44 208 Van Lare v. Hurley Taylor v. Lavine 8212 453, 74 8212 5054, Nos. 74

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBRENNAN
Citation95 S.Ct. 1741,421 U.S. 338,44 L.Ed.2d 208
Decision Date19 May 1975
Docket NumberNos. 74
Parties. 44 L.Ed.2d 208 Barry VAN LARE, etc., et al., Appellants, v. Rose HURLEY, etc., et al. Annie TAYLOR, etc., et al., Petitioners, v. Abe LAVINE, etc., et al. —453, 74—5054

421 U.S. 338
95 S.Ct. 1741.
44 L.Ed.2d 208
Barry VAN LARE, etc., et al., Appellants,

v.

Rose HURLEY, etc., et al. Annie TAYLOR, etc., et al., Petitioners, v. Abe LAVINE, etc., et al.

Nos. 74—453, 74—5054.
Argued March 26, 1975.
Decided May 19, 1975.

Syllabus

Petitioners in No. 74—5054 brought class actions in two District Courts challenging New York's 'lodger' regulations, which require a pro-rata reduction in shelter allowance of a family receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) solely because a parent allows a nonlegally responsible person to reside in the home. Petitioners claimed that the state regulations conflicted with a provision of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 606(a), which in relevant part defines a dependent child as one 'who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent,' and an implementing regulation, 45 CFR § 233.90(a), which provides that in determining a child's financial eligibility and the amount of the assistance payment 'the income only of the (legally obligated) parent . . . will be considered available . . . in the absence of proof of actual contributions.' Petitioners also contended that the state regulations were violative of due process and equal protection. Each District Court held that the New York regulations were in conflict with the federal statutory and regulatory provisions. The Court of Appeals held that there was no such conflict and reversed the judgments and remanded the cases for convention of a three-judge court to decide the constitutional challenges. That court sustained petitioners' due process claim. This Court noted probable jurisdiction of the appeal from the three-judge court holding (No. 74—453) and granted certiorari in the case of the judgment of the Court of Appeals (No. 74—5054). Held: The New York 'lodger' regulations, which are based on the assumption that the nonpaying lodger is contributing to the welfare of the household, without inquiry into whether he in fact does

Page 339

so, violate the Social Security Act and implementing regulations. Pp. 344-348.

(a) A State is barred from assuming that nonlegally responsible persons will apply their resources to aid the welfare child, King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118; Lewis v. Martin, 397 U.S. 552, 90 S.Ct. 1282, 25 L.Ed.2d 561, yet under the New York regulations the nonpaying lodger's mere presence results in a decrease in benefits though he may contribute nothing to the needy child. Pp. 346-347.

(b) The New York regulations cannot be justified on the ground that the lodger's presence establishes the existence of excess space because if that were so the allowance would remain reduced after the lodger leaves, which is not the case. P. 347.

(c) The regulations do not prohibit lodgers from living in welfare homes and therefore cannot be justified on the ground that they are designed to prevent lodgers (who are ineligible for welfare) from receiving welfare benefits. Pp. 347-348.

No. 74—453, 380 F.Supp. 167, vacated and remanded; No. 74 5054, 497 F.2d 1208, reversed.

Judith A. Gordon for appellants in No. 74—453 and respondents in No. 74—5054.

Martin A. Schwartz for appellees in No. 74—453 and petitioners in No. 74—5054.

Mr. Justice BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question presented is whether New York regulations reducing pro rata the shelter allowance provided recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to the extent there are nonpaying lodgers liv-

Page 340

ing in the household conflict with the Social Security Act and federal regulations. We conclude that the state provisions conflict with federal law and are therefore invalid. King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); Lewis v. Martin, 397 U.S. 552, 90 S.Ct. 1282, 25 L.Ed.2d 561 (1970); Townsend v. Swank, 404 U.S. 282, 92 S.Ct. 502, 30 L.Ed.2d 448 (1971).

I

AFDC is a categorical public assistance program established by the Social Security At of 1935. Its operation has been described in several recent opinions. See, e.g., Rosado v. Wyman, 397 U.S. 397, 408, 90 S.Ct. 1207, 1215, 25 L.Ed.2d 442 (1970); King v. Smith, supra, 392 U.S. at 313, 88 S.Ct. at 2131. AFDC provides federal funds to States on a matching funds basis to aid the 'needy child . . . who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with' any of the several listed relatives. 42 U.S.C. § 606(a). States that seek to qualify for federal AFDC funding must operate a program not in conflict with the Social Security Act. Townsend v. Swank, supra, 404 U.S. at 286, 92 S.Ct., at 505.

Each of the petitioners in No. 74—5054 receives AFDC on behalf of herself and her minor children. This includes a shelter allowance computed as an item of need separate from other necessities such as food and clothing. N.Y.Soc.Serv.Law § 131—a. Each petitioner's shelter allowance was reduced by New York officials because she allowed a person not a recipient of AFDC and who had no legal obligation to support her family to reside in the household.1 The reduction was authorized by New York regulations which provide:

'18 N.Y.C.R.R. § 352.31:

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'(a) For applicant or recipient.

