Case: Willis & Willis PLC v. Sebelius

1:13-cv-01124 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: July 24, 2013

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 24, 2013, a for-profit company filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of D.C. under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First Amendment against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiff, represented by the public interest firm the Thomas More Law Center, asked the court for an exception to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage of co…

On July 24, 2013, a for-profit company filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of D.C. under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First Amendment against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiff, represented by the public interest firm the Thomas More Law Center, asked the court for an exception to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage of contraception. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that providing insurance coverage of contraception would violate the deeply held, religious beliefs of the corporation's owners.

On August 23, 2013, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly granted the plaintiff's unopposed motion for preliminary injunction and stayed the case. The court ordered the defendant not to enforce the ACA insurance mandate regarding contraception against the plaintiff until 30 days after the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services , which involved similar legal issues and the same defendant as this case.

On November 1, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Gilardi that the ACA's contraception insurance mandate likely violates the free exercise clause of the Constitution and reversed the District Court's denial of a preliminary injunction against the defendant. Gilardi was held at the Supreme Court while the Court decided Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. On June 30, 2014, the court held in Hobby Lobby that the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate RFRA, when applied to closely-held for-profit corporations.

On October 27, 2014, the district court held that based on the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby, the plaintiffs in this case as a closely-held for-profit corporation, were entitled to a permanent injunction against enforcement of the version of the contraceptive mandate in place on June 30, 2014. The district court did not extend the ruling to future versions of the mandate, and directed the parties to come to an agreement on attorney's fees and costs. The parties requested technical corrections to the order by joint motion, which the court granted in a new order on October 31, 2014. On December 17, 2014, the parties submitted a Joint Status Report notifying the court that they reached an agreement on attorney's fees and costs, and there would be no need for further proceedings in this case.

Summary Authors

Mallory Jones (3/31/2014)

Kate Craddock (8/7/2016)

Related Cases

Gilardi v. Dep't of Health and Human Services [Gilardi v. Sebelius], District of Columbia (2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13132318/parties/willis-and-willis-plc-v-sebelius/


Judge(s)

Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Thompson, Richard (Michigan)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Kollar-Kotelly, Colleen (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Thompson, Richard (Michigan)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:13-cv-01124

Docket

Dec. 17, 2014

Dec. 17, 2014

Docket
1

1:13-cv-01124

Complaint

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

Complaint
11

1:13-cv-01124

Order Granting Preliminary Injunction

Willis Law v. Sebelius

Aug. 23, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013

Order/Opinion
15

1:13-cv-01124

Order

Oct. 27, 2014

Oct. 27, 2014

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13132318/willis-and-willis-plc-v-sebelius/

Last updated Sept. 5, 2022, 3:16 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-3410326) filed by Willis and Willis PLC (also known as "Willis Law"), Shaun Patrick Willis, Michael J. Willis. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons for Kathleen Sebelius, # 3 Summons Summons for U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services, # 4 Summons Summons for Jack Lew, # 5 Summons Summons for U.S. Dep't of the Treasury, # 6 Summons Summons for Seth D. Harris, # 7 Summons Summons for U.S. Dep't of Labor, # 8 Summons Summons for U.S. Attorney General, # 9 Summons Summons for U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 07/24/2013)

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER
2

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Michael J. Willis, Shaun Patrick Willis, Willis and Willis PLC (also known as "Willis Law"). (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 07/24/2013)

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (zmd, )

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER
3

ORDER Establishing Procedures for Filing for Cases Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, signed on July 24, 2013. (SM) (Entered: 07/24/2013)

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER
4

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS Issued (7) as to SETH D. HARRIS, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, 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 (Attachments: # 1 Summons 2nd, # 2 Summons 3rd, # 3 Summons 4th, # 4 Summons 5th, # 5 Summons 6th, # 6 Summons 7th, # 7 Notice of Consent, # 8 Consent Form)(zmd, ) (Entered: 07/24/2013)

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER
5

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED (1) as to JACK LEW. (md, ) (Entered: 07/24/2013)

July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

PACER
6

ENTERED IN ERROR.....CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by MICHAEL J. WILLIS, SHAUN PATRICK WILLIS, WILLIS AND WILLIS PLC Proof of Service for Service of Summons and Complaints. (Mersino, Erin) Modified on 8/21/2013 (znmw, ). (Entered: 08/20/2013)

Aug. 20, 2013

Aug. 20, 2013

PACER
7

Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by MICHAEL J. WILLIS, SHAUN PATRICK WILLIS, WILLIS AND WILLIS PLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Mersino, Erin). Added MOTION to Stay on 8/21/2013 (znmw, ). (Entered: 08/20/2013)

