Kentucky Told to Pay Attorney Fees in Same-Sex Marriage Case

Jul 21, 2017

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis spent five days in jail in 205 for refusing to obey a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples
Credit Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled that the state of Kentucky must pay legal fees for couples who sued a county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses.

Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue the licenses following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

 


The ACLU sued for reimbursement of legal costs in the case against Davis in her capacity as clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky.

In a 50-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David Bunning said neither Davis nor the county are liable for those costs.  Bunning ordered Kentucky to pay over 224 thousand dollars.

Amber Duke of the ACLU of Kentucky says that’s because Davis was acting on behalf of the state, “In the ruling he says Davis represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky when she refused to issue marriage licenses to legally-eligible couples and the buck stops there.”

Attorneys representing Kim Davis are pleased that their client has not been held liable but predict the state will appeal.

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From earlier Friday 7/20/7

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Kentucky taxpayers to pay more than $220,000 in attorneys' fees for a county clerk who refused to issue marriage license to same-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge Jim Bunning says Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was acting for the state government when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the basis of her personal religious beliefs. He ordered the state to pay $222,695 in attorneys' fees and another $2,008 in costs. He said the county government and Davis herself are not liable.

Davis spent five days in jail for refusing a judge's order that she issue the licenses to gay couples shortly after a U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Kentucky's Republican governor signed a law last year that removed the names of clerks from state marriage licenses.