Case: Hartenbower v. United States Department of Health and Human Services

1:13-cv-02253 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: March 26, 2013

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 26, 2013, Hart Electric, a for-profit corporation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.The plaintiff, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, sought a judgment that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate violated the First Amendment, RFRA and APA. Specifical…

On March 26, 2013, Hart Electric, a for-profit corporation filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The plaintiff, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, sought a judgment that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate violated the First Amendment, RFRA and APA. Specifically, the plaintiff asked for both a preliminary and permanent injunction keeping the government from enforcing the contraception insurance mandate against them because it violates the owners' deeply held religious beliefs. They also sought declaratory relief and attorneys’ fees.

Under the government Mandate, which went into effect on August 1, 2012, all non-exempt employers that offer non-grandfathered group health plans were required to provide coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization, and education and counseling, despite their religious beliefs. While nonprofits were granted a “temporary safe-harbor,” for religious reasons, the plaintiffs did not qualify as they were for-profit employers.

The plaintiff filed moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining the defendants from enforcing the health insurance requirement until the resolution of two similar cases before the Seventh Circuit. On April 18, the U.S. District Court (Judge Ruben Castillo) granted the motion and stayed proceedings until thirty days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issues a decision in the consolidated cases of Korte v. Sebelius and Grote Industry, LLC v. Sebelius.

On November 8, 2013, the Seventh Circuit ruled for the two cases that the contraception mandate substantially burdens religious exercise under the Religious Freedom Act. 735 F.3d 654. Therefore, the Seventh Circuit had granted preliminary injunctive relief for the same mandate for for-profit employers. On January 10, 2014, the plaintiffs moved to extend the preliminary injunction and stay of proceedings until forty-five days after Supreme Court addresses analogous cases in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, which was granted on January 21, 2014.

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled for the consolidated case of Conestoga Woods and Hobby Lobby that the Mandate imposed a substantial burden on the plaintiffs’ exercise of religion under the statute. 573 U.S. 682. Subsequently, Judge Castillo granted the plaintiff’s request for a 30 day extension of the preliminary injunction during the time the government determined an appropriate course of action in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

In light of the decisions above, the parties agreed that the plaintiffs were entitled to judgment in their favor on their RFRA claim and the entry of a permanent injunction. On September 23, 2014, the Court granted the plaintiff’s unopposed motion to extend the preliminary injunction for additional time to consider the defendants’ proposal of injunction.

On November 3, 2014, the Court ordered a permanent injunction against the enforcement of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement against plaintiffs and anyone in connection with their health plans.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Mallory Jones (3/24/2014)

Averyn Lee (5/30/2019)

Related Cases

Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, Western District of Oklahoma (2012)

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2012)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4261130/parties/hartenbower-v-united-states-department-of-health-and-human-services/


Judge(s)

Castillo, Rubén (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gammill, Carly F. (Tennessee)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Manion, Francis J (Kentucky)

Surtees, Geoffrey R. (Kentucky)

White, Edward L. III (Michigan)

Zimmerman, Erik M. (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Castillo, Rubén (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gammill, Carly F. (Tennessee)

Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Manion, Francis J (Kentucky)

Surtees, Geoffrey R. (Kentucky)

White, Edward L. III (Michigan)

Zimmerman, Erik M. (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:13-cv-02253

Docket [PACER]

Nov. 3, 2014

Nov. 3, 2014

Docket
1

1:13-cv-02253

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

Complaint
13

1:13-cv-02253

Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings

April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

Pleading / Motion / Brief
16

1:13-cv-02253

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings

April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013

Order/Opinion
19

1:13-cv-02253

Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings

Jan. 10, 2014

Jan. 10, 2014

Pleading / Motion / Brief
22

1:13-cv-02253

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings

Jan. 21, 2014

Jan. 21, 2014

Order/Opinion
30

1:13-cv-02253

Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

Order/Opinion
34

1:13-cv-02253

Injunction and Judgment

Nov. 3, 2014

Nov. 3, 2014

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4261130/hartenbower-v-united-states-department-of-health-and-human-services/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton F Hartenbower, H.I. Hart, LLC; Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 0752-8180226.(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

RECAP
2

CIVIL Cover Sheet (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

PACER
3

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, H.I. Hart, LLC, Catherine Hartenbower, Milton F Hartenbower by Geoffrey R Surtees (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

PACER
4

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, H.I. Hart, LLC, Catherine Hartenbower, Milton F Hartenbower by Francis J Manion (Manion, Francis) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

PACER

CASE ASSIGNED to the Honorable Ruben Castillo. Designated as Magistrate Judge the Honorable Young B. Kim. (jn, )

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

PACER
5

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, H.I. Hart, LLC, Catherine Hartenbower, Milton F Hartenbower by Edward Lawrence White (White, Edward) (Entered: 03/26/2013)

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

PACER

SUMMONS Issued as to Kathleen Sebelius, Sec of US Dept of Health & Human Servs., - U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Treasury, and U.S. Attorney General (daj, )

March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013

PACER

SUMMONS Issued as to U.S. Attorney.(daj, )

March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013

PACER
6

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton Fred Hartenbower as to All Defendants (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts)(Manion, Francis) (Entered: 04/03/2013)

1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts

View on PACER

April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013

PACER
7

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton Fred Hartenbower (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts)(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts

View on PACER

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

PACER
8

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton Fred Hartenbower as to Jack Lew served on 4/4/2013, answer due 6/3/2013; United States Department of the Treasury served on 4/4/2013, answer due 6/3/2013 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts)(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts

View on PACER

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

PACER
9

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton Fred Hartenbower (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts)(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts

View on PACER

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

PACER
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, H.I. Cable, LLC, Milton Fred Hartenbower as to All Defendants (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts)(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/09/2013)

1 Exhibit Summons and U.S.P.S. receipts

View on PACER

April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013

PACER
11

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, Milton Fred Hartenbower by Erik Michael Zimmerman (Zimmerman, Erik) (Entered: 04/10/2013)

April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013

PACER
12

NOTICE of Motion by Geoffrey R Surtees for presentment of before Honorable Ruben Castillo on 4/24/2013 at 09:45 AM. (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/16/2013)

April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

PACER
13

MOTION by Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, Milton Fred Hartenbower for preliminary injunction (UNOPPOSED) (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 04/16/2013)

April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

PACER
15

MINUTE entry before Honorable Ruben Castillo: Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings [ 13 ] is granted. Enter Order Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings. All proceedings are stayed until thirty days after the mandate issues from the U.S. Court of Appeals in the consolidate cases of Korte v. Sebelius, No. 12-3841 (7th Cir.) and Grote Indus. LLC v. Sebelius, 13-077 (7th Cir.). (For further detail see separate order). Mailed notice. (et, ) (Entered: 04/19/2013)

April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013

PACER
16

ORDER Granting Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings Signed by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 4/18/2013,. (et, ) (Entered: 04/19/2013)

April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013

PACER
14

ATTORNEY Appearance for Defendants Seth Harris, Jack Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury by Michelle Renee Bennett (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 04/19/2013)

April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013

PACER
17

MINUTE entry before Honorable Ruben Castillo:The motion hearing set for 4/24/2013 is vacated.Mailed notice (rao, ) (Entered: 04/19/2013)

April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013

PACER
18

NOTICE by Edward Lawrence White of Change of Address (White, Edward) (Entered: 07/06/2013)

July 6, 2013

July 6, 2013

PACER
19

MOTION by Plaintiffs Catherine A. Hartenbower, Milton Fred Hartenbower to stay proceedings and extend preliminary injunction-unopposed (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Issuance of Mandate)(Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 01/10/2014)

1 Exhibit Issuance of Mandate

View on PACER

Jan. 10, 2014

Jan. 10, 2014

RECAP
20

NOTICE of Motion by Geoffrey R Surtees for presentment of motion to stay 19 before Honorable Ruben Castillo on 1/22/2014 at 09:45 AM. (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 01/10/2014)

Jan. 10, 2014

Jan. 10, 2014

PACER
21

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Ruben Castillo:Plaintiffs' unopposed motion to extend preliminary injunction and stay of proceedings 19 is granted. Signature Order to follow. The motion hearing set for 1/22/2014 is vacated.Mailed notice (rao, ) (Entered: 01/21/2014)

Jan. 21, 2014

Jan. 21, 2014

PACER
22

ORDER GRANTING Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedings 21 Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 1/21/2014. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 01/23/2014)

Jan. 21, 2014

Jan. 21, 2014

PACER
23

MOTION by Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, Milton Fred Hartenbower for preliminary injunction UNOPPOSED Motion to Extend Preliminary Injunction (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 08/08/2014)

Aug. 8, 2014

Aug. 8, 2014

PACER
24

NOTICE of Motion by Geoffrey R Surtees for presentment of motion for preliminary injunction 23 before Honorable Ruben Castillo on 8/27/2014 at 09:45 AM. (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 08/08/2014)

Aug. 8, 2014

Aug. 8, 2014

PACER
25

ORDER Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 8/8/2014: Plaintiffs' unopposed motion to extend preliminary injunction 23 is granted. The motion hearing set for 08/27/14 is vacated. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 08/12/2014)

Aug. 8, 2014

Aug. 8, 2014

PACER
26

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' UNOPPOSED MOTION to Extend Preliminary Injunction Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 8/8/2014. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 08/12/2014)

Aug. 8, 2014

Aug. 8, 2014

PACER
27

MOTION by Plaintiffs H.I. Cable, LLC, Hart Electric, LLC, Catherine A. Hartenbower, Milton Fred Hartenbower for preliminary injunction Unopposed (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 09/25/2014)

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

PACER
28

NOTICE of Motion by Geoffrey R Surtees for presentment of motion for preliminary injunction 27 before Honorable Ruben Castillo on 10/1/2014 at 09:45 AM. (Surtees, Geoffrey) (Entered: 09/25/2014)

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

PACER
29

ORDER Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 9/25/2014: Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for preliminary injunction and recommendation for further proceedings 27 is granted. The motion hearing set for 10/1/2014 is vacated. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 09/26/2014)

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

PACER
30

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' UNOPPOSED MOTION For A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION and Order Regarding Future Proceedings Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 9/25/2014. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 09/26/2014)

Sept. 25, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014

PACER
31

MOTION by Defendants Seth Harris, Jack Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasuryfor Entry of Injunction and Judgment (Jointly filed) (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 10/24/2014)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 24, 2014

Oct. 24, 2014

RECAP
32

NOTICE of Motion by Michelle Renee Bennett for presentment of motion for miscellaneous relief, 31 before Honorable Ruben Castillo on 11/5/2014 at 09:45 AM. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 10/24/2014)

Oct. 24, 2014

Oct. 24, 2014

PACER
33

ORDER Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 11/3/2014: The joint motion for entry of injunction and judgment 31 is granted. Enter Injunction and Judgment Order. Judgment is entered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants on plaintiffs' claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. §§2000bb et seq. All other claims against the defendants are dismissed. The Court will give the plaintiffs until 1/5/2015 to file a petition for attorneys' fees or costs. The motion hearing set for 11/5/2014 is vacated. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 11/04/2014)

Nov. 3, 2014

Nov. 3, 2014

PACER
34

INJUNCTION AND JUDGMENT Entered by the Honorable Ruben Castillo on 11/3/2014. Mailed notice (tlm) (Entered: 11/04/2014)

Nov. 3, 2014

Nov. 3, 2014

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 26, 2013

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A for-profit corporation that believes the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate violates its owner's religious freedom.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Federal

U.S. Department of Labor, Federal

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

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):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Establishment Clause

Free Exercise Clause

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Contraception

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Non-government for profit