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Case Name Yuan Jen Cuk v. Lackner IM-CA-0031
Docket / Court 72 298 WTS ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1972, a permanent resident alien of the United States brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking an injunction against the enforcement of California's Medically Indigent Law, Calif.Wel. & Inst.Code § 14005.6(a)(3). ... read more >
In 1972, a permanent resident alien of the United States brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeking an injunction against the enforcement of California's Medically Indigent Law, Calif.Wel. & Inst.Code § 14005.6(a)(3). Plaintiff alleged that the Law violated the Equal Protection Clause in that it conditioned eligibility for state indigent health care services on either being a U.S. citizen or having been in the U.S. for five years. Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

A three-judge panel (consisting of Judges William G. East, Montgomery O. Koelsch, and William T. Sweigert) was convened in the District Court to determine the constitutionality of the Law. On June 29, 1972, the District Court (Judge Sweigert) certified a plaintiff class consisting of "all resident aliens of California whose applications for Medi-Cal aid have been denied since October 1, 1971 solely on the ground of non-compliance with the requirements of Section 14005.6(a)(3)." The Court found that that statute denied Plaintiffs equal protection and enjoined its enforcement. Yuan Jen Cuk v. Brian, 355 F.Supp. 133 (N.D. Cal. 1972). Defendant appealed. The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the case for decision by the three-judge panel. Yuan Jen Cuk v. Lackner, 537 F.2d 1064 (9th Cir. 1976).

The three-judge panel heard the case on remand. On July 25, 1977, the panel issued its opinion and concluded that Plaintiffs were not entitled to retroactive monetary relief for wrongfully denied benefits because the state enjoyed 11th Amendment immunity. As such, Plaintiffs were entitled only to prospective injunctive relief. The challenged section of the Medically Indigent Law, § 14005.6, however, had been repealed in its entirety while the case was on appeal. As such, the panel determined that the remaining case issues were moot and that the case should be dismissed. Yuan Jen Cuk v. Lackner, 448 F.Supp. 4 (N.D. Cal. 1977).

Stephen Imm - 08/23/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) California Department of Social Welfare
State Department of Health Care Services
Plaintiff Description Permanent resident aliens who sought benefits under California's Medically Indigent Law.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1977 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1977
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum of Decision 06/29/1972 (355 F.Supp. 133) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0031-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/15/1976 (537 F.2d 1064)
IM-CA-0031-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum of Decision 07/25/1977 (448 F.Supp. 4) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0031-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges East, William G. (D. Or.)
IM-CA-0031-0001 | IM-CA-0031-0003
Ely, Walter Raleigh Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0031-0002
Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (Ninth Circuit, D. Or.)
IM-CA-0031-0002
Hamlin, Oliver Deveta Jr. (Ninth Circuit, N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0031-0001
Koelsch, Montgomery Oliver (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Smith, Russell Evans (D. Mont.)
IM-CA-0031-0002
Sweigert, William Thomas (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0031-0001 | IM-CA-0031-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chew, Martin S. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Curry, F. Hayden (California)
IM-CA-0031-0001
Lee, Patricia D. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Moon, David C (California)
IM-CA-0031-0002
Petrocelli, Wm. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0001
Rapport, David J. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Saltzman, Andrea (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Siedman, Jack (California)
IM-CA-0031-0001
Sweet, Clifford (California)
IM-CA-0031-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Condas, Joanne (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Rabin, Joanne Condas (California)
IM-CA-0031-0002
Rubin, Asher (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003
Younger, Evelle J. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0001 | IM-CA-0031-0003
Other Lawyers East, Rochelle C. (California)
IM-CA-0031-0003

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