Case: Criswell College v. Sebelius

3:12-cv-04409 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Filed Date: Feb. 1, 2012

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 1, 2012, Criswell College, a nonprofit evangelical Protestant college located in Dallas, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas against the Federal Government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000bb), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 706(2)), the First Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contracepti…

On February 1, 2012, Criswell College, a nonprofit evangelical Protestant college located in Dallas, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas against the Federal Government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (42 U.S.C. § 2000bb), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. § 706(2)), the First Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage in employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Plaintiffs contend that this mandatory contraception coverage violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On January 7, 2012, defendant filed a motion to dismiss for want of jurisdiction. On April 9, 2013, the Court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss. The court noted that the government had begun amending the regulations to provide further accommodations for religious employers by publishing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in the Federal Register in March 2012. 77 Fed. Reg. 16,501 (Mar. 21, 2012). The ANPRM sought to develop "alternative ways of providing contraceptive coverage without cost sharing in order to accommodate non-exempt, non-profit religious organizations with religious objections to such coverage." And because the government was in the process of addressing the concerns that the college had expressed, the Court concluded that the case is not ripe for judicial consideration. The court dismissed plaintiffs' case without prejudice.

Summary Authors

Wyatt Fore (3/18/2012)

Mallory Jones (2/18/2014)

Richard Jolly (10/22/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Godbey, David C. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)

McCarty, Darren L. (Texas)

Sasser, Hiram S. III (Texas)

Stannard, Paula M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Pollack, Michael Charles (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Godbey, David C. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)

McCarty, Darren L. (Texas)

Sasser, Hiram S. III (Texas)

Stannard, Paula M. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Pollack, Michael Charles (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

April 9, 2013 Docket
1

Complaint

Nov. 1, 2012 Complaint
33

Order

April 9, 2013 Order/Opinion
34

Final Judgment

Criswell College v. Sebelius

April 9, 2013 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

A.W. and C.W. v. Davis School District

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah have filed a lawsuit against the Davis School District after elementary schools in the district were instructed to remove a children’s book abo… Jan. 31, 2013 https://www.aclu.org/cases/free-speech-lesbian-and-gay-rights/aw-and-cw-v-davis-school-district

Criswell College v. Sebelius

Becket Law

Summary of the case, Criswell College v. Sebelius, including court documents. April 9, 2013 https://www.becketlaw.org/case/criswell-college-v-sebelius/

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT WITH JURY DEMAND against Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda L. Solis, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury filed by The Criswell College. (Filing fee $350; Receipt number 0539−4921377) Clerk to issue summons(es) for federal defendant(s). In each Notice of Electronic Filing, the judge assignment is indicated, and a link to the Judges Copy Requirements is provided. The court reminds the filer that any required copy of this and future documents must be delivered to the judge, in the manner prescribed, within three business days of filing. Unless exempted, attorneys who are not admitted to practice in the Northern District of Texas should seek admission promptly. Forms, instructions, and exemption information may be found at www.txnd.uscourts.gov, or by clicking here: Attorney Information − Bar Membership (Attachments: # 1 Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet) (McCarty, Darren) (Entered: 11/01/2012)

Nov. 1, 2012
2

CERTIFICATE OF INTERESTED PERSONS/DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by The Criswell College. (McCarty, Darren) (Entered: 11/01/2012)

Nov. 1, 2012
3

New Case Notes: A filing fee has been paid. File to Judge Godbey. Pursuant to Misc. Order 6, Plaintiff is provided the Notice of Right to Consent to Proceed Before A U.S. Magistrate Judge (Judge to be determined). Clerk to provide copy to plaintiff if not received electronically. (cea) (Entered: 11/01/2012)

Nov. 1, 2012
4

Summons issued as to Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda L Solis, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Attorney General. (cea) (Entered: 11/01/2012)

Nov. 1, 2012
5

Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice with Cert. of Good Standing for Attorney Paula M Stannard (Filing fee $25; Receipt number 0539−4921677) filed by The Criswell College (Stannard, Paula) (Entered: 11/01/2012)

Nov. 1, 2012
6

ELECTRONIC ORDER granting 5 Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Paula M. Stannard. If not already done, Applicant must register as an ECF User within 14 days (LR 5.1(f)). (Ordered by Judge David C Godbey on 11/9/2012) (chmb) (Entered: 11/09/2012)

Nov. 9, 2012
7

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to U.S. Attorney; served on 11/6/2012. (tla) Modified text on 11/28/2012 (jrr). (Entered: 11/13/2012)

Nov. 13, 2012
8

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Kathleen Sebelius ; served on 11/14/2012; United States Department of Health and Human Services ; served on 11/14/2012. (jrr) (Entered: 11/28/2012)

Nov. 28, 2012
9

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Timothy Geithner ; served on 11/19/2012. (jrr) (Entered: 11/28/2012)

Nov. 28, 2012
10

Court Request for Recusal:Magistrate Judge David L. Horan enters his recusal. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney chosen by random selection to handle matters that may be referred in this case (gr) (Entered: 12/11/2012)

