Case: Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius

1:12-cv-01276 | U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Filed Date: Aug. 9, 2012

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 9, 2012, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the First Amendment against the Federal Government. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage to employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Spec…

On August 9, 2012, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the First Amendment against the Federal Government. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to enjoin enforcement of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extending universal contraception coverage to employer-sponsored private health insurance coverage. Specifically, the Diocese contended that compliance with the contraception coverage requirement violates their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Diocese further argued that even though its current coverage had "grandfathered" status and so the Diocese did not face impending government enforcement action, it is unable to change its health care plans without losing grandfathered status. If the Diocese does make changes to its healthcare plans, the contraception mandate will impede budgetary planning as any non-compliance fines must be allocated within those budgets.

On October 19, 2012, the Federal Government moved to dismiss the case pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(1), arguing that the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction based on plaintiffs' standing and that the claim was not ripe for review.

On January, 4, 2013, the court (Chief Judge James E. Shadid) granted the Federal Government's motion to dismiss. 2013 WL 74240 (C.D. Ill. Jan. 4, 2013). The court found that the Diocese had grandfather status and would only lose that status by adopting a new healthcare policy, a decision that is of the Diocese own choosing. Because the Diocese had not provided any specific and non-hypothetical changes that it was refraining from making to its healthcare plan, the court held that it lacked standing.

Additionally, the court found the Diocese's claim was not ripe because the Federal Government had stated that it would not enforce the contraception mandate in its current form. The court recognized that forthcoming amendments to the mandate were intended to specifically address the Diocese concerns by establishing alternative means of providing contraceptive coverage. Accordingly, the court concluded that the Diocese claim rested upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or may not occur at all. The court dismissed the case without prejudice as premature, stating that the Diocese may bring the claim again once the harm is no longer contingent on future events and is less speculative.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (3/6/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4987842/parties/catholic-diocese-of-peoria-v-kathleen-sebelius-in-her-official-capacity/


Judge(s)

Cudmore, Byron G. (Illinois)

Shadid, James Edward (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hogan, Carol A. (Illinois)

Murashko, Dennis (Illinois)

Murray, Brian Joseph (Illinois)

Reidy, Daniel E. (Illinois)

Rotatori, Mark P. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Pruski, Jacek (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Cudmore, Byron G. (Illinois)

Shadid, James Edward (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hogan, Carol A. (Illinois)

Murashko, Dennis (Illinois)

Murray, Brian Joseph (Illinois)

Reidy, Daniel E. (Illinois)

Rotatori, Mark P. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Pruski, Jacek (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Jan. 8, 2013 Docket
1

Complaint

Aug. 9, 2012 Complaint
24

Order and Opinion (Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss)

2013 WL 74240

Jan. 4, 2013 Order/Opinion
25

Judgment in a Civil Case

Jan. 8, 2013 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius

Becket Law

Summary of the case, Catholic Diocese of Peoria v. Sebelius, including court documents. Jan. 4, 2013 https://www.becketlaw.org/case/catholic-diocese-peoria-v-sebelius/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4987842/catholic-diocese-of-peoria-v-kathleen-sebelius-in-her-official-capacity/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
24

ORDER AND OPINION Entered by Chief Judge James E. Shadid on 1/3/2013. For the reasons set forth above, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss 9 on jurisdictional grounds is granted. This matter is now dismissed without prejudice as premature. If its co ncerns are not resolved to its satisfaction through the amendment process, the Diocese will have the opportunity to challenge the amended regulations when the alleged harm is not contingent onfuture events and is less speculative. See Korte v. Sebelius, Case No. 12-3841 Doc. 15, (7th Cir. Dec. 28, 2012) (entering preliminary injunctive relief in favor of employer who was neither grandfathered nor exempt given a showing of imminent and irreparable harm.)(RP, ilcd)

Jan. 3, 2013 RECAP

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 9, 2012

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria is a community of Roman Catholic parishes, schools, and outreach organizations.

Plaintiff Type(s):

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 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)

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Order Duration: 2012 - 2013

Issues

General:

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run