Marriage Equality Wiki
Brinkman v. Long
Full name Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd v. Karen Long and the State of Colorado
Filed 2013-10-30
Plaintiffs Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd
Defendants Karen Long, in her official capacity as Clerk and Recorder of Adams County; State of Colorado
Court Adams County District Court
Current status Motion to consolidate filed; summary judgment motions due May 2; hearing scheduled June 12

Brinkman v. Long is a 2013 Colorado state court case challenging the Colorado constitutional marriage ban and corresponding statutes. The case was filed on October 30, 2013 under case number 2013-CV-32572. It is assigned to Judge Scott Charles Crabtree.


On October 30, the plaintiffs, Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd, filed a complaint in Adams County District Court against the Clerk and Recorder of Adams County, Karen Long, for refusing to issue them a marriage license. The Clerk requested an extension of the time to answer the complaint, and the Court granted that request, moving the new deadline from November 20 to December 9.

On November 22, the plaintiffs notified the Attorney General's office of the lawsuit, as required by C.R.C.P. 57(j), because they are challenging the constitutionality of state laws. They also notified the Court that this had occurred.

On December 9, the Clerk filed a motion to dismiss the case because the plaintiffs had not named the State of Colorado as a party, and since the Clerk did not plan on defending the case, it would be undefended without adding the State.

Four days later, on December 13, the Attorney General's office filed a motion for the State of Colorado to intervene as a defendant in the case, citing the Clerk's refusal to defend the Colorado laws in question. On December 16, the Court set a schedule on the motion to intervene, giving the parties in the case until December 23 to respond, and giving the State until January 3 to reply to those responses. The only response was from the Clerk, who did not object to the intervention of the State, on December 20. Since there was no opposition, the Court granted the State's motion on December 23 without awaiting a reply.

The Clerk filed an answer to the original complaint on January 2, and the Attorney General responded on January 6.

On January 29, 2014, the Clerk filed a motion to excuse herself from requirements to participate in the case, while remaining as a defendant. She has indicated that she will cooperate with any party and the Court, and will comply with any order from the Court. The plaintiffs responded on February 17, asking that the court deny her motion. The court denied the Clerk's motion on February 27.

On March 31, the Attorney General filed a motion to consolidate this case with McDaniel-Miccio v. Colorado, another Colorado state court case filed in Denver County. On May 2, the Panel on Consolidated Multidistrict Litigation recommended to the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court that the two cases be consolidated under Brinkman and the cases proceed in Adams County. On May 6, the Chief Justice issued an order following that recommendation.

Also on May 2, the plaintiffs, the Denver County plaintiffs, and the State of Colorado filed their motions for summary judgment.

On May 7, 19 state legislators and gubernatorial candidate Mike Kopp filed a motion to intervene in the case, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The plaintiffs opposed the motion, and the court denied them intervention, allowing them only to file an amicus brief.


Status Reviews[]

Status reviews have been held on, or scheduled for, December 16, 2013 (to see if the answer had been filed yet); and January 6 (regarding the motion to intervene), January 13 (regarding the motion to dismiss), February 10 (apparently a general review), and March 3 (regarding the motion to excuse), 2014. These are internal court meetings where the judge reviews the status of the case, i.e. sees if any motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for a decision, or if anything has been filed that demands attention.