University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Martinez v. Astrue PB-CA-0002
Docket / Court 08-4735 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On October 15, 2008, the Mental Health Project (MHP) teamed up with groups across the country to file this national class action lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for revoking the retirement and disability benefits of over 100,000 poor, elderly and disabled Americans under an ... read more >
On October 15, 2008, the Mental Health Project (MHP) teamed up with groups across the country to file this national class action lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for revoking the retirement and disability benefits of over 100,000 poor, elderly and disabled Americans under an arbitrary and unlawful benefit suspension policy. The effort is led by the National Senior Citizens Law Center and the pro bono counsel of Munger, Tolles & Olson, and includes Disability Rights California and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.

Under a 1996 law, SSA must suspend the benefits of people who are "fleeing to avoid prosecution" for a felony. The law was enacted to prevent wanted fugitives from receiving benefits. The plaintiffs alleged that thousands of elderly and disabled Americans who are not "wanted," and indeed, who may have been completely misidentified, have been caught up in the system that SSA has used to implement the law.

On March 30, 2009, the parties reached a settlement in the case. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants agreed to reinstate the payments of those who had been wrongfully denied their benefits. The defendants also agreed to pay specified legal fees to the plaintiff class attorneys. The court maintains jurisdiction over the management of the settlement until it is complete.

Kristen Sagar - 10/19/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
SSI
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Michael J. Astrue
Plaintiff Description All persons whose SSI, SVB, or OASDI benefits have been suspended or denied, or who are threatened with suspension or denial of such benefits for allegedly "fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody, or confinement" after conviction for a felony
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:08−cv−04735 (N.D. Cal.) 05/02/2012
PB-CA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement and Fairness Hearing
PB-CA-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Press Release 10/01/2007
PB-CA-0002-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Class Action Complaint 10/15/2008
PB-CA-0002-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
First Amended Class Action Complaint 12/12/2008
PB-CA-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Notice of Motion and Motion for a Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof 01/12/2009
PB-CA-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Adjudication of the Legality of Defendant's Policy Regarding Fleeing Beneficiaries; Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof 01/15/2009
PB-CA-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Settlement 07/21/2009
PB-CA-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, Class Certification, Appointment of Class Counsel, and Directing Class Notice and Setting Final Fairness Hearing 07/21/2009
PB-CA-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Declaration of Gerald A. McIntyre in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, Class Certification, and Appointment of Class Counsel, and Directing Class Notice and Setting Final Fairness Hearing 07/21/2009
PB-CA-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel, and Directing Class Notice and Setting final Fairmess Hearing 08/12/2009
PB-CA-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motions Filed By Mary Charles Robinson Without Prejudice 04/30/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chen, Edward Milton (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PB-CA-0002-9000
Wilken, Claudia Ann (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0011 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Conrad, Mark R. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Douglas, Christopher A (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Fry, David H (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Hawver, M. Stacey (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Holle, Marilyn (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Kroger, Jeremy S. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Leinhard, William (New York)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0002 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
McIntyre, Gerald Andrew (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0003 | PB-CA-0002-0004 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Parish, Jennifer J. (New York)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0002 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Prindiville, Kevin Edward (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Rich, Anna Margaret (California)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Sicilia, Emilia (New York)
PB-CA-0002-0001 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-0006 | PB-CA-0002-0007 | PB-CA-0002-0008 | PB-CA-0002-0009 | PB-CA-0002-0010 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carradero, Victoria R. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0003 | PB-CA-0002-0004 | PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Cheng, Andrew Y. S. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0005 | PB-CA-0002-9000
Farel, Lily Sara (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0002-9000
Pyle, Michael T. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0005
Russoniello, Joseph R. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0005
Swanson, Joann M. (California)
PB-CA-0002-0005
Other Lawyers Visher, S. Chandler (California)
PB-CA-0002-9000

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