IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION – CINCINNATI


Michelle Gibson, et al.,

Plaintiffs
v.

Lance Himes, et al.,

Defendants

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Case No.1:14-cv-00347

(Hon. Michael R. Barrett)

ANSWER OF DEFENDANT HON.
JAMES CISSELL OF THE PROBATE
COURT OF HAMILTON COUNTY,
OHIO



Defendant Hon. James Cissell, states as his Answer to Plaintiffs’ Complaint as follows:

FIRST DEFENSE

1. In response to paragraph 1 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the provisions of the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code referenced therein state what they state
and that Plaintiffs seek to challenge such provisions of Ohio law. Defendant Cissell denies any
remaining allegations in said paragraph and further denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to the relief
they seek.
2. Paragraph 2 is a narrative statement that does not require a response from
Defendant Cissell. To the extent that a response is required, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the published decisions referenced in said paragraph state what they state and denies any
remaining allegations in said paragraph.
3. In response to paragraph 3 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits that
Plaintiffs seek the relief stated therein and denies that they are entitled to such relief.
4. In response to paragraph 4 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
he exercises the authority of his office within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States
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District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and denies any remaining allegations regarding
jurisdiction in said paragraph.
5. In response to paragraph 5 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits that if
subject matter and personal jurisdiction are found to exist in this matter, venue is proper in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio – Western Division.
6. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 6 of
the Complaint.
7. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 7 of
the Complaint.
8. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 8 of
the Complaint.
9. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 9 of
the Complaint.
10. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 10 of
the Complaint.
11. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 11 of
the Complaint.
12. In response to paragraph 12 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
Defendant Himes is the Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health and has the
responsibilities conferred upon that office under the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code and
denies any remaining allegations in said paragraph.
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13. In response to paragraph 13 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits that he is
the duly elected and qualified judge of the Probate Court of Hamilton County, Ohio, and that he
has the responsibilities conferred upon that office under the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code.
14. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 14 of
the Complaint.
15. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 15 of
the Complaint.
16. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 16 of
the Complaint.
17. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 17 of
the Complaint.
18. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 18
of the Complaint.
19. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 19 of
the Complaint.
20. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 20 of
the Complaint.
21. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 21 of
the Complaint.
22. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 22 of
the Complaint.
23. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 23 of
the Complaint.
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24. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 24 of
the Complaint.
25. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 25 of
the Complaint.
26. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 26 of
the Complaint.
27. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 27 of
the Complaint.
28. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 28 of
the Complaint.
29. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 29 of
the Complaint.
30. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 30 of
the Complaint.
31. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 31 of
the Complaint.
32. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 32 of
the Complaint.
33. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 33 of
the Complaint.
34. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 34 of
the Complaint.
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35. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 35 of
the Complaint.
36. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 36 of
the Complaint.
37. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 37 of
the Complaint.
38. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 38 of
the Complaint.
39. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 39 of
the Complaint.
40. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 40 of
the Complaint.
41. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 41 of
the Complaint.
42. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 42 of
the Complaint.
43. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 43 of
the Complaint.
44. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 44 of
the Complaint.
45. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 45 of
the Complaint.
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46. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 46 of
the Complaint.
47. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 47 of
the Complaint.
48. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 48 of
the Complaint.
49. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 49 of
the Complaint.
50. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 50 of
the Complaint.
51. Defendant Cissell denies for want of knowledge the allegations in paragraph 51 of
the Complaint.
52. In response to paragraph 52 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the provisions of the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code referenced in said paragraph state
what they state and denies any remaining allegations and characterizations in said paragraph.
53. Defendant Cissell admits the allegations in paragraph 53 of the Complaint.
54. In response to paragraph 54 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits that the
referenced code section says what it says and that Defendant Himes has the responsibilities and
duties imposed upon him by Ohio law. Defendant Cissell denies that he has authority to issue a
marriage license to Ohio resident applicants when neither resides in Hamilton County, Ohio.
55. In response to paragraph 55 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell denies that Ohio
law creates a legal impediment to marriage for same sex couples as they may marry elsewhere
and admits that he is prohibited from issuing marriage licenses to same–sex couples.
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56. Paragraph 56 of the Complaint is a conclusory statement that does not appear to
require a response from Defendant Cissell. To the extent that a response is required, Defendant
Cissell admits only that the referenced Revised Code sections state what they state and denies
any remaining allegations in said paragraph.
57. In response to paragraph 57 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the referenced Revised Code sections state what they state.
58. In response to paragraph 58 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the referenced Revised Code section states what it states.
59. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 59 of the Complaint.
60. In response to paragraph 60 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the referenced Revised Code sections state what they state and denies any remaining allegations
in said paragraph.
61. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 61 of the Complaint for
want of knowledge.
62. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 62 of the Complaint.
63. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 63 of the Complaint.
64. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 64 of the Complaint.
65. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 65 of the Complaint.
66. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 66 of the Complaint.
67. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 67 of the Complaint.
68. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 68 of the Complaint.
69. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 69 of the Complaint.
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70. In response to paragraph 70 of the Complaint, Defendant Cissell admits only that
the published decision referenced therein states what it states.
71. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 71 of the Complaint.
72. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 72 of the Complaint.
73. Defendant Cissell denies the allegations in paragraph 73 of the Complaint.
ADDITIONAL DEFENSES
74. Defendant Cissell denies all matters not specifically admitted to be true and any
remaining allegations in the Complaint whether contained within a numerical paragraph, or not,
and whether such allegations are couched in the form of a factual averment, legal conclusion,
argument, or prayer for relief.
75. Defendant Cissell is entitled to immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the
United States Constitution.
76. The power to define the marriage relationship and establish the legal framework
to enter into that relationship is reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution.
77. This Court lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ claims.
78. Some or all of the plaintiff couples are ineligible under Ohio law to receive a
marriage license issued by Defendant Cissell in Hamilton County, Ohio, for reasons other than
the same–sex nature of their relationship.
79. Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
80. Plaintiffs have failed to join all necessary parties to this action.
81. Neither Article XV, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution nor Ohio Revised Code §
3101.01 violate Plaintiffs’ rights under the United States Constitution.
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82. Defendant Cissell reserves the right to add defenses, including affirmative
defenses, as may arise during the course of this proceeding.
WHEREFORE, having fully answered, Defendant Probate Judge of Hamilton County,
Ohio, James Cissell, demands that the Verified Complaint be dismissed.
Respectfully submitted,
JOSEPH T DETERS
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO

By:

/s/ David T. Stevenson, 0030014
James W. Harper, 0009872
David T. Stevenson, 0030014
Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys
William Howard Taft Law Center
230 East Ninth Street, Suite 4000
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
(513) 946-3159 (Harper)
(513) 946-3120 (Stevenson)
(513) 946-3018 (fax)
James.harper@hcpros.org
Dave.stevenson@hcpros.org

Trial Attorneys for Defendant Hon. James
Cissell, Probate Court, Hamilton County, Ohio


Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that the foregoing document was filed electronically on the 19th day of
May, 2014. Notice of the filing will be sent to all parties or their counsel by operation of the
Court’s electronic filing system.

/s/ David T. Stevenson, 0030014
David T. Stevenson, 0030014
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

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