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U.S. Marshals Service

District of North Dakota

Prisoner Marriages


A.  General:  Prisoners retain the right to marry subject to restrictions as a result of their detention. The USMS may allow a prisoner in its custody to marry unless the marriage would interfere with the prisoner’s judicial proceedings or is inconsistent with USMS and/or detention facility security concerns.


B.  Procedure:  If a prisoner requests to be allowed to marry, the U.S. Marshal should follow these procedures: 

1.  Obtain a written request from the prisoner for authorization to be married and such a request should contain the name of the individual they want to marry.


2.  Contact the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the case to ascertain whether the marriage would undermine the case. 

3.  Ascertain whether the prisoner has been designated for imminent movement from the district. If the prisoner has been scheduled for imminent movement, the U.S. Marshal generally should defer the prisoner’s request to be married until after the prisoner has
been moved to another facility.

4.  Contact the detention facility in which the prisoner is housed to ascertain whether the facility has policy or procedures regarding inmate marriages. The U.S. Marshal should generally defer to the facility’s policy and procedures. The U.S. Marshal, in coordination with the detention facility retains the discretion regarding the time, location, attending guests, etc.

5.  If the facility does not allow inmate marriages, the U.S. Marshal should defer the prisoner’s request to be married until after the prisoner completes his or her judicial proceedings and has been moved to another facility for service of sentence.

6.  Should the prisoner attempt to obtain a Court order directing the U.S. Marshal to move the prisoner for the purpose of being married, the U.S. Marshal should inform the Court of the security risk and cost. If the Court nevertheless orders the U.S. Marshal to move the prisoner, the U.S. Marshal should request the Court to order the prisoner to pay all actual costs involved.

7.  If a marriage is directed by the Court, no guests shall be allowed to be present and the U.S. Marshal shall determine the time, date, and place of the ceremony, based upon security concerns and requirements.

8.  If additional guidance is needed, the U.S. Marshal should contact the PSD and the Office of General Counsel. is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice