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New York Domestic Relations - Article 3 - § 11 By Whom a Marriage Must Be Solemnized

Legal Research Home > New York Laws > Domestic Relations > New York Domestic Relations - Article 3 - § 11 By Whom a Marriage Must Be Solemnized


Domestic Relations 
 
    §  11.  By  whom  a  marriage must be solemnized. No marriage shall be
  valid unless solemnized by either:
    1. A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the  senior  leader,
  or  any  of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the
  city of New  York,  having  its  principal  office  in  the  borough  of
  Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture,
  having  its  principal  office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of
  New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society,  having  its  principal
  office  in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long
  Island, having  its  principal  office  in  Nassau  county,  or  of  the
  Riverdale-Yonkers  Ethical  Society having its principal office in Bronx
  county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated
  with the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or  minister
  as  defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society
  for Ethical Culture leader shall be required to solemnize  any  marriage
  when acting in his or her capacity under this subdivision.
    1-a. A refusal by a clergyman or minister as defined in section two of
  the religious corporations law, or Society for Ethical Culture leader to
  solemnize  any  marriage under this subdivision shall not create a civil
  claim or cause of action or result in  any  state  or  local  government
  action  to  penalize,  withhold  benefits  or  discriminate against such
  clergyman or minister.
    2. A mayor of a village, a county executive of a county, or  a  mayor,
  recorder,  city  magistrate,  police  justice  or police magistrate of a
  city, a former mayor or the city clerk of a city of the first  class  of
  over  one  million inhabitants or any of his or her deputies or not more
  than four regular clerks, designated by him or her for such  purpose  as
  provided  in  section  eleven-a  of  this chapter, except that in cities
  which contain more than one hundred thousand and less than  one  million
  inhabitants,  a  marriage  shall  be  solemnized by the mayor, or police
  justice, and by no other officer of such city,  except  as  provided  in
  subdivisions one and three of this section.
    3.  A  judge  of  the  federal circuit court of appeals for the second
  circuit, a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern,
  eastern or western district of New York, a judge of  the  United  States
  court  of  international  trade,  a  federal  administrative  law  judge
  presiding in this state, a justice or judge of a court  of  the  unified
  court  system,  a  housing  judge  of the civil court of the city of New
  York, a retired justice or judge  of  the  unified  court  system  or  a
  retired  housing  judge  of  the  civil  court  of  the city of New York
  certified pursuant to paragraph (k) of subdivision two  of  section  two
  hundred twelve of the judiciary law, the clerk of the appellate division
  of  the  supreme court in each judicial department, a retired city clerk
  who served for more than ten years in such capacity in a city  having  a
  population  of  one million or more or a county clerk of a county wholly
  within cities having a population of one million or more; or,
    4. A written contract of marriage signed by both parties and at  least
  two  witnesses,  all of whom shall subscribe the same within this state,
  stating the place of residence of each of the parties and witnesses  and
  the  date  and  place  of marriage, and acknowledged before a judge of a
  court of record of this state by the parties and witnesses in the manner
  required for the acknowledgment  of  a  conveyance  of  real  estate  to
  entitle the same to be recorded.
    5.  Notwithstanding  any other provision of this article, where either
  or both of the parties is under the age of  eighteen  years  a  marriage
  shall  be solemnized only by those authorized in subdivision one of this
  section or by (1) the mayor of a city or village, or county executive of
  a county, or by (2) a judge of the federal circuit court of appeals  for

  the  second  circuit,  a  judge  of  a  federal  district  court for the
  northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge  of
  the  United States court of international trade, or a justice or a judge
  of a court of the unified court system, or by (3) a housing judge of the
  civil  court  of  the  city of New York, or by (4) a former mayor or the
  clerk of a city of the first class of over one  million  inhabitants  or
  any of his or her deputies designated by him or her for such purposes as
  provided in section eleven-a of this chapter.
    6.  Notwithstanding  any  other  provisions  of  this  article  to the
  contrary no marriage shall be solemnized by a public  officer  specified
  in  this section, other than a judge of a federal district court for the
  northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge  of
  the United States court of international trade, a federal administrative
  law  judge  presiding  in  this state, a judge or justice of the unified
  court system of this State, a housing judge of the civil  court  of  the
  city  of  New  York,  or a retired judge or justice of the unified court
  system or a retired housing judge of the civil court certified  pursuant
  to paragraph (k) of subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the
  judiciary  law,  outside the territorial jurisdiction in which he or she
  was elected or appointed. Such a public  officer,  however,  elected  or
  appointed  within the city of New York may solemnize a marriage anywhere
  within such city.
    7. The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall
  include those defined in section two of the religious corporations  law.
  The word "magistrate, " when so used, includes any person referred to in
  the second or third subdivision.
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Last modified: February 15, 2014