Damico v. California, No. 629

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; HARLAN
PartiesBetty DAMICO et al. v. CALIFORNIA et al. isc
Decision Date18 December 1967
Docket NumberM,No. 629

389 U.S. 416
88 S.Ct. 526
19 L.Ed.2d 647
Betty DAMICO et al.

v.

CALIFORNIA et al.

No. 629, Misc.
Decided Dec. 18, 1967.

George F. Duke, for appellants.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen. of California, and Richard L. Mayers and Elizabeth Palmer, Deputy Attys. Gen., for appellees.

PER CURIAM.

The motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

Appellants, welfare claimants under California Welfare and Institutions Code §§ 11250, 11254, and regulation C—161.20 thereunder, sought damages, a declaratory judgment of unconstitutionality and temporary and permanent injunctive relief in this suit under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Their complaint alleges that the statute and regulation are discriminatory and that the appellees, in administering them and in applying them to appellants, deprived appellants of equal rights secured by the United States Constitution. The three-judge District Court dismissed the complaint solely because 'it appear(ed) to the Court

Page 417

that all of the plaintiffs (had) failed to exhaust adequate administrative remedies.' This was error. In McNeese v. Board of Education, 373 U.S. 668, 83 S.Ct. 1433, 10 L.Ed.2d 622, noting that one of the purposes underlying the Civil Rights Act was 'to provide a remedy in the federal courts supplementary to any remedy any State might have,' id., at 672, 83 S.Ct. at 1435 we held that 'relief under the Civil Rights Act may not be defeated because relief was not first sought under state law which provided (an administrative) remedy,' id., at 671, 83 S.Ct., at 1435. See Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 180—183, 81 S.Ct. 473, 480—482, 5 L.Ed.2d 492. We intimate no view upon the merits of appellants' allegations nor upon the other grounds not passed upon by the District Court.

The judgment of the District Court for the Northern District of California is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Judgment reversed and case remanded with directions.

Mr. Justice HARLAN, dissenting.

California's Aid to Families with Dependent Children program provides welfare assistance to mothers and children rendered destitute through desertion by or separation from the fathers of the children. The law requires that, unless a suit for divorce has been filed, the desertion or separation be of at least three months' duration before AFDC aid will be granted.

Appellants were informed by a social worker that, no suit for divorce having been filed, they could not receive AFDC aid before the end of the three-month period; they then brought this suit for a declaration that the three-month requirement violated the Federal Constitution. The District Court, without reaching the question whether it should 'abstain' pending appropriate state proceedings for relief, and without reaching the merits, dismissed on the ground that the plaintiffs had

Page 418

failed to exhaust 'adequate administrative remedies.'

This Court, without plenary...

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244 practice notes
  • Edwards v. Schmidt, No. 70-C-97.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Western District of Wisconsin
    • January 5, 1971
    ...remedy existed. Any lingering doubts about the necessity of exhausting state administrative remedies were settled by Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L. Ed.2d 647 (1967). A three-judge court had dismissed plaintiffs' constitutional challenge to California welfare law and......
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY OF CITY OF NEWARK v. Henry, Civ. No. 226-71.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 18, 1971
    ...3, citing the now familiar authorities of Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 241, 88 S.Ct. 391, 19 L.Ed.2d 444 (1967); McNeese v. Board of Education, 37......
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 711
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 16, 1969
    ...the issue of construction of the Social Security Act then before it, although HEW had not acted definitively. Cf. Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Note, Federal Judicial Review of State Welfare Practices, 67 Colum.L.Rev. 84, 91-92 (1967). In view of t......
  • Salvati v. Dale, Civ. A. No. 73-461
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 5, 1973
    ...639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L. Ed.2d 647 (1967); Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5 L.Ed.2d 492 (1961), for the proposition that in an action ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
244 cases
  • Edwards v. Schmidt, No. 70-C-97.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. Western District of Wisconsin
    • January 5, 1971
    ...remedy existed. Any lingering doubts about the necessity of exhausting state administrative remedies were settled by Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L. Ed.2d 647 (1967). A three-judge court had dismissed plaintiffs' constitutional challenge to California welfare law and......
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY OF CITY OF NEWARK v. Henry, Civ. No. 226-71.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 18, 1971
    ...3, citing the now familiar authorities of Houghton v. Shafer, 392 U.S. 639, 88 S.Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Zwickler v. Koota, 389 U.S. 241, 88 S.Ct. 391, 19 L.Ed.2d 444 (1967); McNeese v. Board of Education, 37......
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 711
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 16, 1969
    ...the issue of construction of the Social Security Act then before it, although HEW had not acted definitively. Cf. Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L.Ed.2d 647 (1967); Note, Federal Judicial Review of State Welfare Practices, 67 Colum.L.Rev. 84, 91-92 (1967). In view of t......
  • Salvati v. Dale, Civ. A. No. 73-461
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • October 5, 1973
    ...639, 88 S. Ct. 2119, 20 L.Ed.2d 1319 (1968); King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); Damico v. California, 389 U.S. 416, 88 S.Ct. 526, 19 L. Ed.2d 647 (1967); Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167, 81 S.Ct. 473, 5 L.Ed.2d 492 (1961), for the proposition that in an action ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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