Case: Hanson v. McMahon

86-21106 | California state trial court

Filed Date: May 12, 1986

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 12, 1986, a class of children and parents in immediate need of emergency shelter services and other child welfare services filed a lawsuit under the California Welfare and Institutions Code §16500 et seq. and the U.S. and California Constitutions against the California State Department of Social Services (DSS) in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County. The plaintiff, represented by legal services attorneys, sought a writ of mandate and injunctive and declaratory relief, c…

On May 12, 1986, a class of children and parents in immediate need of emergency shelter services and other child welfare services filed a lawsuit under the California Welfare and Institutions Code §16500 et seq. and the U.S. and California Constitutions against the California State Department of Social Services (DSS) in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County. The plaintiff, represented by legal services attorneys, sought a writ of mandate and injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming that the state was violating state law by failing to provide emergency shelter to families and only providing emergency shelter to children who had been removed from their families. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that although DSS did provide emergency shelter services, those services excluded homeless families. DSS policy was to remove children who were abused or neglected by their parents, where "neglected" was defined to include a parent's failure to provide a child with 'adequate shelter.' Rather than assisting the family, then, DSS policy was to remove the child from the family and place the child in emergency shelter and then foster care. As a result, homeless families, and particularly homeless children, were adversely affected by DSS's policies.

On May 12, 1986, the court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting DSS from denying the provision of emergency shelter services so as to exclude homeless children, even if they remained with their parents or caretakers. DSS sought appellate review only of whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding there to be a strong likelihood of success on the merits of the petitioners' claims. (Appellate Opinion at 4)

On July 1, 1987, the California Court of Appeals in the Second Appellate District, Division Six, issued an opinion addressing this and several other consolidated cases against DSS. The Court (Justice Abbe) held that the order enjoining DSS from defining emergency shelter care so as to exclude homeless children was consistent with the Legislature's expressed intent to meet the housing needs of low-income families. The court affirmed the preliminary injunction order. 193 Cal.App. 3d 283

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Daligga (5/31/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Abbe, Richard W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Arnold, Elizabeth (California)

Barnes, Edward (California)

Bird, Melinda R. (California)

Blasi, Gary L. (California)

Bodaken, Michael I. (California)

Dahn, Tamara (California)

Damien, Carole (California)

Dorman, Deborah (California)

Evans, Anita (California)

Judge(s)

Abbe, Richard W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Arnold, Elizabeth (California)

Barnes, Edward (California)

Bird, Melinda R. (California)

Blasi, Gary L. (California)

Bodaken, Michael I. (California)

Dahn, Tamara (California)

Damien, Carole (California)

Dorman, Deborah (California)

Evans, Anita (California)

Fearn, Colleen Fahey (California)

Gross, Byron J. (California)

Harter, Joel (California)

Iwasaki, Bruce (California)

Lassen, Abby (California)

Mariajimenez, Yvonne (California)

Meiss, Katherine E. (California)

Mintie, Nancy (California)

Nagler, Patricia L. (California)

Newman, Robert D. Jr. (California)

Pulliam, Thomas (California)

Rothschild, Richard (California)

Tye, Kirk Ah (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writ of Mandate

Hansen v. McMahon

May 12, 1986 Complaint

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Hansen v. McMahon

May 12, 1986 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Appellate Opinion

Hansen v. McMahon

California state appellate court

193 Cal.App. 3d 283

July 1, 1987 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 12, 1986

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Class of needy children and their families who are homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness and who are in need of emergency shelter or other child welfare services.

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

California State Department of Social Services, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Confession of Judgment