Judge's ruling a boost for Missouri prison nuptials
03/22/2013 10:22 AM
05/16/2014 9:36 PM
A Missouri statute requiring both parties to sign a marriage license in the presence of a county recorder of deeds has been deemed unconstitutional when the prospective bride or groom is incarcerated.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. in Kansas City, Mo., issued the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by five women engaged to Missouri inmates.
Because betrothed inmates can't make it to the recorder's office, marriage license applications involving inmates typically are brought into a prison. The lawsuit claimed that Cole County's recorder had been allowed inside prisons for 17 years, but was denied entry in August and unable to bring marriage licenses to several prisoners. The reason: He declined to list his Social Security number on a form.
The weddings scheduled for Sept. 24 were called off.
Join the Discussion
The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.