Case: Valley Forge Christian College of the Assemblies of God v. Burwell

2:14-cv-04622 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Aug. 6, 2014

Closed Date: 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Mandate"). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of abortifacients, with an accommodation for employee health plans by certain qualified religious organizations. The Plaintiff is a non-profit Christian college affiliated with the Assemblies of God religious denomination. It was required und…

On June 28, 2013, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Mandate"). The regulations of the final rule required health insurance plans to provide coverage of abortifacients, with an accommodation for employee health plans by certain qualified religious organizations.

The Plaintiff is a non-profit Christian college affiliated with the Assemblies of God religious denomination. It was required under the accommodation provisions to sign and deliver a self-certification to a third party administrator, who could unilaterally choose to supply abortifacients in violation of the religious belief held by the college. Failure to comply with the Mandate would result in monetary fines that would cause a severe economic consequence to the college.

On August 6, 2014, the Plaintiff brought a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Department of the Treasury under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the "RFRA"). Represented by private counsel, the Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorneys' fees, claiming that the Defendants violated the RFRA as well as the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

On October 20, 2014, the Plaintiff and the Defendants filed a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal of the case with prejudice against all Defendants. It is unknown whether the Plaintiff obtained any relief.

Summary Authors

Emma Bao (11/19/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4371351/parties/valley-forge-christian-college-of-the-assemblies-of-god-v-burwell/


Judge(s)

Brody, Anita Blumstein (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Butterfield, Justin (Texas)

Dys, Jeremiah G. (West Virginia)

Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)

Maza, James W. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)

Sweet, Joel M (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Brody, Anita Blumstein (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Butterfield, Justin (Texas)

Dys, Jeremiah G. (West Virginia)

Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)

Maza, James W. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berwick, Benjamin Leon (District of Columbia)

Sweet, Joel M (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Oct. 21, 2014 Docket
1

Complaint

Aug. 5, 2014 Complaint
9

Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal

Oct. 20, 2014 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Valley Forge Christian College v. Burwell

Becket Law

Summary of the case, Valley Forge Christian College v. Burwell, including court documents. Oct. 20, 2014 https://www.becketlaw.org/case/valley-forge-christian-college-v-burwell/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4371351/valley-forge-christian-college-of-the-assemblies-of-god-v-burwell/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, JACOB J. LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 105608.), filed by VALLEY FORGE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(mima, ) (Entered: 08/06/2014)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Aug. 6, 2014 RECAP
2

NOTICE of Appearance by JOEL M. SWEET on behalf of SYLVIA MATHEWS BURWELL, JACOB J. LEW, THOMAS E. PEREZ, THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR with Certificate of Service(SWEET, JOEL) (Entered: 08/06/2014)

Aug. 6, 2014 PACER
3

Acceptance of Service by U.S. Attorney Re: accepted summons and complaint on behalf of the United States Attorney (only). (kk, ) (Entered: 08/06/2014)

Aug. 6, 2014 PACER
5

NOTICE of Hearing:A RULE 16 CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON 9/23/2014 AT 02:00 PM IN JUDGE CHAMBERS, ROOM 7613 ON THE 7TH FLOOR, BEFORE HONORABLE ANITA B. BRODY.8/21/2014 ENTERED AND COPIES SENT VIA ECF.(mo, ) (Entered: 08/21/2014)

Aug. 21, 2014
6

Disclosure Statement Form pursuant to FRCP 7.1 by VALLEY FORGE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD.(MAZA, JAMES) (Entered: 08/29/2014)

Aug. 29, 2014
7

Discovery Plan by VALLEY FORGE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD.(MAZA, JAMES) (Entered: 09/18/2014)

Sept. 18, 2014
8

ORDER... that DEFENDANTS' DEADLINE TO RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT IS EXTENDED BY 14 DAYS. DEFENDANTS SHALL RESPOND TO THE COMPLAINT ON OR BEFORE OCTOBER 20, 2014.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE ANITA B. BRODY ON 9/30/14. 10/1/14 ENTERED AND COPIES VIA ECF.(mo, ) (Entered: 10/01/2014)

Oct. 1, 2014
9

STIPULATION of Dismissal Voluntary by VALLEY FORGE CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD. (MAZA, JAMES) (Entered: 10/20/2014)

Oct. 20, 2014
10

Minute Entry for proceedings held before HONORABLE ANITA B. BRODY: Pretrial Conference held on 9/23/2014 (ems) (Entered: 10/21/2014)

Oct. 21, 2014

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 6, 2014

Closing Date: 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A Christian college, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Assemblies of God religious denomination, required to provide insurance plans that include abortifacients through the accommodation provisions under the ACA regulations, in violation of its religious belief.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit religious organization

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):

Jurisdiction-wide

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Abortion

Contraception

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit