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Kawa Orthodontics, LLP v. Sec'y, U.S. Department of Treasury

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

December 2, 2014

KAWA ORTHODONTICS, LLP, Plaintiff -- Appellant,
v.
SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY, COMMISSIONER OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Defendants -- Appellees

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 9:13-cv-80990-WPD.

For Kawa Orthodontics, Llp, Plaintiff - Appellant: Paul Orfanedes, Michael Bekesha, James F. Peterson, Judicial Watch, Inc., Washington, DC; Christopher B. Lunny, Harry Osborne Thomas, Radey Thomas Yon & Clark, PA, Tallahassee, FL.

For Secretary, U.S. Department of The Treasury, Defendant - Appellee: Mark B. Stern, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Katherine I. Twomey, Dana Joan Martin, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Caroline Lewis Wolverton, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

For U.S. Department of The Treasury, Defendant - Appellee: Mark B. Stern, Dana Joan Martin, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Katherine I. Twomey, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Caroline Lewis Wolverton, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

For Commissioner of IRS, Defendant - Appellee: Mark B. Stern, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Katherine I. Twomey, Dana Joan Martin, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Caroline Lewis Wolverton, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

For IRS, Defendant - Appellee: Mark B. Stern, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Dana Joan Martin, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Appellate Staff, Washington, DC; Caroline Lewis Wolverton, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

Before MARTIN, JULIE CARNES and BLACK, Circuit Judges. MARTIN, Circuit Judge, dissenting.

OPINION

Page 244

BLACK, Circuit Judge.

I. BACKGROUND

The " employer mandate" provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) require certain employers to offer their employees health insurance that meets statutorily-specified minimum requirements. The ACA imposes reporting obligations on those employers and provides for the assessment of a tax penalty if an employer fails to provide adequate insurance.

Page 245

Between early 2013 and the end of June 2013, Kawa Orthodontics, LLP (Kawa) expended time and money to determine how to comply with the employer mandate. After Kawa incurred these expenses, on July 2, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced it would not enforce the mandate for a transition period of one year--until the end of 2014. Treasury later extended the transition relief for certain employers, including Kawa, for a second year.

In October 2013, Kawa filed a complaint in federal district court challenging Treasury's decision to postpone enforcement of the employer mandate. Kawa did not seek the return of the money that Kawa paid to research its upcoming obligations under the ACA. Nor did it seek the return of any money attributable to the monetary value of the time that Kawa spent in this endeavor. Rather, Kawa sought a declaratory judgment and an injunction setting aside Treasury's ...


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