Case: SMA LLC v. Sebelius

0:13-cv-01375 | U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Filed Date: June 7, 2013

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 7, 2013, the Catholic owners of a company filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota under the First and Fifth Amendments, 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, and the Internal Revenue Service. The plaintiff, represented by Mohrman & Kaardal P.A., asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging the federal rules ad…

On June 7, 2013, the Catholic owners of a company filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota under the First and Fifth Amendments, 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, and the Internal Revenue Service. The plaintiff, represented by Mohrman & Kaardal P.A., 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 its religious freedom by requiring it to provide employee insurance coverage for contraception through its group health insurance plan. Claiming that providing coverage for contraception would contravene their religious faith and involve them in a "public scandal" according to the Catholic Church, the plaintiffs sought an exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate.

On July 3, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction. On July 5, 2013, defendants gave notice of non-opposition to plaintiff's motion. On July 8, 2013, Judge Ann D. Montgomery ordered the defendant not to enforce the ACA insurance mandate regarding contraception against the plaintiff until 30 days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rules on either O'Brien v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services or Annex Medical, Inc. v. Sebelius, which involve similar legal issues and the same defendant as this case.

However, on June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate RFRA when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations. This ruling created a new standard for for-profit companies challenging the contraception mandate. Following the ruling, the Eighth Circuit remanded Annex Medical for additional fact-finding, and on November 12, 2014 the Eastern District of Missouri in O'Brien entered an injunction on the joint motion of the parties establishing that the government could not impose that version of the contraception services mandate against the plaintiffs, but further regulations were open to enforcement and to litigation.

On November 20, 2014, the District of Minnesota entered an injunction and judgment that very closely matched the injunction entered in O'Brien and similar cases around the country. The court entered the injunction based on the stipulation of the parties, establishing that the government would not enforce the version of the contraceptive services mandate at issue in Hobby Lobby against closely-held for-profit corporations like that of the plaintiffs. Prior to the Hobby Lobby ruling, no for-profit corporations had access to a religious exemption to the mandate. After the ruling, the government designed an exemption similar to the one used for non-profit religious employers, allowing religious, closely-held for-profit employers to notify the government of their religious objection to contraception. The government would then work with the insurer directly to provide contraception coverage to the employees.

The court's order also awarded attorney fees and costs to the plaintiffs. On January 5, 2015, the court granted an extension of the deadline to file for attorney fees and costs until March 15, 2015.

Summary Authors

Emma Lawton (10/17/2013)

Richard Jolly (4/4/2014)

Kate Craddock (9/18/2016)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13207483/parties/sma-llc-v-sebelius/


Judge(s)

Montgomery, Ann D. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kaardal, Erick G. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Montgomery, Ann D. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kaardal, Erick G. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

0:13-cv-01375

Docket (PACER)

Jan. 5, 2015

Jan. 5, 2015

Docket
1

0:13-cv-01375

Complaint

June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

Complaint
4

0:13-cv-01375

Last Amended Complaint

SMA, LLC v. Sebelius

June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013

Complaint
14

0:13-cv-01375

Order for Preliminary Injunction

SMA, LLC v. Sebelius

July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Order/Opinion
16

0:13-cv-01375

Order for Injunction and Judgment

Nov. 20, 2014

Nov. 20, 2014

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13207483/sma-llc-v-sebelius/

Last updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief - Jury Trial Demanded against Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Seth D. Harris, United States Department of Labor, Jacob Lew, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel, Internal Revenue Service. ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0864-3583412.) Filed by SMA, LLC, Stanley Brey, Michael Brey. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet). (Kaardal, Erick) Modified text on 6/7/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 06/07/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

PACER
2

TEXT ONLY ENTRY: CLERK'S NOTICE OF INITIAL CASE ASSIGNMENT. Case assigned to Judge Ann D. Montgomery per 5th-Civil Rights All List referred to Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois. Please use case number 13-cv-01375 (ADM/LIB). (lmb) (Entered: 06/07/2013)

June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (lmb) (Entered: 06/07/2013)

June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

PACER
4

AMENDED COMPLAINT (FIRST) for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against All Defendants. Filed by Stanley Brey, Michael Brey, SMA, LLC. No summons requested. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 06/13/2013)

