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Case Name Lebron v. Secretary of the Florida Department of Children & Families PB-FL-0006
Docket / Court 6:11-cv-01473-MSS-DAB ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On September 6, 2011, a resident of Florida and applicant for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action against the Florida Department of Children and Families in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. ... read more >
On September 6, 2011, a resident of Florida and applicant for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action against the Florida Department of Children and Families in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. The plaintiff, represented by the ACLU of Florida and the Florida Justice Institute, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that Florida's TANF application requirements violated the Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the requirement that all applicants undergo suspicionless drug testing in order to be considered for assistance constituted an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment.

Plaintiff moved on September 6, 2011 for a preliminary injunction and on September 13, 2011 for certification of a class comprised of all individuals residing in Florida who were applying for, or would in the future apply for, Temporary Cash Assistance, Florida's program to distribute TANF benefits, and who would be subject to defendant's suspicionless drug testing. Defendant opposed both motions.

On October 24, 2011, the District Court (Judge Mary S. Scriven) granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, but denied his motion for class certification. Lebron v. Wilkins, 820 F. Supp. 2d 1273 (M.D. Fla. 2011). The court found that the plaintiff was likely to succeed on his Fourth Amendment claim, and issued an injunction that barred the defendant from requiring the plaintiff to take a suspicionless drug test. Since the defendant stipulated that it would apply the court's ruling to all people similarly situated to the plaintiff, the Court found that class certification was unnecessary and dismissed the plaintiff's motion to certify without prejudice.

Defendant appealed the injunction to the Eleventh Circuit. But the Circuit court affirmed the District Court's injunction in an opinion issued on February 26, 2013.
See Lebron v. Sec’y, Florida Dep’t of Children & Families, 710 F.3d 1202 (11th Cir. 2013). Defendant petitioned the Eleventh Circuit for a rehearing en banc. Defendant’s petition was denied on April 23, 2013.

On November 4, 2011, the plaintiff renewed his motion for class certification, arguing that certification would avoid litigation over mootness should the plaintiff find employment. The District Court (Judge Scriven) agreed and certified the class in an order dated December 7, 2011. Lebron v. Wilkins, 277 F.R.D. 664 (M.D. Fla. 2011).

On September 10, 2012 the plaintiff filed for Summary Judgment on the grounds that Section 414.0652 of the Florida Statutes, which requires all applicants for TANF benefits to submit to suspicion-less drug testing, is not constitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. On December 31, 2013,the District Court issued summary judgment for the plaintiff on the grounds that the State had failed to establish a special need to drug test all TANF drug applicants. In the same judgment the Court declared the statute facially unconstitutional and permanently enjoined the State from reinstating and enforcing the law.

The defendant appealed the District Courts issuance of Summary Judgment to the Eleventh Circuit. And on December 3, 2014, the Circuit Court affirmed the District Courts decision on the grounds that the State failed to meet its burden of establishing a substantial special need to drug test all TANF applicants without any suspicion.

Christopher Schad - 06/28/2012
Erin Pamukcu - 02/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Benefit Source
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The State of Florida
Plaintiff Description the class of all individuals residing in Florida who are applying for, or will in the future apply for, Temporary Cash Assistance, Florida's program to distribute TANF benefits, and who would, absent the District Court’s Order of October 24, 2011, be subject to Defendant's suspicionless drug testing as a result of Fla. Stat. § 414.0652
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
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 None on record
Order Duration 2011 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
6:11-cv-01473-MSS-DAB (M.D. Fla.) 06/18/2015
PB-FL-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint: Class Action 09/06/2011
PB-FL-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification Without Prejudice] 10/24/2011 (820 F.Supp.2d 1273) (M.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0006-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Class Certification] 12/07/2011 (277 F.R.D. 664) (M.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0006-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion / Order [of USCA as to 106 Notice of appeal] 12/03/2014 (772 F.3d 1352)
PB-FL-0006-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Baker, David A. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
PB-FL-0006-9000
Scriven, Mary Stenson (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
PB-FL-0006-0003 | PB-FL-0006-0004 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Totenberg, Amy Mil (N.D. Ga.)
PB-FL-0006-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agarwal, Shalini Goel (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Berg, Randall Challen Jr. (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Dingfelder, John J (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Glickman, Joshua Aaron (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Heller, Shawn Alex (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Kayanan, Maria (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Marshall, Randall C (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-0001 | PB-FL-0006-9000
Williamson, Jason D. (New York)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Panuccio, Jesse (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Parker, Marion Drew (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Raleigh, Lisa M. (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Sevi, Michael (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Tanenbaum, Adam S. (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Vail, E. Jason (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Winsor, Allen C. (Florida)
PB-FL-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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