University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Hercules v. Doar PB-NY-0029
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-06350 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On August 24, 2010, recipients of public assistance through the Safety Net Assistance program who lived in a household with at least one child, filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff, represented by the New York Legal ... read more >
On August 24, 2010, recipients of public assistance through the Safety Net Assistance program who lived in a household with at least one child, filed this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff, represented by the New York Legal Assistance Group, The Legal Aid Society, and private counsel, sued public officials who operated public benefits programs in New York City, under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and state law. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants' policies and practices reduced and discontinued the plaintiffs' Safety Net Assistance benefits for periods in excess of the periods provided by law and in violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

On September 14, 2010, the complaint was amended with additional plaintiffs. On October 22, 2010, the Court (Judge Richard J. Sullivan) referred the case to a magistrate judge (Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman) for settlement.

The parties engaged to settlement negotiations over the next two years. On August 22, 2012, the parties filed a joint motion to certify class. The court granted the motion on the same day. The class was certified as:

All Safety Net Assistance Recipients living in New York City who, after August 24, 2007, lost or will lose Benefits as a result of being issued Incorrect-Duration Sanction Notices while a member of a household with at least one minor child, as defined in SSL § 345, on the sanctioned individual's case for public assistance or food stamps.

On March 22, 2013, the settlement was approved by the Court after a fairness hearing. In exchange for the dismissal of all claims with prejudice, the defendants agreed to stop generating incorrect sanctions for class members, to maintain computer programs that issued correct sanction duration language to Safety Net Assistance recipients, to maintain particular information within each sanction notification, and to correct the records of the class members. If the class member was a current public assistance recipient, defendants agreed to issue retroactive payments based on the time period when the class member lost their benefits to the class members' electronic benefits cards. If the class member was not a current public assistance recipient, the defendants agreed to review their records to confirm their status and pay retroactive payments if the class member had become one. The defendants also agreed to notify personnel of the changes and agreed to monitoring from the city defendant and plaintiffs' counsel for a period of thirty to thirty-four months. Finally, the defendants agreed to pay attorneys' fees and costs.

The case is now closed and the settlement concluded.

Cade Boland - 02/11/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Reporting
General
Classification / placement
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Commissioner of New York City Human Resources Administration
Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Plaintiff Description Recipients of public assistance through Safety Net Assistance program who live in a household with at least one child.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
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 2013 - 2016
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Brings Justice to 7,000 Low-Income New York Families
New York Legal Assistance Group
Date: Apr. 15, 2013
By: New York Legal Assistance Group
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:10-cv-06350-RJS (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0029-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-NY-0029-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/24/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 9]
PB-NY-0029-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/14/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Settlement [ECF# 63] (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0029-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/22/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Class Certification [ECF# 50] (S.D.N.Y.)
PB-NY-0029-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/22/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Freeman, Debra Carol (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
PB-NY-0029-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bahn, Susan C (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Banks, Steven (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Goldiner, Judith (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Helfman, Lester (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Holder, Adriene L. (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Koral, Jason Mark (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
O'Brien, William Henry (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Rosenberg, Scott Alan (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Russell, Julia Grossman (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Schulman, Yisroel (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Stephens, Kenneth (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Sternberg, Susan R. (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004
Stevens, Jane Greengold (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0001 | PB-NY-0029-0002 | PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Tarantolo, Danielle F. (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0003 | PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bristow, William (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000
Cohen, Elizabeth (New York)
PB-NY-0029-9000
Conway, Kimberly (New York)
PB-NY-0029-9000
Pines, Jonathan (New York)
PB-NY-0029-0004 | PB-NY-0029-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -