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Case Name Williston v. Eggleston PB-NY-0005
Docket / Court 04-cv-4454 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On June 14, 2004, individuals and families potentially eligible for food stamps in New York City filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York under 7 U.S.C. § 2020 and 7 C.F.R. §273.2. The defendants to the lawsuit were the New York Department of Social Services and the New York State ... read more >
On June 14, 2004, individuals and families potentially eligible for food stamps in New York City filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York under 7 U.S.C. § 2020 and 7 C.F.R. §273.2. The defendants to the lawsuit were the New York Department of Social Services and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). The plaintiffs, represented by the Urban Justice Center, Welfare Law Center and the New York Legal Assistance Group, asked the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from (1) failing to provide food stamps to eligible families within the federally-mandated time frames, (2) deterring needy families from applying for food stamps, (3) failing to provide expedited food stamps for eligible families within the federally-mandated time frames, and to (4) identify all parties unlawfully deterred and provide them with benefits. The plaintiffs also asked the to court to enter declarations stating the failures of the defendants' policies.

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants have practices and policies in place that discourage, deter, and event eligible families from filing applications for Food Stamps. The plaintiffs also alleged that the state defendants failed to adequately oversee the city defendant's administration of Food Stamps.

Two additional individuals filed, and were granted, motions to intervene on July 14, 2005. The class was certified on March 3, 2008.

The District Court approved a settlement in 2008. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants will: (1) screen all Food Stamp applications submitted to Food Stamp Centers for eligibility for expedited processing; and (2) provide Food Stamps to eligible households within five days if eligible for expedited food stamp processing, and within thirty days if otherwise eligible, unless the delay was caused by the household. OTDA must supervise The New York Department of Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services's (HRA) implementation of the federal timeliness requirements.

The original settlement did not include cost of attorney fees. The parties disputed the cost of attorney fees in court for the next four years, until a settlement was reached where the plaintiffs were rewarded $65,000 in attorney fees in 2012.

Daniel Fryer - 10/05/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
General
Government Services (specify)
Poverty/homelessness
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York City Department of Social Services
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Plaintiff Description Class of needy New York City individuals and families eligible for food stamps.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:04−cv−04454 (S.D.N.Y.) 05/31/2013
PB-NY-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Individual Relief Form
PB-NY-0005-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Complaint 06/14/2004
PB-NY-0005-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Opinion 07/19/2005 (2005 WL 1669008) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 07/29/2005 (379 F.Supp.2d 561) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 01/24/2006 (410 F.Supp.2d 274) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement 02/26/2008
PB-NY-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action Concerning the Timely Processing of Food Stamp Applications 02/27/2008
PB-NY-0005-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Amended Stipulation and Order of Settlement 05/08/2012 (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement Concerning Attorneys' Fees 04/03/2013 (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Consent 05/31/2013 (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Sweet, Robert Workman (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0005-0002 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0008 | PB-NY-0005-0009 | PB-NY-0005-0010 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Annexstein, Leslie T. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0003 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Bach, Wendy (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Cohan, Marc (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-0008 | PB-NY-0005-0010 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Devins, Elissa S. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007
Freedman, Henry A. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-0009
Goldstein, Elena Stacy (New York)
PB-NY-0005-9000
Jeffrey, Randall S. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-0008 | PB-NY-0005-0009
Magida, Jennifer (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007
Pujara, Munir (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006
Sanghvi, Ami T. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Scharf, Rebecca L. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006
Schulman, Yisroel (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007
Tasheff, Petra T. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0001 | PB-NY-0005-0004 | PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-0010 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Calhoun, Martha Anne (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-0008 | PB-NY-0005-0009 | PB-NY-0005-0010 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Cardozo, Michael A. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007
Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007
Goldenberg, Abigail Lynne (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Hochhauser, Deborah (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006 | PB-NY-0005-0007 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Johnson, Jennifer Lynn (New York)
PB-NY-0005-9000
Kasbohm, Madonna Marie (New York)
PB-NY-0005-9000
Kraft, Robert Lewis (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0008 | PB-NY-0005-0009 | PB-NY-0005-0010 | PB-NY-0005-9000
Spitzer, Eliot (New York)
PB-NY-0005-0005 | PB-NY-0005-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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