Case: Feltl and Company v. Sebelius

0:13-cv-02635 | U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Filed Date: Sept. 25, 2013

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 25, 2013, Feltl and Company, Inc., a privately held, for-profit securities brokerage and investment banking company subject to the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. The plaintiff sued under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and t…

On September 25, 2013, Feltl and Company, Inc., a privately held, for-profit securities brokerage and investment banking company subject to the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. The plaintiff sued under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for a declaratory injunction that the contraceptive services mandate violated the above statutes. The plaintiffs also requested a declaratory judgment that the mandate is generally invalid, a permanent injunction against HHS, Treasury, and the IRS from enforcing the mandate against the Feltls and their company, and a declaratory judgment that group health plans excluding contraception do not violated the Affordable Care Act. The plaintiffs further requested reasonable attorneys fees and a jury trial.

This lawsuit claims that the contraceptive services mandate was improperly promulgated under the Administrative Procedures Act, and that being required to provide a health plan to their employees that includes contraceptive services violates the Feltls' freedom of religion and First and Fifth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that distinguishing between religious employers and private companies in exemptions for the contraceptive services mandate constitutes establishing religion, and that purchasing or providing coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortifactant drugs through their employee group health plan violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., courts have granted similar closely-held, private, for profit companies injunctions protecting them from enforcement of the contraceptive services mandate.

On November 5, 2013, Judge Donovan W. Frank ordered a preliminary injunction staying HHS's ability to enforce the mandate against Feltl and Company. On November 26, 2014, Judge Frank issued an order for injunction and judgment that enjoined HHS or other agencies from taking any action to enforce the contraceptive services mandate or attendant penalties against the plaintiffs. The court found that the contraceptive services mandate violated the plaintiff's rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and awarded attorneys fees. The injunction excluded future changes in statute or regulation. The plaintiff was given time to file for attorneys fees, but nothing shows that it did, so either it didn't claim them, or that part of the matter was settled out of court.

Summary Authors

Kate Craddock (10/4/2015)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4295715/parties/feltl-and-company-inc-v-sebelius/


Judge(s)

Frank, Donovan W. (Minnesota)

Keyes, Jeffrey J. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dickey, James (Minnesota)

Kaardal, Erick G. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Frank, Donovan W. (Minnesota)

Keyes, Jeffrey J. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dickey, James (Minnesota)

Kaardal, Erick G. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bildtsen, Ann M (Minnesota)

Humphreys, Bradley Philip (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Jan. 5, 2015 Docket
1

Verified Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Sept. 25, 2013 Complaint
13

Order on Preliminary Injunction

Nov. 5, 2013 Order/Opinion
15

Order for Injunction and Judgment

Nov. 26, 2014 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4295715/feltl-and-company-inc-v-sebelius/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Verified against Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (Filing fee $400 receipt number 0864-3708309.) Filed by Mary Jo Feltl, John C. Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet). (Kaardal, Erick) Modified text on 9/25/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 09/25/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

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Sept. 25, 2013 PACER
2

TEXT ONLY ENTRY: CLERK'S NOTICE OF INITIAL CASE ASSIGNMENT. Case assigned to Judge Donovan W. Frank per Civil Rights-All Others List referred to Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes. Please use case number 13-cv-02635 (DWF/JJK). (lmb) (Entered: 09/25/2013)

Sept. 25, 2013 PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (lmb) (Entered: 09/25/2013)

Sept. 25, 2013 PACER
4

DOCUMENT FILED IN ERROR-INCORRECT EVENT-WILL REFILE. AFFIDAVIT of Service by John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc. re 3 Summons Issued, 1 Complaint. (Kaardal, Erick) Modified text on 9/30/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 09/27/2013)

Sept. 27, 2013 PACER
5

MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for U.S. Government Attorney Bradley Philip Humphreys by Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel. (Bildtsen, Ann) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
6

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Mary Jo Feltl, John C. Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. Seth D. Harris served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; Internal Revenue Service served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; Jacob Lew served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; Kathleen Sebelius served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; United States Department of Health and Human Services served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; United States Department of Labor served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; United States Department of the Treasury served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013; Daniel I. Werfel served on 9/25/2013, answer due 10/16/2013. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013 PACER
7

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and Stay by John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013 PACER
8

NOTICE OF HEARING ON MOTION 7 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and Stay : at date and time to be determined. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013 PACER
9

MEET and CONFER STATEMENT re 7 Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013 PACER
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Mary Jo Feltl, John C. Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. (Kaardal, Erick) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013 PACER
11

TEXT ONLY ENTRY: ORDER granting 5 Motion for Admission of U.S. Government Attorney Bradley Philip Humphreys for Seth D. Harris,Internal Revenue Service,Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius,United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor,United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel Approved by Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes on 10/07/2013. (MAP) (Entered: 10/07/2013)

Oct. 7, 2013 PACER
12

NOTICE OF NON-OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION re 7 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction and Stay by Seth D. Harris, Internal Revenue Service, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury. (Humphreys, Bradley) Modified text on 10/17/2013 (lmb). (Entered: 10/17/2013)

Oct. 17, 2013 PACER
13

ORDER ON PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION. 1. Defendants are preliminarily enjoined until thirty days after: (1) the mandate issues from the Eighth Circuit in O'Brien v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., No. 12-3357, or Annex Medical, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 13-1118, or (2) until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in a substantially similar case, whichever occurs first, from enforcing 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-13(a)(4) and its implementing regulations, 75 Fed. Reg. 41,726, 41,728 (July 19, 2010) (interim final rules with request for comments); 76 Fed. Reg. 46,621, 46,621-26 (Aug. 3, 2011) (interim final rules with request for comments); 77 Fed. Reg. 8725, 8725-30 (Feb. 15, 2012) (final rules), against:a. Plaintiffs, or Feltl Co.'s employees; b. any health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage to Plaintiffs, or Feltl Co.'s employees, without coverage for [a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity, as prescribed by a health care provider; and c. any third party administrator when administering a self-insured plan for Plaintiffs, or Feltl Co.'s employees, without coverage for [a]ll Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity, as prescribed by a health care provider, if Feltl Co. adopts a self-insured plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). 2. All proceedings in this case are STAYED until thirty days after the resolution of the appeal in either O'Brien or Annex Medical, or until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in a substantial similar case, whichever occurs first. Signed by Judge Donovan W. Frank on 11/5/2013. (BJS) (Entered: 11/05/2013)

Nov. 5, 2013 RECAP
14

STIPULATION for Entry of Judgment and Injunction in Favor of Plaintiffs and Stipulation for Fee Motion Briefing Schedule by John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. Jointly Signed by Sylvia M. Burwell, United States Department of Health and Human Service, Seth D. Harris, United States Department of Labor, Jacob Lew, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel, and Internal Revenue Service. DOCUMENTS/ATTACHMENTS FILED IN ERROR-PROPOSED ORDERS DO NOT GET FILED ON CM/ECF. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit(s) 1, # 2 Exhibit(s) 2). (Kaardal, Erick) Modified text on 11/19/2014 (lmb). (Entered: 11/19/2014)

1 FILED IN ERROR-Exhibit(s) 1

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2 FILED IN ERROR-Exhibit(s) 2

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Nov. 19, 2014 RECAP
15

ORDER FOR INJUNCTION AND JUDGMENT. Defendants, their employees, agents, and successors in office are enjoined (a) from enforcing (1) the June 30, 2014 Contraceptive Coverage Requirement, defined here to include those provisions of federal law in existence on June 30, 2014, when the Supreme Court decided Hobby Lobby, that require Plaintiff Feltl and Company, Inc., to provide its employees with health coverage for contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and related patient education and counseling to which Plaintiffs object on religious grounds, e.g., 26 C.F.R. § 54.9815-2713(a)(1)(iv); 29 C.F.R. § 2590.715-2713(a)(1)(iv); 45 C.F.R. § 147.130(a)(1)(iv); and (2) any penalties, fines, or assessments for noncompliance with the June 30, 2014 Contraceptive Coverage Requirement, including those found in 26 U.S.C. § 4980D, and 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132 and 1185d; and (b) from taking any other actions based on noncompliance with the June 30, 2014 Contraceptive Coverage Requirement against Plaintiff Feltl and Company, Inc., its employee health plan(s), the group health coverage provided in connection with such plan(s), and/or Feltl and Company, Inc.'s health insurance issuers and/or third-party administrators with respect to Feltl and Company, Inc.'s health plan(s); and IT IS FURTHER 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 any petition or motion by Plaintiffs for attorney fees or costs shall be submitted on or before 45 days (or the next business day if that day falls on a weekend or court holiday) from the date judgment is entered; 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. Signed by Judge Donovan W. Frank on 11/26/2014. (BJS) (Entered: 11/26/2014)

Nov. 26, 2014 PACER
16

JUDGMENT in favor of Feltl and Company, Inc., John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl against Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel, Jacob Lew, Kathleen Sebelius, Seth D. Harris (Attachments: # 1 Civil Notice - appeal)(lmb) (Entered: 11/26/2014)

1 Civil Notice - appeal

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Nov. 26, 2014 PACER
17

STIPULATION for Extension of Time to File Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs by John C. Feltl, Mary Jo Feltl, Feltl and Company, Inc.. Jointly Signed by Sylvia M. Burwell, United States Department of Health and Human Service, Seth D. Harris, United States Department of Labor, Jacob Lew, United States Department of the Treasury, Daniel I. Werfel, and Internal Revenue Service. (Dickey, James) (Entered: 12/31/2014)

Dec. 31, 2014 PACER
18

ORDER FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS. The deadline for the filing of Plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees and costs is extended by sixty days, until March 11, 2015. Signed by Judge Donovan W. Frank on 1/5/2015. (BJS) (Entered: 01/05/2015)

Jan. 5, 2015 PACER

State / Territory: Minnesota

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Special Collection(s):

Contraception Insurance Mandate

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 25, 2013

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Feltl and Company, Inc. is a privately held for-profit company subject to the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Public (for-profit) corporation

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

HHS, Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, IRS (Washington), Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

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):

Free Exercise Clause

Establishment Clause

Equal Protection

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

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Abortion

Contraception

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination