Attorney General asks SC Supreme Court to rehear case on domestic violence protection

(COLUMBIA, S.C) – August 8, 2017

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today filed for a rehearing with the state Supreme Court on its recent ruling in a case that removed domestic violence protections for couples who live together or did in the past.

 

The case, Jane Doe v. State, was brought by a woman who sued on equal protection grounds because the state’s domestic violence law does not include protection for same-sex couples. The Court agreed with her but threw out the entire section of the law, meaning same-sex and opposite-sex couples who live together, or did in the past, aren’t protected.

 

The state and lawyers for Jane Doe united in asking for a rehearing, and the Court has agreed to hold-off on its ruling until it decides whether to rehear the case.

 

In his motion asking the Court to rehear the case, the attorney general argues, “The decision has thrown the law enforcement, prosecutorial, and victims advocacy communities, as well as the lower courts, into confusion, not knowing the status of pending cases, or even whether the ruling retroactively reopens previous convictions.”

 

In the original brief on the case, Attorney General Wilson wrote, “Should the Court find a constitutional violation in this case, we urge it to add same-sex couples to the definition of ‘household member,’ rather than taking the drastic step of striking the entire statute.”

 

There is no timeframe for when the Supreme Court will decide whether to rehear the case.

Read the pleading.

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