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Daly v. Daly Collection (MS-00502)


The Daly v Daly Collection documents materials produced for and as a result of the lawsuits between Suzanne Daly (formerly Tim Daly), a male-to-female transgender woman, and Nancy Toews Daly from 1980 to 2003. The collection primarily focuses on the motions filed with the Nevada District Courts and Nevada Supreme Court and transcripts of the divorce, the battle for parental rights, and an allegation of civil rights violations.

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0.6 Linear Feet (1 box)

Related People/Corporations

Scope and Contents Note

The Daly v Daly Collection primarily focuses on the three lawsuits between Suzanne Lindley Daly (formerly Tim Michael Daly) and Nancy Toews Daly between 1980 and 1989. Legal documents include motions to the Court and hearing transcripts from the Dalys' divorce, battle for parental rights, and allegations of civil rights violations. At issue was Suzanne's identity as a transgender woman. The collection also features materials created in response to the parental rights case, including newspaper articles and information about academic articles published in the early 2000s regarding the Daly v. Daly case as well as transgendered individuals in the American legal system more broadly.

Access Note

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.


Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Biographical / Historical Note

Daly v. Daly (1986) was a landmark case that established a legal precedent in the United States regarding transgendered individuals and their access to parental rights. Nancy “Nan” Toews Daly petitioned the Nevada District Court to terminate the parental rights of Suzanne Lindley Daly, who was known as Tim Michael Daly during their marriage. The couple married in 1969 and had one child, Mary Toews Daly, in 1973. The couple divorced in 1980, which, when concluded in 1981, granted Suzanne (then still Tim) parental visitation. After the divorce, Nan and Mary moved away from the marital residence in Oakland, California to Reno, Nevada, which allowed Suzanne to explore her transgendered identity in privacy. She consulted with psychological and medical professionals and decided to pursue hormonal treatment and gender reassignment surgery. Suzanne told her daughter about her transgendered identity in 1982 during one of their visitations. Upon hearing of her ex-husband’s new identity, Nan petitioned the Court to terminate Suzanne’s parental rights. The District Court in Reno determined Suzanne was an unfit parent and a potential danger to her daughter. Suzanne appealed the decision, but the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling in 1986. She tried to appeal that decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Writ of Certiorari. Despite the setbacks, Suzanne continued to fight for her parental rights until 1989. In August 2000, the Nevada Supreme Court overturnedDaly v. Daly in In Re: Parental Rights As To Jamil. Suzanne Daly died on March 31, 2002 after struggling with alcoholism and agoraphobia.

Preferred Citation

Daly v. Daly Collection, 1980-2003. MS-00502. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Acquisition Note

Materials were donated in 2005 by Dennis McBride; accession number 2005-07.

Processing Note

Materials were processed by Dennis McBride in 2005. In 2014, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Christina Molina began to revise and enhance the collection description. In 2015, as a part of a legacy aid conversion project, Franklin Howard completed the revisions and enhancements to the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards.

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