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Home » Contempt » Jailed Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Released

Jailed Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Released

ClerkClerk Freed From Jail

Five days after a federal judge sent Kim Davis to jail on a civil contempt charge for disallowing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Kentucky clerk was released on Tuesday. Thousands gathered, schools were closed, Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made an appearance and even an intelligent businessman sold parking spots for $20 in the small Kentucky town for Davis’ release.

Clerk Released Because Office Followed Federal Law

A month prior to her jailing, U.S. District Judge David Bunning told Davis that she was required by law to issue marriage licenses, even to same-sex couples, and ordered her to comply with federal law in her capacity as the Rowan County Clerk. When she refused to do so and prevented her deputy clerks from issuing the marriage licenses, she was jailed for contempt of court.  After being jailed for contempt, the deputy clerks of Rowan County fulfilled their legal obligations by issuing marriage licenses to everyone legally eligible; Judge Bunning released Davis because her office was complying with federal law. As a condition of her release and continued freedom, Davis is ordered not to interfere with the issuance of marriage licenses to all legally eligible couples.

Why Did Davis Refuse?

Davis says she is a devout Apostolic Christian. Her Christian beliefs strongly oppose the marriage of same-sex couples. In the eyes of Davis and millions of other fundamentalist Christians, their religious beliefs are beginning to fade away in an increasingly liberal society. Ironically, however, Davis has been divorced three times, and her idea of marriage and who deserves to be married is obviously impaired.  Jailing for contempt of court is a drastic solution and some may say it was over-the-top. Instead of putting Davis, who was standing up for her religious beliefs, in jail for not fulfilling her occupational duties, why didn’t the Kentucky accommodate her religious beliefs or simply remove her from her elected position? That’s a question we may never know, but it might be the only solution in this case given her conviction to continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Civil Contempt in Tennessee

If this situation were to happen in Tennessee — or the other 49 states — the result would be the same. When a judge issues an order, that order must be followed or the person refusing to follow the order can be jailed for civil contempt.  In addition to being jailed, the person could be ordered to pay fines, court fees and attorneys fees. In a civil contempt case, the person incarcerated hold the keys to the jail cell; complying with the court order will release the person from incarceration.  The legalization of same-sex marriage is a national law, meaning that failure to recognize these marriages, in any governmental capacity, will result in civil contempt actions in federal court.

Hire Experience Nashville Criminal Lawyers

If you are charged with contempt of the court, you are going to need an experienced, intelligent attorney on your side to defend you; Turner Law Offices, P.C. is the firm for you. You don’t want to suffer the stress and go through the extreme difficulty of going through the courts by yourself. Call us, and we will guide you through process and make it pain-free for you. You can Request a Free Initial Consultation Online or call our office to schedule an in person meeting with an attorney.

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