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Case Name Daniel Medford v. Sebelius FA-MN-0005
Docket / Court 13-cv-01726 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On July 2, 2013, owners of a for-profit company filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On July 2, 2013, owners of a for-profit company filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for an exception to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage of contraception. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that providing insurance coverage of contraception would violate the religious beliefs of the company's owners.

On September 11, 2013, United States District Court (Judge John R. Tunheim) granted the plaintiffs' unopposed motion for preliminary injunction and stayed the case. The court ordered the defendant not to enforce the ACA insurance mandate regarding contraception against the plaintiffs until 30 days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled on either O'Brien v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services, 894 F.Supp.2d 1149 (E.D. Mo. 2012) or Annex Medical, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 12–2804 2013 WL 101927 (D. Minn. Jan. 8, 2013), both of which involved similar legal issues and the same defendant as this case.

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014). In a 5-4 opinion by Justice Alito, the Court held that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations. 

On October 24, 2014, counsel were directed to provide a joint status report regarding the appeals before the Eighth Circuit in the two aforementioned cases.

On November 7, 2014, the parties submitted a joint status report stating that they were engaged in negotiations that could lead to a stipulation regarding entry of judgment.

On November 14, 2014, in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Hobby Lobby, the parties stipulated and agreed that judgment would be entered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants. The stipulation stated that plaintiffs intended to make a motion for attorneys' fees.

On November 19, 2014, the Court granted the stipulation. The plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees is not reflected in the docket, so the parties may have reached a negotiated settlement.

The case appears to be closed.

Mallory Jones - 10/16/2013
Richard Jolly - 04/05/2014
Elizabeth Greiter - 10/25/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
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. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
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 Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Plaintiff Description Christian owners of a for-profit corporation, who feel that providing insurance coverage for contraception conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-MO-0006 : O'Brien v. HHS (E.D. Mo.)
FA-MN-0003 : Annex Medical, Inc. v. Sebelius (D. Minn.)
Docket(s)
0:13-cv-1726 (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FA-MN-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 16] (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/11/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Entry of Judgment and Injunction in Favor of Plaintiffs and Stipulation for Fee Motion Briefing Schedule [ECF# 19]
FA-MN-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Injunction and Judgment [ECF# 20] (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/19/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Rau, Steven E. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
FA-MN-0005-9000
Tunheim, John R. (D. Minn.)
FA-MN-0005-0002 | FA-MN-0005-0004 | FA-MN-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dickey, James (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0005-0001 | FA-MN-0005-0002 | FA-MN-0005-9000
Kaardal, Erick G. (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0005-0001 | FA-MN-0005-0002 | FA-MN-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)
FA-MN-0005-0002 | FA-MN-0005-9000
Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)
FA-MN-0005-0002 | FA-MN-0005-0003 | FA-MN-0005-9000

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