Rosado v. Wyman, No. 69 Civ. 355.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
Writing for the CourtWEINSTEIN
Citation304 F. Supp. 1356
PartiesJulia ROSADO, Lydia Hernandez, Majorie Miley, Sophia Abron, Ruby Gathers, Louise Lowman, Bula Mae King, Cathryn Folk, Annie Lou Phillips, and Majorie Duffy, individually, on behalf of their minor children, and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. George K. WYMAN, individually and in his capacity as Commissioner of Social Services for the State of New York, and the Department of Social Services for the State of New York, Defendants.
Decision Date18 June 1969
Docket NumberNo. 69 Civ. 355.

304 F. Supp. 1356

Julia ROSADO, Lydia Hernandez, Majorie Miley, Sophia Abron, Ruby Gathers, Louise Lowman, Bula Mae King, Cathryn Folk, Annie Lou Phillips, and Majorie Duffy, individually, on behalf of their minor children, and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
George K. WYMAN, individually and in his capacity as Commissioner of Social Services for the State of New York, and the Department of Social Services for the State of New York, Defendants.

No. 69 Civ. 355.

United States District Court E. D. New York.

May 15, 1969.

Supplemental Opinion June 18, 1969.


304 F. Supp. 1357
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304 F. Supp. 1358
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304 F. Supp. 1359
MEMORANDUM ON PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT

WEINSTEIN, District Judge.

Plaintiffs bring this class action to challenge the validity of section 131-a of the New York Social Services Law, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 55, effective July 1st of this year (ch. 184, L.1969). They allege that it is void because it does not meet the standards laid down by section 402(a) (23) of the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended in 1968, for participation by a state in the federally-funded Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC). See 42 U.S.C. §§ 601, 602; 45 C.F.R. § 233.20(a) (2) (i), 34 Fed.Reg. 1394 (1969). Section 402(a) (23), they contend, requires a state, if it is to participate in AFDC, to take into account increases in the cost of living in computing new benefit levels. Their claim is that New York State, while it continues to participate, has reduced scheduled AFDC payments.

Both plaintiffs and defendants have moved for summary judgment. In addition, plaintiffs have moved for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the defendants

304 F. Supp. 1360
from instituting changes pursuant to section 131-a until this litigation can be decided on the merits

The test for granting summary judgment is whether there exists "any `genuine issue as to any material fact.' F.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see, F.R.Civ.P. 56 (e)." Waldron v. Cities Service Co., 361 F.2d 671, 672 (2d Cir. 1966), aff'd sub nom. First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 88 S.Ct. 1575, 20 L.Ed.2d 569 (1968). The test for granting a preliminary injunction is whether plaintiffs have made "a clear showing of probable success and probable irreparable injury." Clairol Incorporated v. Gillette Company, 389 F. 2d 264, 265 (2d Cir. 1968). See F.R.Civ. P. 65.

For the reasons stated below, it is clear that plaintiffs have a substantial claim with a high likelihood of prevailing on the merits and that they will probably suffer irreparable damage unless a preliminary injunction is granted. Accordingly, such an injunction will issue.

There are still a number of unresolved questions of fact. The statistical and other data underlying this dispute have not yet been developed with clarity sufficient to warrant the granting of summary judgment. Pursuant to Rule 56(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this Court orders "a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions to be taken or discovery to be had" or testimony and exhibits to be presented.

Because of the importance of this matter we assume that defendants will wish to take an immediate interlocutory appeal pursuant to section 1292(a) (1) of title 28 of the United States Code from the order granting the preliminary injunction. In order to render as much assistance as possible to the Court of Appeals and to the parties we have set out below the posture of the case in more detail than is ordinarily warranted in disposing of preliminary applications. It should be emphasized that the conclusions are made only for the purpose of deciding the motions before us and are not determinative of the merits of the case.

I. JURISDICTION

In King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S. Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968), the Supreme Court left open the question "whether and under what circumstance suits challenging state AFDC provisions only on the ground that they are inconsistent with the federal statute may be brought in federal courts." 392 U.S. at 312, n. 3, 88 S.Ct. at 2131. Since plaintiffs equal protection claim is no longer before this Court (Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1354 (E.D.N.Y.1969) (per curiam opinion of three-judge court)), we must confront the question of our jurisdiction to decide the federal statutory claim. We conclude that there are a number of independent bases of jurisdiction.

