Com. of Pa., Dept. of Public Welfare v. Markiewicz, No. 90-3327

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore STAPLETON, HUTCHINSON, and ROSENN; STAPLETON
Citation930 F.2d 262
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE and Kathryn Horanic v. Mark J. MARKIEWICZ, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare, Appellant/Cross Appelleeark J. Markiewicz, Appellee/Cross Appellant
Docket NumberNos. 90-3327,M,90-3373,No. 90-3373,No. 90-3327
Decision Date03 April 1991

Page 262

930 F.2d 262
59 USLW 2625
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE
and Kathryn Horanic
v.
Mark J. MARKIEWICZ,
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare,
Appellant/Cross Appellee No. 90-3327,
Mark J. Markiewicz, Appellee/Cross Appellant No. 90-3373.
Nos. 90-3327, 90-3373.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Argued Nov. 13, 1990.
Decided April 3, 1991.

Page 263

Jason W. Manne (argued), Asst. Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel Dept. of Public Welfare, Pittsburgh, Pa., for appellant/cross appellee.

Zanita A. Zacks-Gabriel (argued), Erie, Pa., for appellee/cross appellant.

Before STAPLETON, HUTCHINSON, and ROSENN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

STAPLETON, Circuit Judge:

This case presents a question of first impression. Section 654(4)(B) of Title 42 of the United States Code provides limited access to the federal courts for state agencies seeking to obtain or enforce child support orders in the discharge of their obligations under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program ("AFDC"). "[W]hen [reciprocal] arrangements and other means have proven ineffective, the State may utilize the Federal courts to obtain or enforce court orders for support; ...." 42 U.S.C. Sec. 654(4)(B). We must decide whether the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare ("DPW") has demonstrated that "other means have proven ineffective" in this case so as to establish federal court jurisdiction. The district court dismissed the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and we will affirm.

I.

Kathryn Horanic ("Horanic") is a resident of Pennsylvania. On December 31, 1977, in the state of Pennsylvania, she and Mark Markiewicz ("Markiewicz") engaged in sexual relations. Markiewicz, a resident of New Mexico, was visiting family and friends in Pennsylvania at the time. Approximately nine months later, Horanic gave birth to her son, Gregory. Horanic alleges that Markiewicz is her son's father.

Subchapter IV-A of the Social Security Act established AFDC. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 601. AFDC provides funds to state programs giving financial assistance to needy families with dependent children. Any state desiring AFDC money must submit a plan to the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("Secretary") setting forth the manner in which it will administer the funds. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 601. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 602 lists the requisite features of qualifying plans. For example, the plan must provide that each individual applying for aid will assign all support rights to the state. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 602(a)(26)(A).

The state, in turn, must enforce those rights. Title IV-D of the Social Security Act ("Title IV-D") established the Child Support Enforcement Program under which each participating state must create a "IV-D agency" to administer the state's program. The regulations promulgated thereunder set forth the minimum staffing and operational requirements of IV-D agencies. See 45 C.F.R. Sec. 303. One duty of a IV-D agency is to attempt to establish the paternity of any child recipient born out of wedlock and to obtain support payments from the child's father.

Ms. Horanic receives AFDC funds. Horanic and Erie County authorities commenced an action seeking child support from Markiewicz in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in 1979. When it was

Page 264

determined that Markiewicz was residing in New Mexico, the court ordered that the relevant documents be transmitted to New Mexico pursuant to the provisions of the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act ("RURESA"). Both New Mexico and Pennsylvania have adopted RURESA. 23 Pa.Cons.Stat. Secs. 4501-4540; N.M.Stat.Ann. Secs. 40-6-1 to -41.

RURESA seeks to "improve and extend by reciprocal legislation the enforcement of duties of support." RURESA Sec. 1, 9B U.L.A. 394 (1968). The prefatory note explains that the

Act itself creates no duties of family support but leaves this to the legislatures of the several states. The Act is concerned solely with the enforcement of the already existing duties when the person to whom a duty is owed is in one state and the person owing the duty is in another state.

Section 18 of RURESA requires the court in the responding state to docket the case and notify the prosecuting attorney of the action. The prosecuting attorney must prosecute the case diligently. RURESA Sec. 18, 9B U.L.A. 461 (1968).

New Mexico authorities served the complaint on Markiewicz and assigned an assistant attorney general to handle the case. Markiewicz's attorney filed a motion to dismiss and an answer denying paternity. The New Mexico state court set a trial date.

It is not clear whether the court held a full-scale bench trial. The court's decision was never appealed and the transcript was destroyed when the time for appeal expired. It is clear, however, that on February 7, 1980, New Mexico presented to the court the papers that the Erie County Domestic Relations Office had provided, and Markiewicz testified on his own behalf. At the conclusion of the session, the court dismissed the case with prejudice.

When notified, the Erie County Reciprocal Support Office inquired as to the reasons for the dismissal. It learned that a paternity affidavit had been omitted from the papers transmitted to New Mexico. Erie County sent the paternity affidavit and asked the assistant attorney general to reopen the case. He did not. Erie County did not pursue the matter further and the order of the New Mexico court was never appealed.

Five years later, Erie County authorities brought a long arm action in the Erie County Court of Common Pleas. At that time, the applicable statute of limitations for support actions in Pennsylvania was six years. That statute had run and the court dismissed the action on statute of limitations grounds.

In 1988, the Supreme Court declared the six-year statute of limitations unconstitutional. Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 108 S.Ct. 1910, 100 L.Ed.2d 465 (1988). The Pennsylvania legislature responded by enacting an eighteen-year statute of limitations for paternity actions. 23 Pa.Cons.Stat. Sec. 4343(b). The statute specifically permits parties to refile actions dismissed as a result of the prior limitations period....

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6 practice notes
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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 5 Marzo 2021
    ...would also apply where the insured motor carrier is held liable vicariously for the negligence of another. Integral Ins. Co. , 930 F.2d at 262.The Second Circuit has discussed the applicability of an MCS-90 endorsement to similar albeit distinguishable facts. In Integral Ins. Co. , the insu......
  • U.S. v. Carney, No. 91-6085
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 15 Octubre 1992
    ...in a post conviction proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, where an adequate record can be developed. See United States v. Frazier, 930 F.2d 262, 267 (6th Cir.1991); United States v. Wunder, 919 F.2d 34, 37 (6th Cir.1990) (this Court indicating that it would not consider a claim of ineff......
  • Monzon v. Martinez, Civ. A. No. 92-4947.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 31 Agosto 1993
    ...programs giving financial assistance to needy families with dependent children." Commw. of Pa. Dept. of Public Welfare v. Markiewicz, 930 F.2d 262, 262 (3d Cir.1991). This federal spending program is a matching funds program designed to stimulate state aid and service to AFDC recipients. Be......
  • O'Dowd v. Trueger, No. 99-5479
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 20 Julio 2000
    ...of the estate pursuant to S 541(a)(7) obviates our need to address this issue. See Pennsylvania Dep't of Pub. Welfare v. Markiewicz, 930 F.2d 262, 266 (3d Cir. 1991); accord In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 640 (7th Cir. 6. Appellees may advance this argument even though they did not file a cro......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. v. Capital Trucking, Inc., 18 Civ. 10871 (PED)
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 5 Marzo 2021
    ...would also apply where the insured motor carrier is held liable vicariously for the negligence of another. Integral Ins. Co. , 930 F.2d at 262.The Second Circuit has discussed the applicability of an MCS-90 endorsement to similar albeit distinguishable facts. In Integral Ins. Co. , the insu......
  • U.S. v. Carney, No. 91-6085
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 15 Octubre 1992
    ...in a post conviction proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, where an adequate record can be developed. See United States v. Frazier, 930 F.2d 262, 267 (6th Cir.1991); United States v. Wunder, 919 F.2d 34, 37 (6th Cir.1990) (this Court indicating that it would not consider a claim of ineff......
  • Monzon v. Martinez, Civ. A. No. 92-4947.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • 31 Agosto 1993
    ...programs giving financial assistance to needy families with dependent children." Commw. of Pa. Dept. of Public Welfare v. Markiewicz, 930 F.2d 262, 262 (3d Cir.1991). This federal spending program is a matching funds program designed to stimulate state aid and service to AFDC recipients. Be......
  • O'Dowd v. Trueger, No. 99-5479
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 20 Julio 2000
    ...of the estate pursuant to S 541(a)(7) obviates our need to address this issue. See Pennsylvania Dep't of Pub. Welfare v. Markiewicz, 930 F.2d 262, 266 (3d Cir. 1991); accord In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 640 (7th Cir. 6. Appellees may advance this argument even though they did not file a cro......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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