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November 2003


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Cassie Barbeau <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 4 Nov 2003 12:31:23 -0500
text/plain (53 lines)
In Bennington, we do follow the law, and in fact even after the wedding is
performed, only one is required to sign, which seems a little shady in my
opinion.  But it is also much more convenient to only need one person as our
hours are also often the same hours that everyone works.

We have also had jailhouse weddings.

I also try very hard to have the officiant information completed on the
license application so if the license is never filed, I can call the
officiant to see if it took place.  Yes, I agree it may be a little
uncomfortable asking the bride or groom if it took place and turns out it
never did.

Cassandra J. Barbeau
Assistant Town Clerk
Bennington, VT
(802) 442-1043
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-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Joan Devine
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 12:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Surprise Marriages

It has always been my policy to have both the bride and the groom sign the
marriage license in front of me or my assistant.  I strayed from that policy
and these were the results:

1.  Male came in for the license and wanted to marry the mother of his
children that he has been living with for 15 years.  I allowed him to sign
the license, pay the fee, and leave with the document.  Time went by and the
license was never returned.  I asked him (I know him personally) when I saw
him if the marriage ever took place and he advised it did not.  He was very
excited to get married and very embarrassed that it did not happen.

2.  Female came into office for license and said groom was not available to
sign the license.  She quoted the law that says either the bride or the
groom must sign the document in front of the clerk.  I weighed policy versus
law and gave in to law.  The next thing I saw was this couple on the news.
They had gotten married in the Burlington jail as the bride brought a
justice of the peace with her to visit the groom and the justice performed
the ceremony.  This allowed the bride to not have to testify in a big
criminal case against her husband.