Aug. 20, 2013

Aug. 20, 2013

PACER
8

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 8/14/13., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 8/14/2013. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 10/13/2013.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. SETH D. HARRIS served on 7/29/2013; JACK LEW served on 8/1/2013; KATHLEEN SEBELIUS served on 7/29/2013; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES served on 7/29/2013; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR served on 7/29/2013; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY served on 8/1/2013 (znmw, ) (Entered: 08/21/2013)

Aug. 20, 2013

Aug. 20, 2013

PACER

NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: Docket Entry 6 Certificate of Service was entered in error and was refiled as Docket Entry 8 RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. (znmw, )

Aug. 21, 2013

Aug. 21, 2013

PACER
9

Unopposed MOTION to Stay and Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 7) by SETH D. HARRIS, JACK LEW, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 08/21/2013)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Aug. 21, 2013

Aug. 21, 2013

RECAP
10

RESPONSE (Non-Opposition) re 7 Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction MOTION to Stay filed by SETH D. HARRIS, JACK LEW, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (See Docket Entry 9 to view document). (znmw, ) (Entered: 08/22/2013)

Aug. 21, 2013

Aug. 21, 2013

PACER
11

ORDER Granting Plaintiffs' 7 Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings and Defendants' 9 Unopposed Motion to Stay and Notice of Non-Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 23, 2013. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/23/2013)

Aug. 23, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013

PACER
12

STATUS REPORT (Joint) by SETH D. HARRIS, JACK LEW, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 08/25/2014)

Aug. 25, 2014

Aug. 25, 2014

PACER

MINUTE ORDER (paperless). Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report and in light of the parties' request, the parties shall file a Joint Status Report by no later than SEPTEMBER 24, 2014, advising the Court as to how they plan to proceed. This matter shall remain STAYED until OCTOBER 9, 2014, in accordance with the terms of the Court's 11 Order entered on August 23, 2013. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 25, 2014. (NS)

Aug. 25, 2014

Aug. 25, 2014

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/24/2014. (dot )

Aug. 25, 2014

Aug. 25, 2014

PACER
13

STATUS REPORT (Joint) by MICHAEL J. WILLIS, SHAUN PATRICK WILLIS, WILLIS AND WILLIS PLC. (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 09/24/2014)

Sept. 24, 2014

Sept. 24, 2014

PACER

MINUTE ORDER (paperless). Upon consideration of the parties' 13 Joint Status Report and in light of the parties' request, the parties shall file a Joint Status Report by no later than OCTOBER 24, 2014, advising the Court as to how they plan to proceed. This matter shall remain STAYED until NOVEMBER 9, 2014, in accordance with the terms of the Court's 11 Order entered on August 23, 2013. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 10/1/2014. (lcckk2)

Oct. 1, 2014

Oct. 1, 2014

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/24/2014. (dot )

Oct. 1, 2014

Oct. 1, 2014

PACER
14

Joint MOTION for Judgment and Entry of Permanent Injunction by MICHAEL J. WILLIS, SHAUN PATRICK WILLIS, WILLIS AND WILLIS PLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 10/24/2014)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 24, 2014

Oct. 24, 2014

RECAP
15

ORDER in light of the Parties' 14 Joint Motion for Entry of Injunction and Judgment entering PERMANENT INJUNCTION with respect to certain provisions of federal law; entering JUDGMENT in favor of Plaintiffs with respect to their Religious Freedom Restoration Act claim; DISMISSING all other claims against Defendants; and further ordering certain actions with respect to attorneys' fees and costs. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 10/27/2014. (lcckk2) (Entered: 10/27/2014)

Oct. 27, 2014

Oct. 27, 2014

PACER
16

Joint MOTION to Amend/Correct 15 Order on Motion for Judgment, by SETH D. HARRIS, JACK LEW, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 10/31/2014)

Oct. 31, 2014

Oct. 31, 2014

PACER
17

ORDER GRANTING the parties' 16 Joint Motion to Amend Court's October 27, 2014 Order and AMENDING the Court's 15 Order of that date. The text of the October 27, 2014 15 Order is replaced in its entirety as specified by this order. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 10/31/2014. (lcckk2) (Entered: 10/31/2014)

Oct. 31, 2014

Oct. 31, 2014

PACER
18

STATUS REPORT Joint Status Report by MICHAEL J. WILLIS, SHAUN PATRICK WILLIS, WILLIS AND WILLIS PLC. (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/17/2014)

Dec. 17, 2014

Dec. 17, 2014

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 24, 2013

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

For-profit corporation seeking exemption from the ACA contraception insurance mandate.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Closely-held (for profit) corporation

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Department of Health and Human Services, 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

Equal Protection

Free Exercise Clause

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

Reasonable Accommodations

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination