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Case Name Lampkin v. District of Columbia ED-DC-0005
Docket / Court 1:92-cv-00910-RCL ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Education
Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On April 15, 1992, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and ten parents of homeless, school-age children filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the National Law ... read more >
On April 15, 1992, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and ten parents of homeless, school-age children filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C., seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and private counsel, sued the District of Columbia and D.C. Public Schools under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of the McKinney Act and the Fifth Amendment Equal Protection Clause. The case was assigned to Judge Royce Lamberth.

The McKinney Act was passed in 1987 to assure that homeless children had equal access to free education and to improve the educational experience of homeless children. The Act required state plans that required the state educational agency to make determinations about which school each homeless child should attend based on their best interest, and to provide the child with services comparable to the services offered to other students - including transportation services, programs for vocational education, and school meal programs. The plaintiffs alleged that the District of Columbia violated the Act because it had:
(1) Failed to implement a best interest standard in placing homeless children in schools; (2) failed to ensure transportation to and from the school that [was] in the best interest of homeless children to attend; (3) failed to coordinate social services and public education for homeless children, and to ensure access to comparable educational services and school meal programs; and (4) failed to provide access to free, appropriate public education for homeless children.
The plaintiffs also alleged that the District of Columbia had violated their Equal Protection rights by providing transportation assistance to handicapped children but not providing transportation to homeless children, despite the two groups of children being similarly situated.

The plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction concurrently with the complaint.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that there was no private right of action under the McKinney Act and that the plaintiffs had not stated a valid Equal Protection claim.

On June 9, 1992, Judge Lamberth granted the defendants' motion to dismiss and denied the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction as moot. 1992 WL 151813. He held that the McKinney Act did not have a private right of action and that Equal Protection claims failed because the defendants had a rational basis for treating homeless children and handicapped children differently with respect to transportation assistance.

After plaintiffs appealled, on August 22, 1994, the appellate court reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. The court held that the McKinney Act did confer enforceable rights on its beneficiaries, so the plaintiffs could bring a § 1983 claim. 27 F.3d 605. The defendants sought review by the Supreme Court, which denied certiorari on November 28, 1994. 115 S. Ct. 578.

On remand, the plaintiffs renewed their motion for preliminary injunction on September 12, 1994, and filed an amended complaint on September 21. On November 18, 1994, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss and the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on November 21, 1994.

On March 7, 1995, Judge Lamberth granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss, finding that the defendants had violated the McKinney Act by failing to address the educational needs of homeless children and by failing to provide adequate transportation. 879 F. Supp. 116. The court entered an injunction, requiring defendants to identify homeless children the first time they reported to the intake center and arrange for appropriate educational services at that time. The court also required the defendants to either offer bus tokens to homeless children who traveled over 1.5 miles to attend school or implement a bus service dedicated to transporting homeless children to and from school.

Following this judgment, the District of Columbia passed emergency legislation and withdrew from the McKinney Act programs. On March 21, 1995, the defendants separate motions to stay or vacate the March 7 order. The motion to stay was denied on March 25, and the defendants took steps to comply with the injunction while awaiting a decision on their motion to vacate.

On May 4, 1995, Judge Lamberth denied the motion to vacate, but dissolved the injunction because D.C. no longer was a part of the grant program under the McKinney Act. 886 F. Supp. 56.

The plaintiffs petitioned for attorneys fees on May 31, 1995; the parties settled this issue in October 1995. The case is closed.

Caitlin Kierum - 06/09/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 11301 et seq.
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Busing
Preliminary relief denied
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Education
Emergency shelter
Individualized planning
Poverty/homelessness
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) D.C. Public Schools
District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description Parents of homeless children attending school in D.C. and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
None
Source of Relief Litigation
None
Order Duration 1995 - 1995
Filed 04/15/1992
Case Closing Year 1995
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:92-cv-00910 (D.D.C.)
ED-DC-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/1995
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion (1992 WL 151813) (D.D.C.)
ED-DC-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/09/1992
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (27 F.3d 605)
ED-DC-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/01/1994
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion (879 F.Supp. 116) (D.D.C.)
ED-DC-0005-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/07/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order (886 F.Supp. 56) (D.D.C.)
ED-DC-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/04/1995
Source: Google Scholar
show all people docs
Judges Buckley, David W. Court not on record show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004 | ED-DC-0005-9000
Lamberth, Royce C. (FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0001 | ED-DC-0005-0002 | ED-DC-0005-0003 | ED-DC-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dent, Kerrie C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Foscarinis, Maria (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004 | ED-DC-0005-9000
Miller, James D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004 | ED-DC-0005-9000
Quarngesser, Susan Stuart (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-9000
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Tang, Evelyn S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alexander, Robin C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-9000
Blustein, Benjamin Jay (Illinois) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-9000
Murasky, Donna M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Payton, John A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Prager, Lutz Alexander (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Reischel, Charles L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Wilburn, Nadine Chandler (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Greenspan, Deborah E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004
Thompson, Gary (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-DC-0005-0004

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