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Case Name Meachem v. Wing PB-NY-0007
Docket / Court 99-4630 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On June 25, 1999, several individuals, representing all individuals who were previously receiving benefits under one or more of Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Food Assistance, but whose benefits have been terminated and were denied fair hearings, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for ... read more >
On June 25, 1999, several individuals, representing all individuals who were previously receiving benefits under one or more of Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Food Assistance, but whose benefits have been terminated and were denied fair hearings, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by a number of public interest firms, brought the suit against the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the New York Department of Health, and the New York Department of Labor. Plaintiffs contend that defendants systematically fail to provide recipients with fair hearings that comply with the requirements set forth in (i) federal and state statutory law; and (ii) the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Defendants moved to dismiss the case under FCRP Rule 12(b)(6). The District Court, held that: (1) recipients were not required to exhaust state court appeals of decisions; (2) Eleventh Amendment barred claims based on state law, but did not bar federal claims; (3) recipients could maintain suit under § 1983 for violations of fair hearing provisions of Food Stamp Act and Medicaid Aid; (4) the court was not required to abstain from deciding case under Younger or Burford abstention doctrines; and (5) recipients stated a claim that administrative law judges violated their rights to fair hearing by not assessing the adequacy of affidavits from state agencies attesting to notice procedures followed when benefits were withdrawn. The motion was granted in part and denied in part: plaintiffs' claims were dismissed to the extent that they arose under New York State law, but in all other respects, defendants' motion to dismiss was denied.

Following the judgment on the motion to dismiss, the parties agreed to a settlement. The terms of the agreement included (1) class certification; (2) training, coding, and sampling by the plaintiffs' counsel for 18 months; (3) individual relief allowing the named plaintiffs to reopen their hearings; and (4) the dismissal of the action.

Noel Ripberger - 02/23/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Food stamps
Medicaid
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
General
Government Services (specify)
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) State of New York Department of Health
State of New York Department of Labor
State of New York Office of Temporary Disability Assistance
Plaintiff Description All individuals who were previously receiving benefits under one or more of Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Food Assistance, but whose benefits have been terminated.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
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 2005
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:99-cv-04630-pkc (S.D.N.Y.) 11/23/2005
PB-NY-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order 12/09/1999 (77 F.Supp.2d 431) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Order 07/27/2000 (2000 WL 1036169) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Stipulation and Order of Settlement 12/22/2004
PB-NY-0007-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Memorandum and Order 03/08/2005 (227 F.R.D. 232) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum and Order Upon Reconsideration 03/25/2005 (227 F.R.D. 237) (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Castel, P. Kevin (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-0004 | PB-NY-0007-0005 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Francis, James C. IV (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PB-NY-0007-9000
Schwartz, Allen G. (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0007-0002 | PB-NY-0007-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bach, Wendy (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Barnett, Helaine (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Blum, Richard Elliot (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Bschorr, Paul J. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Callagy, Anne (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Carden, Constance P. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Cohan, Marc (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Colon, Esperanza (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Feldman, Ian F. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Freedman, Henry A. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Godeski, Steven (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Green, Marshall (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Horvath, Patrick (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Ricardo, Henry J. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Rosenberg, Scott Alan (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Scharf, Rebecca L. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Scharf, Warren B. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Schneider, Matthew (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Schulman, Yisroel (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Stephens, Kenneth (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Sternberg, Susan R. (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Welber, Susan (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Alvarez, George Anthony (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Gasior, John P (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Leong, Vincent (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001 | PB-NY-0007-9000
Spitzer, Eliot (New York)
PB-NY-0007-0001
Velez, Jose Luis (New York)
PB-NY-0007-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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