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Case Name Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. v. Bentley PB-AL-0015
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-00620-MHT-TFM ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Planned Parenthood Litigation
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On August 28, 2015, Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. (PPSE) filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. PPSE sued the Governor of Alabama and the Alabama Medicaid Agency under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Medicaid Act and the First and ... read more >
On August 28, 2015, Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. (PPSE) filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. PPSE sued the Governor of Alabama and the Alabama Medicaid Agency under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Medicaid Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the defendant from terminating PPSE's Medicaid provider agreement.

Specifically, PPSE claimed that on August 6, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley notified the plaintiff that the state would soon terminate PPSE's Medicaid provider agreement. While the letter did not give a reason for this termination, Governor Bentley released a press statement the same day referencing a heavily edited video produced by anti-choice advocates that misleadingly indicated other Planned Parenthood clinics had sold fetal body parts. The plaintiff claimed that such allegations were irrelevant to PPSE's ability to offer services to Medicaid patients. Further, PPSE claimed that termination of its Medicaid provider agreements violated the Medicaid Act by denying PPSE patients the right to choose the willing and qualified health care provider of their choice; the First and Fourteenth Amendment by penalizing the plaintiff for its constitutionally protected association with abortion providers; and the Equal Protection Clause by singling PPSE out for unfavorable treatment.

On September 16, 2015, PPSE submitted an amended complaint including a Jane Doe plaintiff. The Jane Doe plaintiff was an Alabama Medicaid patient who preferred to receive health services from PPSE. On October 16, 2015, the plaintiffs submitted a second amended complaint and a motion to certify class. The plaintiffs asked for class certification to cover all Alabama Medicaid beneficiaries who obtained or sought to obtain health care services from PPSE.

On October 28, 2015, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. He found that Governor Bentley's termination of PPSE's provider agreement likely violated the Medicaid Act because it failed to provide a reason for such termination. The preliminary injunction required that the State reinstate its Medicaid provider agreement with PPSE.

The parties then began settlement discussions. On November 30, 2015, the parties jointly moved the court to enter a final order. The proposed order permanently enjoined the state from terminating PPSE's Medicaid provider agreements based on any allegations from the misleading video previously mentioned by the Governor or from terminating the agreement on an at-will basis. The order further required the State to cover the plaintiffs' attorney fees. Judge Thompson entered the final order as requested. The case is now closed.

Gabriela Hybel - 03/20/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
General
Abortion
Contraception
Disparate Treatment
Funding
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Medical/Mental Health
Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) Alabama Medicaid Agency
Plaintiff Description Planned Parenthood Southeast, Jane Doe Medicaid beneficiary
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Filing Year 2015
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:15-cv-00620 (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/30/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-AL-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 52]
PB-AL-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/15/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 63] (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 70] (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/30/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moorer, Terry Fitzgerald (M.D. Ala., S.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0015-9000
Thompson, Myron Herbert (N.D. Ala., M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0015-0003 | PB-AL-0015-0004 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York)
PB-AL-0015-0001 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Cohen, Melissa A. (New York)
PB-AL-0015-0001 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Dalven, Jennifer (New York)
PB-AL-0015-0001 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Flaxman, Carrie Y. (District of Columbia)
PB-AL-0015-0001 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Marshall, Randall C (Florida)
PB-AL-0015-0001 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Sandman, Jennifer (New York)
PB-AL-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Scott Samuel (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Byrne, David Bryson Jr. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Davis, James William (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Escalona, Prim Formby (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Messick, Misty Shawn Fairbanks (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Mitchell, Kasdin Miller (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000
Neiman, John C. Jr. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0015-0002 | PB-AL-0015-9000

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