Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kirkpatrick v. District Court case brief

Kirkpatrick v. District Court case brief summary
64 P.3d 1056 (Nev. 2003)

SYNOPSIS: Petitioner father petitioned for a writ of mandamus to respondents, judge and Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County, Nevada, seeking to compel the district court to vacate an order issuing a marriage license allowing the father's 15-year-old daughter to marry and seeking to annul the marriage.

-Under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 122.025, a minor under the age of 16 was allowed to marry with the consent of 1 parent and district court authorization.
-This allowed the father's 15-year-old daughter to marry a 48-year-old man with the consent of her mother.
-The father argued that the statute was unconstitutional.

-The appellate court found that the right to marry was a fundamental right.

-The statute provided a safeguard against an erroneous marriage decision by the minor and the consenting parent, by giving the district court the discretion to withhold authorization if it found that there were no extraordinary circumstances and/or the proposed marriage was not in the minor's best interest.
-The father lost his right to exercise legal control over his daughter during her minority.
-He still had the other legal and social attributes of parenthood.
-The state had an interest in fostering appropriate marriages and tailoring its statutes in such a way as to take into account the individual variations in maturity, rather than just setting an arbitrary rule of age.
-The father had no standing to annul his daughter's marriage.

OUTCOME: The petition for mandamus was denied.

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