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.

RODRIGUEZ v. CUOMO

October 11, 1990

BALBINA RODRIGUEZ, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MARIO CUOMO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VINCENT L. Broderick, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

At issue in this action is whether the State of New York's program for distributing federal funds through its Home Energy Assistance Program ("HEAP")*fn1 violates the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 8621-8629 ("LIHEAA"). At the oral argument on this matter on September 28, 1990 I found that it did.*fn2 This memorandum order supplements the reasons given on the record for that determination.

Plaintiffs are subsidized housing tenants whose heating costs are included in and paid as a part of their rent, but who make separate payments for gas and electric utilities.*fn3 Under the New York State regulations in effect prior to the 1988-89 heating season, plaintiffs qualified for HEAP payments. The State amended its regulations effective May 26, 1989; under the amended regulations plaintiffs were excluded from receiving HEAP moneys. The challenged portion of the state regulation, as amended, reads:

393.4 Eligibility

(c)

    (3) For purposes of the current HEAP State Plan
  . . . households in the following living
  arrangements shall be ineligible to receive
  benefits under HEAP:
      (i) tenants of government subsidized housing
    with heat included in their rent. . . .

18 N.Y.C.R.R. § 393.4(c)(3)(i).

An earlier dispute regarding payments for the 1988-89 season was settled. At stake in this action is whether plaintiffs should be eligible to receive benefits with respect to the 1989-90 heating season.

Plaintiffs have claimed that the amended regulation violates both the federal LIHEAA and the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution.*fn4 Because I find that the regulation in question violates the LIHEAA, I do not reach the constitutional claims.

I.

Eligibility Under the Federal Statute

The relevant part of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act as to eligibility reads as follows:

  [T]he chief executive officer of each State shall
  certify that the State agrees to —
  (2) make payments under this subchapter only with
  respect to —
  (B) households with incomes which do not exceed
  the ...

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.