The fees became an issue after the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law in the spring of 2016 that removed county clerks’ names from marriage license forms. The law rendered appeals connected to the case moot.

But the plaintiffs in the case filed a motion for lawyers’ fees shortly thereafter; a magistrate judge later recommended that the court deny the plaintiffs’ motion for such fees.

But in his order, Judge Bunning rejected the magistrate’s recommendations, finding instead that the couples who had sued Ms. Davis had “prevailed” in the case, which entitled them to lawyers’ fees. He also found that the Commonwealth of Kentucky — not Ms. Davis or Rowan County — must pay them.