43 N.Y.2d 1, Tucker v. Toia

Citation43 N.Y.2d 1, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728
Party NameTucker v. Toia
Case DateNovember 10, 1977
CourtNew York Court of Appeals

Page 1

43 N.Y.2d 1

400 N.Y.S.2d 728

Angela TUCKER et al., Respondents,

v.

Philip L. TOIA, Individually and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, Appellant.

New York Court of Appeals

November 10, 1977.

Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen. (Clifford A. Royael and Jean M. Coon, Albany, of counsel), for appellant.

K. Wade Eaton, Steven L. Brown, Rene H. Reixach, Jr., and David W. Beier, III, Rochester, for respondents.

Marttie L. Thompson, Michael A. O'Connor, Ira S. Bezoza, New York City, and Cynthia Mann, Brooklyn, for Community Action for Legal Services, Inc., and another, amici curiae.

Joseph B. Robison and Stephen M. Jacoby, New York City, for American Jewish Congress, amicus curiae.

OPINION OF THE COURT

GABRIELLI, Judge.

The Commissioner of the State Department of Social Services appeals directly to this court, pursuant to CPLR 5601 (subd. (b), par. 2), from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Monroe County (Smith, J.), declaring section 15 of chapter 76 of the Laws of 1976 (now a part of Social Services Law, § 158), to be unconstitutional, and enjoining its implementation and enforcement. We affirm the judgment appealed [400 N.Y.S.2d 729] from, on the ground that the challenged section constitutes a substantive violation of section 1 of article XVII of the New York State Constitution.

New York residents under the age of 21 who are in need of public assistance normally receive aid through either the Federally subsidized Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC) (Social Services Law, §§ 343-362), or the State's broad Home Relief Program (Social Services Law, §§ 157-166). The determination of which program is applicable in a particular instance is based on whether the needy individual under 21 is residing with either a parent or a legally responsible relative. If he is residing with such a person, he is eligible for AFDC, but not home relief, whereas if he is not residing with such a person, entitlement to benefits stems from the home relief program and not AFDC.

Section 15 of chapter 76 of the Laws of 1976 amended subdivision (a) of section 158 of the Social Services Law, the section which determines eligibility for home relief. As amended, the statute provides that home relief is not to be provided to a person under the age of 21 who does not live with a parent or legally responsible relative, unless and until the applicant commences a support proceeding against any such parent or relative and an order of disposition is obtained in that support proceeding. * Prior to the enactment of section 15, no such limitation was imposed upon a needy young person's right to public assistance. Rather, the public welfare authorities were subrogated to whatever right the recipient might have to support from a parent or responsible relative (see Social Services Law, § 101 et seq.; Family Ct. Act, § 415). Under that system, a person under the age of 21, whether or not residing with a parent or responsible relative, was entitled to public assistance upon proof of need, regardless of the existence of a parent or responsible relative, and it was left to the State to seek to recoup its welfare expenditures via a support proceeding against any such parent or relative. This is the method which was used in both AFDC and home relief cases prior to adoption of the...

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88 practice notes
  • 660 A.2d 742 (Conn. 1995), 14923, Moore v. Ganim
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 20, 1995
    ...floor, specifically to create a legally enforceable right requiring the state to provide minimal subsistence benefits. See Tucker v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 1, 8, 371 N.E.2d 449, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728 (1977). Despite a number of cases that have interpreted article XVII, § 1, as embodying a fundamental r......
  • 865 P.2d 197 (Kan. 1993), 68678, Bullock v. Whiteman
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court of Kansas
    • December 10, 1993
    ...for the aid, care and support of persons in need, the manner and means by which it shall do so are discretionary.' Tucker v. Toia [400 N.Y.S.2d 728], 371 N.E.2d 449, 452, 43 N.Y.2d 1 (1977). "19. This notion of discretionary means to carry out a mandatory duty was developed further in ......
  • 148 A.D.2d 1, Jiggetts v. Grinker
    • United States
    • New York New York Supreme Court Appelate Division First Department
    • June 15, 1989
    ...to the needy is not a matter of legislative grace; rather, it is specifically mandated by our Constitution." (Tucker v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 1, 7 [400 N.Y.S.2d 728, 371 N.E.2d 449.) ] This principle relates, however, to questions of impermissible exclusion of the needy from eligibility for ......
  • 43 Misc.3d 1209(A), 2013-52305, In re Application Smith
    • United States
    • August 14, 2013
    ...Coleman v. Daines , 19 N.Y.3d at 1090; McCain v. Koch , 70 N.Y.2d 109, 117, 511 N.E.2d 62, 517 N.Y.S.2d 918 (1987); Tucker v. Toia , 43 N.Y.2d 1, 8-9, 371 N.E.2d 449, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728 (1977). If respondents' corrective actions in individual instances, brought to their attention by the rare ......
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87 cases
  • 660 A.2d 742 (Conn. 1995), 14923, Moore v. Ganim
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • June 20, 1995
    ...floor, specifically to create a legally enforceable right requiring the state to provide minimal subsistence benefits. See Tucker v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 1, 8, 371 N.E.2d 449, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728 (1977). Despite a number of cases that have interpreted article XVII, § 1, as embodying a fundamental r......
  • 865 P.2d 197 (Kan. 1993), 68678, Bullock v. Whiteman
    • United States
    • Kansas Supreme Court of Kansas
    • December 10, 1993
    ...for the aid, care and support of persons in need, the manner and means by which it shall do so are discretionary.' Tucker v. Toia [400 N.Y.S.2d 728], 371 N.E.2d 449, 452, 43 N.Y.2d 1 (1977). "19. This notion of discretionary means to carry out a mandatory duty was developed further in ......
  • 148 A.D.2d 1, Jiggetts v. Grinker
    • United States
    • New York New York Supreme Court Appelate Division First Department
    • June 15, 1989
    ...to the needy is not a matter of legislative grace; rather, it is specifically mandated by our Constitution." (Tucker v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 1, 7 [400 N.Y.S.2d 728, 371 N.E.2d 449.) ] This principle relates, however, to questions of impermissible exclusion of the needy from eligibility for ......
  • 43 Misc.3d 1209(A), 2013-52305, In re Application Smith
    • United States
    • August 14, 2013
    ...Coleman v. Daines , 19 N.Y.3d at 1090; McCain v. Koch , 70 N.Y.2d 109, 117, 511 N.E.2d 62, 517 N.Y.S.2d 918 (1987); Tucker v. Toia , 43 N.Y.2d 1, 8-9, 371 N.E.2d 449, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728 (1977). If respondents' corrective actions in individual instances, brought to their attention by the rare ......
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1 books & journal articles
  • 67 CBJ 441. RIGHT TO SHELTER UNDER THE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTION.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Bar Journal Nbr. 2009, January 2009
    • January 1, 2009
    ...109 1d. at 216, 502 N.Y.S.2d at 731 (citing Matter of Berstein v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 437 402 N.Y.S.2d 342 (1977) and Tucker v. Toia, 43 N.Y.2d 1, 400 N.Y.S.2d 728 (1977)). 110 517 N.Y.S.2d 918, 920, 511 N.E.2d 62, 64 (1987). 111 Id. at 923, 511 N.E.2d at 66. 112 Celia Dugger, New Yor......