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Case Name Lindsay v. Sebelius FA-IL-0009
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-01210 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Contraception Insurance Mandate
Case Summary
On February 14, 2013, the Catholic managing partner of a law firm and the law firm itself filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for violation of plaintiff's First Amendment rights to free speech, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ... read more >
On February 14, 2013, the Catholic managing partner of a law firm and the law firm itself filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for violation of plaintiff's First Amendment rights to free speech, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), and the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), against the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging the federal rules adopted pursuant to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA") violated their religious freedom by requiring the corporation to provide employee insurance coverage for contraception through its group health insurance plan. Claiming that providing coverage for contraception would require them to violate their religious beliefs and moral values, the plaintiffs sought an exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate for themselves and other institutions with similar religious objections.

On February 28, 2013, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. On March 5, 2013, defendants entered a notice of non-opposition to the preliminary injunction and moved to stay proceedings. On March 7, 2013, the Honorable Sheila Finnegan remanded proceedings to U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman in light of defendants' non-opposition.

On March 20, 2013, Judge Guzman granted plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and defendants' motion to stay proceedings pending resolution of Korte v. Sebelius and Grote v. Sebelius, two cases before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that also dealt with parties seeking exemption from the ACA on religious grounds. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Korte and Grote on November 9, 2013. The court held that the contraception mandate substantially burdened the religious exercise of plaintiff corporations and their owners under the Religious Freedom Act, the mandate did not serve a compelling government interest, and was not the least restrictive means of advancing such an interest.

On January 10, 2014, Judge Guzman granted plaintiffs’ unopposed motion to extend both the preliminary injunction and the stay of proceedings until forty-five days after the resolution of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, two cases in which the Supreme Court granted cert that also dealt with parties seeking exemption from the ACA on religious grounds.

After the Supreme Court issued its decisions in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius (FA-OK-0001) and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (FA-PA-0007) on June 30, 2014, holding that the contraceptive mandate did substantially burden the exercise of religion under the RFRA for for-profit corporations, the defendants made multiple motions to stay the proceedings and extend the preliminary injunction while they re-evaluated how they wanted to proceed in the case. Finally, on October 15, 2014, the parties reached a joint agreement that, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby, judgment should be entered in favor of the plaintiffs on their Religious Freedom Restoration Act claim. Judge Guzman signed the injunction and judgment on December 3, 2014, permanently enjoining the defendants from enforcing the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement, requiring the plaintiffs to provide their employees with health coverage for contraceptive methods. Plaintiffs did not submit a petition for attorneys’ fees or costs, which thereby concluded the case.

Emma Lawton - 11/11/2013
Richard Jolly - 04/04/2014
Sarah Du - 11/02/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Abortion
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.
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 the Treasury
Plaintiff Description The Catholic owner of a law firm seeking an exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate for his firm
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:13-cv-01210 (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1] (2013 WL 552648)
FA-IL-0009-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/14/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 21] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Order Holding in Abeyance Civil Matters Involving the United States as a Party [ECF# 25] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/07/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Resetting of Deadlines in Civil Matters Involving the United States as a Party [ECF# 26] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ECF# 27]
FA-IL-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion For Entry of Injunction and Judgment [ECF# 42]
FA-IL-0009-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/15/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Injunction and Judgment [ECF# 50] (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Castillo, Ruben (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0003 | FA-IL-0009-0004
Guzman, Ronald A. (N.D. Ill.)
FA-IL-0009-0002 | FA-IL-0009-0007 | FA-IL-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gammill, Carly F. (Tennessee)
FA-IL-0009-0001 | FA-IL-0009-0005
Manion, Francis J (Kentucky)
FA-IL-0009-0001 | FA-IL-0009-0005 | FA-IL-0009-0006 | FA-IL-0009-9000
Surtees, Geoffrey R. (Kentucky)
FA-IL-0009-0001 | FA-IL-0009-0005 | FA-IL-0009-0006 | FA-IL-0009-9000
White, Edward L. III (Michigan)
FA-IL-0009-0001 | FA-IL-0009-0005 | FA-IL-0009-0006 | FA-IL-0009-9000
Zimmerman, Erik M. (Kentucky)
FA-IL-0009-0001 | FA-IL-0009-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0009-0006 | FA-IL-0009-9000
Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0009-9000
Branda, Joyce R. (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0009-0006
Fardon, Zachary T. (Illinois)
FA-IL-0009-0006
Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0009-0006
Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia)
FA-IL-0009-0006

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