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Case Name Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius FA-IL-0011
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-01276-JES-BGC ( C.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On August 9, 2012, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the First Amendment against the Federal Government. Plaintiffs, represented by private ... read more >
On August 9, 2012, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the First Amendment against the Federal Government. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage to employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Specifically, the Diocese contended that compliance with the contraception coverage requirement violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Diocese further argued that even though its current coverage had "grandfathered" status and so the Diocese did not face impending government enforcement action, it is unable to change its health care plans without losing grandfathered status. If the Diocese does make changes to its healthcare plans, the contraception mandate will impede budgetary planning as any non-compliance fines must be allocated within those budgets.

On October 19, 2012, the Federal Government moved to dismiss the case pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1), arguing that the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction based on plaintiffs' standing and that the claim was not ripe for review.

On January, 4, 2013, the court (Chief Judge James E. Shadid) granted the Federal Government's motion to dismiss. 2013 WL 74240 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2013). The court found that the Diocese had grandfather status and would only lose that status by adopting a new healthcare policy, a decision that is of the Diocese own choosing. Because the Diocese had not provided any specific and non-hypothetical changes that it was refraining from making to its healthcare plan, the court held that it lacked standing.

Additionally, the court found the Diocese's claim was not ripe because the Federal Government had stated that it would not enforce the contraception mandate in its current form. The court recognized that forthcoming amendments to the mandate were intended to specifically address the Diocese concerns by establishing alternative means of providing contraceptive coverage. Accordingly, the court concluded that the Diocese claim rested upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or may not occur at all. The court dismissed the case without prejudice as premature, stating that the Diocese may bring the claim again once the harm is no longer contingent on future events and is less speculative.

Richard Jolly - 03/06/2014


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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
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Contraception
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Labor
Department of Treasury
Plaintiff Description The Catholic Diocese of Peoria is a community of Roman Catholic parishes, schools, and outreach organizations.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2012 - 2013
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:12-cv-01276-JES-BGC (C.D. Ill.) 01/08/2013
FA-IL-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/09/2012
FA-IL-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Opinion (Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss) 01/04/2013 (2013 WL 74240) (C.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judgment in a Civil Case 01/08/2013 (C.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cudmore, Byron G. (C.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Shadid, James Edward (C.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0011-0002 | FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hogan, Carol A. (Illinois)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Murashko, Dennis (Illinois)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Murray, Brian Joseph (Illinois)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Reidy, Daniel E. (Illinois)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Rotatori, Mark P. (Illinois)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Pruski, Jacek (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0011-0004 | FA-IL-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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