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Case 1:14-cv-00208-CG-N Document 58 Filed 01/25/15 Page 1 of 5

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SOUTHERN DIVISION

CARI D. SEARCY and KIMBERLY


MCKEAND, individually and as
parent and next friend of K.S., a
minor,
Plaintiffs,
vs.
LUTHER STRANGE, in his capacity
as Attorney General for the State of
Alabama,
Defendant.

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Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-0208-CG-N

MOTION OF ALABAMA PROBATE JUDGES ASSOCIATION


FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT
OF MOTION FOR ENTRY OF STAY OF ORDER
ENTERED JANUARY 23, 2015 [DOC. 53]
Comes Now the Alabama Probate Judges Association (APJA), by and through
counsel, and moves this Court to grant it leave to appear as amicus curiae in support of the
motion filed by Defendant Luther Strange for stay [Doc. 55] of this Courts Memorandum
Opinion and Order entered herein on January 23, 2015 [Doc. 53]. In support of its motion,
APJA states as follows:
1.

APJA is a private association whose members include all 68 of Alabamas

Probate Judges. APJA, through its Executive Committee, has authorized the filing of this

Case 1:14-cv-00208-CG-N Document 58 Filed 01/25/15 Page 2 of 5

motion because of the importance of the issues presented by the Attorney Generals motion
for stay on their ability to administer their statutory responsibility to issue marriage licenses.
2.

In Alabama, no person may marry without a license. A LA. C ODE 30-1-9. The

probate judge is responsible for issuance of marriage licenses. Id. Further, the probate judge
is required to prepare and forward a record of each marriage performed to the Office of Vital
Statistics. A LA. C ODE 22-9A-17(a). The probate judge shall complete the record ... upon
the basis of information obtained from the parties to be married. A LA. C ODE 22-9A-17(b).
The probate judge is required to forward to the Office of Vital Statistics ... on or before the
fifth day of each calendar month the records of marriage returned to the judge of probate
during the preceding calendar month. A LA. C ODE 22-9A-17(d).
3.

Thus, Alabama probate judges play a central role in authorizing and properly

documenting marriages performed in Alabama. The interest of APJA as amicus curiae in


the Attorney Generals motion for stay of this Courts Memorandum Opinion and Order
[Doc. 53] is that of the key public official charged by law with the responsibility to
administer Alabamas laws regarding the issuance of marriage licenses. Specific details
describing the process for performing these roles are embodied in statutes enacted by the
Alabama legislature, in some cases, as early as 1852, and through various amendments
enacted numerous times over the years. It is not reasonable to expect that fundamental
changes to the administration of Alabamas marriage laws can be uniformly and efficiently
implemented between Friday evening of one week and Monday morning of the following

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week without mass confusion in probate offices across the state of Alabama. Further, there
has been no opportunity to train probate office personnel concerning these changes.
4.

Further, APJA believes that the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the

United States to hear cases this term in which issues similar to those raised in this case will
be decided is a substantial reason why this Courts Memorandum Opinion and Order [Doc.
53] should be stayed pending the decision of the Supreme Court. See James v. Hodges,
Supreme Court No. 14-556, Order dated January 16, 2015; see also cases 14-562, 14-571,
and 14-574. Issuance of a stay is in the public interest because it would avoid substantial
confusion should the Supreme Court rule in a manner consistent with the Attorney Generals
position in this case. Granting a stay will not harm the plaintiffs in this matter but will only
preserve the status quo pending consideration of these issues by the appellate court.
W HEREFORE PREMISES CONSIDERED, APJA submits that its motion for leave to appear
as amicus curiae to support the motion of Attorney General Luther Strange for stay of this
Courts Memorandum Opinion and Order [Doc. 53] is due to be granted. APJA further
submits that the motion filed by Attorney General Strange for stay [Doc. 55] as above set out
is due to be granted.
Respectfully submitted this 25th day of January, 2015.

/s Algert S. Agricola, Jr.


Algert S. Agricola, Jr.
J. Lenn Ryals
Counsel for Alabama Probate Judges Association
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OF COUNSEL:
RYALS, DONALDSON & AGRICOLA, P.C.
60 Comerce Street, Suite 1400
Montgomery, AL 36104-3652
334 834-5290 P
334 834-5297 F
aagricola@rdafirm.com

Case 1:14-cv-00208-CG-N Document 58 Filed 01/25/15 Page 5 of 5

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I certify that on January 25, 2015, I electronically filed the foregoing document using
the Courts CM/ECF system which will send notification of such filing to the following
persons:
Christine C. Hernandez
P.O. Box 66174
Mobile, AL 36660
David G. Kennedy
P.O. Box 556
Mobile, AL 36601
Luther Strange
James W. Davis
Laura E. Howell
Office of the Attorney General
501 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130
/s Algert S. Agricola, Jr.
Algert S. Agricola, Jr.