Bulletin: IN2015003

Date:
March 25, 2015
To:
All Indiana Issuing Offices
RE:
UNDERWRITING - Same Sex Marriage in Indiana

Dear Associates:

On June 25, 2014, a Federal District Court struck down Indiana’s statutory ban on same sex marriages. On July 25, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals held that Indiana’s statute recognizing marriage as only between a man and a woman violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the U.S. declined to review the lower court’s decision resulting in the legalization of same sex marriages in Indiana as well as recognition in Indiana of same sex marriages performed in other states that recognize same sex marriage.*

This bulletin is written in response to questions from Issuing Offices and customers regarding same sex marriage. The following are general guidelines on this issue. Please contact a Stewart underwriter with specific questions.

Issues affecting title held by married same sex couples are to be underwritten the same as couples legally married under prior state law defining marriage. You should not make any additional requirements or demand additional documentation for married same sex couples that you do not currently require of other married couples.

As a reminder, we do not insure marital status of the parties to the transaction or provide legal advice as to how an insured should take title to property. See STG Underwriting Manual Section12.31.1.

The law on same sex marriages is in transition. The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to review cases from four states on the legality of same sex marriages with arguments scheduled for Tuesday April 28. We will keep you informed of any further developments that will affect Indiana law.

*See Baskin v. Bogan, 12 F. Supp. 3d 1144 (S.D. Ind.3d 2014), affirmed at 766 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. Ind. 2014), Writ of certiorari denied, 135 S. Ct. 316 (U.S. 2014) 

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
IN2014008 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - Same Sex Marriage in Indiana
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
12.31 Marital Status Of The Insureds
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None