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Case Name Armstrong v. Sebelius FA-CO-0004
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-00563-RBJ ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On March 5, 2013, a company with Christian owners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District of Colorado under the First and Fifth Amendments, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), and the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), against the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human ... read more >
On March 5, 2013, a company with Christian owners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District of Colorado under the First and Fifth Amendments, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), and the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), against the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of the Treasury. The plaintiff, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom-Greenwood Village, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging the federal rules adopted pursuant to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA) violated its religious freedom by requiring it to provide employee insurance coverage for contraception through its group health insurance plan. Claiming that providing coverage for contraception would contravene both their Christian faith and compel speech contrary to their beliefs, the plaintiffs sought an exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate for themselves and other institutions with similar religious objections.

On March 28, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. On May 10, 2013, Judge Richard Brooke Jackson denied the motion for a preliminary injunction. On May 16, 2013, the plaintiffs appealed and a hearing was held on May 21. On May 31, 2013, the defendants filed an unopposed motion to stay district court proceedings pending the appeal. The order to stay was granted on June 3, 2013. On August 1, 2013, the court ordered parties to answer questions in light of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius.

On August 19, 2013, the Court issued an order stating it would reconsider its decision regarding the preliminary injunction if plaintiffs suspended their appeal and defendants did not oppose or if the 10th Circuit remanded the case in light of Hobby Lobby. On September 17, 2013, the court preliminarily enjoined defendants from enforcing preventative services requirements against plaintiffs.

On October 17, 2013, the defendants moved to stay proceedings pending the Supreme Court's disposition of Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, Conestoga Wood Specialities Corp. v. Sebelius, and Autocam Corp. v. Sebelius. October 18, 2013, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson granted defendants' motion.

On November 15, 2013, defendants appealed the preliminary injunction. On September 4, 2014, the defendants withdrew their appeal following the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby. The Supreme Court ruled that closely-held for-profit corporations could object to the contraception mandate. On October 7, 2014, the District Court entered an amended final judgement finding for the plaintiffs on their RFRA claim, and entering a permanent injunction against the defendants from "any further effort to enforce the 'contraceptive mandate.'" The plaintiffs were also awarded costs.

Emma Lawton - 11/25/2013
Mallory Jones - 01/31/2014
Kate Craddock - 07/24/2016


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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
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Closely-held (for profit) corporation
Private Plaintiff
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) Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description Christian business owners seeking exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate.
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:13-cv-00563 (D. Colo.) 12/19/2014
FA-CO-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 03/05/2013
FA-CO-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [directing parties to answer questions] 08/01/2013 (2013 WL 4012713 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 108753) (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [to reconsider under certain conditions] 08/19/2013 (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment [granting remand] 09/05/2013 (531 Fed.Appx. 938)
FA-CO-0004-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Injunction 09/17/2013 (2013 WL 5213640 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 132841) (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Unopposed Motion to Extend Stay of District Court Proceedings 10/17/2013
FA-CO-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/29/2014 (2014 WL 5317354) (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Final Judgment [in favor of the plaintiffs] 10/07/2014 (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Briscoe, Mary Beck (Tenth Circuit)
FA-CO-0004-0005
Holmes, Jerome A. (Tenth Circuit)
FA-CO-0004-0005
Jackson, Richard Brooke (D. Colo.)
FA-CO-0004-0002 | FA-CO-0004-0004 | FA-CO-0004-0006 | FA-CO-0004-0008 | FA-CO-0004-0009 | FA-CO-0004-9000
Tymkovich, Timothy M. (Tenth Circuit)
FA-CO-0004-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aden, Steven H. (Virginia)
FA-CO-0004-0001
Bowman, Matthew S. (District of Columbia)
FA-CO-0004-0001
Cortman, David A. (Georgia)
FA-CO-0004-0001
Decker, Natalie L (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-0001
Norton, Michael Jeffrey (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-0001 | FA-CO-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)
FA-CO-0004-0007 | FA-CO-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Domenico, Daniel D (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-9000
Ingold, Christopher Lynn (California)
FA-CO-0004-9000
Neel, Sara R. (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-9000
Rich, Sara J. (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-9000
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado)
FA-CO-0004-9000

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