373 F.Supp. 961 (N.D.Cal. 1974), C-73 1863, Salfi v. Weinberger

Docket Nº:C-73 1863 ACW.
Citation:373 F.Supp. 961
Party Name:Concetta SALFI and Doreen A. Kalnins, on behalf of themselves and all those similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. Casper WEINBERGER et al., Defendants.
Case Date:March 22, 1974
Court:United States District Courts, 9th Circuit, Northern District of California
 
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Page 961

373 F.Supp. 961 (N.D.Cal. 1974)

Concetta SALFI and Doreen A. Kalnins, on behalf of themselves and all those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,

v.

Casper WEINBERGER et al., Defendants.

No. C-73 1863 ACW.

United States District Court, N.D. California.

March 22, 1974

Page 962

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 963

Don B. Kates, Jr., Bruce N. Berwald, Carl L. McConnell, San Mateo County Legal Aid Society, Redwood City, Cal., John Gant, Cal. Rural Legal Assist. Coop. Legal Services Center, san Francisco, Cal., Albert H. Meyerhoff, Jr., Elaine D. Climpson, Calif. Rural Legal Assist., Marysville, Cal., for plaintiffs.

James L. Browning, Jr., U.S. Atty., by Howard T. Chang, Asst. U.S. Atty., San Francisco, Cal., for defendants.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Before BROWNING, Circuit Judge, and EAST and WOLLENBERG, District Judges.

WOLLENBERG, District Judge:

Plaintiffs Concetta Salfi and Doreen Kalnins brought this action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated to challenge the constitutionality of two sections of the Social Security Act under which plaintiffs were denied benefits as surviving spouse and child of a deceased wage earner. A three judge district court was properly convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2282 and 2284 to hear the action. Jurisdiction is vested in this court under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 since the action arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States and involves an amount in controversy exceeding $10,000. White v. Bloomberg, 345 F.Supp. 133, 141 (D.Md.1972); Hiss v. Hampton, 338 F.Supp. 1141, 1145-1146 (D.D.C.1972); Gainville v. Richardson, 319 F.Supp. 16, 18 (D.Mass.1970); Wright, Federal Courts § 33 at 116 (2d ed. 1970). The parties have stipulated that there are no material facts in issue, and the case is now before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss and cross motions for summary judgment.

Facts

Concetta Salfi married Londo L. Salfi, the wage earner, on May 27, 1972. On June 13, 1972, the wage earner suffered a severe heart attack and was hospitalized until June 29, 1972. Thereafter, on November 21, 1972, less than six months from the date of marriage, the wage earner died from the heart attack. On December 8, 1972, plaintiff Salfi filed her application for mother's insurance benefits and child's insurance benefits, on behalf of herself and plaintiff Doreen Kalnins (her daughter by previous marriage), respectively. These applications were denied both initially and on reconsideration.

The reason for the Social Security Administration's denial of Mrs. Salfi's application for benefits is expressed in the 'Reconsideration Determination' attached as Exhibit 'D' to plaintiffs' complaint. Under 42 U.S.C. § 402(g), a widow is entitled to mother's insurance benefits provided she qualifies as a widow under the terms of 42 U.S.C. § 416(c). Section 416(c)(5) excludes from the category of 'widow' any woman who was married to a deceased wage earner 'less than nine months immediately prior to the day on which he died . . ..' Under 42 U.S.C. § 402(d), a child is entitled to child's insurance benefits, provided he qualifies as a child under the terms of 42 U.S.C. § 416(e). Section 416(e)(2) excludes from the category of 'child' any stepchild who has held that relationship to the wage earner 'less than nine months immediately preceding the day on which (the wage earner)...

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