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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One Indiana county clerk has withdrawn from the state’s fight to maintain its ban on same-sex marriage.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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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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