County officials did not immediately comment. "Our attorneys are reviewing the state's filing, and may have a comment after a complete review," director of communications Frank X. Custer said late Monday afternoon.
The county has until Monday to file its response. The court has agreed to move quickly to rule on the case.
Hanes sparked a firestorm after he began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples on July 24, saying he was prompted to do so after state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she could not defend the Marriage Law.
The Health Department sued Hanes in Commonwealth Court on July 30. The lawsuit asks the court to block Hanes from issuing licenses to same-sex couples and accepting returned paperwork documenting marriage ceremonies.
Attorneys for the state say in Monday's filing that the department has the "unambiguous statutory power and duty" to see that all marriage license registration practices are enforced "uniformly and thoroughly" statewide.
Hanes' continued flouting of the law, the filing says, was allowing Pennsylvania residents to go around Orphans' Court clerks in their own counties who were enforcing the law, by getting licenses in Montgomery County.
The state also contended Monday that Commonwealth Court, not the state Supreme Court as the county has argued, is the proper jurisdiction for the lawsuit since it rules on civil actions "against an officer of the commonwealth acting in his official capacity."
On Monday, Montgomery County issued 13 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, bringing the total to 116.
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