

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

200 So.3d 495, 2015 WL 892752, 2015 Ala.LEXIS 33

March 3, 2015 Order/Opinion

[Corrected Pages of Pages 104 and 132-133 from March 3 Order Granting Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus]

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

2015 WL 892752, 2015 Ala.LEXIS 33

March 5, 2015 Notice Letter

Order

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

200 So.3d 495, 2015 WL 1036064, 2015 Ala.LEXIS 35

March 10, 2015 Order/Opinion

Order

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

March 12, 2015 Order/Opinion

Order

Ex parte State ex rel. Alabama Policy Institute

Alabama state supreme court

March 20, 2015 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Same-Sex Marriage

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 9, 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two conservative groups filing as "relators" on behalf of the State of Alabama

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Alabama Probate Judges, County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Marriage

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Discrimination-basis:

Sexual orientatation