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Case Name Gray Panthers v. Schwarzenegger DR-CA-0029
Docket / Court 4:09-cv-2307 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On May 26th, 2009, the San Francisco Gray Panthers filed a lawsuit under the Supremacy Clause against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael E. Genest, the Director of Finance of the State of California, along with other government officials. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of ... read more >
On May 26th, 2009, the San Francisco Gray Panthers filed a lawsuit under the Supremacy Clause against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael E. Genest, the Director of Finance of the State of California, along with other government officials. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by an attorney from the Medicaid Defense Fund and private counsel, were made up of individuals and the following groups: the Gray Panthers of San Francisco, Independent Living Center of Southern California, Inc., and LifeLong Medical Care.



Plaintiffs sought an injunction to halt implemention of the California Welfare & Institutions Code § 14131.10, arguing it was preempted under the Supremacy Clause. Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that the California law would eliminate federal healthcare benefits for eligible recipients, including adult dental services, acupuncture services, audiology services, speech therapy services, chiropractic services, optometric and optician services, podiatric services, psychology services, and incontinence creams and washes.

Plaintiffs argued that money the State received pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 should be spent to maintain these healthcare services for recipients, rather than added to the general budget.

On July 1st, 2009, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to stop the state of California from implementing the California Welfare and Institutions Code § 14131.10.

On July 15th, 2009, defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code did not conflict with the relevant ARRA provisions and that the ARRA provisions were not privately enforceable.

On September 1st, 2009, the Northern District Court (Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton) ruled in favor of defendants' motion to dismiss. Judge Hamilton reasoned that state officials are guaranteed immunity from lawsuit in federal court by the Eleventh Amendment. The court also reasoned that the sections of ARRA plaintiffs brought to the case were "not at issue" in the case. Gray Panthers v. Schwarzenegger. (N.D. Cal. 2009).

The same day, Judge Hamilton denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. The court found that plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success on their merits. Judge Hamilton reasoned that ARRA Title V "contains no express statement of intent to preempt state law." The court reasoned that § 5000(a) does not create an obligation for states to halt cuts to Medicaid programs, but rather that the enhanced FMAP payments are meant to "help avert" cuts. Gray Panthers v. Schwarzenegger, (N.D. Cal. 2009).

After the case was decided, the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) moved to file an amicus brief to support the emergency motion of the plaintiffs. This motion was denied. Judge Hamilton also denied the emergency motion filed by plaintiffs for a stay pending appeal on October 22nd, 2009.



On October 29th, 2009, Judge Hamilton entered an order dismissing the complaint with prejudice. (Other similar cases, like V.L. v. Wagner, continue to be brought to courts in California challenging the budget cuts affecting benefits for disabled and elderly people.)

Julianne Nowicki - 04/14/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Michael E. Genest
Plaintiff Description SF Gray Panthers who are Medicaid beneficiaries
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 2009
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing DR-CA-0031 : Dominguez v. Schwarzenegger (N.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
4:09-cv-2307 (N.D. Cal.) 01/12/2010
DR-CA-0029-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF 05/26/2009
DR-CA-0029-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF 06/30/2009
DR-CA-0029-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF MOTION, AND MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; AND MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 07/01/2009
DR-CA-0029-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DEFENDANT MAXWELL-JOLLY’S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISS (Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(B)(1) & (6)), AND SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM 07/15/2009
DR-CA-0029-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CERTAIN DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS (Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(B)(1) & (6)), AND SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM 07/27/2009
DR-CA-0029-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 09/01/2009 (2009 WL 2880486) (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0029-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION; ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS 09/01/2009 (2009 WL 2880555) (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0029-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Emergency Motion 10/16/2009 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0029-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Emergency Motion Pursuant for a Stay Pending Appeal 10/22/2009 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0029-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATION AND ORDER DISMISSING LAWSUIT WITH PREJUDICE 10/29/2009 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0029-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit)
DR-CA-0029-0008 | DR-CA-0029-0009
Hamilton, Phyllis Jean (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
DR-CA-0029-0006 | DR-CA-0029-0007 | DR-CA-0029-0010 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
DR-CA-0029-0008 | DR-CA-0029-0009
Smith, Milan Dale Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
DR-CA-0029-0008 | DR-CA-0029-0009
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carman, Lynn S. (California)
DR-CA-0029-0001 | DR-CA-0029-0002 | DR-CA-0029-0003 | DR-CA-0029-0010 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Friedman, Stanley Lester (California)
DR-CA-0029-0010 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Sandoval, Jessie M. (California)
DR-CA-0029-0002 | DR-CA-0029-0003 | DR-CA-0029-0010
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Edmund G. Jr. (California)
DR-CA-0029-0004 | DR-CA-0029-0005 | DR-CA-0029-0010
Powell, Daniel J (California)
DR-CA-0029-0010 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Schwartz, Karin S. (California)
DR-CA-0029-0004 | DR-CA-0029-0005 | DR-CA-0029-0010 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Sondheimer, Joshua N. (California)
DR-CA-0029-0005 | DR-CA-0029-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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