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Case Name Valley Forge Christian College of the Assemblies of God v. Burwell FA-PA-0013
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-04622-AB ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Mandate"). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of abortifacients, with an accommodation ... read more >
On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Mandate"). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of abortifacients, with an accommodation for employee health plans by certain qualified religious organizations.

The Plaintiff is a non-profit Christian college affiliated with the Assemblies of God religious denomination. It was required under the accommodation provisions to sign and deliver a self-certification to a third party administrator, who could unilaterally choose to supply abortifacients in violation of the religious belief held by the college. Failure to comply with the Mandate would result in monetary fines that would cause a severe economic consequence to the college.

On August 6, 2014, the Plaintiff brought a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Department of the Treasury under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. ยง 2201, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the "RFRA"). Represented by private counsel, the Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorneys' fees, claiming that the Defendants violated the RFRA as well as the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

On October 20, 2014, the Plaintiff and the Defendants filed a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal of the case with prejudice against all Defendants. It is unknown whether the Plaintiff obtained any relief.

Emma Bao - 11/19/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Abortion
Contraception
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
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) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A Christian college, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Assemblies of God religious denomination, required to provide insurance plans that include abortifacients through the accommodation provisions under the ACA regulations, in violation of its religious belief.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:14-cv-04622-AB (E.D. Pa.) 10/21/2014
FA-PA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/05/2014
FA-PA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal 10/20/2014
FA-PA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Brody, Anita Blumstein (E.D. Pa.)
FA-PA-0013-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Butterfield, Justin (Texas)
FA-PA-0013-0001
Dys, Jeremiah G. (West Virginia)
FA-PA-0013-0001
Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)
FA-PA-0013-0001
Maza, James W. (Pennsylvania)
FA-PA-0013-0001 | FA-PA-0013-0002 | FA-PA-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)
FA-PA-0013-0002 | FA-PA-0013-9000
Sweet, Joel M (Pennsylvania)
FA-PA-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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