T____ H____ v. Jones

Decision Date23 July 1975
Docket NumberNo. C 74-276.,C 74-276.
Citation425 F. Supp. 873
PartiesT____ H____, on behalf of herself, and all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Evan E. JONES, Jr., Individually and in his capacity as the Director of the Utah State Division of Family Services, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Utah


David S. Dolowitz, Salt Lake City, Utah, for plaintiff.

Frank V. Nelson, Asst. Atty. Gen., Salt Lake City, Utah, for defendants.

Before LEWIS, Chief Judge, RITTER, Chief District Judge, and ANDERSON, District Judge.


LEWIS, Chief Judge.

In this class action we consider the legality under federal law of state regulations that prohibit the Utah Planned Parenthood Association (UPPA) from providing minors with family planning assistance absent parental consent. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 the plaintiff seeks a declaratory order to the effect that these regulations violate her rights under federal statutes and the United States Constitution, and she seeks an injunction against their continued enforcement. A three-judge court was duly empaneled to hear her case. Our jurisdiction, which is not disputed, arises from 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) and (4).

Pursuant to plans approved by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), the State of Utah administers Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Medicaid, both of which programs are subsidized by federal funds and regulated under the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq. Federal law requires states participating in these programs to provide family planning assistance to those program recipients, including sexually active minors, who desire such assistance. 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(15); 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396a(a)(8), 1396d(a)(4)(C). The state contracted with the UPPA for the latter to provide family planning services and supplies to AFDC and Medicaid recipients. Regulations FPX 120, FPC 120, and 3.7(c), which were adopted by the defendant state administrators and approved by HEW as part of the state's AFDC and Medicaid plans, provide that family planning services to minors may be furnished only with written consent of the minor's parents.

At the time this action was filed, the plaintiff was fifteen years old. She is a member of a family receiving AFDC and Medicaid. She has sought family planning information, counseling, services, and supplies from the UPPA, but because she refuses to obtain permission of her parents the UPPA has, pursuant to regulations FPX 120, FPC 120, and 3.7(c), denied her assistance. She therefore challenges the state's regulations on the grounds that they violate her rights to family planning assistance under the Social Security Act and her right of privacy under the fourteenth amendment. In this action plaintiff T____ H____ represents herself and all other minors in the state who receive or who are eligible to receive either AFDC or Medicaid or both, and who seek family planning assistance from the UPPA.

In Doe v. Planned Parenthood Ass'n, 29 Utah 2d 356, 510 P.2d 75, the Utah Supreme Court held that the state's parental consent requirements do not violate the rights of minors under either the ninth amendment or the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. In a summary order and without citation of authority, the United States Supreme Court dismissed Doe's appeal for want of jurisdiction. 414 U.S. 805, 94 S.Ct. 138, 38 L.Ed.2d 42. The defendants in the present action argue that the high court's summary dismissal in Doe v. Planned Parenthood Ass'n forecloses our examination of the issues raised by plaintiff T____ H____. Our reading of Doe, however, leads us to conclude that the Utah court did not rule on the validity of defendants' parental consent regulations with respect to the constitutional right of privacy or the federal statutory restrictions that are the subject of this case. Accordingly the law of the case has not been established by the United States Supreme Court's summary dismissal of the appeal from that case.

We hold first that the state's regulations impermissibly engraft upon AFDC and Medicaid eligibility requirements a condition in conflict with the provisions of the Social Security Act. Second we hold that the state's regulations infringe upon the plaintiff's right to privacy unjustified by any compelling state interest in regulation.


As a preliminary matter, the defendants request the appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the plaintiff T____ H____ in this litigation in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c). The pertinent portion of that Rule is as follows:

The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for an infant or incompetent person not otherwise represented in an action or shall make such other order as it deems proper for the protection of the infant or incompetent person.

Neither the appointment of a guardian ad litem nor a protective order in lieu of such appointment is mandatory so long as we determine that the plaintiff is adequately protected in this litigation without a guardian. Jacobs v. Board of School Comm'rs, 7 Cir., 490 F.2d 601, 604, vacated as moot, 420 U.S. 128, 95 S.Ct. 848, 43 L.Ed.2d 74 (1975); Roberts v. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., 5 Cir., 256 F.2d 35, 39; Rotzenburg v. Neenah Joint School Dist., E.D.Wis., 62 F.R.D. 340. We have considered the following facts in making that determination. First, the plaintiff in this action asserts her own statutory and constitutional rights independent of her parents, who are her guardians under Utah law. Second, the plaintiff does not seek monetary relief but raises statutory and constitutional claims aimed at declaratory and injunctive relief. Third, the plaintiff is represented by able and experienced counsel. These circumstances, we believe, eliminate the need for appointment of a guardian ad litem or other protective order. Jacobs v. Board of School Comm'rs, supra, 490 F.2d at 604; Rotzenburg v. Neenah School Dist., supra. We therefore refuse defendants' request.


