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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:14-cv-299

ELLEN W. GERBER; et al, )
)
Plaintiffs, )
v. ) ANSWER AND
) AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
ROY COOPER, et al, )


NOW COMES Defendant, Jeff Thigpen, in his official capacity as the Register of
Deeds for Guilford County, (hereinafter “Defendant Thigpen”) without waiving any
motions or defenses not set out herein, in answer to Plaintiffs’ Complaint.
INTRODUCTION
Plaintiffs’ Complaint consists largely of analysis, conclusions and opinions of
various laws, cases and other legal authority and relates that legal authority to how
those laws impact the Plaintiffs. As such, most of the allegations set out in the Amended
Complaint consist of conclusions of law or facts related to the Plaintiffs to which
Defendant Jeff Thigpen has no personal knowledge. In fact, only paragraphs 198, 199,
200, and 216 of the total of 290 paragraphs are directed to Defendant Thigpen in any
meaningful way. Therefore, the only appropriate answer Defendant Thigpen can provide
for all, but a very small handful of paragraphs is that conclusions of law are neither
admitted nor denied and as to facts related to the Plaintiffs’ relationships to other
Plaintiffs or family members is outside the scope of Defendant Thigpen’s knowledge and,
thus can neither be admitted nor denied. Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
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Procedure, where one is without sufficient knowledge to form a belief as to the truth of an
averment, he is mandated to so state and his response is deemed a denial; further, no
response is required to conclusions of law, analysis of law or statements of law and
authority. Where no response is required, any averment is deemed denied.
ANSWER AND FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: Response To ENUMERATED
PARAGRAPHS:

1. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 1 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 1, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 1 are denied.
2. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit
or deny Plaintiffs’ allegations in Paragraph 2.
3-8. To the extent that the allegations in these paragraphs constitute conclusions
of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations
set forth in Paragraphs 3 through 8, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge
or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraphs 3 through 8 are denied.
Response To MARRIAGE
9. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 9 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
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forth in Paragraph 9, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 9 are denied.
10. The allegations contained in Paragraph 10 of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint are
admitted upon information and belief. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 10
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
11-12. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 11 through 12 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 11 through 12, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 11 through 12 are denied.
Response To ADOPTION
13-15. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 13 through 15 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 13 through 15, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 13 through 15 are denied.
Response To CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS
16. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 16 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 16, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information
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to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 16 are denied.
17. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 17 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 17, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 17 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s allegations in
Paragraph 17, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to subparagraphs
17(a) and 17(b) as follows:
(a-b) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraphs 17(a) and 17(b)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraphs 17(a) and 17(b),
Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to admit or
deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
subparagraphs 17(a) and 17(b) are denied.
18. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit
or deny Plaintiffs’ allegations in Paragraph 18.
Response To NATURE OF THE ACTION
19. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 19 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 19, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information
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to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 19 are denied.
Response To JURISDICTION AND VENUE
20. Upon information and belief, it is admitted that Plaintiffs are asserting a
cause of action under 42 U.S.C § 1983 pursuant to the Plaintiffs’ assertions in Paragraph
20. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 20 constitute conclusions of law, said
conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
21. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 21 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 21, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 21 are denied.
22. The allegations in Paragraph 22 are admitted as to Defendant Thigpen;
admitted as to the remaining Defendants, upon information and belief.
23. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 23 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 23, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 23 are denied.

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Response To THE NORTH CAROLINA MARRIAGE LAWS
Response To North Carolina Marriage Statutes
24. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 24 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 24, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 24 are denied.
25. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 25 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 25, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 25 are denied.
Response To The North Carolina Anti-Marriage Amendment (“Amendment
One”)

26. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 26 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 26, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraph 26 are denied.
27. It is admitted that Paragraph 27 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint quotes
Amendment One and N.C. Const. art. XIV, § 6. To the extent that the allegations in
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Paragraph 27 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor
denied.
28. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 28 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 28, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information
to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
Paragraphs 28 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s allegations in
Paragraph 28, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to subparagraphs
28(a) through 28(e) as follows:
(a-e) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraphs 28(a) through 28(e)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraphs 28(a) through 28(e),
Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to admit or
deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in
subparagraphs 28(a) through 28(e) are denied.
29-30. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 29 through 30 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 29 through 30, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 29 through 30 are denied.
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Response To OTHER BARRIERS TO MARRIAGE HAVE BEEN STRUCK
DOWN

31-47. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 31 through 47 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 31 through 47, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 31 through 47 are denied.
Response To ANY ALLEGED STATE INTEREST IN FORBIDDING
MARRIAGE IS SUBJECT TO HEIGTENED SCRUTINY

48-64. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 48 through 64 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 48 through 64, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 48 through 64 are denied.
Response To THE NORTH CAROLINA ADOPTION STATUTES

65-69. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 65 through 69 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 65 through 69, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 65 through 69 are denied.

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70. It is admitted that Paragraph 70 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint quotes N.C.
Gen. Stat. § 48-1-101(18). To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 70 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
71-76. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 71 through 76 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 71 through 76, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 71 through 76 are denied.
Response To OTHER STATES GRANT SECOND PARENT ADOPTION,
RECOGNIZING THAT SUCH ADOPTIONS ARE IN THE BEST INTERESTS
OF CHILDREN

77-82. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 77 through 82 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 77 through 82, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 77 through 82 are denied.
Response To WHILE NORTH CAROLINA PROHIBITS ADOPTION BY
SECOND PARENTS, NORTH CAROLINA LAWS AND POLICIES
OTHERWISE RECOGNIZE THE VALUE THAT GAY AND LESBIAN
COUPLES PROVIDE AS PARENTS

83-89. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 83 through 89 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 83 through 89, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
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knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 83 through 89 are denied.
Response To De Facto Parent Doctrine
90-96. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 90 through 96 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 90 through 96, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient
knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the
remaining allegations in Paragraphs 90 through 96 are denied.
Response To FORBIDDING APPLICATIONS FOR SECOND PARENT
ADOPTION ADVANCES NO COMPELLING OR EVEN LEGITIMATE STATE
PURPOSE

97-104. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 97 through 104 constitute
conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining
allegations set forth in Paragraphs 97 through 104, Defendant Thigpen is without
sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth
above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 97 through 104 are denied.
Response To PARTIES

Response To PLAINTIFFS

Response To Esmeralda Mejia, Christina Ginter-Mejia, and J.G.-M

105-110. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraphs 105
through 110 of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations
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in Paragraphs 105 through 110 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither
admitted nor denied.
111. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 111 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 111, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 111 are denied.
112. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 112 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 112, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 112 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s
allegations in Paragraph 112, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to
subparagraphs 112(a) through 112(e) as follows:
(a-d) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraph 112(a) through 112(d)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraph 112(a) through
112(d), Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to
admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations
in subparagraph 112(a) through 112(d) are denied.

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113-114. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraphs 113
through 114 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations
in Paragraphs 113 through 114 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither
admitted nor denied.
115. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit
or deny Plaintiff’s allegations contained in Paragraph 115.
116. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraph 116 of
the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph
116 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
117-120. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to
admit or deny Plaintiff’s allegations contained in Paragraphs 117 through 120.
121. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraph 121 of
the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph
121 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
122-123. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to
admit or deny Plaintiff’s allegations contained in Paragraphs 122 through 123.
124-132. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 124 through 132
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 124 through 132, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 124 through 132 are denied.
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Response To Ellen W. Gerber and Pearl Berlin
133-137. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraphs 133
through 137 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations
in Paragraphs 133 through 137 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither
admitted nor denied.
138. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 138 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 138, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 138 are denied.
139. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 139 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 139, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 139 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s
allegations in Paragraph 139, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to
subparagraphs 139(a) through 139(e) as follows:
(a-e) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraphs 139(a) through 139(e)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraphs 139(a) through
139(e), Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to
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admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations
in subparagraphs 139(a) through 139(e) are denied.
Response To Lyn McCoy and Jane Blackburn

140-142. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraphs
140 through 142 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the
allegations in Paragraphs 140 through 142 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions
are neither admitted nor denied.
143. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit
or deny Plaintiffs’ allegations in Paragraph 143.
144. Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit
or deny Plaintiffs’ allegations in Paragraph 144.
145. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraph 145 of
the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph
145 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
146. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 146 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 146, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 146 are denied.
147. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 147 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
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forth in Paragraph 147, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 147 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s
allegations in Paragraph 147, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to
subparagraphs 147(a) through 147(e) as follows:
(a-e) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraphs 147(a) through 147(e)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraphs 147(a) through
147(e), Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to
admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations
in subparagraphs 147(a) through 147(e) are denied.
Response To HARMS SUFFERED BY PLAINTIFFS AS RESULT OF
BEING DENIED THE FREEDOM TO MARRY

148-150. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 148 through 150
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 148 through 150, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 148 through 150 are denied.
151. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 151 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 151, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
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information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 151 are denied. In further response and defense of the Plaintiff’s
allegations in Paragraph 151, Defendant Thigpen asserts the following with respect to
subparagraphs 151(a) through 151(q) as follows:
(a-e) To the extent that the allegations in subparagraphs 151(a) through 151(q)
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
As to any remaining allegations set forth in subparagraphs 151(a) through
151(q), Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge of information to
admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations
in subparagraphs 151(a) through 151(q) are denied.
152-163. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 152 through 163
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 152 through 163, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 152 through 163 are denied.
Response To HARMS SUFFERED BY PLAINTIFFS AS A RESULT OF
NORTH CAROLINA’S CATEGORICAL PROHIBITION
AGAINST SECOND PARENT ADOPTION

