Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ayala v. Armstrong

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 24, 2017

ADELA AYALA, individually, and as Next Friend of L.O.A., a minor child, Plaintiffs,
v.
RICHARD M. ARMSTRONG, in his official capacity as Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and ELKE SHAWTULLOCH, in her official capacity as Administrator of the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics and Health Statistics, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has before it Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 2), and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 13). The motions are fully briefed, and the Court has heard oral argument. For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part each motion.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2012, Plaintiff Adela Ayala was in a same-sex relationship with Janina Oquendo. Ayala and Oquendo wanted to get married, but the State of Idaho prevented them from doing so because it precluded same-sex marriage.[1] Id. ¶ 50. Through artificial insemination, Oquendo conceived and gave birth to L.O.A. in 2012. Id. ¶¶ 44-45. Ayala and L.O.A. have no biological relationship, and Oquendo is listed as the birth mother on L.O.A.'s birth certificate; no birth father is listed. Id. ¶¶ 59-60. Ayala is not listed on the birth certificate, but L.O.A retains Ayala's surname. Id. ¶ 58 & 61. Since L.O.A.'s birth, Ayala and Oquendo both treat L.O.A. as their daughter and have publicly declared to family and friends that L.O.A is their daughter. See Oquendo Decl. at ¶ 12, Dkt. 26-3; see also Ayala Decl. at ¶ 16, Dkt. 4-1; Pl.'s Br. at 2, Dkt. 2-1.

         On November 17, 2017, Ayala filed her complaint against two defendants, Richard Armstrong as the director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and Elke Shaw-Tulloch as Administrator of the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics. Compl., Dkt. 1. She also filed a motion for preliminary injunction. The motion asks for a “preliminary injunction to protect and recognize Ms. Ayala's fundamental right as the parent of L.O.A so they can receive the same legal protections and benefits derived from the parent-child relationship as a child with opposite sex parents without further delay.” Plf. Motion, p.1, Dkt. 2. The motion also asks the Court to “order that Defendants to [sic] apply Idaho's Paternity Act, Vital Statistics Act and Artificial Insemination Act in a sex-neutral manner, recognize the parentage of same-sex couples and their children, and issue Plaintiffs an amended two-parent birth certificate recognizing Plaintiff Ayala as the parent of her minor child L.O.A.” Id.

         The three statutes at issue are I.C. § 39-255, I.C. § 39-5405, and I.C. § 7-1106. The first two statutes create a presumption of paternity for a husband married to the birth mother at the time of conception or birth. Idaho Code § 39-255(e)(1) provides that if the birth mother is married, the name of the husband is entered as father on the birth certificate unless there has been a judicial determination or affidavit establishing he is not the biological father. Idaho Code § 39-5405(3) gives the husband of a married mother who gave birth through artificial insemination parental rights if he consented to the artificial insemination. The third statute, I.C. § 7-1106, permits the biological father of a child to acknowledge paternity even though he is not married to the child's mother.

         Defendants responded to the motion for preliminary injunction, but also filed a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court heard oral argument on the motions, and now issues the following decision.

         ANALYSIS

         1. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

         Defendants contend that Ayala's request for a change to L.O.A.'s birth certificate is barred by Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity because she seeks to correct a past wrong. Additionally, Defendants contend that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because Ayala lacks standing.

         A. Sovereign Immunity

         The Eleventh Amendment generally bars federal lawsuits against a state. Los Angeles Cty. Bar Ass'n v. Eu, 979 F.2d 697, 704 (9th Cir.1992). However, the Supreme Court created an exception to this rule in Ex Parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908). In that decision, the Supreme Court concluded that Eleventh Amendment immunity precludes prospective injunctive relief unless it addresses a continuing violation of federal law. But a “continuing violation” is different from “continuing effects.” When fashioning a remedy, courts must be guided by equitable principles which “must be designed as nearly as possible to restore the victims of discriminatory conduct to the position they would have occupied in the absence of such conduct.” Milliken v. Bradley, 433 U.S. 267, 280 (1977) (Internal citations omitted).

         In Milliken v. Bradley, 433 U.S. 267, 269 (1977) the Supreme Court remedied a past violation to address ongoing effects of that violation. The court explained that the remedial plans were necessary “to eliminate a de jure segregated school system” id. at 289, and “wipe out continuing conditions of inequality produced by the inherently unequal dual school system.” Id. at 290. (emphasis added). Milliken addressed the “continuing effects” rationale in the school desegregation context, but its holding is not limited to that context. In fact, the Supreme Court has stated that “[a] school desegregation case does not differ fundamentally from other cases involving the framing of equitable remedies to repair the denial of a constitutional right. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.