A. Pendent Jurisdiction

Once its jurisdiction has been properly invoked, a federal district court acquires pendent jurisdiction to decide all related claims arising out of the same transaction or dispute. See, e.g., United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 16 L.Ed.2d 218 (1966); Hurn v. Oursler, 289 U.S. 238, 53 S.Ct. 586, 77 L.Ed. 1148 (1933); Gulickson v. Forest, 290 F.Supp. 457, 464 (E.D.N.Y.1968). The district court has power to decide the pendent claim even if it does not reach the issue which provided the basis for the court's jurisdiction or even if it first decides the jurisdiction-founding issue against the plaintiffs. See, e.g., King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968); United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 16 L.Ed.2d 218 (1966); Siler v. Louisville & Nashville R. Co., 213 U. S. 175, 29 S.Ct. 451, 53 L.Ed. 753 (1909); Gulickson v. Forest, 290 F.Supp. 457, 464 (E.D.N.Y.1968).

In the present case, it is clear that at the time the three-judge court was convened jurisdiction existed pursuant

304 F. Supp. 1361
to section 1343(3) of title 28 and sections 1983 and 1988 of title 42 of the United States Code. These provisions grant original jurisdiction to the federal district courts, without respect to the amount in controversy, over cases where it is claimed that a right under the United States Constitution is being violated. The three-judge court, in its per curiam opinion, noted that it had been "properly convened" (Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1354 (E.D.N.Y.1969)), thereby impliedly ruling that a substantial federal question had been raised. See, e. g., Swift & Co. v. Wickham, 382 U.S. 111, 115, 86 S.Ct. 258, 261, 15 L. Ed.2d 194 (1965) ("no such three-judge court is called for when the alleged constitutional claim is insubstantial"); Kramer v. Union Free School Dist. No. 15, 379 F.2d 491 (2d Cir. 1967). There is no doubt that under the liberal test recently enunciated by the Supreme Court in United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 86 S.Ct. 1130 (1966), the cause of action based on the Social Security Act would be considered pendent to the equal protection claim

The question posed is whether this Court has been divested of pendent jurisdiction because the federal constitutional claim was rendered moot after the three-judge court convened and heard argument on motions by all parties for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we hold that under the circumstances of the instant case, this question must be answered in the negative.

Federal courts, in the exercise of discretion, have tended to voluntarily abstain from deciding pendent questions where the claim which provided the basis for its jurisdiction has been disposed of prior to trial. See United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 1139, 16 L.Ed.2d 218 (1966) ("Certainly, if the federal claims are dismissed before trial, even though not insubstantial in a jurisdictional sense, the state claims should be dismissed as well"); Wham-O-Mfg. Co. v. Paradise Mfg. Co., 327 F.2d 748, 752-754 (9th Cir. 1964); Strachman v. Palmer, 177 F.2d 427, 431 (1st Cir. 1949) (concurring opinion); Note, The Evolution and Scope of the Doctrine of Pendent Jurisdiction in the Federal Courts, 62 Colum.L.Rev. 1018, 1025 (1967); Cf. Clairol Incorporated v. Gillette Company, 389 F.2d 264, 267-268 (2d Cir. 1968) (jurisdiction over unfair competition claim despite concession of lack of valid trademark registration); Rogers v. Valentine, 37 F.R.D. 231 (S.D. N.Y.1964) (after summary judgment granted on federal claim, jurisdiction retained over pendent non-federal claim).

The rationale for this doctrine of restraint in the exercise of pendent jurisdiction is that a federal court should seek to avoid "needless decisions of state law":

Needless decisions of state law should be avoided both as a matter of comity and to promote justice between the parties, by procuring for them a surerfooted reading of applicable law. United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 363 U. S. 715, 726, 86 S.Ct. 1130, 1139, 16 L. Ed.2d 218 (1966).