164-194. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 164 through 194
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 164 through 194, Defendant Thigpen is
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without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 164 through 194 are denied.
Response To DEFENDANTS
195-198. The allegations contained in Paragraphs 195 through 198 of the
Plaintiffs’ Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 195
through 198 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor
denied.
199. Defendant Thigpen, under North Carolina law, performs the ministerial
function of recording death certificates which have been created and approved by a local
registrar pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-97. Therefore, the allegations contained in
Paragraph 199 of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint are denied.
200. The allegations contained in Paragraph 200 of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint are
admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 200 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
201-209. Upon information and belief, the allegations contained in Paragraphs
201 through 209 of the Plaintiff’s Complaint are admitted. To the extent that the
allegations in Paragraphs 201 through 209 constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions
are neither admitted nor denied.
210. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 210 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set
forth in Paragraph 210, Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or
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information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining
allegations in Paragraph 210 are denied.
Response To FUTILITY
211-215. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 211 through 215
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 211 through 215, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 211 through 215 are denied.
216. The allegations contained in Paragraph 216 of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint are
admitted. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraph 216 constitute conclusions of
law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied.
217-219. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 217 through 219
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 217 through 219, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 217 through 219 are denied.
Response To CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
Response To FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY THE ADULT PLAINTIFFS)
( DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

220. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 219 of Plaintiffs’
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Complaint, as though fully set forth.
221-227. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 221 through 227
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 221 through 227, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 221 through 227 are denied.
Response To SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY THE MARRIED PLAINTIFFS)
(EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

228. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 227 of Plaintiffs’
Complaint, as though fully set forth.
229-234. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 229 through 234
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 229 through 234, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 229 through 234 are denied.
Response To THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY PLAINTIFF J.G.-M.)
(EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)
235. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 234 of Plaintiffs’
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Complaint, as though fully set forth.
236-246. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 236 through 246
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 236 through 246, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 236 through 246 are denied.
Response To FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY PLAINTIFF J.G.-M)
(J.G.-M’S RIGHTS UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE
UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

247. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 246 of Plaintiffs’
Complaint, as though fully set forth.
248-258. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 248 through 258
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 248 through 258, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 248 through 258 are denied.
Response To FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY Plaintiffs MEJIA AND MEJIA-GINTER)
(PARENTS’ RIGHTS UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)
259. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 258 of Plaintiffs’
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Complaint, as though fully set forth.
260-268. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 260 through 268
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 260 through 268, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 260 through 268 are denied.
Response To SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY PLAINTIFF GINTER-MEJIA)
(GINTER-MEJIA’S RIGHTS UNDER THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF
THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

269. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 268 of Plaintiffs’
Complaint, as though fully set forth.
270-275. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 270 through 275
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 270 through 275, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 270 through 275 are denied.
Response To SEVENTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(BY PLAINTIFF GINTER-MEJIA, MEJIA, AND J.G.-M)
(DUE PROCESS CLAUSE UNDER THE UNITED STATES
CONSTITUTION, 42 U.S.C. § 1983)

276. Defendant Thigpen re-alleges and incorporates herein by reference his
responses to the allegations, contained in Paragraphs 1 through 275 of Plaintiffs’
Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 21 of 26
Page 22 of 26

Complaint, as though fully set forth.
277-282. To the extent that the allegations in Paragraphs 277 through 282
constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither admitted nor denied. As to any
remaining allegations set forth in Paragraphs 277 through 282, Defendant Thigpen is
without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny. Thus, for the reasons set
forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraphs 277 through 282 are denied.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: MOTION TO DISMISS –
PLAINTIFFS’ LACK OF STANDING
Fed. R. Civ. P., Rule 12(b)(1)
Defendant Thigpen asserts that the Plaintiffs lack standing to assert the claims in
their Complaint. Therefore, Defendant Thigpen moves this Court to dismiss the
Plaintiff’s Complaint as to Defendant Thigpen.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: MOTION TO DISMISS –
LACK OF STANDING
Fed. R. Civ. P., Rule 12(b)(1)

Defendant Thigpen asserts that the Court lacks jurisdiction to as Plaintiffs seek
equitable relief and jurisdiction is estopped due to Defendant Thigpen’s governmental
and qualified immunity.
FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: MOTION TO DISMISS
Fed. R. Civ. P., Rule 12(b)(6)

