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Chambers v. Ormiston

Supreme Court of Rhode Island
935 A.2d 956 (2007)


Facts

On May 26, 2004, Margaret Chambers (plaintiff) and Cassandra Ormiston (defendant), both residents of Rhode Island, traveled to Massachusetts where they were legally married under the laws of that state. Chambers and Ormiston then returned to Rhode Island. On October 23, 2006, Chambers filed for divorce in Rhode Island Family Court. On October 27, Ormiston filed an answer and counterclaim. The Family Court certified a question to the Supreme Court of Rhode Island as to whether it had jurisdiction to recognize a same-sex marriage for the purpose of hearing a divorce petition. Rhode Island had no legal decision or statute allowing same-sex couples to marry in that state.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Suttell, J.)

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