Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

City of New York v. Richardson

decided: January 26, 1973.

THE CITY OF NEW YORK ET AL., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANTS,
v.
ELLIOTT L. RICHARDSON, AS SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES, RALPH G. CASO, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS COUNTY EXECUTIVE OF NASSAU COUNTY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-INTERVENORS-APPELLANTS, H. LEE DENNISON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS COUNTY EXECUTIVE OF SUFFOLK COUNTY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-INTERVENORS-APPELLANTS, EDWIN G. MICHAELIAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS COUNTY EXECUTIVE OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-INTERVENORS-APPELLANTS



Lumbard, Kaufman and Mansfield, Circuit Judges.

Author: Kaufman

IRVING R. KAUFMAN, Circuit Judge:

This sprawling, multi-party, multi-claim appeal, presents a broadside constitutional attack upon certain provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., and New York State's Social Services Law, See New York Social Welfare Law (McKinney 1966 and Supp.1972) particularly those provisions concerned with the financing and reimbursement policies established by the Acts. Plaintiffs are the City of New York, and three individuals -- John V. Lindsay, The Mayor of the City of New York, Jule Sugarman, the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York, and Ola Bryant, a taxpaying citizen and resident of New York City. The federal defendants are the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and two regional officers of HEW. The state defendant is the Commissioner of Social Services of the State of New York. The district court granted motions to intervene as parties plaintiff in behalf of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, their County Executives, and other county officials,*fn1 in their individual and official capacities.

Invoking the protection of the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the General Welfare Clause of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and various unenumerated safeguards -- such as the right to travel -- thought to inhere in that document, plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive and other appropriate relief, and the convocation of a three-judge court. Judge McLean, after motion by the federal and state defendants to dismiss for failure to state a claim for relief, and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed.

I.

Public assistance laws, as incorporated in the Social Security Act, in rules and regulations of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and in various state social service programs, present as complex a legislative mosaic as could possibly be conceived by man. The provisions complained of here, which appear to contain, as far as we have been able to determine, no traps for the unwary, present the following pattern.

The Social Security Act provides, inter alia, for public assistance to the aged, Title I, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., to families with dependent children, Title IV, 42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., to the blind, Title X, 42 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq., and to the permanently and totally disabled, Title XIV, 42 U.S.C. § 1351 et seq. Funds provided in accordance with the Social Security Act are not distributed directly to individuals eligible for assistance; instead, as part of what has been called a "scheme of cooperative federalism," King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 316, 88 S. Ct. 2128, 20 L. Ed. 2d 1118 (1968), federal funds are made available on a matching-fund basis, for administration by the states. No state is required to participate in any program offered under the Social Security Act, but those states that wish to receive federal financial aid for local public assistance must submit to the Secretary of HEW, and have approved by him, a state plan for such assistance. Each plan, to obtain approval, must comply with certain provisions of the Social Security Act and with rules and regulations issued by HEW. Thus, subject to certain limited exceptions, a state plan will not be approved unless it provides "for the establishment or designation of a single state agency with authority to administer or supervise the administration of the plan." 45 C.F.R. § 205.100(a)(1). The plan must be in effect "on a statewide basis in accordance with equitable standards for assistance and administration that are mandatory throughout the State." 45 C.F.R. § 205.120(a). State funds must be used for both assistance and administration and on no account may State participation total less than 40% of the non-federal share of the total expenditure, 45 C.F.R. 205.130(a)(1), (c). There is no requirement that local governments contribute to the cost of a state's welfare expenditure, but "if there is local financial participation there [must] be a method of apportioning State and Federal funds among the political subdivisions of the State on an equalization or other basis that will assure that lack of funds from local sources does not result in lowering the amount, duration, scope, or quality of care and services or level of administration under the plan in any part of the State." 45 C.F.R. § 205.130(c)(2).

States submitting an approved plan to the Secretary of HEW may choose between two reimbursement formulae. The first of these, see 42 U.S.C. §§ 303, 603, 1203, 1353, 1383, is based upon a sliding percentage calculation of certain fixed dollar allotments for each of the four public assistance programs covered by the Social Security Act. The second, the "Medicaid" formula, see 42 U.S.C. § 1318, takes into account not fixed but actual payments made by a state for public assistance and is based upon a sliding percentage scale, with a minimum reimbursement level to the states of 50%. The Medicaid formula contains a factor based upon the ratio of the square of the state's per capita income to the square of the per capita income of the nation as a whole. Under this formula relatively "poorer" states are reimbursed at a higher percentage than relatively "richer" states. New York State, whose plan was approved by the secretary of HEW, opted for the Medicaid formula under which the federal government reimburses New York for 50% of its total welfare costs.*fn2

New York State's approved plan divides the state into geographic social services districts. New York City is one such social service district, see Social Services Law, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 55, § 61(1), and is consequently "responsible for the assistance and care of any person who resides or is found in its territory and who is in need of public assistance and care which he is unable to provide for himself." Social Services Law § 62(1). The state plan sets standards for eligibility, payments schedules and the conditions of administration, and requires each local social service district to finance its own public assistance needs,*fn3 subject to the following reimbursement provision in New York Social Services Law, § 153:

Reimbursement and advances by the state.

1. . . .

There shall be paid to each such [public welfare] district, city or town

a. the amount of federal funds, if any, properly received or to be received on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.