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Yates v. Hendon

Docket No.: 02-458
Certiorari Granted: Jun 27 2003
Argued: January 13, 2004
Decided: March 2, 2004

Topics:

Employee Retirement Income Security, Economic Activity, ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Code, Clean Air Act, EPA, ERISA, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Internal Revenue Code, Labor Department, Natural Resources, chapter 7, disparate treatment, pension plan, preemption, termination of pension plan

PartyNames: Raymond B. Yates, M.D., P.C. Profit Sharing Plan, and Raymond B. Yates, Trustee v. William T. Hendon, Trustee
Petitioner: Raymond B. Yates, M.D., P.C. Profit Sharing Plan, and Raymond B. Yates, Trustee
Respondent: William T. Hendon, Trustee

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Citation: CA 6, 287 F.3d 521. QUESTION PRESENTED The Employee Retirement Income Secu rity Act ("ERISA") expressly grantssole shareholder corporations, partners and sole proprietors the right to be "participants" in an "employee benefit plan", as those terms are defined inERISA, if other non-spouse employees participate in the employee benefit plan. Nine circuit courts of appeals and the Department of Labor ("DOL") have reviewed ERISA, and its regulations, and reached the same conclusion. This Court's holding in Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Darden , 503 U.S. 318,112 S.Ct. 1344, 117 L.Ed.2d 581 (1992), provides that the common-law
Supreme Court Docket

Raymond B. Yates, M.D., P.C. Profit Sharing Plan, and Raymond B. Yates, Trustee
v.
William T. Hendon, Trustee
541 U.S. 1 (2004)
Question:

Is the owner of a business a "participant" in a profit sharing/pension plan established under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)?

Note:

. CA 6, 287 F.3d 521. QUESTION PRESENTED The Employee Retirement Income Secu rity Act ("ERISA") expressly grantssole shareholder corporations, partners and sole proprietors the right to be "participants" in an "employee benefit plan", as those terms are defined inERISA, if other non-spouse employees participate in the employee benefit plan. Nine circuit courts of appeals and the Department of Labor ("DOL") have reviewed ERISA, and its regulations, and reached the same conclusion. This Court's holding in Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Darden , 503 U.S. 318,112 S.Ct. 1344, 117 L.Ed.2d 581 (1992), provides that the common-law definition of employee should be used to determine who may be a "participant" in an employee benefit pl an. Nonetheless, the Sixth Circuitheld in Hendon v. Yates (In re Yates), 287 F.3d 521 (6th Cir. 2002), reh'g denied, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 12550 (6 th Cir. June 20, 2002) (Appendix, pp.1a- 8a, 51a-52a), that a different definition of "employee" should be used to determine whether such persons can participate in an employee benefit plan. The question presented is whet her a one hundred percent (100%)shareholder of a corporate employer, pa rtner or a sole proprietor can qualify as a participant in an employee benefit plan sponsored by the employer inwhich other non-spouse employees, as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 2510.3-3(c), participate, and thus, be entitled to enforce the restrictions against alienation contained in § 206(d) of ERISA and §401(a)(13) of the Internal Revenue Code ("Code"). CERT. GRANTED: 6/27/03

Yates v. Hendon
ORAL ARGUMENT

January 13, 2004

Holding: reversed and remanded
Decision: Decision: 9 votes for Yates, 0 vote(s) against
Vote: 9-0

Yates v. Hendon
Case Documents

1Opinion in Yates v. Hendon
2Slip Opinion in Yates v. Hendon
3Opinion in Yates v. Hendon
Additional documents for this case are pending review.