State of New Jersey v. Department of Health and Human Services, Nos. 80-2809

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore ADAMS, VAN DUSEN and SLOVITER; ADAMS
Citation670 F.2d 1262
PartiesSTATE OF NEW JERSEY, Petitioner, v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent.
Docket Number81-2147 and 81-2240,Nos. 80-2809,81-1445,81-1400
Decision Date23 December 1981

Page 1262

670 F.2d 1262
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Petitioner,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent.
Nos. 80-2809, 81-1400, 81-1445, 81-2147 and 81-2240.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Argued Oct. 27, 1981.
Decided Dec. 23, 1981.

Page 1264

James R. Zazzali, Atty. Gen. of N. J., Trenton, N. J., for petitioner; Erminie L. Conley, Asst. Atty. Gen., Trenton, N. J., of counsel; Andrea M. Silkowitz, Deputy Atty. Gen. (argued), Trenton, N. J., on brief.

Juan Del Real, Acting Gen. Counsel, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Washington, D. C., for respondent; James E. Healy, Asst. Regional Atty. (argued), Dept. of Health and Human Services, New York City, of counsel.

Before ADAMS, VAN DUSEN and SLOVITER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

ADAMS, Circuit Judge.

New Jersey petitions for review of a series of decisions by the Grant Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services disallowing certain expenditures submitted for reimbursement by the State in connection with the Child Support Enforcement Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 651-662. After initially determining that we have jurisdiction to entertain New Jersey's appeal pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1316(a), we conclude, both as a matter of statutory construction and as a matter of administrative law, that the Department had sufficient authority to impose the challenged disallowances. Accordingly, we affirm the orders entered by the Board.

I

On January 4, 1975, President Ford signed into law the Child Support Enforcement Act, Pub.L. No. 93-647. The Act made available to the states federal financial assistance "(f)or the purpose of enforcing the support obligations owed by absent parents to their children, locating absent parents, establishing paternity, and obtaining child support." 42 U.S.C. § 651. The authors of the legislation-which was codified

Page 1265

as Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 651-662, and hence became known as the "IV-D" program-left basic responsibility for child support plans with the states, but envisioned "a far more active role on the part of the Federal Government in monitoring and evaluating State programs ... (and) in undertaking to give direct assistance to the States in locating absent parents and obtaining support payments from them." S.Rep. No. 93-1356, 93d Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in (1974) U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News 8133, 8134.

The primary justification for this increased federal role can be discerned from the relevant legislative history. Congress was concerned about the "rapid and uncontrolled growth" of expenditures under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. In large measure, such growth could be attributed to the failure of the states to ensure that individuals legally obligated to provide child support actually did so. Greater efforts in this regard by both the federal and state governments, it was believed, would reduce overall welfare costs. Id. at 8148-50. Moreover, according to one of the Senate sponsors of the IV-D program, "once an effective support collection system is established, fathers will be deterred from deserting their families to welfare and children will be spared many of the effects of family breakup." 120 Cong.Rec. 40,323 (1974) (remarks of Sen. Long).

To achieve these ends, Congress required each state to establish a IV-D program, designed to provide all AFDC recipients with certain child support and paternity services. 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(27). 1 The legislation specifies that, to qualify for federal financial participation, a state must draw its IV-D plan in accord with certain statutory requirements, set forth at 42 U.S.C. § 654. Among other things, a state IV-D agency must "enter( ) into cooperative arrangements with appropriate courts and law enforcement officials" in order to ensure that its child support program is administered in the most effective fashion. Id. at § 654(7).

Intent on "creat(ing) a mechanism to require compliance with the law," (1974) U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News, supra, at 8149-50, Congress mandated that a "separate organizational unit" be established within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 2 to administer the IV-D program. 42 U.S.C. § 652(a). That unit, known as the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), is charged by statute with the responsibility, inter alia, for reviewing and approving state IV-D proposals, evaluating their implementation, and ensuring that states comply with federal IV-D standards. Pursuant to congressional directive, OCSE also compiles and submits "full and complete report(s)" detailing all activities, expenses, and problems associated with federal and state child support programs. Id. Finally, under 42 U.S.C. § 654(13), states are required to "comply with such other requirements and standards as the Secretary (of HHS) determines to be necessary to the establishment of an effective (IV-D) program."

Congress did not limit the availability of IV-D services to those individuals who received AFDC monies, however. The legislators recognized that "the problem of nonsupport is broader than the AFDC rolls" and that "many families might be able to avoid the necessity of applying for welfare in the first place if they had adequate assistance in obtaining the support due from absent parents." (1974) U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News, supra, at 8158. Consequently coverage under the Child Support Enforcement Act was extended to include non-AFDC recipients as well. Specifically, Congress provided that:

Page 1266

the child support collection or paternity determination services established under (a state's IV-D) plan shall be made available to any individual not otherwise eligible for such services upon application filed by such individual with the State....

42 U.S.C. § 654(6)(A). The statute authorizes a state to impose a "reasonable" application fee on non-AFDC recipients seeking IV-D services, id. at § 654(6)(B), and permits a state to deduct its additional administrative expenses from any recovery ultimately obtained from a delinquent parent, id. at § 654(6)(C). OCSE was instructed to pay particular attention to the non-AFDC aspects of the IV-D effort. As part of its periodic reporting obligation, OCSE was to identify:

(i) the total amount of child support payments collected as a result of services furnished ... to individuals under (42 U.S.C. § 654(6)), (ii) the cost to the States and to the Federal Government of furnishing such services to those individuals, and (iii) the extent to which the furnishing of such services was successful in providing sufficient support to those individuals to assure that they did not require assistance under the State (AFDC plan).

42 U.S.C. § 652(a).

In mid-1975, pursuant to its statutory authority, HHS promulgated a series of administrative regulations covering the IV-D program. See 45 C.F.R. §§ 301.0-306.40 (1980). One such regulation restates the requirement that states make child support services available to non-AFDC individuals, as well as to AFDC recipients:

The State plan shall provide that the child support collection or paternity determination services established under the plan shall be made available to any individual not otherwise eligible for such services upon application filed by such individual with the IV-D agency.

Id. at § 302.33(a). As is apparent, the regulation tracks the language of section 654(6)(A) of the Act, save for its final clause: while the statute requires only that applications by non-AFDC individuals be filed "with (a) State," the regulation specifies that such applications be filed "with (a) IV-D agency."

Neither the statute nor the regulation elaborate upon the application requirement; that is, neither the statute nor the regulation addresses the format or the timeliness of the application itself. On June 9, 1976, however, OCSE issued a "program instruction" setting forth certain procedures to be followed by states seeking reimbursement of costs for services provided to non-AFDC persons. OCSE noted that both the statute and the regulation make reimbursement contingent "upon application filed by (a non-AFDC) individual." Therefore, states were informed that "(i)n order to comply with the statutory requirements, ... (an) application must be in writing ... (and) must be signed by the individual applying for child support services" before federal funds could be received. App. at 59a. Additionally, OCSE observed that, while a number of states made non-welfare recipients eligible for child support services prior to the enactment of the Child Support Enforcement Act, none of those previously existing state plans was "grandfathered" into the IV-D program adopted by Congress. Thus, states were instructed that "(a) pplications filed prior to the effective date of title IV-D ... do not make a case eligible for Federal financial participation under title IV-D." Id. at 60a-61a.

In a subsequent communication, OCSE established August 1, 1976, as the effective date of the June 9 program instruction. Appropriate state officials were urged to "proceed immediately" to obtain "new applications" for child support services from non-AFDC individuals, "so that you do not suffer any loss of Federal funds." Letter from J. Steigman, Deputy Regional Director, OCSE (Sept. 20, 1976), App. at 66a-67a.

II

On July 1, 1975, New Jersey commenced participation in the national IV-D program. Retroactive to that date, New Jersey's Division

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of Public Welfare entered into a cooperative agreement, as required under 42 U.S.C. § 654(7), with the State's Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). That agreement obligated the AOC to furnish those services required of the State under the IV-D Act; in exchange, the Division of Public Welfare was to forward to the AOC whatever amounts it received as reimbursement for its IV-D expenditures from HHS. Brief for Petitioner at 1.

Prior to the enactment of the Child Support Enforcement...

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51 practice notes
  • COM. OF VA. EX REL. DMAS v. Bowen, Civ. A. No. 85-0933-R and 84-1171-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • February 3, 1988
    ...Appeals Board, 698 F.2d 22, 27-30 (1st Cir.1983) (three point functional test); New Jersey v. Department of Health and Human Services, 670 F.2d 1262, 1277 (3rd Cir.1981); New Jersey v. Department of Health and Human Services, 670 F.2d 1284, 1290-92 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 10......
  • Doe v. General Services Admin., Civ. A. No. M-81-2109.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • July 27, 1982
    ...No. 21, Ex. F. 36 For discussions of the criteria for determining whether a rule is legislative or interpretative, see New Jersey v. HHS, 670 F.2d 1262, 1281-83 (3d Cir. 1981); Chamber of Commerce v. OSHA, 636 F.2d 464, 468-69 37 See, e.g., General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125, 141......
  • Perdue v. Crocker National Bank, S.F. 24591
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 18, 1985
    ...88 L.Ed. 1488; Cabais v. Egger (D.C.Cir.1982) 690 F.2d 234, 238.) In State of N.J. v. Department of Health & Human Services (3d Cir.1981) 670 F.2d 1262 at page 1283, footnote 17, when the court upheld a regulation as a reasonable statutory interpretation, it distinguished an earlier case, R......
  • Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll, No. 94-1954
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • July 25, 1995
    ...and Reports, Report for Recommendation 92-2, 1992 ACUS 71, 136-37. 6 In New Jersey v. Department of Health & Human Servs., 670 F.2d 1262, 1281 (3d Cir.1981), we The APA notice and comment procedures exist for good reason: to ensure that unelected administrators, who are not directly account......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
51 cases
  • COM. OF VA. EX REL. DMAS v. Bowen, Civ. A. No. 85-0933-R and 84-1171-R.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District of Virginia)
    • February 3, 1988
    ...Appeals Board, 698 F.2d 22, 27-30 (1st Cir.1983) (three point functional test); New Jersey v. Department of Health and Human Services, 670 F.2d 1262, 1277 (3rd Cir.1981); New Jersey v. Department of Health and Human Services, 670 F.2d 1284, 1290-92 (3rd Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 10......
  • Doe v. General Services Admin., Civ. A. No. M-81-2109.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • July 27, 1982
    ...No. 21, Ex. F. 36 For discussions of the criteria for determining whether a rule is legislative or interpretative, see New Jersey v. HHS, 670 F.2d 1262, 1281-83 (3d Cir. 1981); Chamber of Commerce v. OSHA, 636 F.2d 464, 468-69 37 See, e.g., General Electric Co. v. Gilbert, 429 U.S. 125, 141......
  • Perdue v. Crocker National Bank, S.F. 24591
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • July 18, 1985
    ...88 L.Ed. 1488; Cabais v. Egger (D.C.Cir.1982) 690 F.2d 234, 238.) In State of N.J. v. Department of Health & Human Services (3d Cir.1981) 670 F.2d 1262 at page 1283, footnote 17, when the court upheld a regulation as a reasonable statutory interpretation, it distinguished an earlier case, R......
  • Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll, No. 94-1954
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • July 25, 1995
    ...and Reports, Report for Recommendation 92-2, 1992 ACUS 71, 136-37. 6 In New Jersey v. Department of Health & Human Servs., 670 F.2d 1262, 1281 (3d Cir.1981), we The APA notice and comment procedures exist for good reason: to ensure that unelected administrators, who are not directly account......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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