139 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 1998), 96-17054, Alexander v. Glickman

Docket Nº:96-17054, 96-17055.
Citation:139 F.3d 733
Party Name:D.A.R. 2833 Robin ALEXANDER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Dan E. GLICKMAN, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, Defendant-Appellant. Robin ALEXANDER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Charlotte CRAWFORD, in her official capacity a
Case Date:March 23, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 733

139 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 1998)

D.A.R. 2833

Robin ALEXANDER, individually and on behalf of all others

similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Dan E. GLICKMAN, Secretary, United States Department of

Agriculture, Defendant-Appellant.

Robin ALEXANDER, individually and on behalf of all others

similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Charlotte CRAWFORD, in her official capacity as Director of

Nevada State Department of Human Resources; Myla Florence,

in her official capacity as Administrator of the Nevada

State Welfare Division, Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 96-17054, 96-17055.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 23, 1998

Argued and Submitted Nov. 5, 1997.

Page 734

Mark W. Pennak, DOJ, Washington, DC, for defendant-appellant.

Jon Sasser, Washoe Legal Services, Inc., Legal Services Statewide Advocacy Office, Carson City, NV, for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada; David Warner Hagen, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-93-00832-DWH.

Before: BOOCHEVER and KLEINFELD, Circuit Judges, and WILSON, District Judge. [*]

BOOCHEVER, Circuit Judge:

Robin Alexander's application for food stamps was denied because her household owned a truck whose fair market value, above and beyond the $4500 allowed by the statute for a vehicle, exceeded the $2000 in household financial resources allowed by the Food Stamp Act. The district court held that the truck was an inaccessible resource under the Act because it was subject to liens exceeding its fair market value. The Secretary of Agriculture and state agencies appeal.

FACTS

Robin Alexander filed an application for food stamps for herself, her minor children, and Scott Bannister, the father of two of her children. Bannister owned a 1990 Ford pickup truck worth $6,625, which was subject to a lien of $8,300. Alexander's application was denied because Bannister's truck exceeded the reserve assets in a motor vehicle allowed by the Food Stamp Act, 7 U.S.C. § 2014(g)(2).

Alexander brought suit in federal district court, claiming that Bannister's truck was improperly counted as a family asset. Because the amount of the lien exceeded the truck's value, Alexander claimed the truck should have been treated as an inaccessible resource under 7 U.S.C. § 2014(g)(5).

The defendants (the Secretary of Agriculture, the Nevada State Department of Human Resources, and the Nevada State Welfare Division) moved to dismiss the case, and the district court denied the motion. On August 15, 1996, the court entered judgment for Alexander pursuant to a stipulation by the parties. The judgment amended Alexander's complaint to add a claim for retrospective relief, granted her motion for class certification, held that motor vehicles were eligible to be inaccessible resources, and stayed the execution of the judgment pending defendants' appeal.

DISCUSSION

The Food Stamp Act, in 7 U.S.C. § 2014(g), provides that the Secretary of Agriculture may...

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