Judge says Mo. law violates inmate rights to marry

Feb 10, 2014

Credit mikecogh / Flickr

A central Missouri county has been told by a federal judge that it must issue a license to inmates without requiring the person to fill out the marriage license application in the presence of the county recorder of deeds or their deputy.

U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner ruled Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Missouri against Moniteau County on behalf of three women who plan to marry inmates at Tipton Correctional Center later this month.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports Fenner said the wedding ceremonies were at risk because the plaintiffs couldn't get marriage licenses. He called Missouri's law on license applications unconstitutional when applicants are physically unable to appear because they are incarcerated in the county.