Case: The Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

2:13-cv-15198 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Dec. 20, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 20, 2013, a group of non-profit organizations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under the First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiffs, including The Ave Maria Foundation, Domino's Farms Petting Farm, and Thomas More Law Center, are represented by the public interest firm The Thomas More Law Center. The plaintiffs as…

On December 20, 2013, a group of non-profit organizations filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan under the First Amendment, Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Administrative Procedure Act against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiffs, including The Ave Maria Foundation, Domino's Farms Petting Farm, and Thomas More Law Center, are represented by the public interest firm The Thomas More Law Center. The plaintiffs asked the court to rule that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraception insurance mandate, even with the accommodation for non-profit religious organizations, is unconstitutional. Specifically, the plaintiffs 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-help, Catholic religious beliefs.

On December 23, 2013, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order against the defendant. The defendants opposed this motion on the grounds that the accommodation to the ACA mandate does not substantially burden the plaintiffs' religious freedom under RFRA or cause the plaintiffs irreparable harm.

On January 13, 2013 U.S. District Court (Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III.) granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. On January 23, 2014, the court granted a joint motion to stay the case pending the defendants' decision to appeal the preliminary injunction. The order referenced two expedited appeals in similar cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Catholic Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius, FA-TN-0001 in this database, and Michigan Catholic Conference v. Sebelius, FA-MI-0014 in this database. Defendants filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit on March 13, 2014, but the case closed before the Court of Appeals ruled on the case. The plaintiffs jointly stipulated to the case's dismissal pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) on February 2, 2018, presumably due to the result of Zubik v. Burwell, FA-PA-0010 in this database, and the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Mallory Jones (2/9/2014)

Elizabeth Heise (11/18/2018)

Related Cases

Weingartz Supply Co. v. Sebelius, Eastern District of Michigan (2012)

Michigan Catholic Conference v. Sebelius, Western District of Michigan (2013)

Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius, Middle District of Tennessee (2013)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5335724/parties/the-ave-maria-foundation-v-sebelius/


Judge(s)

Murphy, Stephen Joseph III (Michigan)

Randon, Mark (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia)

Grogg, Adam Anderson (District of Columbia)

Hartnett, Kathleen R. (District of Columbia)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia)

McQuade, Barbara L. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Murphy, Stephen Joseph III (Michigan)

Randon, Mark (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Delery, Stuart F. (District of Columbia)

Grogg, Adam Anderson (District of Columbia)

Hartnett, Kathleen R. (District of Columbia)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Lieber, Sheila M. (District of Columbia)

McQuade, Barbara L. (Michigan)

Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia)

Thompson, Richard (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Feb. 2, 2018 Docket
1

Complaint

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Dec. 20, 2013 Complaint
3

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Dec. 23, 2013 Pleading / Motion / Brief
9

Defendants' Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Dec. 27, 2013 Pleading / Motion / Brief
11

Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Their Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Dec. 30, 2013 Pleading / Motion / Brief
15

Opinion and Order Granting a Preliminary Injunction

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

991 F.Supp.2d 957

Jan. 13, 2014 Order/Opinion
16

Joint Motion to Stay District Court Proceedings

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Jan. 17, 2014 Pleading / Motion / Brief
17

Order Granting Joint Motion to Stay, Staying Further Proceedings, and Administratively Closing the Case

Ave Maria Foundation v. Sebelius

Jan. 23, 2014 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5335724/the-ave-maria-foundation-v-sebelius/

Last updated May 20, 2022, 3:27 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
15

OPINION and ORDER Granting a Preliminary Injunction. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (CCoh)

Jan. 13, 2014 RECAP
1

COMPLAINT filed by All Plaintiffs against All Defendants. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: 0645−4431056 − Fee: &#036 400. County of 1st Plaintiff: Washtenaw − County Where Action Arose: Washtenaw − County of 1st Defendant: USA. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): Eastern District of Michigan, 12−cv−12061, Judge Judge Robert H. Cleland] (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/20/2013)

Dec. 20, 2013
2

Emergency MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by All Plaintiffs. (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
3

Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit Exhibit 6, # 8 Exhibit Exhibit 7, # 9 Exhibit Exhibit 8, # 10 Exhibit Exhibit 9, # 11 Exhibit Exhibit 10) (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
4

STATEMENT of DISCLOSURE of CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS and FINANCIAL INTEREST by All Plaintiffs (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
5

SUMMONS Issued for *Jack Lew, Thomas E. Perez, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury* (DTyl) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
6

SUMMONS Issued for the United States Attorney and the Office of the Attorney General. (DTyl) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Bradley P. Humphreys on behalf of All Defendants. (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 12/23/2013)

Dec. 23, 2013
8

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order by All Defendants. (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 12/27/2013)

Dec. 27, 2013
9

RESPONSE to 3 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order filed by All Defendants. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit Catholic Diocese of Nashville v. Sebelius (M.D. Tenn.), # 3 Exhibit Univ. of Notre Dame v. Sebelius (N.D. Ind.), # 4 Priests for Life v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs. (D.D.C.)) (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 12/27/2013)

Dec. 27, 2013
10

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by All Plaintiffs. (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 12/30/2013)

Dec. 30, 2013
12

ORDER Granting 2 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages; Granting 3 Motion for TRO; Granting 8 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages; and Granting 10 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages − hearing set for 1/8/2014, 10:00 a.m... Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (CCoh) (Entered: 12/31/2013)

Dec. 31, 2013
13

NOTICE by All Plaintiffs re 12 Order on Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages, Order on Motion for TRO,,,,,, Joint Motion for Submission on Briefs (Mersino, Erin) Modified on 1/3/2014 (PMil).[DOCUMENT TITLED JOINT MOTION REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION] (Entered: 01/02/2014)

Jan. 2, 2014
14

ORDER to forego hearing re: motion for preliminary injunction − to be decided upon the parties' submissions. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (CCoh) (Entered: 01/03/2014)

Jan. 3, 2014
16

Joint MOTION to Stay by All Defendants. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 01/17/2014)

Jan. 17, 2014
17

ORDER Granting 16 Motion to Stay and Administratively Closing the Case.. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (CCoh) (Entered: 01/23/2014)

Jan. 23, 2014
18

NOTICE OF APPEAL by All Defendants re 15 Memorandum Opinion & Order. Fee Status: No Fee Paid. (Humphreys, Bradley) (Entered: 03/13/2014)

March 13, 2014
19

Certificate of Service re 18 Notice of Appeal. (TMcg) (Entered: 03/13/2014)

March 13, 2014
20

MOTION to Clarify Injunction Order, ECF No. 15 by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit 1) (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 03/28/2014)

March 28, 2014
21

ORDER Denying 20 Motion to Clarify.. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (CCoh) (Entered: 05/11/2014)

May 11, 2014
22

NOTICE of Appearance by Adam Grogg on behalf of All Defendants. (Grogg, Adam) (Entered: 03/25/2015)

March 25, 2015
23

NOTICE of Appearance by Michelle R. Bennett on behalf of All Defendants. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 08/16/2017)

Aug. 16, 2017
24

MOTION for Withdrawal of Attorney Adam Grogg by All Defendants. (Grogg, Adam) (Entered: 08/16/2017)

Aug. 16, 2017
25

ORDER Granting 24 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 08/18/2017)

Aug. 18, 2017
26

STIPULATION of Dismissal Joint Stipulation by All Plaintiffs (Oliveri, Kate) (Entered: 02/02/2018)

Feb. 2, 2018

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 20, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are non-profit organizations, run by Catholic owners who believe the accommodation to the ACA's contraception insurance mandate offered to religions, non-profits violates their religious freedom

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. Department of Labor (Washington), Federal

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Washington), 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):

Freedom of speech/association

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit