News & Features

Federal Judge Rejects Effort to Overturn Anti-Polygamy Law

Family argued Montana's anti-polygamy laws infringed upon their rights

BILLINGS – A federal judge has rejected a Billings family’s effort to overturn the state’s anti-polygamy law.

U.S. Magistrate Timothy Cavan said an 1878 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld states’ rights to establish anti-polygamy statutes.

Nathan Collier, who has been married to Vicki Collier since 2000, was denied when he applied for an application to legally marry Christine Collier in 2015. Nathan and Christine had a religious wedding ceremony in 2007, but Nathan said they did not sign a marriage license to avoid bigamy charges.

The Colliers argued Montana’s anti-polygamy laws infringed upon their rights to cohabitate, intermingle finances and raise children together. Cavan found no evidence that the law prevented any of those things.

The Colliers did not file an objection to Cavan’s Feb. 22 findings and U.S. District Judge Susan Watters signed off on them last Friday.