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Poor little Rowan County, Kentucky, just can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight. Seems like every pundit and commentator in the country has an opinion about benighted County Clerk Kim Davis, and her principled stand against the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual marriage. Now, even her Deputy Clerk, Kristy Plank, is in the news.
It seems Ms. Plank’s court-appointed attorney is required to make periodic status reports to the Federal Court, concerning her compliance with Judge David L. Bunning’s orders that all folks in Rowan County who want marriage licenses, get them.
But, in today’s status report, her counsel, the Hon. Michael Fox (no relation to the star of Back To The Future), had to confess that Ms. Plank felt compelled to refuse a marriage license to a local gentleman, for an unusual reason. He wanted to marry Jesus.
On the face of it, the unnamed gentleman and Jesus were both of the same gender, and therefore any refusal to issue a license on that basis would have subjected Ms. Plank to the wrath of the Federal Court. But the clever Deputy Clerk hit upon a legitimate reason to refuse the license:
“When it was explained to the individual that both parties had to be present, he stated, ‘Jesus is always present’. After being denied, the gentleman returned later and presented a type of Power of Attorney document issued by his church granting him authority to sign ‘Jesus’’ name. Since both parties were not present these requests were denied.”
Like the rest of our beautiful state, Rowan County is simply gorgeous this time of year. If you get a chance, you should drive over and “drink in the scenery.” (Rowan County is dry, but Morehead is wet.) And, be sure to thank Jesus for all that beauty.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CASE NO. 15-CV-00044-00
MILLER, et al., PLAINTIFF V. DAVIS, et al., DEFENDANT
Comes now the Hon. Michael B. Fox, appointed CJA counsel for Kristy Plank, (previous court documents have identified Mrs. Plank as “Crissy”), Rowan County Deputy Clerk and hereby submits the following status report pursuant to the Court’s order of September 7, 2015:
Counsel and Mrs. Plank have had regular contact with one another since September 7, 2015. Mrs. Plank’s primary duties are to file motor vehicle documents and assist motor vehicle dealers. To date, Mrs. Plank has not been called upon to issue any marriage licenses and therefore has not done so. Mrs. Plank reported to counsel that the marriage license form utilized by the Rowan County Clerk’s Office was altered after Defendant Davis was released from incarceration and prior to the issuance of any marriage licenses.
As of this filing, Mrs. Plank reports that, to the best of her knowledge, all requests for marriage licenses requested by legally qualified couples have been issued. The only denial of a marriage license application that has occurred within the last two weeks was to a gentleman who stated that he wanted a license that would permit him to marry
“Jesus”. When it was explained to the individual that both parties had to be present, he stated, “Jesus is always present”. After being denied, the gentleman returned later and presented a type of Power of Attorney document issued by his church granting him authority to sign “Jesus’” name. Since both parties were not present these requests were denied.
WHEREFORE, on behalf of Mrs. Kristy Plank, counsel respectfully request that the above status report be accepted by the Court.
/s/ Michael B. Fox
Michael B. Fox Fox Law Office
P.O. Box 1450 Olive Hill, KY 41164
(606) 286-5351 (606) 286-5352 (fax)
Counsel for Defendant Kristy Plank
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on September 21, 2015, I electronically filed the foregoing with the clerk of the court by using CM/ECF system, which will send a notice of electronic filing to all counsel of record. /s/ Michael B. Fox
In case you are interested, Rowan County was named after the late John Rowan (July 12, 1773 – July 13, 1843), who served as U.S. Senator from Kentucky, until replaced by John J. Crittenden, in 1831. He once killed a man, Dr. James Chambers, in a duel, stemming from a drunken dispute over which of them was better able to speak Latin and Greek, but was never convicted of anything. He is famous for building the Federal Hill estate, in Bardstown; the inspiration for Steven Collins Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” He was the founder and first president of the Louisville Medical Institute, the forerunner of the University of Louisville medical school.