Polygamist Marriages Internal Memorandum Essay

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Internal Memorandum of the Law for Defenses
Of the State of Utah for Polygamist Marriages
PA499: Bachelors Capstone Project in Paralegal Studies

MEMORANDUM
TO: Ted Leopold, ESQ.
FROM: Keith A. Swift
PARALEGAL

DATE: October 16, 2012

SUBJECT: Deborah Evans-Polygamy defenses for state of Utah

Facts: Deborah Evans Met Aaron Conway and his wife Barb Conway five years ago as part of the religious sect Canyon County Family Society that has existed for 25 years with 120 members, which is part of the Mormon Church which strongly believes in polygamist marriages. Ms. Evans moved in with the Conway’s two years ago, in which time Mr. Conway and Ms. Evans began dating even though he has been married to his wife Barb
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Conway. This was the first case to weigh in on Utah’s anti-bigamy laws to state that they are constitutional. Further when Chief Justice Waite delivered the opinion of the court in discussion of the opinion further discussed if Mormons or the sects that are part of the religion practicing polygamy should be exempt from the law. The state of Utah may use this in our current case to try and show and or justify why Ms. Evans, Mr. & Mrs. Conway should not have the right to be married in a polygamous marriage, or granted a religious exemption. Lastly in Reynolds Chief Justice Waite compared polygamy as “a criminal act” which is also where the state of Utah will weigh in on this wording as well for the defense. The state of Utah also relies heavily on Utah Const. art. III, § 1, in Utah’s Constitution stating “First: -- Perfect toleration of religious sentiment is guaranteed. No inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; but polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited”, and Utah’s anti-polygamy statute, Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-101(1)(2)(3) stating “(1) A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person, (2) Bigamy is a felony of the third degree, and (3) It shall be a defense to bigamy that the accused reasonably believed he and the

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