- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Legislators are seeking to reduce New Jersey’s three-day waiting period for marriage licenses in cases involving the terminally ill.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee this week approved a bill that would waive a waiting period for couples seeking marriage or civil union if one of them is determined to have 12 months or less to live.

Current law requires a three-day waiting period between application and issuance of marriage licenses. The proposal requires the doctor treating the terminally ill patient to certify to the license issuer the person has 12 months or fewer to live.

The bill was inspired by a Camden woman named Linette Lebron who had stage 4 stomach cancer.

Lawmakers say her fiance lost time with her while trying to seek a waiver to the three-day waiting period. Lebron and Omar Estevez had planned to delay their wedding while she underwent treatment, but Lebron was given only days to live and the couple decided to marry sooner. Lawmakers say Estevez wasted time traveling between city hall, the hospital and court seeking time waivers.

The couple succeeded in securing a license and married one day before Lebron died.

Legislators are calling the measure Linette Lebron’s Law.

“I observed how this process took Omar away from Linette,” said Democratic Assemblyman Angel Fuentes. “Those moments are very precious and I understood the level of frustration they felt.”

The bill now goes to the full Assembly. A similar bill has not been introduced in the Senate.

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