University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Domino's Farms Corp. v. Sebelius FA-MI-0007
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-15488-LPZ-MJH ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On December 14, 2012, Domino's Food and its owner filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas ... read more >
On December 14, 2012, Domino's Food and its owner filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan against the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a Catholic non-profit legal aid organization, seek to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. The plaintiffs contend that this mandatory contraception coverage violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On March 14, 2013, Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Zatkoff found that, while the question of whether or not a for-profit corporation possess free exercise rights is unresolved, Domino's Farms, distinct from its owner, may assert free exercise rights on his behalf. In this way, Domino's Farms Corp. is merely the instrument through which the owner exercises his religious beliefs. And because the contraception mandate burdens the plaintiffs' sincerely held religious beliefs beyond the least restrictive means, plaintiffs showed a high likelihood of success of the merits and would suffer irreparable without the injunction. On May 13, 2013, the government filed an interlocutory appeal with the Sixth Circuit challenging the preliminary injunction.

On June 26, 2013, Judge Zatkoff granted the parties' joint motion to stay the proceedings pending the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal's decision in two substantially similar cases, Autocam Corps. v. Sebelius, FA-MI-0005 and Weingartz Supply Co. v. Sebelius, FA-MI-0006. On October 23, 2014, following the Supreme Court's June 30, 2014 decision in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and subsequent decision to remand Autocam to the Sixth Circuit for consideration under Hobby Lobby, the government voluntarily dismissed its interlocutory appeal.

On December 3, 2014, Judge Zatkoff entered a permanent injunction and judgment against the government, based on the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby. The injunction protected the plaintiffs against government enforcement of the version of the contraception mandate that existed prior to the Hobby Lobby decision. Prior to Hobby Lobby, closely-held for-profit religious employers did not have an opportunity to notify the government of their objection to the contraception mandate, and compel the government to work with their insurer to provide contraception coverage directly to their employees. The decision did not preclude the plaintiffs from bringing suit under later versions of the mandate.

On March 9, 2015, the parties notified the court that they had reached an agreement on attorneys' fees and costs.

Wyatt Fore - 04/19/2013
Richard Jolly - 04/03/2014
Kate Craddock - 04/17/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
U.S. Dept. of Labor
U.S. Dept. of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A for-profit, secular business, and its owner, who opposes the use of contraception for religious reasons.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:12-cv-15488 (E.D. Mich.) 03/09/2015
FA-MI-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/14/2012
FA-MI-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Brief for Temporary Restraining Order 12/21/2012
FA-MI-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [granting plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order] 12/30/2012 (2012 WL 6738476 / 2012 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 182857) (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 01/08/2013
FA-MI-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Attorney General Bill Schuette's Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 01/29/2013
FA-MI-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [granting plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction] 03/14/2013 (2013 WL 1014026 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 35144) (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Granting Defendants' Motion] 06/26/2013 (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [Denying Plaintiffs' Motion] 12/20/2013 (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Injunction and Judgment 12/03/2014 (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hluchaniuk, Michael J. (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
FA-MI-0007-9000
Zatkoff, Lawrence Paul (E.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0007-0002 | FA-MI-0007-0006 | FA-MI-0007-0007 | FA-MI-0007-0008 | FA-MI-0007-0009 | FA-MI-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-0001 | FA-MI-0007-0003 | FA-MI-0007-0004 | FA-MI-0007-9000
Thompson, Richard (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-0001 | FA-MI-0007-0003 | FA-MI-0007-0004 | FA-MI-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)
FA-MI-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York)
FA-MI-0007-9000
Bursch, John J. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-0005
Davis, Robert C. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-9000
Restuccia, B. Eric (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-0005 | FA-MI-0007-9000
Schuette, Bill (Michigan)
FA-MI-0007-0005

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