Attorney General Files to Dismiss Cohabitation Lawsuit

JUNE 2, 2005 -- North Carolina's attorney general says there's no basis for a lawsuit that's aimed at overturning a 200-year-old law that bars unmarried couples from living together.

Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed a motion asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued on behalf of former Pender County sheriff's dispatcher Deborah Hobbs who says she quit her job under pressure from her boss because she wouldn't marry her live-in boyfriend.

Cooper's motion says challenges to criminal statutes have only been allowed in the past when a criminal complaint has actually been filed or is pending. He says the dispatcher isn't at risk of being prosecuted, so her lawsuit has no merit.

Cooper said Hobbs could instead have grounds to make a discrimination complaint with the state Office of Administrative Hearings.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.