See also Wham-O-Mfg. Co. v. Paradise Mfg. Co., 327 F.2d 748, 753 (9th Cir. 1964); Strachman v. Palmer, 177 F.2d 427, 431, 433 (1st Cir. 1949) (concurring opinion). Accordingly, applying what has been referred to as "the introduction of evidence test," some federal courts have held that "when a federal claim is dismissed on the pleadings, the court should not retain a related nonfederal claim absent an independent basis for federal jurisdiction." Note, The Evolution and Scope of the Doctrine of Pendent Jurisdiction in the Federal Courts, 62 Colum.L.Rev. 1018, 1025 (1962) (emphasis in original).

Application of this rule would be entirely inappropriate, wasteful of judicial energy and extremely prejudicial to the litigants in a case such as the one before us. The pendent claim does not involve state law alone, but poses crucial and important questions of federal statutory law. It vitally affects a national program designed to protect the fundamental

304 F. Supp. 1362
rights of children to the sustenance and stable family life which will enable them to develop into full members of our society capable of exercising their rights and responsibilities under the United States Constitution and it involves the expenditure of billions of dollars of federal monies. The courts in the federal system are in at least as good a position as state courts to adjudicate...

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14 practice notes
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 711
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 16, 1969
    ...have exercised pendent jurisdiction to rule on the statutory claim after it had determined that the constitutional claim was moot. 304 F.Supp. at 1356 (1969). In remanding the case to the single district judge for "appropriate" action the court did not decide whether he could exercise such ......
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 540
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1970
    ...from reducing or discontinuing payments of 'regular recurring grants and special grants,' payable under the predecessor welfare law, 304 F.Supp. 1356, and the State's elimination of which from the computation of welfare benefits is the subject matter of the controversy now before this Court......
  • Roundtree v. Berger, No. 75-C-1052.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 17, 1976
    ...taken in a restaurant when the aid recipient lacks cooking facilities or is physically unable to cook. See, generally, Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1356, 1365 (E.D.N.Y. 1969), vacated, 414 F.2d 170 (2d Cir. 1969), reversed in part, 397 U.S. 397, 90 S.Ct. 1207, 25 L.Ed.2d 442 Prior to June 1......
  • Lawrence v. Oakes, Civ. A. No. 6168.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • July 16, 1973
    ...Co. v. Flowers, 330 U.S. 464, 468, 67 S.Ct. 798, 91 L.Ed. 1024 (1947). The defendant cites a district court opinion in Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1356, 1362 (E.D.N.Y.1969), reversed on other grounds, 414 F.2d 170 (2 Cir. 1969), reversed on other grounds, 397 U.S. 307, 90 S.Ct. 1207, 25 L.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 711
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 16, 1969
    ...have exercised pendent jurisdiction to rule on the statutory claim after it had determined that the constitutional claim was moot. 304 F.Supp. at 1356 (1969). In remanding the case to the single district judge for "appropriate" action the court did not decide whether he could exercise such ......
  • Rosado v. Wyman, No. 540
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1970
    ...from reducing or discontinuing payments of 'regular recurring grants and special grants,' payable under the predecessor welfare law, 304 F.Supp. 1356, and the State's elimination of which from the computation of welfare benefits is the subject matter of the controversy now before this Court......
  • Roundtree v. Berger, No. 75-C-1052.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • September 17, 1976
    ...taken in a restaurant when the aid recipient lacks cooking facilities or is physically unable to cook. See, generally, Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1356, 1365 (E.D.N.Y. 1969), vacated, 414 F.2d 170 (2d Cir. 1969), reversed in part, 397 U.S. 397, 90 S.Ct. 1207, 25 L.Ed.2d 442 Prior to June 1......
  • Lawrence v. Oakes, Civ. A. No. 6168.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • July 16, 1973
    ...Co. v. Flowers, 330 U.S. 464, 468, 67 S.Ct. 798, 91 L.Ed. 1024 (1947). The defendant cites a district court opinion in Rosado v. Wyman, 304 F.Supp. 1356, 1362 (E.D.N.Y.1969), reversed on other grounds, 414 F.2d 170 (2 Cir. 1969), reversed on other grounds, 397 U.S. 307, 90 S.Ct. 1207, 25 L.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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