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Case Name Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. v. Kliebert PB-LA-0007
Docket / Court 3:15-cv-00565-JWD-RLB ( M.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Planned Parenthood Litigation
Case Summary
On August 25, 2015, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) and three Louisiana Medicaid patients filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the ... read more >
On August 25, 2015, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) and three Louisiana Medicaid patients filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Medicaid Act and the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the defendant from terminating PPGC’s Medicaid provider agreements.

On August 3, 2015, the governor of Louisiana and DHH chose to terminate PPGC's Medicaid provider agreement in response to a misleading video that falsely alleged Planned Parenthood clinics around the country had sold fetal body parts. The plaintiffs claimed that DHH's actions could lead to a critical lack of health care for Louisiana's Medicaid patients such as the three Jane Does plaintiffs in this case. Further, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendant's actions violated the Medicaid Act by denying Medicaid patients the right to choose any willing, qualified healthcare provider in the Medicaid program, and First and Fourteenth Amendment by penalizing the plaintiffs for their constitutionally protected connection to Planned Parenthood and/or abortion.

After commencement of this case, DHH rescinded the first termination of PPGC's Medicaid provider agreement and replaced it with a second termination. In their October 7, 2015 amended complaint, the plaintiffs outlined DHH's stated reasoning for the second termination attempt. Specifically, DHH alleged that PPGC was in violation of Louisiana Administration Code, had failed to follow Medicaid program policies, and had made misrepresentations following the release of the misleading videos. The plaintiffs argued that none of these reasons related to PPGC's competence as a Louisiana Medicaid provider program. In this amended complaint, the plaintiffs further filed for class certification.

On October 18, 2015, Judge DeGravelles denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the case, granted the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order, and deferred the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Judge DeGravelles enjoined the defendant from terminating PPGC's Medicaid provider agreement for fourteen days until the court could rule on the preliminary injunction. On October 29, 2015, Judge DeGravelles granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and indefinitely enjoined the defendant from terminating its Medicaid provider agreement with PPGC.

On November 4, 2015, the defendant appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

On September 14, 2016 the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision.

This case is ongoing.

Gabriela Hybel - 03/06/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Abortion
Disparate Treatment
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
Private Plaintiff
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) Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Plaintiff Description Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and three Louisiana Medicaid patients
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:15-cv-00565-JWD-RLB (M.D. La.)
PB-LA-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-LA-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/25/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief - Class Action [ECF# 43]
PB-LA-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/07/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 55] (M.D. La.)
PB-LA-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/18/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Ruling on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Ruling on Plaintiffs' Request for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 63] (M.D. La.)
PB-LA-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/29/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bourgeois, Richard L. (M.D. La.) [Magistrate]
PB-LA-0007-9000
DeGravelles, John Wheadon (M.D. La.)
PB-LA-0007-0003 | PB-LA-0007-0004 | PB-LA-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohen, Melissa A. (New York)
PB-LA-0007-0001 | PB-LA-0007-0002 | PB-LA-0007-9000
Flaxman, Carrie Y. (District of Columbia)
PB-LA-0007-0001 | PB-LA-0007-0002 | PB-LA-0007-9000
Rittenberg, William E. (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-0001 | PB-LA-0007-0002 | PB-LA-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Faircloth, Jimmy Roy Jr. (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Humbles, Kimberly L. (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Romero, Ryan Jude (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Russo, Stephen Robert (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Sullivan, Kimberly Lacour (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Villa, Brook L. (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Crowley, Megan Anne (District of Columbia)
PB-LA-0007-9000
Gaupp, John (Louisiana)
PB-LA-0007-9000

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