Tucker v. Toia

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Writing for the CourtBefore MOULE; GOLDMAN; MOULE
PartiesAngela TUCKER et al., Respondents, v. Philip L. TOIA, Individually and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, Appellant.
Decision Date12 November 1976

Page 475

388 N.Y.S.2d 475
54 A.D.2d 322
Angela TUCKER et al., Respondents,
v.
Philip L. TOIA, Individually and as Commissioner of the New
York State Department of Social Services, Appellant.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department.
Nov. 12, 1976.

Page 476

Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen., Albany, for appellant (William Goldman, Auburn, of counsel).

Monroe County Legal Assistance Corp., Rochester, for respondents (Wade Eaton, Rochester, of counsel).

Community Action for Legal Services, Inc., New York City, Brooklyn Legal Services Corp., Brooklyn, amici curiae (Cynthia Mann, Brooklyn, of counsel).

Community Service Society of New York, New York City, Community Council for Greater New York, New York City, amici curiae (William Haley, of counsel).

Before MOULE, J.P., and SIMONS, DILLON, GOLDMAN and WITMER, JJ.

GOLDMAN, Justice:

Defendant Philip L. Toia, individually and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, appeals from an order granting plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining defendant Toia, pending a final resolution of the merits of this action, from implementing or directing or permitting the implementation of section 15 of Chapter 76 of the Laws of 1976.

On March 30, 1976, Chapter 76 of the Laws of 1976 was approved. By section 15 it amended Social Services Law section 158(a) to read:

'(a) Any person unable to provide for himself, or who is unable to secure support from a legally responsible relative, who is not receiving needed assistance or care under other provisions of this chapter, or from other sources, shall be eligible for home relief; Provided, however that no person under the age of twenty-one years except a married person living with their spouse, living apart from a legally responsible relative shall be eligible for home relief unless a proceeding has been brought by or on behalf of such person to compel such legally responsible relative to provide for or contribute to such person's support and until an order of disposition has been entered in such proceeding.' (New matter in italics.)

Although this amendment was to be effective forty-five days after its enactment, a temporary restraining order staying implementation of the statute was issued in connection with an action challenging the amendment's validity under the federal Constitution brought in federal district court for the southern district of New York. On September 13, 1976 a three-judge district court rendered a decision upholding section 15 under the federal Constitution and ordered the temporary restraining order vacated (Rasmussen v. Toia, 420 F.Supp. 757 (three-judge Ct., S.D.N.Y., decided September 13, 1976)).

Subsequently, defendant Toia attempted to implement the provisions of section 15 by means of an administrative letter dated October 19, 1976, providing for the discontinuance of home relief aid to all persons rendered ineligible by section 15, the cut-off date to be November 8, 1976.

On October 26, 1976 the plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, alleging that their home relief benefits were about to be terminated by the implementation of this amendment, instituted this action for a declaratory judgment declaring section 15 to be unconstitutional

Page 477

under the New York State Constitution. Because of the time constraints faced by plaintiffs on account of the threatened November 8 shut-off of benefits, plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction against further implementation of the amendment pending a final resolution of the merits was scheduled for October 29, 1976. At that hearing, Special Term orally determined that section 15 was unconstitutional, but the order entered upon this decision limited plaintiffs' preliminary relief to an injunction of defendant Toia, 'pending a final resolution of the merits of the action, from implementing or directing or permitting the implementation of § 15'.

Defendant Toia immediately appealed this order and thereby automatically stayed the enforcement of the preliminary injunction (CPLR 5519, subd. (a), par. (1)). Thereupon, plaintiffs appeared before a member of this court and obtained an order directing defendant Toia to show cause why an...

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77 practice notes
  • Time Square Books, Inc. v. City of Rochester
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 12, 1996
    ...made a prima facie showing of their right to relief sufficient to warrant the issuance of a preliminary injunction (see, Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 326, 388 N.Y.S.2d Under the State Constitution, like the Federal Constitution, government regulation of speech that is aimed at the message......
  • Doe v. Axelrod
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • April 28, 1988
    ...discretion by granting plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction ( New York Life Ins. Co. v Pink, supra, p 613). ( Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 326, 388 N.Y.S.2d We agree, however, with the procedural conclusion of the dissent that the nisi prius court erred in converting these acti......
  • Tucker v. Toia
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • January 4, 1977
    ...sought was granted on October 29, 1976, in an order which was affirmed by the Appellate Division on November 12, 1976. Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 388 N.Y.S.2d 475. 2 The Appellate Division also denied defendant Toia's request for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals on the preli......
  • Niagara Recycling, Inc. v. Town of Niagara
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 13, 1981
    ...69 A.D.2d 297, 306, 418 N.Y.S.2d 818; Town of Porter v. Chem-Trol Pollution Servs., 60 A.D.2d 987, 988, 401 N.Y.S.2d 646; Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 324, 388 N.Y.S.2d 475). We are mindful of the rules that in reviewing an order denying a motion for preliminary injunction, we should not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
77 cases
  • Time Square Books, Inc. v. City of Rochester
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 12, 1996
    ...made a prima facie showing of their right to relief sufficient to warrant the issuance of a preliminary injunction (see, Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 326, 388 N.Y.S.2d Under the State Constitution, like the Federal Constitution, government regulation of speech that is aimed at the message......
  • Doe v. Axelrod
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • April 28, 1988
    ...discretion by granting plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction ( New York Life Ins. Co. v Pink, supra, p 613). ( Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 326, 388 N.Y.S.2d We agree, however, with the procedural conclusion of the dissent that the nisi prius court erred in converting these acti......
  • Tucker v. Toia
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • January 4, 1977
    ...sought was granted on October 29, 1976, in an order which was affirmed by the Appellate Division on November 12, 1976. Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 388 N.Y.S.2d 475. 2 The Appellate Division also denied defendant Toia's request for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals on the preli......
  • Niagara Recycling, Inc. v. Town of Niagara
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • November 13, 1981
    ...69 A.D.2d 297, 306, 418 N.Y.S.2d 818; Town of Porter v. Chem-Trol Pollution Servs., 60 A.D.2d 987, 988, 401 N.Y.S.2d 646; Tucker v. Toia, 54 A.D.2d 322, 324, 388 N.Y.S.2d 475). We are mindful of the rules that in reviewing an order denying a motion for preliminary injunction, we should not ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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