Ermold v. Davis

Damages-only action under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against county clerk who had refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple is not moot. The Sixth Circuit reversed dismissal of such a case, noting: the Supreme Court’s 2015 holding that Kentucky’s definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman violated the Fourteenth Amendment; the Kentucky Governor’s order that county clerks begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples; a preliminary injunction in another case, prohibiting County Clerk Kim Davis from refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses; and that the state has amended its marriage-license issuance process so that county clerks’ names and signatures no longer appear on marriage-license forms. The Sixth Circuit stated that “so long as the plaintiff has a cause of action for damages, a defendant’s change in conduct will not moot the case. Indeed where a claim for injunctive relief is moot, relief in the form of damages for a past constitutional violation is not affected.” View "Ermold v. Davis" on Justia Law