Kirkpatrick v. District Court

64 P.3d 1056 (2003)


SierraDawn Kirkpatrick Crow is the daughter of Karen Karay and F. In 1990, Karay and Kirkpatrick were divorced in California. As part of the divorce decree, Karay and F were awarded joint legal and physical custody of SierraDawn. In 1992, Karay and SierraDawn moved from California to New Mexico. In December 2000, when SierraDawn was fifteen years old, she informed her mother that she desired to marry her guitar teacher, forty-eight-year-old Sauren Crow. SierraDawn's mother approved of the marriage. However, under New Mexico law, SierraDawn was not permitted to marry. Therefore, SierraDawn, her mother, and Crow traveled to Las Vegas where SierraDawn and Crow could marry if granted permission by the court. Karay filed a petition with the Clark County district court to obtain judicial authorization for SierraDawn's marriage. Karay filed an affidavit consenting to the marriage, in which she stated that she has 'seen no other couple so right for each other,' that they 'have very real life plans at home, in the town in which we all reside,' and that 'their partnership and their talents will be most effectively utilized by this marriage.' The district court found that good cause existed under Nevada law for the marriage, and ordered that a marriage license be issued to SierraDawn and Crow. On January 3, 2001, SierraDawn and Crow were married in Las Vegas. F sought an ex parte temporary restraining order in the New Mexico district court. That court granted the temporary restraining order and awarded F immediate legal and physical custody of SierraDawn. Four days later, however, the court rescinded its order because it found that SierraDawn's marriage was valid under Nevada law and that SierraDawn was emancipated as a result of the marriage. F then asked the Clark County district court to vacate its earlier order authorizing SierraDawn's marriage and to annul the marriage. The district court concluded that the marriage complied with Nevada law and determined that F lacked standing to challenge the marriage's validity. F sought mandamus.