In court documents filed Friday, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis said his office would not finalize Mobile resident Cari Searcy’s request for adoption until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a federal ruling on the validity of same-sex marriages later this year.
Those statements were made in an interlocutory order submitted by Davis Feb. 20, which will further delay Searcy’s decade-long attempt to adopt her partner Kimberly McKeand’s biological son — a legal process that ultimately led U.S. Judge Ginny Granade to overturn Alabama’s ban same-sex marriages earlier this year.
After a two-week stay of Grande’s ruling and a few days of delay because of Mobile County’s confusion over contradicting federal and state court orders, Searcy officially filed for the adoption on Feb. 9 in Mobile. However, the recent court documents seem to suggest that won’t be an option until the high court weighs in on the issues. Though no date is set, deliberation on the matter could be on the Supreme Court agenda as early as April.
Attorneys David Kennedy and Christine Hernandez, who have represented Searcy throughout the legal process, responded today with a separate lawsuit claiming Davis’ actions have violated their client’s right to equal protection and due process — the same two constitutional ideas at the crux of Granade’s original ruling.
“[Davis’] acts and omissions were intentional, malicious, willful, wanton and in gross reckless disregard of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights,” the lawsuit reads. It goes on to compel the court to strike down the interlocutory order and command Davis to end his “discriminatory practices directed toward Searcy and her family.”
In addition to those procedural requests, the latest filings also request Davis and the probate court to reimburse Searcy for her attorneys fees, damages, and move to grant her adoption without further delay. The court is also asked to clarify that Davis is prevented from enforcing, directly or indirectly, Alabama’s now-defunct sanctity laws.