States that desire to take advantage of the substantial federal assistance funds from the AFDC and Medicaid programs are required under 42 U.S.C. §§ 601 and 1396 to submit plans for approval of the Secretary of HEW. These plans must conform with the requirements of the Social Security Act and with relevant regulations promulgated by HEW. 42 U.S.C. §§ 602, 1396a; King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118. Although the states have considerable latitude in shaping these assistance programs, they may not depart from pertinent federal statutory and administrative guidelines. Thus the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that state AFDC eligibility standards that exclude persons eligible for assistance under federal AFDC guidelines violate the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(10), and are therefore invalid under the supremacy clause of the Constitution. Carleson v. Remillard, 406 U.S. 598, 92 S.Ct. 1932, 32 L.Ed.2d 352; Townsend v. Swank, 404 U.S. 282, 92 S.Ct. 502, 30 L.Ed.2d 448; King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S.Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118. Most recently the Supreme Court has held in a per curiam opinion that state regulations may not, consistent with this line of cases, engraft upon AFDC eligibility requirements a condition in conflict with 42 U.S.C. § 602(a), which sets forth standards for state AFDC plans. Lascaris v. Shirley, 420 U.S. 730, 95 S.Ct. 1190, 43 L.Ed.2d 583 (1975). Although none of these cases deals directly with the validity of state limitations on the provision of federally-funded family planning services through AFDC or Medicaid, we believe that the principle of review is the same: to the extent that the states impose conditions on the provision of these services in conflict with federal standards, the latter must prevail.

We turn now to the specific federal standards claimed by plaintiff to conflict with the state's regulations FPX 120, FPC 120, and 3.7(c). 42 U.S.C. § 602(a)(15) provides in part that state plans for the administration of AFDC must provide

for the development of a program, for each appropriate relative and dependent child receiving aid under the plan . . . for preventing or reducing the incidence of births out of wedlock and otherwise strengthening family life, and for implementing such program by assuring that in all appropriate cases (including minors who can be considered to be sexually active) family planning services are offered to them and are provided promptly . . . to all individuals voluntarily requesting such services . . ..

We observe two salient features of this provision, which were among the 1972 amendments to Title IV A of the Social Security Act. First, the purpose behind Congress' requiring the states to provide family planning assistance is the prevention of births out of wedlock and, thereby, the strengthening of family ties. Second, the sole expressed precondition to the state's obligation to provide such services to sexually active minors is that such persons voluntarily request family planning assistance. These observations find support in HEW regulations promulgated under Title IV A, as amended. In particular we note that those regulations require participating states to offer and provide family planning services to those individuals wishing such services, specifically including medical contraceptive services (diagnosis, treatment, supplies, and followup) . . .. Such services must be available without regard to marital status, age, or parenthood. Individuals must be assured choice of method and there must be arrangements with varied medical resources so that individuals can be assured choice of source of service. . . . 45 CFR § 220.21. (Emphasis added.)1

The 1972 amendments to the Medicaid provisions of the Social Security Act (Title XIX) similarly appear to limit the state's power to impose conditions upon eligibility for family planning assistance. 42 U.S.C. § 1396a(a)(8) requires participating...

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24 cases
  • v. Matheson
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 23 Marzo 1981
    ...99 S.Ct. 3035, 3046, 61 L.Ed.2d 797 (1979) (Bellotti II ) (POWELL, J.); id., at 653, 99 S.Ct., at 3053 (STEVENS, J.); T. H. v. Jones, 425 F.Supp. 873, 881 (Utah 1975), summarily aff'd on other grounds, 425 U.S. 986, 96 S.Ct. 2195, 48 L.Ed.2d 811 (1976). Indeed, because an unwanted pregnancy......
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    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
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    ...See Jones v. T.H., 425 U.S. 986, 96 S.Ct. 2195, 48 L.Ed.2d 811 (1976), aff'g mem. only on statutory grounds sub nom. T______ H______ v. Jones, 425 F.Supp. 873 (D.Utah 1975). See also Lascaris v. Shirley, 420 U.S. 730, 95 S.Ct. 1190, 43 L.Ed.2d 583 (1975); Carleson v. Remillard, 406 U.S. 598......
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    ...health care providers from giving minors federally-funded family planning assistance absent parental consent. See T.H. v. Jones, 425 F.Supp. 873, 875-76 (D.Utah 1975). The court held the Utah regulation conflicted with federal law because "[t]he state's regulations impermissibly engraft upo......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The condom controversy in the public schools: respecting a minor's right of privacy.
    • United States
    • University of Pennsylvania Law Review Vol. 145 No. 1, November 1996
    • 1 Noviembre 1996
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