'(3) When a female applicant or recipient is living with a man to whom she is not married, other than on an occasional or transient basis, his available income and resources shall be applied in accordance with the following:

'(iv) When the man is unwilling to assume responsibility for the woman or her children, and there are no children of which he is the acknowledged or adjudicated father, he shall be treated as a lodger in accordance with section 352.30(d).'2

'18 N.Y.C.R.R. § 352.30:

'352.30 Persons included inthe budget.

'(d) A non-legally responsible relative or unrelated person in the household, who is not applying for nor receiving public assistance shall not be included in the budget and shall be deemed to be a

Page 342

lodger or boarding lodger. The amount which the lodger or boarding lodger pays shall be verified and treated as income to the family. For the lodger, the amount in excess of $15 per month shall be considered as income; for such boarding lodgers, the amount in excess of $60 per month shall be considered as income. In the event a lodger does not contribute at least $15 per month, the family's shelter allowance including fuel for heating, shall be a pro rata share of the regular shelter allowance.' (Emphasis supplied.)

No lodger of any petitioner contributed $15 a month, and pursuant to the italicized sentence, each petitioner's shelter allowance was therefore reduced by a pro rata share. For example, the shelter allowance of $150 monthly being paid to a family of four was reduced to $120 after the lodger moved in.

Petitioners challenged the New York regulations in separate actions in two Federal District Courts.3 They alleged that in making the presence of the lodger a basis for assuming the availability of income, the regulations were invalid for conflict with 42 U.S.C. § 606(a), supra, and the following regulation, 45 CFR § 233.90(a) (1974), that implements that statute:

'A State plan under title IV—A of the Social Se-

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curity Act (relating to the AFDC program) must provide that the determination whether a child has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, or (if the State plan includes such cases) the unemployment of his father, will be made only in relation to the child's natural or adoptive parent, or in relation to the child's stepparent who is ceremonially married to the child's natural or adoptive parent and is legally obligated to support the child under State law of general applicability which requires stepparents to support stepchildren...

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119 practice notes
  • Christensen v. Lightbourne, S245395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 8 Julio 2019
    ...or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with’ any of the several listed relatives." ( Van Lare v. Hurley (1975) 421 U.S. 338, 340, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208, quoting former 42 U.S.C. § 606(a).) To qualify for federal funding under the AFDC program, states were re......
  • Vaessen v. Woods
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 5 Abril 1984
    ...from nonadoptive stepfather or other person without legal obligation of support may not be presumed available]; Van Lare v. Hurley (1974) 421 U.S. 338, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208 [state statute denying benefits to children of woman permitting lodger to stay with family regardless of whet......
  • Buckner v. Maher, Civ. No. H-75-411
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 10 Diciembre 1976
    ...authorized by Congress. See, e. g., Philbrook v. Glodgett, 421 U.S. 707, 95 S.Ct. 1893, 44 L.Ed.2d 525 (1975); Van Lare v. Hurley, 421 U.S. 338, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208 (1975); Burns v. Alcala, 420 U.S. 575, 95 S.Ct. 1180, 43 L.Ed.2d 469 (1975); Shea v. Vialpando, 416 U.S. 251, 94 S.C......
  • Christensen v. Lightbourne, S245395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 8 Julio 2019
    ...or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with’ any of the several listed relatives." ( Van Lare v. Hurley (1975) 421 U.S. 338, 340, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208, quoting former 42 U.S.C. § 606(a).) To qualify for federal funding under the AFDC program, states were re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
119 cases
  • Christensen v. Lightbourne, S245395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 8 Julio 2019
    ...or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with’ any of the several listed relatives." ( Van Lare v. Hurley (1975) 421 U.S. 338, 340, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208, quoting former 42 U.S.C. § 606(a).) To qualify for federal funding under the AFDC program, states were re......
  • Vaessen v. Woods
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 5 Abril 1984
    ...from nonadoptive stepfather or other person without legal obligation of support may not be presumed available]; Van Lare v. Hurley (1974) 421 U.S. 338, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208 [state statute denying benefits to children of woman permitting lodger to stay with family regardless of whet......
  • Buckner v. Maher, Civ. No. H-75-411
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 10 Diciembre 1976
    ...authorized by Congress. See, e. g., Philbrook v. Glodgett, 421 U.S. 707, 95 S.Ct. 1893, 44 L.Ed.2d 525 (1975); Van Lare v. Hurley, 421 U.S. 338, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208 (1975); Burns v. Alcala, 420 U.S. 575, 95 S.Ct. 1180, 43 L.Ed.2d 469 (1975); Shea v. Vialpando, 416 U.S. 251, 94 S.C......
  • Christensen v. Lightbourne, S245395
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 8 Julio 2019
    ...or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with’ any of the several listed relatives." ( Van Lare v. Hurley (1975) 421 U.S. 338, 340, 95 S.Ct. 1741, 44 L.Ed.2d 208, quoting former 42 U.S.C. § 606(a).) To qualify for federal funding under the AFDC program, states were re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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