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Case Name Priests for Life v. Sebelius FA-NY-0005
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-00753-FB-RER ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On February 15, 2012, a non-profit Catholic-based organization of priests united in ideology against the practice of abortion filed a U.S. District Court lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against the Federal Government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative ... read more >
On February 15, 2012, a non-profit Catholic-based organization of priests united in ideology against the practice of abortion filed a U.S. District Court lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York against the Federal Government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First and Fifth Amendments. Plaintiffs, represented by the American Freedom Law Center and private counsel, seek to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Plaintiffs contend that this mandatory contraception coverage violates their religious foundation.

On May 14, 2012, the Priests amended their complaint raising the same issues but emphasizing that their health care plan is not a grandfather plan under the ACA and is therefore not entitled under the regulation to a temporary exemption from the mandate.

On September 12, 2012, the U.S. moved to dismiss the case, arguing that it was unripe, since the regulations were in the process of being amended; and on November 9, the plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction. On December 21, the parties entered a stipulation, under which the U.S. would not enforce the contraception mandate at least through December 2013. Plaintiff's counsel explained that the plaintiff was not, in its own view, entitled under the applicable regulations to a temporary exemption from the mandate; the U.S. argued otherwise, explaining that the plaintiff met the temporary enforcement safe harbor criteria.

On April 12, 2013, the District Court (Judge Frederic Bock) granted the Government's motion to dismiss because the Priests' claims were not yet ripe. The court found that that Government was in the process of amending the regulation. These amendments would take effect prior to the end of the safe harbor period such that the regulation in its current form would never be enforced against the Priests or similarly situated entities. And because the rules the contents of the new rules are yet to be determined, the Priests dissatisfaction with the new rules is purely speculative. The case was dismissed without prejudice. On August 13, 2013, this case was refiled in the District for the District of Columbia - Priests for Life v. Sebelius.

Richard Jolly - 04/20/2014
Kate Craddock - 02/08/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Labor
United States Department of Labor
Plaintiff Description Priests for Life is a non-profit corporation with a private group health insurance plan not grandfathered into the Affordable Care Act.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
None
Source of Relief None yet
None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-DC-0018 : Priests for Life v. Sebelius (D.D.C.)
Docket(s)
1:12-cv-00753-FB-RER (E.D.N.Y.) 04/15/2013
FA-NY-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/15/2012
FA-NY-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 05/14/2012
FA-NY-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Submission of Notice of Supplemental Authority] 04/09/2013
FA-NY-0005-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 04/12/2013 (2013 WL 1563390) (E.D.N.Y.)
FA-NY-0005-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 04/15/2013 (E.D.N.Y.)
FA-NY-0005-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Block, Frederic (E.D.N.Y.)
FA-NY-0005-0010 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Reyes, Ramon E. Jr. (E.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
FA-NY-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers LiMandri, Charles Salvatore (California)
FA-NY-0005-0001 | FA-NY-0005-0002 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Mendoza, Teresa (California)
FA-NY-0005-0001 | FA-NY-0005-0002 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Muise, Robert J. (Michigan)
FA-NY-0005-0001 | FA-NY-0005-0002 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Yerushalmi, David Eliezer (New York)
FA-NY-0005-0001 | FA-NY-0005-0002 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)
FA-NY-0005-0012 | FA-NY-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Behr, Laurence D. (New York)
FA-NY-0005-9000

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