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Case Name Hart Electric LLC v. Sebelius FA-IL-0007
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-02253 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On March 26, 2013, Hart Electric, a for-profit corporation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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On March 26, 2013, Hart Electric, a for-profit corporation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The plaintiff, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, sought a judgment that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate violated the First Amendment, RFRA and APA. Specifically, the plaintiff asked for both a preliminary and permanent injunction keeping the government from enforcing the contraception insurance mandate against them because it violates the owners' deeply held religious beliefs. They also sought declaratory relief and attorneys’ fees.

Under the government Mandate, which went into effect on August 1, 2012, all non-exempt employers that offer non-grandfathered group health plans were required to provide coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization, and education and counseling, despite their religious beliefs. While nonprofits were granted a “temporary safe-harbor,” for religious reasons, the plaintiffs did not qualify as they were for-profit employers.

The plaintiff filed moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining the defendants from enforcing the health insurance requirement until the resolution of two similar cases before the Seventh Circuit. On April 18, the U.S. District Court (Judge Ruben Castillo) granted the motion and stayed proceedings until thirty days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issues a decision in the consolidated cases of Korte v. Sebelius and Grote Industry, LLC v. Sebelius.

On November 8, 2013, the Seventh Circuit ruled for the two cases that the contraception mandate substantially burdens religious exercise under the Religious Freedom Act. 735 F.3d 654. Therefore, the Seventh Circuit had granted preliminary injunctive relief for the same mandate for for-profit employers. On January 10, 2014, the plaintiffs moved to extend the preliminary injunction and stay of proceedings until forty-five days after Supreme Court addresses analogous cases in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, which was granted on January 21, 2014.

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled for the consolidated case of Conestoga Woods and Hobby Lobby that the Mandate imposed a substantial burden on the plaintiffs’ exercise of religion under the statute. 573 U.S. 682. Subsequently, Judge Castillo granted the plaintiff’s request for a 30 day extension of the preliminary injunction during the time the government determined an appropriate course of action in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

In light of the decisions above, the parties agreed that the plaintiffs were entitled to judgment in their favor on their RFRA claim and the entry of a permanent injunction. On September 23, 2014, the Court granted the plaintiff’s unopposed motion to extend the preliminary injunction for additional time to consider the defendants’ proposal of injunction.

On November 3, 2014, the Court ordered a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement against plaintiffs and anyone in connection with their health plans.

The case is now closed.

Mallory Jones - 03/24/2014
Averyn Lee - 05/30/2019


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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
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Contraception
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) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Plaintiff Description A for-profit corporation that believes the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate violates its owner's religious freedom.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FA-OK-0001 : Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (W.D. Okla.)
FA-PA-0007 : Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (E.D. Pa.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:13−cv−02253 (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FA-IL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ECF# 13]
FA-IL-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/16/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ECF# 16] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ECF# 19]
FA-IL-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ECF# 22] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/21/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 30] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Injunction and Judgment [ECF# 34] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Castillo, Rubén (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0003 | FA-IL-0007-0005 | FA-IL-0007-0006 | FA-IL-0007-0007 | FA-IL-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gammill, Carly F. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0001 | FA-IL-0007-0002 | FA-IL-0007-0004
Manion, Francis J (Kentucky) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0001 | FA-IL-0007-0002 | FA-IL-0007-0004 | FA-IL-0007-9000
Surtees, Geoffrey R. (Kentucky) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0001 | FA-IL-0007-0002 | FA-IL-0007-0004 | FA-IL-0007-9000
White, Edward L. III (Michigan) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0001 | FA-IL-0007-0002 | FA-IL-0007-0004 | FA-IL-0007-9000
Zimmerman, Erik M. (Kentucky) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-0001 | FA-IL-0007-0002 | FA-IL-0007-0004 | FA-IL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0007-9000

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