Marriage Equality USA

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Lawsuits - Pending

Held v. Colvin

Case #: 2:15-cv-1732
Date Filed: 10 March 2015
Court Level: Federal District Court (Central California)
Date of Appeal:


Schuett v. FedEx

Case #: 15-cv-189
Date Filed: 14 January 2015
Court Level: Federal District Court (Central California)
Date of Appeal: 


  • 14 January 2015, the widow of a longtime FedEx employee sued FedEx for refusing to provide her with federally required spousal pension benefits solely because both spouses were women. The suit was filed by NCLR. Stacey Schuett and Lesly Taboada-Hall were together for 30 years before they married on 19 June 2013 in Northern California. At the time of Taboada-Hall’s death from uterine cancer, she had been an employee of FedEx for more than 26 years and was fully vested in her pension. FedEx refused to provide the benefits because its pension plan incorporates the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even though that law was struck down as unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court on 26 June 2013. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, federally-regulated retirement plans must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples for purposes of survivor benefits.
  • 14 January 2015, Widow Sues FedEx for Refusing to Provide Survivor Benefits Based on Her Same-Sex Spouse’s 26 years of Service to the Company - NCLR Press Release
  • 22 July 2015, per EQCF: Defendants FedEx Corp, et al., wanted this case transferred from a California federal court to a federal court in Western District of Tennessee. Plaintiff opposed the transfer. The judge denied the defendants' request.
Michael Dragovich v. U.S. Treasury, U.S. IRS and CalPERS

Case #: CV 4:10-01564-CW
Date Filed: 24 May 2012
Court Level: Federal District court (Northern California, Oakland Division)
Date of Appeal: 23 July 2012


  • April 2010, 3 legally married gay and lesbian couples in which one partner is a state employee filed a lawsuit to win the equal right to buy long-term care insurance from the state's pension system.
  • 7 September 2011, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.
  • 20 January 2011, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken of Oakland, CA ruled that the couples can proceed with the lawsuit they filed in April against the U.S. Treasury Department and the California Public Employees' Retirement System, known as CalPERS.
  • 20 January 2012, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment.
  • 24 May 2012, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. Section 7, and Section 7702B of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. Section 7702B, are unconstitutional to the extent that they limit the participation of same-sex spouses and domestic partners of California public employees in the long-term care insurance program provided by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).  Judge Wilken premised her ruling on the equal protection requirement of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, concluding that having disposed of the case on this basis, there was no need for her to address the plaintiffs' alternative substantive due process argument.
  • 26 June 2012, BLAG filed notice of an appeal.
  • 18 July 2013, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner announced that the Republican-controlled BLAG (Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group) had ceased defending DOMA in all 14 of the federal lawsuits on which it spent $3 million in taxpayer funds, including this one.
  • 22 July 2013, BLAG’s appeal was dismissed, and it filed a motion to withdraw from the case, which would leave the United States as the only defendant.
  • 4 November 2013, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated part of the earlier decision, and sent the case back to U.S. district court to reconsider the effect of recent legal changes upon same-gender domestic couples who: live out of CA, can’t marry because of impairment, can’t marry because one partner died, delay marriage, choose not to marry, or who want remedies because they were denied marriage in the past.
  • 17 January 2014, BLAG’s motion to withdraw from the case was denied. The plaintiffs intend to seek attorney’s fees from the defendants, including BLAG.
  • 25 July 2014, a Joint Case Management Statement was filed in anticipation of the Case Management Conference scheduled for 30 July 2014.
  • 28 August 2014, from Equality Case Files (EQCF): Plaintiffs' motion for additional remedies, a class notice, permission to supplement the complaint, summary adjudication, and to compel limited discovery from the state defendants. A factual history of the case begins on page 3 (pdf pg 15).