565 F.2d 1259 (2nd Cir. 1977), 545, Greklek v. Toia

Docket Nº545, 546, Dockets 77-7558, 77-7559.
Citation565 F.2d 1259
Party NameWilliam GREKLEK et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Philip L. TOIA et al., Defendants-Appellants.
Case DateNovember 28, 1977
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 1259

565 F.2d 1259 (2nd Cir. 1977)

William GREKLEK et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,


Philip L. TOIA et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 545, 546, Dockets 77-7558, 77-7559.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

November 28, 1977

Argued Nov. 21, 1977.

Page 1260

Robert S. Hammer, Asst. Atty. Gen., New York City (Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen. of N. Y., Irving Galt, Asst. Atty. Gen., Gale D. Berg, Sp. Deputy Asst. Atty. Gen., of counsel), for the State defendants-appellants.

Rene H. Reixach, Jr., Atty., Greater Up-State Law Project, Rochester, N. Y., for the plaintiffs-appellees.



Appellants, state and county officials of the Department of Social Services of the State of New York, appeal from a decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Edmund Port, J., enjoining them from continuing to deny the class of so-called "medically needy" 1 persons the same deductions for work expenses in calculating net income as are permitted to applicants for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The judge also held that this procedure violated the Social Security Act and relevant federal regulations, and required that plaintiff class members be notified of their right to a recomputation of medical benefits due. Because of the urgency of the matter, Judge Port dictated his opinion in open court, but stayed his order for a short period to allow a prompt appeal. We continued the stay and expedited the appeal. Because we conclude that appellants' challenges to the decision of the district court have no merit, we affirm. 2

Appellants argue first that the district court lacked jurisdiction because plaintiffs' statutory claims did not meet the $10,000 jurisdictional threshold of 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and pendent jurisdiction over these claims was not justified. The district court accepted pendent jurisdiction on the theory that plaintiffs also presented a constitutional claim substantial enough to confer jurisdiction. That constitutional question turned on whether New York's disparate treatment of two classes of potential Medicaid recipients violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The State treats the members of the two classes differently in terms of the extent to which it disregards their work-related expenses in determining whether their available income is low enough to entitle them to medical assistance. 3

Page 1261

We agree with the district court that this question was substantial enough to confer jurisdiction under the standard set forth in Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528, 534-43, 94 S.Ct. 1372, 39 L.Ed.2d 577 (1974). We have recently construed closely analogous claims as sufficient to vest jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3). Friedman v. Berger, 547 F.2d 724, 727 n.6 (2d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 430 U.S. 984, 97 S.Ct. 1681, 52 L.Ed.2d 328 (1977); Aitchison v. Berger, 404 F.Supp. 1137, 1142-43 (S.D.N.Y.1975), aff'd, 538 F.2d 307 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 890, 97 S.Ct. 246, 50 L.Ed.2d 172 (1976). Cf. Andrews v. Maher, 525 F.2d 113, 116 (2d Cir. 1975). Appellants urge us to reexamine these holdings in light of the Supreme Court's determination in Maher v. Roe, 432 U.S. 464, 97...

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