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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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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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