The Plaintiffs’ Complaint fails to state a claim against Defendant Thigpen upon which
relief can be granted. Plaintiffs’ Complaint fails to state a cause of action against the
public entity Defendant Thigpen for, pursuant to Monell v. Department of Social Services
Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 22 of 26
Page 23 of 26

of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S. Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978), there can
be no recovery for a federal civil rights violation where there is no constitutional
deprivation occurring pursuant to governmental policy or custom. Therefore, Defendant
Thigpen moves this Court to dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint as to Defendant Thigpen.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY
Defendant Thigpen asserts governmental immunity and N.C. Gen. Stat. §153A-
435 in bar of Plaintiffs’ claims in that the Complaint complains of governmental acts with
respect to which Plaintiff must plead and prove a waiver of governmental immunity. At
all times relevant to the acts alleged in the Plaintiff’s Complaint, Defendant Thigpen,
acted reasonably, properly, lawfully, and in good faith in the exercise of his discretion
within the laws established in the State of North Carolina. As a result Defendant Thigpen
is entitled to governmental immunity.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: QUAILFIED IMMUNITY
Defendant Thigpen has acted within the current laws established in the State of
North Carolina. Therefore, Defendant Thigpen has not violated any clearly established
constitutional or statutory rights of which reasonable persons would have otherwise
known and is entitle to the protections by qualified immunity.
SIVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: COMPLIANCE WITH EXISTING LAW
Defendant Thigpen has not violated any rights, privileges or immunities secured to
Plaintiff by the Constitution or laws of the United States, the State of North Carolina or
any political subdivision thereof, nor has Defendant Thigpen violated any act of Congress
providing for the protection of civil rights.
Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 23 of 26
Page 24 of 26

EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: ADEQUATE REMEDIES AT LAW
Defendant Thigpen asserts that the Plaintiffs are not entitled to injunctive or
declaratory relief since the remedies at law are adequate.
NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE: CONTRADICTION TO PUBLIC POLICY

Defendant Thigpen asserts that the Plaintiffs are not entitled to the injunctive relief
sought since the relief sought is contrary to public policy.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Defendant Thigpen respectfully prays:
283. In that Paragraphs 283 through 290 constitute Plaintiffs’ Prayer for Relief,
Defendant Thigpen answers and respectfully prays this Court to dismiss this action
against Defendant Thigpen as to Plaintiffs’ claims for relief. With respect to all claims
Defendant Thigpen prays this Court issue no injunctive relief. To the extent Paragraph
283 contains allegations that constitute conclusions of law, said conclusions are neither
admitted nor denied. As to any remaining allegations set forth in this Paragraph 283,
Defendant Thigpen is without sufficient knowledge or information to admit or deny.
Thus, for the reasons set forth above, the remaining allegations in Paragraph 283 are
denied.

Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 24 of 26
Page 25 of 26

This the 30 day of May, 2014.

/s/J. Mark Payne
J. Mark Payne (N.C.S.B. No. 11046)
Attorney for Defendant
Guilford County, North Carolina
Phone: (336) 641-3852
mpayne@co.guilford.nc.us


OFFICE OF GUILFORD COUNTY ATTORNEY
301 W. Market Street
PO Box 3427 (27402)
Greensboro, N.C. 27401
336-641-3852 (phone)
336-641-3642 (facsimile)

















Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 25 of 26
Page 26 of 26

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned hereby certifies that on the 30 day of May, 2014, a copy of the
foregoing Answer and Affirmative Defenses was served upon all parties in accordance
with the provisions of Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by:
____ Hand delivering a copy hereof to the attorney for each said party addressed
as follows:
Depositing a copy hereof, postage prepaid, in the United States Mail,
addressed as follows:
Teleco pying a copy thereof to the attorney for each said party and to each
party as follows:
X Sending a copy thereof to the attorney for each said party and to each party
by electronic mail (“e-mail”) as follows:
Jonathan D. Sasser
Jeremy M. Falcone
Ellis & Winters, LLP
PO Box 33550
Raleigh, NC 27636
jon.sasser@elliswinters.com
jeremy.falcone@elliswinters.com
Rose A. Saxe
James D. Esseks
American Civil
Liberties
Union Foundation
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
rsaxe@aclu.org
jesseks@aclu.org
Christopher Brook
ACLU of N.C.
PO Box 28004
Raleigh, NC 27611
cbrook@acluofnc.org
Garrard R. Beeney
David A. Castleman
Catherine M. Bradley
William R.A. Kleysteuber
Daniel W. Meyler
Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
BeeneyG@sullcrom.com
Elizabeth O. Gill
American Civil
Liberties
Union Foundation
39 Drumm Street
San Francisco, CA
94111
egill@aclunc.org

X Use of the Court’s CM/ECF electronic filing system which will send
notification of such filing to the Plaintiffs’ counsel of record.

This the 30 day of May, 2014.

/s/ J. Mark Payne
J. Mark Payne
Case 1:14-cv-00299-UA-JEP Document 48 Filed 05/30/14 Page 26 of 26

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