Same-sex couple’s bid for recognition expedited due to grave illness

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The chief federal judge in Indianapolis quickly summoned lawyers to address a same-sex couple’s emergency request that Indiana recognize their Massachusetts marriage because one of the women is gravely ill.

Nikole Rai Quasney and Amy Melissa Sandler of Munster on Monday asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would enjoin the state from enforcing laws against same-sex marriage. The couple requested an expedited hearing because Quasney, mother of two young children, has stage IV ovarian cancer.

“Because of this aggressive cancer, Niki measures the rest of her life in weeks, not years,” a brief in support of the request says.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana on Tuesday summoned attorneys for a telephone conference set for 2 p.m. Friday. Young advised them to be prepared to address the request for an injunction and temporary restraining order.

Quasney and Sandler also seek a court order that, in the event of Quasney’s death, the Indiana Department of Health be required to complete a death certificate listing her as married, with Sandler recorded as the surviving spouse.

Continued enforcement of the ban, the supporting brief argues, “will cause grave harm to a loving couple confronted with an impending tragic loss. The public simply has no interest in denying Amy the rights she is entitled to as a surviving spouse upon Niki’s death.”

The couple is one three who sued the state March 10 backed by the national organization Lambda Legal. The case is Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al., 1:14-cv-00355, and names as defendants the clerks of Boone, Porter and Lake counties, along with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Zoeller has vowed to defend Indiana’s prohibition on same-sex marriage in at least four cases to date, including Baskin, that seek to overturn Indiana’s ban in federal court.

Young presides in all the cases. He has also set a phone conference on Friday for scheduling purposes in the related matters.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.