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Kim Davis Legal Bill of $233K Sought by 3 Gay Couples

Kim Davis Legal Bill of $233K Sought by 3 Gay Couples

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
 

By    |   Friday, 04 November 2016 06:49 AM

Kim Davis may have to pay $233,058 in legal bills run up by three gay couples that sued her for not issuing marriage licenses to them. Attorneys for the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky are arguing she shouldn't be forced to pay.

The couples involved in the 2015 case that sparked a nationwide debate over gay marriage and religious beliefs asked U.S. District Judge David Bunning to make Davis pay legal fees and costs connected with the case, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Davis, who objected to giving out the license on legal grounds, lost appeals of a contempt charge ruling by Bunning at every level of federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Bunning ordered Davis to be jailed for five days on the contempt charge when she continued to refuse.

Roger K. Gannam, Davis' attorney with the Liberty Counsel, filed a response saying that Bunning should deny the request because lawmakers changed Kentucky law to allow marriage licenses to be issued without the names of the county clerk affixed to them, said the Herald-Leader.

Rowan County also filed a motion, saying it should not have to pay because Davis was not acting on behalf of the county when she refused to issue the marriage licenses.

Bunning in August dismissed the three lawsuits filed by the couples after the state's general assembly changed the law.

One of Davis' deputy clerks has been issuing licenses to all couples since then.

"In light of these proceedings, and in view of the fact that the marriage licenses continue to be issued without incident, there no longer remains a case or controversy before the court," Bunning wrote in an August ruling.

Kentucky ACLU legal director William Sharp said, though, that Davis still owes for the legal fees incurred before the ruling.

"Courts recognize that when successful civil rights plaintiffs obtain a direct benefit from a court-ordered victory, such as in this case, they can be entitled to their legal expenses to deter future civil rights violations by government officials," Sharp said.

In July 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution allowed same-sex couples to marry regardless of individual state laws, according to the Washington Post.

County clerks from around the country grappled with issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with some like Davis refusing on religious grounds, according to USA Today.

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Kim Davis may have to pay $233,058 in legal bills run up by three gay couples that sued her for not issuing marriage licenses to them. Attorneys for the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky are arguing she shouldn't be forced to pay.
kim davis, legal, bill, gay, couples
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2016-49-04
Friday, 04 November 2016 06:49 AM
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