Internal Memorandum of the Law for Defenses
Of the State of Utah for Polygamist Marriages
PA499: Bachelors Capstone Project in Paralegal Studies
Ted Leopold, ESQ.
Keith A. Swift
October 16, 2012
Deborah Evans-Polygamy defenses for state of Utah
Deborah Evans Met Aaron Conway and his wife Barb Conway five years ago as part of the religious sect Canyon County Family Society that has existed for 25 years with 120 members, which is part of the Mormon Church which strongly believes in polygamist marriages. Ms. Evans moved in with the Conway’s two years ago, in which time Mr. Conway and Ms. Evans began dating even though he has been married to his wife Barb for 10 years, and have five children together. In 2011Mr. Conway decided he wanted to be married to Deborah Evans as well for a second wife, as it is part of their religious beliefs to do and applied for a marriage license in canyon County, Utah. Mr. Conway and Ms. Evans then proceeded to the county clerk’s office and applied for their marriage license where they were denied, and informed at that point that polygamy in the state of Utah is not legal, and since Mr. Conway was already married, they could not get a marriage license. The Conway’s and Ms. Evans at this point sued the state of Utah in trial court for their right to practice polygamy based off of their religious beliefs. The trial court ruled against them, and denied the group the marriage license. At this point the Conway’s and Ms. Evans would like to appeal the trial court decision.
This memorandum will discuss statutes, and case law Utah may use in the appeal against our clients claims of constitutional violations, and religious rights to carry out polygamy as a religious right. Discussion:
When discussing the issue of polygamy, the one case ruling mostly, and heavily relied on is in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244 (1879) when...
References: RFRA, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1.
Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-101(1)(2)(3)
Utah Const. art. III, § 1
Bronson v. Swensen, 500 F.3d 1099 (10th Cir. Utah 2007)
Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993)
Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (U.S. 2006)
Potter v. Murray City, 585 F. Supp. 1126 (D. Utah 1984)
Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244 (1879)
State v. Green, 2004 UT 76, P19 (Utah 2004)
Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 92 S. Ct. 1526
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