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Love v. Pence

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division

June 25, 2014

MELISSA LOVE, ERIN BROCK, MICHAEL DRURY, LANE STUMLER, JO ANN DALE, CAROL UEBELHOER, JENNIFER REDMOND, and JANA KOHORST, Plaintiffs,
v.
MICHAEL RICHARD PENCE, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant

For MELISSA LOVE, ERIN BROCK, MICHAEL DRURY, LANE STUMLER, JO ANN DALE, CAROL UEBELHOER, JENNIFER REDMOND, JANA KOHORST, Plaintiffs: Dawn R. Elliott, Shannon Fauver, FAUVER LAW OFFICE PLLC, Louisville, KY: L. Joe Dunman, Laura Elizabeth Landenwich, CLAY DANIEL WALTON & ADAMS PLC, Louisville, KY; Daniel J. Canon, CLAY DANIEL WALTON & ADAMS, Louisville, KY.

For MICHAEL RICHARD PENCE, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant: Thomas M. Fisher, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Indianapolis, IN.

Page 794

ENTRY ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

RICHARD L. YOUNG, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Michael Richard Pence, in his capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, moves to dismiss the Plaintiffs' Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. For the reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS the motion.

I. Background

On March 7, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint challenging Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1, entitled " Same sex marriages prohibited," otherwise known as Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act. In pertinent part, the challenged statute provides:

(a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female.
(b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized.

The Plaintiffs are two unmarried same-sex couples and two same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions. (Complaint ¶ ¶ 1-9). Plaintiffs allege that Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act violates the United States Constitution by denying same-sex couples the " rights, privileges, responsibilities, and immunities extended to similarly situated opposite-sex couples." ( Id. ¶ 18). Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that the statute violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment right to freedom of association, the Full Faith and Credit Clause, the Supremacy Clause, the Fourteenth Amendment right to travel, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Plaintiffs named the Governor of the State of Indiana as the sole defendant, alleging that, " [b]y implementing and enforcing the statutes discussed below, Defendant has deprived, and continues to deprive, Plaintiffs of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution." ( Id. ¶ 12).

II. Motion to Dismiss Standard

A motion to dismiss for lack of standing is a challenge to the court's subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Scanlan v. Eisenberg, 669 F.3d 838, 841-42 (7th Cir. 2012). In ruling on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Id. (citation omitted).

Page 795

However, when faced with a challenge to its subject matter jurisdiction, the court may look beyond the complaint and review any other evidence to resolve the jurisdictional issue. Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 572 F.3d 440, 444 (7th Cir. 2009) (citations omitted). The burden is on the plaintiff to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that subject matter jurisdiction exists. Lee v. City of Chicago, 330 F.3d 456, 468 ...


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