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Hamilton County clerk voluntary dismissed from same-sex marriage appeal

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One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.

On July 30, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion filed by Hamilton County Clerk Peggy Beaver asking for the voluntary dismissal of her appeal of a federal court’s decision which overturned Indiana’s marriage law. The appellate court has dismissed her as a defendant in Baskin et al. v Bogan et al., 14-2386, and Midori Fujii et al., v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Revenue et al., 14-2387.  

Beaver’s motion, also filed July 30, states she has decided not to join the state’s same-sex marriage brief filed with the 7th Circuit and has no additional arguments to add to the appeal.

Calls to Beaver and her counsel, Darren Murphy, were not returned.

According to the motion, Lambda Legal, the organization which filed the Baskin lawsuit, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana which is representing the plaintiffs in Fujii, did not object to the clerk’s voluntary dismissal.

Also, none of the appellants, including Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, objected.

The other county clerks who are defendants added their names to the state’s appeal brief that was filed July 15 with the 7th Circuit. On July 28, the appellate court directed the Hamilton County clerk’s attorney to notify the court as to whether Beaver would remain a litigant.

Indiana attorney general spokesman Bryan Corbin said the Boone and Allen county clerks and the state of Indiana remain appellants in the Baskin case.

“The appeal will continue regardless,” Corbin said. “The state’s attorney, not the clerk’s attorney, is responsible for defending the state statute, and the ultimate deposition of the case likely would be applicable to county clerks in all 92 counties.”

Beaver stated in her motion that she is aware of her duty to follow all other orders regarding same-sex marriage issued from either the 7th Circuit or the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Henry Greene, a plaintiff in the Baskin lawsuit, was not surprised by Beaver’s decision. Before the challenge was filed, Greene and his partner applied for a marriage license in Hamilton County. They both met Beaver and from their conversation, Greene said he got the impression she supported the freedom to marry.  

“We’re happy,” Greene said. “We hope that it sends a message to the attorney general and others who continue to appeal that there are many people who are on our side and who understand.”


 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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