Usually, before one decides to say “I do,” there are usually a lot of plans to be made, people to be invited, dresses and cake to be made… but in this case the judge just took the decision out of the couple’s hands by giving him an ultimatum.
A judge has ordered a man on assault charges to get married – or spend 15 days in prison, The Independent reported.
Josten Bundy, of Tyler, Texas, who was arrested after punching his girlfriend’s ex-partner, was given the ultimatum by Smith County Judge Randall Rogers, according to court documents obtained on Friday.
The judge gave him a stark choice: get married in 30 days or go to jail for 15 days.
Bundy’s girlfriend, 19-year-old Elizabeth Jaynes, was in court as Judge Rogers popped the question.
She told KLTV: “My face was so red, people behind me were laughing.”
Under-pressure Bundy feared for his job if imprisoned and asked permission to call his employer, the Washington Post reported.
But the unorthodox justice refused the call, so Bundy agreed to apply for a marriage licence.
The couple, who were about a year into their relationship, had discussed marriage, but hoped for a white wedding sometime in the far future.
Elizabeth told KLTV: “It just felt like we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted
“It was just going to be kind of pieced together. I didn’t even have a white dress.”
Legal experts have questioned the validity of the probation conditions, which also included writing out Bible verses and attending counselling sessions.
Constitutional law attorney Blake Bailey told KLTV that forcing a couple to marry is illegal and that the sentence would have been struck down by a higher court.
He said: “To say you’re not going to be criminally punished if you get married is way out of left field.
“It sounds like the old days of shotgun weddings, but not even the judge is capable of enforcing what he thinks is best for some people in his court.”
But they ditched their dream, only giving relatives 18 days’ notice of the ceremony for fear of incurring the judge’s wrath.
Only a few close family members could make the wedding, last month, with Bundy’s dad and sisters noticeably absent.
Elizabeth wore a white tank top and blue skirt, a far cry from the white dress she wanted, and Bundy wore a blue polo shirt instead of his desired
Culled from The Independent