June 13, 2013

June 13, 2013

PACER
5

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Stanley Brey, Michael Brey, SMA, LLC. Seth D. Harris served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; Internal Revenue Service served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; Jacob Lew served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; Kathleen Sebelius served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; United States Department of Health and Human Services served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; United States Department of Labor served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; United States Department of the Treasury served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013; Daniel I. Werfel served on 6/7/2013, answer due 6/28/2013. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 06/17/2013)

June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

PACER
6

AFFIDAVIT of Service by Michael Brey, Stanley Brey, SMA, LLC re 4 Amended Complaint (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 06/17/2013)

June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Ann M Bildtsen on behalf of Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (Bildtsen, Ann) (Entered: 06/27/2013)

June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

PACER
8

MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for U.S. Government Attorney Bradley Humphreys by Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (Bildtsen, Ann) (Entered: 06/27/2013)

June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013

PACER
9

TEXT ONLY ENTRY. ORDER granting 8 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of U.S. Government Attorney Bradley Philip Humphreys for Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury and for Daniel I. Werfel. Approved by Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois on 7/1/2013. (MGV) (Entered: 07/01/2013)

July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

PACER
10

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by SMA, LLC, Michael Brey, Stanley Brey. (Kaardal, Erick) Modified filers on 7/3/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 07/03/2013)

July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013

PACER
11

NOTICE OF HEARING ON MOTION 10 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction : at date and time to be determined. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 07/03/2013)

July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013

PACER
12

MEET and CONFER STATEMENT re 10 Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by SMA, LLC. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 07/03/2013)

July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013

PACER
13

NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION by Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury re 10 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction. (Humphreys, Bradley) Modified text on 7/5/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 07/05/2013)

July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013

PACER
14

ORDER granting 10 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Ann D. Montgomery on 7/8/2013. (GS) (Entered: 07/08/2013)

July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

RECAP
15

STIPULATION for Entry of Judgment and Injunction in Favor of Plaintiffs and Stipulation for Fee Motion Briefing Schedule by Michael Brey, Stanley Brey, SMA, LLC. Jointly Signed by Sylvia M. Burwell, United States Department of Health and Human Service, Seth D. Harris, United States Department of Labor, Jacob Lew, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel, and Internal Revenue Service. DOCUMENTS/ATTACHMENTS FILED IN ERROR. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) 1, # 2 Exhibit(s) 2). (Kaardal, Erick) Modified text on 11/17/2014 (lmb). (Entered: 11/14/2014)

1 FILED IN ERROR-Exhibit(s) 1

View on PACER

2 FILED IN ERROR-Exhibit(s) 2

View on PACER

Nov. 14, 2014

Nov. 14, 2014

RECAP
16

ORDER FOR INJUNCTION AND JUDGMENT pursuant to 15 Stipulation filed by Michael Brey, Stanley Brey, SMA, LLC. Signed by Judge Ann D. Montgomery on 11/20/2014. (TLU) (Entered: 11/20/2014)

Nov. 20, 2014

Nov. 20, 2014

PACER
17

JUDGMENT (Attachments: # 1 Civil Notice - appeal)(lmb) (Entered: 11/20/2014)

1 Civil Notice - appeal

View on PACER

Nov. 20, 2014

Nov. 20, 2014

PACER
18

STIPULATION for Extension of Time to File Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs by Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. Jointly Signed by SMA, LLC, Michael Brey, and Stanley Brey. (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 12/30/2014)

Dec. 30, 2014

Dec. 30, 2014

PACER
19

ORDER granting 18 Stipulation for extension of time to file Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs filed by United States Department of the Treasury, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Seth D. Harris, United States Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, Daniel I. Werfel. Signed by Judge Ann D. Montgomery on 1/5/15. (JME) (Entered: 01/05/2015)

Jan. 5, 2015

Jan. 5, 2015

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Minnesota

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 7, 2013

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Corporation owned by Catholics seeking religious exemption from the ACA's contraception mandate.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Closely-held (for profit) corporation

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Department of Health and Human Services, Federal

Department of Labor, Federal

Department of the Treasury, Federal

Internal Revenue Service, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Jurisdiction-wide

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.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Establishment Clause

Free Exercise Clause

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Abortion

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit