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NCLR requests opportunity to amend complaint in their Alabama marriage case, asks for preliminary injunction

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) has just filed a request to amend their complaint in Strawser v. Strange, one of the cases resulting in Alabama’s marriage ban being struck down.

The new complaint adds several plaintiffs, plus more defendants, including the Probate Judge for Mobile County. The complaint alleges the couples have not been able to receive a marriage license.

Mobile County is so far refusing to issue licenses to any couples.

The filing also requests a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction requiring the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the county.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. A_Jayne  |  February 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you, NCLR, for following Judge Granade's recommendation and asking to add new plaintiff couples and Probate Judge Davis to the currently pending action.

    As quickly as Judge Granade replied to the request for an order of contempt, I imagine she will also quickly agree to amend the original complaint, adding these plaintiff couples and the Mobile Probate Judge, and issuing an updated order demanding Davis issue marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of gender, who are otherwise qualified to obtain a marriage license in Mobile.

  • 2. A_Jayne  |  February 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    How angry will Judge Granade be that these additional actions have become necessary after all parties to the case (plaintiffs and defendants) agreed that having only Strange (AG) listed as a defendant was sufficient to provide the relief sought (presumably state-wide)?

    IOW, how many points does it win the state to have lied to a federal district judge?

  • 3. Zack12  |  February 9, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I think she will be very angry.
    If nothing else, telling a district court judge they are the low person on the totem pole is NOT a smart idea.

  • 4. brandall  |  February 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Plaintiff's also needed to provide evidence of being denied or refused the ability to marry. They have now done this with declarations in this motion.

    I would have added an additional motion that Governor Strange, having previously submitted in numerous filings that his is the ultimate executive level position responsible for overseeing the laws of Alabama, be held in contempt of court for refusing to instruct Probate Judges to follow the Federal court order.

    By not naming Strange in violation, we could be in a county by county set of motions.

  • 5. A_Jayne  |  February 9, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Psstt… Strange is the AG, not the Gov…

    Other than that, I completely agree.

  • 6. brandall  |  February 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Of course you are correct. Governor Bentley (palm to forehead).

  • 7. Ryan K (a.k.a. KELL)  |  February 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    I couldn't tell so much by her denial of the contempt motion today. Although she seemed to give away the keys as to how to proceed.

  • 8. RQO  |  February 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Super politeness and attention to detail and protocol are sometimes the foreshadowing of a dagger to the heart. One senses Judge Granade will, now that SCOTUS itself has concurred and once all her ducks are lined up, will speak with deafening clarity.

  • 9. galen697  |  February 9, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I love the title of this post on JoeMyGod: "Plaintiffs Sue Everybody":

  • 10. sfbob  |  February 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Here response was basically "Now here's what you should do, see. First sue the probate judge and then, well…you get the idea, right?"

  • 11. sfbob  |  February 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Yes, that was awesome. And pretty much accurate too.

  • 12. flyerguy77  |  February 9, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Alabama will be getting interesting really quick… Florida Probate Judges got the message and followed the court's hint.. Alabama and Kansas are only one who refusing the federal court's orders.. I think Judge grande will make a stronger ruling by Wednesday afternoon and more probate judges will get a hint. She needs to make a note that Chief Moore has no business issuing a decision/order for this case when its not front of ALA Supreme Court.

  • 13. VIRick  |  February 9, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    "Florida Probate Judges …."

    The county official in Florida responsible for issuing marriage licenses carries this title: Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. It is often shortened down to "Clerk of Court."

    Alabama uses the same title as South Carolina.

  • 14. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  February 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Judge Grenade should've enjoined the state as a whole. I wish she had.

  • 15. brandall  |  February 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    A great idea. In California, the Sacramento Bee newspaper uses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain a list of ALL state employees and their salaries. If Alabama has something similar, Granade could issue an injunction and say "see attached file of all Alabama states employees." That would be so Gran(a)d(e).

  • 16. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  February 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I literally meant her stating "I'm enjoining the enforcement of these provisions by the state of Alabama." She could've. Other judges have.

  • 17. VIRick  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    "…. a list of ALL state employees and their salaries."

    That happened here, as well, when the local newpaper published a list of the "Top 400" salaried employees, based on their annual salary dollar amount. I got listed, much to my own amazement and amusement (and ego). Most of my colleagues did not, much to their own personal chagrin. There can definitely be unintended, negative, side-issue fall-out from a public disclosure/display of comparative salary amounts.

  • 18. VIRick  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Brandall, today was your lucky day. Namely, someone else caught the error before I spotted it, as I seriously doubt whether I would have been as soothingly polite as A_Jayne. LOL

  • 19. Tony MinasTirith  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Wolf is right. Because the next road block will be when state agencies refuse to honor accept and recognize these marriages of SS couples. I wish she'd also enjoin everyone frI'm putting quotes around the word marriage whether in print or using air quotes when referring to married couples of the SS. Maybe the Majority in SCOTUS will see all the hoops gays have to jump through when just trying to live their lives (as evidenced here in AL) and finally just say gay related cases are subject to strict scrutiny. Gays shouldn't have to go to court every time they want to do what their non gay neighbor can do without even thinking about it.

  • 20. VIRick  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    "…. the next road block will be when state agencies refuse to honor accept and recognize these marriages of SS couples."

    Tony, stop! The biggest irony in this whole scene is that the state of Alabama, through its various and sundry state agencies, IS now honoring, accepting, and recognizing all marriages between same-sex couples, whether performed in-state or out-of-state. They're so quiet about the recognition angle, almost as if it were on the "down-low."

    And on that level, I do think we need to give Governor Bentley some credit, even if it's a rather passive credit.

