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Monday, May 25, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - More on: "Indiana pays $650,000 in Legal Fees to Marriage Law Challenges - So far"

In this March 13, 2015 post, the ILB reported:

It appears that the $650,000 is likely well less than half of the total payout in legal fees the State will be making to the various plaintiffs who successfully contested the Indiana prohibition against same-sex marriage in federal trial court and then again in the 7th Circuit. There were five sets of plaintiffs. Federal civil rights law awards prevailing parties - in this case the plaintiffs - their attorney fees.
Today Stephanie Wang reports in the Indianapolis Star:
The state paid more than $1.4 million in fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys in five federal court cases that challenged — and ultimately helped overturn — Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages, according to the attorney general’s office. * * *

Here’s how much Indiana spent on each of the five federal cases, according to information provided by the state attorney general’s office:

  • The most costly case for the state was that of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, a Munster couple who fought to have their marriage recognized as Quasney was dying of cancer. Theirs became the lead case in Indiana on same-sex marriage. Quasney died in February — as a legally recognized married woman. The state paid a total of $650,000 to two law firms in this case, including Lambda Legal.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union was part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of six couples, a widow and two children. The widow, Midori Fujii, was not allowed to make funeral decisions after her wife died, because Indiana did not recognize their same-sex marriage, which had been perfomed in California. That also created an inheritance tax issue. In this case, Indiana paid about $196,000 in fees.

  • Four public servants — police officers and a fire battalion chief — sued after the state would not recognize their same-sex spouses as pension beneficiaries. This case, filed by Indiana Equality Action, cost the state about $336,000 in fees.

  • Four same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit for the legal right to marry or have their out-of-state marriages recognized. The case was brought against Gov. Mike Pence but was dismissed after a question was raised over whether he was the proper defendant to be named, “because the Governor cannot remedy the harms alleged by them,” as the court noted. The state paid $45,000 in fees for this case.

  • Another lawsuit was filed by two same-sex couples seeking to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in Indiana. The state paid $195,000 in fees.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 25, 2015 04:27 PM
Posted to Indiana Government