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4:14-cv-00015 #19

4:14-cv-00015 #19

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 19 - Memo in support of Governor's motion to dismiss
Doc 19 - Memo in support of Governor's motion to dismiss

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Apr 06, 2014
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04/08/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA  NEW ALBANY DIVISION MELISSA LOVE,
et al.
, Plaintiffs, v. MICHAEL RICHARD PENCE, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, Defendant. ))))))))))  No. 4:14-CV-15-RLY-TAB
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
Defendant, Michael Pence, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Indiana, submits this memorandum in support of his Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. Pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case because the asserted injuries of the Plaintiffs are not fairly traceable to the conduct of the Defendant. Furthermore, under the Eleventh Amendment and the doctrine of sovereign immunity, adjudication of Plaintiffs’ claims against Defendant is barred.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
On March 7, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint challenging Indiana Code section 31-11-1-1
1
 (“Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act”). Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act provides that “[o]nly a female may marry a male [and] [o]nly a male may marry a female.” Ind. Code § 31-11-1-1(a). Additionally, “[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.” Ind. Code § 31-11-1-1(b).
1
 In their Prayer For Relief, Plaintiffs ask the Court to enter a declaratory judgment declaring Indiana Code section 31-33-1-1 unconstitutional. Presumably, this was a mere typographical error.
Case 4:14-cv-00015-RLY-TAB Document 19 Filed 04/04/14 Page 1 of 11 PageID #: 251
 
2 The Plaintiffs are two unmarried same-sex couples and two same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions. Complaint ¶¶ 1-9. Plaintiffs named the Governor of the State of Indiana as the sole defendant. Complaint ¶¶ 10-12. Plaintiffs claim 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.” Complaint  ¶ 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. Complaint ¶¶ 28-70.
ARGUMENT I.
 
Standards Applicable to Motions to Dismiss
“It is by now well established that a plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on  paper that, in the hands of an imaginative reader,
might 
 suggest that something has happened to her that
might 
 be redressed by the law.”
Swanson v. Citibank, N.A.
, 614 F.3d 400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original).
See
 
also
 
 Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly
, 550 U.S. 544, 563 (2007) (“after puzzling the profession for 50 years, this famous observation [the ‘no set of facts’ language] has earned its retirement.”). “‘[L]egal conclusions[, or t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements[]’” need not be accepted as true.
 Brooks v. Ross
, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009) (and noting that a plaintiff may not merely “parrot” the language of the claims that are being asserted) (quoting
 Ashcroft v. Iqbal
, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009)).
Case 4:14-cv-00015-RLY-TAB Document 19 Filed 04/04/14 Page 2 of 11 PageID #: 252
 
3 The same basic rule applies when reviewing a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. “[T]he district court must accept the complaint’s well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw reasonable inferences from
 
those
 
allegations in the plaintiff’s favor.”
Transit Express, Inc. v. Ettinger 
, 246 F.3d 1018, 1023 (7th Cir. 2001). However, the federal courts “are not required to accept legal conclusions that may be alleged in the complaint.”
Vaden v. Village of Maywood, Ill
., 809 F.2d 361, 363 (7th Cir. 1987),
cert. denied 
, 482 U.S. 908 (1987) (citing
 Reichenberger v. Pritchard,
 660 F.2d 280, 282 (7th Cir. 1981)).
II.
 
Because the Governor Does Not Enforce Indiana Code Section 31-11-1-1, the Case is Not Justiciable Against Him and This Court Lacks Article III Jurisdiction
Plaintiffs have sued to have Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act, Indiana Code section 31-11-1-1, declared unconstitutional. Complaint at 15-16.
 
In their Prayer for Relief, they generally demand the following: B.
 
A preliminary and permanent injunctive order directing the State of Indiana to issue a marriage license to Plaintiffs . . . and prohibiting Defendants
2
 from refusing to issue marriage licenses to other same-sex couples based solely on their sex and/or sexual orientation[;] *** D.
 
 preliminary and permanent injunctions enjoining Defendants from denying the Plaintiff couples and all other same-sex couples the rights, burdens, and  benefits associated with lawful marriage; [and] E.
 
an order directing Defendants to recognize marriages validly entered into by the Plaintiff couples and other same-sex couples outside of the state of Indiana[.] Complaint at 15. They allege that they have sued Governor Pence because he is the “chief executive officer of the State and is responsible for the faithful execution of the laws of the State . . . including the laws that exclude same-sex couples from marrying or having their out-of-state
2
 Plaintiffs’ Complaint repeatedly references “Defendants” despite having named Governor Pence as the sole defendant in this case. Presumably this was a mere typographical error.
Case 4:14-cv-00015-RLY-TAB Document 19 Filed 04/04/14 Page 3 of 11 PageID #: 253

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