  • 21. davepCA  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    '''',,,,and YOU get a law suit! And YOU get a law suit! Aaaand YOU get a law suit!! "

  • 22. Tony MinasTirith  |  February 9, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Off Topic

    Be a Part of History!

    Sign The People's Amicus Brief in Support of Marriage Equality Nationwide

    I did.

  • 23. tornado163  |  February 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I'm trying to understand, so please correct me if I'm wrong. There were 2 lawsuits – Searcy (marriage recognition) and Strawser (marriage licenses). The Searcy lawyers tried to have Probate Judge Don Davis held in contempt, and that failed. So they filed an amended lawsuit with a whole bunch of new couples and and whole bunch of new defendants, including the governor and Roy Moore. All the Searcy stuff is just those lawyers, no national organizations.

    Meanwhile, the Strawser plaintiffs have also added new couples, but the only new defendant is Probate Judge Davis. That lawsuit has the support of the ACLU and NCLR.

    Is that the current status?

    Why the disconnect? Can the various lawyers not come up with a coherent single-pronged strategy? Personally, I think the Searcy lawyers approach of suing every government official who might be related to this issue and then letting the Judge sort out which official she needs to order to allow licenses to be issued is the right approach. It seems better than the narrow county by county approach the NCLR seems to be doing.

  • 24. Decided_Voter  |  February 10, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Thanks for posting. My husband and I signed.

  • 25. Tony MinasTirith  |  February 10, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Thanks! Hope you'll share the link with your family n' friends.

  • 26. OctaA  |  February 10, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Sadly I am not a US citizen so I am unable to sign. :(

    However I will share this link with some American friends of mine.

  • 27. JeffnRob  |  February 10, 2015 at 4:52 am

    We signed.

  • 28. Zack12  |  February 10, 2015 at 5:14 am
    Jeff Sessions finally weighed in, his statement is about as bigoted as one would expect from him.

    P.S. If you read the comments, you'll see an old "friend" of this website adding his pearls of wisdom.

  • 29. Rick55845  |  February 10, 2015 at 5:45 am

    I think it's good to pursue different avenues to reach our goal. As we've seen in more states than just Alabama, the defendants sometimes lie about who needs to remain party to a suit to grant full relief to plaintiffs. In this case, the AG of Alabama claimed that he was the right party to grant relief, but in fact, the Probate Judges must also be part of the suit in order to compel them to issue licenses.

    In other words, the defendants are slippery, and they play games. If the lawyers for all of the different cases got together and agreed on a single strategy, and it turned out to be wrong, then all that effort would be wasted. If each group tries a slightly different angle, one or more of them are eventually going to prevail. And everyone else learns from the successes as well as the failures.

    There are certain things, however, that they all need to do in every ME case (excepting, perhaps, highly specific cases such as divorce or amended death certificates). They all need to include couples seeking recognition for out-of-state marriages and couples seeking to marry within the state. They also all need to thoroughly research the duties and responsibilities and chains of command and authority of all state executive and judicial offices that have responsibility for any aspect of granting or recognizing marriage, and make sure that the defendants don't pull one over on the judge and get key parties dropped from the suit.

    Aside from that, I think trying different approaches is beneficial to the cause. And of course, let's not forget that the lawyers in every case also need to do what is best for their clients.

  • 30. dlejrmex  |  February 10, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Awww, he/she/it found a new home, well bless it's heart… And I am sure Sessions and it are a perfect match for each other.

  • 31. dlejrmex  |  February 10, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Signed. My partner and I had to go the trusts and medical power of attorney route in the 80's before I lost him in '94 to AIDS. I wish he was here still to see all of this.

  • 32. Sagesse  |  February 10, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Do you have a source for the state recognizing out-of-state marriages across the board? Apologies if this has been posted and I missed it.

    I know they issued a revised death certificate to Paul Hard (Dept of Health, if I recall), but couldn't tell if it was an isolated incident. Roy Moore hasn't claimed to control any government officials other than probate court judges, so his 'order' wouldn't be gumming up the works with recognition.

  • 33. RnL2008  |  February 10, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Both my wife and I signed it:-)

  • 34. RnL2008  |  February 10, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Who? I usually read the comments at the end…….they can be rather enlightening depending on which side the article is written on!!!

  • 35. RnL2008  |  February 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Never mind……I know who now……and that person sounds like a troll on topix's who repeats the same type of comment……we have the same right BLAH, BLAH to marry someone of the opposite-sex, therefore no discrimination is taking place……and so on and so forth!!!

    It's called the BS factor…….and if that's considered being equal…….then why have the States lost using similar arguments? Why have these idiots NOT file their briefs with the Courts? I'll tell ya why…….because they'd be laughed out of court just like the idiot who wants to marry his computer!!!

  • 36. 1grod  |  February 10, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Good Morning America [15/02/10] says that at least 51 counties are not issuing licenses accounting to their count. Pat's spreadsheet found on this blog suggests 17 counties reportedly are. Seems contributors here are as well informed as ABC News. Help keep our information current.

  • 37. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:03 am

    "Tony, stop!"

    You're so dramatic, Rick. Hahaha.

  • 38. David_Midvale_UT  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    As much as I enjoy my computer, it doesn't take showers with me. . . and there are few things in life better than a good sudsy back scrub.

  • 39. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:19 am

    My mind just went to a dirty, dirty place. I think it could use some hard scrubbing. Haha.

  • 40. RnL2008  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:20 am

    If one is taking showers with their computer's….they have more to worry about than a sudsy back scrub……lol!!!

  • 41. Wolf of Raging Fires  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Tony, did you accidentally split-copy something else into your comment? There's a weird disconnect here.

  • 42. Tony MinasTirith  |  February 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

    It's possible. I've been posting from my iPhone lately. Not the most ideal method for posting.

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