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Case Name Hanson v. McMahon PB-CA-0003
Docket / Court B021106 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On May 12, 1986, a class of children and parents in immediate need of emergency shelter services and other child welfare services filed a lawsuit under the California Welfare and Institutions Code §16500 et seq. and the U.S. and California Constitutions against the California State Department of ... read more >
On May 12, 1986, a class of children and parents in immediate need of emergency shelter services and other child welfare services filed a lawsuit under the California Welfare and Institutions Code §16500 et seq. and the U.S. and California Constitutions against the California State Department of Social Services (DSS) in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County. The plaintiff, represented by legal services attorneys, sought a writ of mandate and injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming that the state was violating state law by failing to provide emergency shelter to families and only providing emergency shelter to children who had been removed from their families. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that although DSS did provide emergency shelter services, those services excluded homeless families. DSS policy was to remove children who were abused or neglected by their parents, where "neglected" was defined to include a parent's failure to provide a child with 'adequate shelter.' Rather than assisting the family, then, DSS policy was to remove the child from the family and place the child in emergency shelter and then foster care. As a result, homeless families, and particularly homeless children, were adversely affected by DSS's policies.

On May 12, 1986, the court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting DSS from denying the provision of emergency shelter services so as to exclude homeless children, even if they remained with their parents or caretakers. DSS sought appellate review only of whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding there to be a strong likelihood of success on the merits of the petitioners' claims. (Appellate Opinion at 4)

On July 1, 1987, the California Court of Appeals in the Second Appellate District, Division Six, issued an opinion addressing this and several other consolidated cases against DSS. The Court (Justice Abbe) held that the order enjoining DSS from defining emergency shelter care so as to exclude homeless children was consistent with the Legislature's expressed intent to meet the housing needs of low-income families. The court affirmed the preliminary injunction order. 193 Cal.App. 3d 283

Elizabeth Daligga - 05/31/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California State Department of Social Services
Plaintiff Description Class of needy children and their families who are homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness and who are in need of emergency shelter or other child welfare services.
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writ of Mandate 05/12/1986
PB-CA-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/12/1986
PB-CA-0003-0003 PDF | Detail
Appellate Opinion 07/01/1987 (193 Cal.App. 3d 283)
PB-CA-0003-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Abbe, Richard W. (State Appellate Court)
PB-CA-0003-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arnold, Elizabeth (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Barnes, Edward (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Bird, Melinda R. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Blasi, Gary L. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Bodaken, Michael I. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Dahn, Tamara (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Damien, Carole (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Dorman, Deborah (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Evans, Anita (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Fearn, Colleen Fahey (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Gross, Byron J. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Harter, Joel (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Iwasaki, Bruce (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Lassen, Abby (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Mariajimenez, Yvonne (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Meiss, Katherine E. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Mintie, Nancy (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Nagler, Patricia L. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Newman, Robert D. Jr. (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Pulliam, Thomas (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Rothschild, Richard (California)
PB-CA-0003-0001 | PB-CA-0003-0003
Tye, Kirk Ah (California)
PB-CA-0003-0003
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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