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Case Name Hastings Automotive v. Sebelius FA-MN-0010
Docket / Court 0:14-cv-00265-PAM-JJG ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Case Summary
On January 29, 2014, several privately-owned automobile dealerships filed this lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ACA's contraception mandate requires employers to ... read more >
On January 29, 2014, several privately-owned automobile dealerships filed this lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ACA's contraception mandate requires employers to provide health insurance coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity. The plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctions, alleging that the mandate violated their rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, the establishment of religion prohibition and equal protection, all in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The plaintiffs, represented by the Liberty Institute, complained that no exemption or accommodation existed for for-profit organizations such as theirs, even if they objected to the Mandate based on sincerely-held religious beliefs.

On March 19, 2014, the District Court (Senior Judge Paul A. Magnuson) granted the plaintiff's March 3, 2014, motion for stay until the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., No. 13-354 (later recaptioned Burwell v. Hobby Lobby). Because the government agreed to not take action while waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling, the plaintiffs' request for preliminary injunction was denied without prejudice as moot.

On May 28, 2014, the District Court granted the plaintiffs' renewed preliminary injunction and enjoined the defendants from enforcing the contraception mandate, again, while waiting for the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, which was handed down on June 30, 2014. In 5-4 opinion by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court held that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violated RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations. The Court emphasized, however, that alternative methods for meeting the government's asserted interest were available. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014).

In this case, on December 10, 2014, the District Court entered a judgment--stipulated by both sides--that in light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision the government was enjoined from enforcing the contraception mandate against the plaintiffs.

As of June 25, 2015, the issue of attorneys' fees and costs is ongoing.

Beth Richardson - 07/08/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
General
Abortion
Contraception
Plaintiff Type
Public (for-profit) corporation
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Labor
United States Department of Treasury
Plaintiff Description Minnesota auto dealerships
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
0:14-cv-265 (D. Minn.) 03/12/2015
FA-MN-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 01/29/2014
FA-MN-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order] 03/19/2014 (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/28/2014 (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/10/2014 (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Magnuson, Paul Arthur (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0010-0002 | FA-MN-0010-0003 | FA-MN-0010-0004 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dys, Jeremiah G. (Texas)
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Kantke, Meghann F. (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Kovacs, Pamela (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0010-0001
Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Nash, Kathryn M. (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0010-0001 | FA-MN-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0010-9000
Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)
FA-MN-0010-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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