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Rodney Sumpter Papers on Doe v. Bryan (MS-00411)

Abstract

The Rodney Sumpter Papers on Doe v. Bryan contain the legal files of the lawyer Rodney Sumpter, who represented the appellants in the Nevada District Court case Doe v. Bryan (1985) and subsequent appeal in the Nevada State Supreme Court in 1986. Doe v. Bryan challenged one of Nevada's sodomy laws (NRS 201.190), and the collection contains affidavits, motion requests, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and memoranda regarding the case.

Finding Aid PDF
Date
1985-1986
Extent
0.46 Cubic Feet (1 box and 1 folder (1 shared box))
0.42 Linear Feet
Resource Type
Papers
Related People/Corporations
Access Note

Collection is open for research, with the exception of materials that are restricted to protect privacy and confidentiality. Access is restricted under provisions of state or federal law. Restrictions are noted at the file level of this inventory and will be open for research use January 1, 2061.

Publication Rights

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on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents Note

The Rodney Sumpter Papers on Doe v. Bryan comprise the legal files of the lawyer Rodney Sumpter, who represented the appellants in the Nevada District Court case Doe v. Bryan (1985) and subsequent appeal in the Nevada State Supreme Court in 1986. Doe v. Bryan challenged one of Nevada's sodomy laws (NRS 201.190), and the collection contains affidavits, motion requests, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and memoranda regarding the case.

Biographical / Historical Note

In September 1985, four anonymous appellants, under the pseudonyms John Doe, Richard Roe, Jane Joe, and Mary Poe, filed a civil suit against Nevada Governor Richard Bryan in Nevada State District Court under Nevada's Declaratory Judgments Act (NRS 30.040). They argued that NRS 201.190 was unconstitutional under the Nevada and United States cConstitutions. Rodney Sumpter, a Reno, Nevada lawyer, represented the appellants in the case. The appellants were not arrested or prosecuted for violating this law, but argued that it hindered their rights to freedom of expression. The respondents argued that since the appellants had not been prosecuted for breaking the law, the case should be dismissed. The district court granted dismissal of the case.

The appellants appealed to the Nevada State Supreme Court in December 1986, and the court ruled dismissal as the appellants did not face immediate threat of arrest under NRS 201.190. While the legal case against NRS 201.190 failed, Nevada State Senator Lori Lipman Brown introduced Senate Bill 466 in 1993, decriminalizing sodomy, and Governor Bob Miller signed the legislation into law later that year. In 1993, NRS 201.190 was amended to prohibit public display of these sexual acts, and doing so is now punishable by "imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 4 years."

Source:

Doe v. Bryan, 728 P.2d 443, 102 Nev. 523 (1986).

Arrangement

Materials remain as they were received.

Related Collections

The following resources may provide additional information related to the materials in this collection:

Sumpter, Rodney. Interview, 1999 August 30. OH-01790. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lori Lipman Brown Papers, 1975-2007. MS-00346. Special Collections and Archives, University

Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preferred Citation

Rodney Sumpter Papers on Doe v. Bryan, 1985-1986. MS-00411. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00411
Acquisition Note

Materials were donated in 1999 by Rodney Sumpter via Dennis McBride; accession number 2000-001.

Processing Note

Material was processed by Special Collections staff. In 2014, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Hannah Robinson wrote the collection description and entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Sarah Jones revised the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards.

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