Dec. 11, 2012
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Kathleen Sebelius (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/30/2012; Hilda L Solis (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/30/2012; United States Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/30/2012; United States Department of Labor (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/30/2012. (aaa) Modified text on 1/8/2013 (axm). (Entered: 12/18/2012)

Dec. 17, 2012
12

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda L Solis, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury with Brief/Memorandum in Support. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit(s) Wheaton College v. Sebelius, # 3 Exhibit(s) Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius, # 4 Exhibit(s) University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius, # 5 Exhibit(s) Catholic Diocese of Biloxi v. Sebelius) (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 01/07/2013)

Jan. 7, 2013
13

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to United States Department of Labor ; served on 11/14/2012. (jrr) (Entered: 01/08/2013)

Jan. 7, 2013
14

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Hilda L Solis ; served on 11/15/2012. (jrr) (Entered: 01/08/2013)

Jan. 7, 2013
15

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to United States Department of the Treasury, served on 11/16/2012; Timothy Geithner (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/16/2012; United States Department of the Treasury (U.S. Attorney General), served on 11/16/2012. (jrr) (Entered: 01/08/2013)

Jan. 7, 2013
16

ORDER REQUIRING STATUS AND SCHEDULING CONFERENCE: The parties are directed to confer within 14 days of the date of this Order, and report to the Court within 14 days after the conference the parties' position. (Ordered by Judge David C Godbey on 1/9/2013) (axm) (Entered: 01/09/2013)

Jan. 9, 2013
17

NOTICE of Related Case Supplemental Authority re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda L Solis, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) Colorado Christian Univ. v. Sebelius) (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 01/15/2013)

Jan. 15, 2013
18

RESPONSE filed by The Criswell College re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (McCarty, Darren) (Entered: 01/28/2013)

Jan. 28, 2013
19

Appendix in Support filed by The Criswell College re 18 Response/Objection to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Stay (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) A, 1, 2) (McCarty, Darren) (Entered: 01/28/2013)

Jan. 28, 2013
20

MOTION to Stay re 19 Appendix in Support, 18 Response/Objection to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Stay filed by The Criswell College (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (McCarty, Darren) (Entered: 01/28/2013)

Jan. 28, 2013
21

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Michael Charles Pollack on behalf of Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda L Solis, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury. (Filer confirms contact info in ECF is current.) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 01/31/2013)

Jan. 31, 2013
22

Joint STATUS REPORT SUBSEQUENT TO RULE 26(f) CONFERENCE filed by Kathleen Sebelius, The Criswell College, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Seth Harris, Neal Wolin. (Lee, Sang) (Entered: 02/06/2013)

Feb. 6, 2013
23

Unopposed MOTION to Stay Discovery Pending Resolution of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss filed by Seth Harris, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Neal Wolin with Brief/Memorandum in Support. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) Ave Maria v. Sebelius Order, # 2 Proposed Order) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 02/08/2013)

Feb. 8, 2013
24

NOTICE of Related Case as Supplemental Authority re: 18 Response/Objection filed by The Criswell College (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) 1 − Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth v. Sebelius) (Lee, Sang) (Entered: 02/08/2013)

Feb. 8, 2013
26

REPLY filed by Seth Harris, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Neal Wolin re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) Conlon v. Sebelius) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 02/11/2013)

Feb. 11, 2013
27

RESPONSE filed by Seth Harris, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Neal Wolin re: 20 MOTION to Stay re 19 Appendix in Support, 18 Response/Objection to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Stay (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) Conlon v. Sebelius) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 02/11/2013)

Feb. 11, 2013
28

REPLY filed by The Criswell College re: 20 MOTION to Stay re 19 Appendix in Support, 18 Response/Objection to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Stay (Lee, Sang) (Entered: 02/22/2013)

Feb. 22, 2013
29

NOTICE of Related Case Supplemental Authority re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Seth D Harris, Jacob J Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) Wenski v. Sebelius) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 03/21/2013)

March 21, 2013
30

NOTICE of Related Case Supplemental Authority re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Seth D Harris, Jacob J Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) EWTN v. Sebelius) (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 03/28/2013)

March 28, 2013
31

RESPONSE filed by The Criswell College re: 29 Notice (Other), (Lee, Sang) (Entered: 03/29/2013)

March 29, 2013
32

NOTICE of Related Case Supplemental Authority re: 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Seth D Harris, Jacob J Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury (Pollack, Michael) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

April 9, 2013
33

ORDER granting 12 Motion to Dismiss. (Ordered by Judge David C Godbey on 4/9/2013) (skt) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

April 9, 2013
34

FINAL JUDGMENT: The Court accordingly orders that Plaintiff The Criswell College take nothing by its claims against Defendants, and the Court dismisses those claims without prejudice. Court costs are taxed against Criswell. (Ordered by Judge David C Godbey on 4/9/2013) (skt) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

April 9, 2013

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2012

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiff is a Christian college operating as a non-profit corporation in Texas with 50 employees.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States Department of Health and Human Services (Washington), Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit