Case: Williams v. Sebelius

1:13-cv-01699 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Oct. 30, 2013

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 30, 2013, three business owners and their businesses filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the First Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, asked the court to issue both a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)…

On October 30, 2013, three business owners and their businesses filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the federal government under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the First Amendment, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The plaintiffs, represented by the Thomas More Law Center, asked the court to issue both a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage to employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that they operate their business pursuant to their faith in God and that compliance with the contraception coverage requirement is a substantial burden on their religious exercise.

On November 15, 2013, the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for a preliminary injunction and an unopposed motion to stay the proceedings until thirty days after the substantially similar contraception mandate issues are settled by the Gilardi v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Servs. appeal. The court granted the motion on November 19, 2013.

On November 5, 2014, following the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which held that closely-held for-profit corporations should have access to the contraception mandate accommodation, the District Court entered a permanent injunction against enforcement of the contraceptive services mandate and related fines against the plaintiffs. The Court entered judgment for the plaintiffs on their RFRA claim, dismissed all other claims, and instructed the parties to meet and confer on attorney's fees and costs. On January 7, 2015, the parties notified the court that they had come to an agreement on attorney's fees and costs and that no further proceedings were necessary.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (3/5/2014)

Kate Craddock (2/13/2016)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4212290/parties/williams-v-sebelius/


Judge(s)

Cooper, Christopher Reid (District of Columbia)

Wilkins, Robert Leon (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Cooper, Christopher Reid (District of Columbia)

Wilkins, Robert Leon (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennett, Michelle Renee (District of Columbia)

Mersino, Erin Elizabeth (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:13-cv-01699

Docket

Sept. 10, 2014

Sept. 10, 2014

Docket
1

1:13-cv-01699

Complaint

Oct. 30, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013

Complaint
7

1:13-cv-01699

Order (Granting Plaintiffs' Motion)

Nov. 19, 2013

Nov. 19, 2013

Order/Opinion
11

1:13-cv-01699

Order

Nov. 5, 2014

Nov. 5, 2014

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4212290/williams-v-sebelius/

Last updated Sept. 1, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-3519280) filed by STONE RIVER MANAGEMENT CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, III, MARK A. WILLIAMS, DUNSTONE CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, IV, ELECTROLOCK INCORPORATED. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons, Kathleen Sebelius, # 3 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of HHS, # 4 Summons Summons, Jack Lew, # 5 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of the Treasury, # 6 Summons Summons, Thomas Perez, # 7 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of Labor, # 8 Summons Summons, U.S. Atty. General, # 9 Summons Summons, U.S. Atty. D.C.)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 10/30/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet

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2 Summons Summons, Kathleen Sebelius

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3 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of HHS

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4 Summons Summons, Jack Lew

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5 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of the Treasury

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6 Summons Summons, Thomas Perez

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7 Summons Summons, U.S. Dep't of Labor

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8 Summons Summons, U.S. Atty. General

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9 Summons Summons, U.S. Atty. D.C.

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Oct. 30, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013

RECAP
2

LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by DUNSTONE CO., ELECTROLOCK INCORPORATED, STONE RIVER MANAGEMENT CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, III, JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, IV, MARK A. WILLIAMS (Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 10/30/2013)

Oct. 30, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Robert L. Wilkins. (sth, )

Oct. 30, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013

PACER
3

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS (8)Issued as to JACK LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons, # 7 Summons, # 8 Summons)(sth, ) (Entered: 10/31/2013)

Oct. 31, 2013

Oct. 31, 2013

PACER

DISCHARGED PURSUANT TO MINUTE ORDER FILED 11/12/2013.......MINUTE ORDER: Pursuant to Local Rule 40.5, not later than 11/12/2013 Plaintiffs shall SHOW CAUSE why this case is not related to Civil Action Nos. 13-cv-1441-ABJ and/or 13-cv-1261-EGS. Signed by Judge Robert L. Wilkins on 11/1/13. (lcrlw1) Modified on 11/12/2013 (ztcb, ).

Nov. 1, 2013

Nov. 1, 2013

PACER
4

RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order, Order to Show Cause filed by DUNSTONE CO., ELECTROLOCK INCORPORATED, STONE RIVER MANAGEMENT CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, III, JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, IV, MARK A. WILLIAMS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit 1)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 11/05/2013)

Nov. 5, 2013

Nov. 5, 2013

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the Order to Show Cause issued on November 1, 2013 is DISCHARGED. Signed by Judge Robert L. Wilkins on 11/12/2013. (tcb)

Nov. 12, 2013

Nov. 12, 2013

PACER
5

Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction, Unopposed MOTION to Stay by DUNSTONE CO., ELECTROLOCK INCORPORATED, STONE RIVER MANAGEMENT CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, III, JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, IV, MARK A. WILLIAMS (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 11/15/2013)

1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order

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Nov. 15, 2013

Nov. 15, 2013

RECAP
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Michelle Renee Bennett on behalf of All Defendants (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 11/15/2013)

Nov. 15, 2013

Nov. 15, 2013

PACER
7

ORDER re: Plaintiffs' Unopposed MOTION for Preliminary Injunction, Unopposed MOTION to Stay; Upon Plaintiffs Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Proceedingsand for good cause shown, Plaintiffs motion is hereby GRANTED.IT IS ORDERED that Defendants, their employees, agents, and successors in office arehereby enjoined until thirty (30) days after the mandate issues in Gilardi v. U.S. Dept of Health& Human Servs., No 13-5069 (D.C. Cir.), from enforcing against Plaintiffs, their employeehealth plans, the group health insurance coverage provided in connection with such plans, and/ortheir insurers the statute and regulations that require Plaintiffs to provide their employees insurance coverage for [a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity, 77 Fed. Reg. 8725 (Feb. 15, 2012), as well as any penalties, fines, assessments, or anyother enforcement actions for noncompliance, including those found in 26 U.S.C. §§ 4980D, 4980 H, and 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132, 1185d. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all proceedings in this case are stayed until thirty (30) days after the mandate issues from the Court of Appeals in Gilardi v. U.S. Dept of Health &Human Servs., No. 13-5069 (D.C. Cir.). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that within thirty (30) days after the mandate issues from the Court of Appeals in Gilardi v. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Servs., No. 13-5069 (D.C.Cir.), the parties shall file a Joint Status Report informing the Court of how they plan to proceedin light of the Court of Appeals opinion. Signed by Judge Robert L. Wilkins on 11/19/2013. (tcb) (Entered: 11/19/2013)

Nov. 19, 2013

Nov. 19, 2013

PACER

Case reassigned to the Calendar Committee who will oversee it until it is reassigned to another judge. Judge Robert L. Wilkins has been elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC and is no longer assigned to the case. Any questions should be directed to Terri Barrett, formerly Judge Wilkins deputy clerk, at 202-354-3179 or terri_barrett@dcd.uscourts.gov. (ztnr, )

Jan. 24, 2014

Jan. 24, 2014

PACER

Case reassigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper. Calendar Committee no longer assigned to the case. (ztnr, )

April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

PACER
8

STATUS REPORT (Joint) by JACK LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 09/05/2014)

Sept. 5, 2014

Sept. 5, 2014

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: In light of the Joint Status Report filed on 9/5/2014, it is hereby ORDERED that the preliminary injunction currently in place shall be extended until October 20, 2014; and it is further ORDERED that this matter is STAYED until October 6, 2014 and the parties are directed to submit a joint status report on or before October 6, 2014. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 9/10/2014. (tcr)

Sept. 10, 2014

Sept. 10, 2014

PACER
9

STATUS REPORT (Joint) by JACK LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 10/06/2014)

Oct. 6, 2014

Oct. 6, 2014

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: In light of the Joint Status Report filed on October 6, 2014, it is hereby ORDERED that this matter is STAYED until November 5, 2014 and the parties are directed to submit a joint status report on or before November 5, 2014. It is further ORDERED that the preliminary injunction currently in place shall be extended until final judgment is entered in this case. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 10/6/2014. (lccrc2, )

Oct. 6, 2014

Oct. 6, 2014

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/5/2014 (tcr)

Oct. 7, 2014

Oct. 7, 2014

PACER
10

Joint MOTION for Judgment and Entry of Permanent Injunction by DUNSTONE CO., ELECTROLOCK INCORPORATED, STONE RIVER MANAGEMENT CO., JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, III, JOSEPH A. WILLIAMS, IV, MARK A. WILLIAMS (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Mersino, Erin) (Entered: 11/05/2014)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 5, 2014

Nov. 5, 2014

RECAP
11

ORDER granting 10 Joint MOTION for Judgment and Entry of Permanent Injunction;ORDERED that judgment is entered in favor of plaintiffs and against defendants on plaintiffs claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq.; and it is further ORDERED that all other claims against Defendants are DISMISSED; and it is further ORDERED that pursuant to Local Civ. R. 54.2, the Parties will meet and confer to reach agreement on attorneys fees and costs. The Parties will file a joint status report, including a recommendation for further proceedings, by no later than January 7, 2014. If there is no resolution of the attorneys fees and costs matter, Plaintiffs may file a motion for attorneys fees and costs within thirty days of January 7, 2014, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54; and it is further ORDERED that this Injunction and Judgment does not apply with respect to any changes in statute or regulation that are enacted or promulgated after this date, and nothing herein prevents plaintiffs from filing a new civil action to challenge any such future changes.(SEE ORDER FOR FULL DETAILS). Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 11/5/2014. (tcr) (Entered: 11/05/2014)

Nov. 5, 2014

Nov. 5, 2014

PACER
12

STATUS REPORT (Joint) by JACK LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Bennett, Michelle) (Entered: 01/07/2015)

Jan. 7, 2015

Jan. 7, 2015

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: Oct. 30, 2013

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Three business owners who claim to follow and operate their businesses in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic faith.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States Department of Labor, Federal

United States Department of Treasury, Federal

United States Department of Health and Human Services, 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.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run