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Case Name Shvartsman v. Callahan IM-IL-0013
Docket / Court 97-C-5229 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On July 28, 1997, attorneys with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the Poverty Law Project, the National Immigration Law and the Center SSI Coalition for a Responsible Safety Net filed a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging ... read more >
On July 28, 1997, attorneys with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the Poverty Law Project, the National Immigration Law and the Center SSI Coalition for a Responsible Safety Net filed a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ("Welfare Reform Act"), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq., which denied food stamps to certain lawful resident aliens. Prior to the enactment of the Welfare Reform Act, permanent resident aliens had been entitled to receive cash and food stamp benefits under the Supplemental Social Security Income program ("SSI"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381 et seq., and the Food Stamp Program, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2011 et seq. After the Act, the states were required to recertify the eligibility of recipients to continue receiving food stamps. Legal immigrants who did not qualify for any of the statutory exceptions to the new citizenship requirement would be ineligible to receive food stamps until they were granted citizenship status. Plaintiffs claimed that those transition procedures violated their rights secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment by depriving them of a full and fair opportunity to recertify for eligibility before INS rules on their citizenship applications.

Plaintiffs moved for certification of a national class and for a preliminary injunction. The government opposed class certification and injunctive relief and, in turn, moved for summary judgment.

On August 28, 1997, the District Court (Judge Suzanne B. Conlon) granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification in part and denied in part. The Court denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of the food stamp class is denied and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The basis for the Court's rulings was set forth in a memorandum, opinion and order dated September 11, 1997. Shvartsman v. Callahan, 1997 WL 573404 (N.D.Ill. 1997). Plaintiffs appealed.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, (Circuit Judge Flaum) affirmed, holding that plaintiffs did not have a protected property interest in recertification procedures for receiving food stamps. The court also upheld the court's refusal to certify a national class. Shvartsman v. Apfel, 138 F.3d 1196 (7th Cir. 1998).

Dan Dalton - 11/05/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Social Security Administration
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Plaintiff Description All persons in the Seventh Circuit who: (1) were recipients of food stamps; (2) are legal permanent residents; (3) subject to eligibility recertifications; (4) have filed applications for naturalization but (5) hadn't received an INS adjudication.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1997
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:97-cv-05229 (N.D. Ill.) 05/13/1998
IM-IL-0013-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order 09/11/1997 (1997 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13954) (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0013-0002 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 03/16/1998 (138 F.3d 1196)
IM-IL-0013-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bauer, William Joseph (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Conlon, Suzanne B. (N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0013-0002 | IM-IL-0013-9000
Flaum, Joel Martin (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Augustus, Sue (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-0001 | IM-IL-0013-9000
Bouman, John Mark (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-0001 | IM-IL-0013-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
IM-IL-0013-0001 | IM-IL-0013-9000
Lesser, Daniel J. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-9000
McIntyre, Gerald Andrew (California)
IM-IL-0013-9000
Semmel, Herbert (California)
IM-IL-0013-0001 | IM-IL-0013-9000
Yates, Thomas D. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lewis, Jacob M. (District of Columbia)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Ryczek, Carole Judith (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-9000
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Walsh, Thomas P. (Illinois)
IM-IL-0013-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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