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  • AG Statement on Petition for Release
    by kcsg.com news
    Published - 04/10/14 - 08:15 AM | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Same-sex adoption
    Same-sex adoption
    slideshow
    download Court-Stamped Petition for Extraordinary Relief 4.9.14
    (SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) - (+DOCUMENT) - The Department of Health on Monday filed a Petition for Emergency Relief, asking the Utah Court of Appeals to relieve it from complying with a court order in a same-sex adoption case. The court order required the Department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of the adoptive child. The Department is seeking clarification from the Utah appellate courts because the court order conflicts with Utah law currently in effect which prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriages. In consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, the Department determined filing the emergency request for relief was appropriate.

    The Department of Health was not a party to the adoption proceeding, and under Utah law, the only mechanism for the Department to seek appellate review of the order is to file a writ directed at the judge who issued the order. The Department is not “suing” judges. Rather, the Department has filed a petition asking Utah’s appellate courts to determine whether the judge in this case correctly applied the law. The adoptive parents in this case are not required to file any response. Rather, the judge who issued the order is the respondent, and that judge will file a responsive pleading in the courts.

    When requested by the court, the Attorney General has provided the State’s position in adoption proceedings involving same-sex marriages. The Attorney General has recommended that the proceedings be stayed until the federal courts determine the constitutionality of Utah laws requiring the state to recognize only opposite-sex marriage. Without guidance from Utah’s appellate courts, compliance with the court order before the federal courts rule is likely to create more uncertainty in Utah law and for Utah families.

    The Department filed a petition for extraordinary relief and supporting memorandum with the courts yesterday. Those documents set out the legal reasons that the Department is entitled to relief from complying with the order.
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