Case: Jiggets v. Dowling

87-40582 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: 1987

Clearinghouse coding in progress

Case Summary

Note: This action challenges the adequacy of the shelter allowance schedule for families with children in New York City. Claims are asserted under § 350(1)(a) of the New York Social Services Law and Article XVII of the New York State Constitution.Background: In a landmark decision in 1990, the Court of Appeals held that the public assistance "shelter allowance" for families with minor children in New York City must bear a reasonable relation to the actual cost of housing. Jiggetts v. Grinker, …

Note: This action challenges the adequacy of the shelter allowance schedule for families with children in New York City. Claims are asserted under § 350(1)(a) of the New York Social Services Law and Article XVII of the New York State Constitution.

Background: In a landmark decision in 1990, the Court of Appeals held that the public assistance "shelter allowance" for families with minor children in New York City must bear a reasonable relation to the actual cost of housing. Jiggetts v. Grinker, 75 N.Y.2d 411, 554 N.Y.S.2d 92 (1990). After a lengthy trial, the Supreme Court held that the shelter allowance did not bear a reasonable relation to the cost of housing in New York City and forces families into homelessness. The final judgment requires the State to operate an interim relief system for families facing eviction because of the inadequacy of the shelter allowance "until such time as a lawful shelter allowance is implemented." The Appellate Division affirmed the judgment in all respects. Jiggetts v. Dowling, 261 A.D.2d 144, 689 N.Y.S.2d 482 (1st Dep't 1999), app. dismissed, 94 N.Y.2d 796, 700 N.Y.S.2d 428 (1999).

In response to a motion by plaintiffs to enforce the judgment, the State increased shelter allowances throughout the State on November 1, 2003. The shelter allowance in New York City now ranges from $283 for a household of two to $501 for a household of five. The State regulation that increased the shelter allowance permits local service districts to grant shelter allowance supplements while court cases (like Jiggetts) challenging the adequacy of the allowances are pending. In December 2004, the State approved such a plan for New York City. Known as the Family Eviction Prevention Supplement ("FEPS"), the plan authorizes rental supplements for families with minor children in New York City ranging from $750 for a household of two to $1,000 for a household of five. The FEPS plan became effective in New York City in May 2005. Despite many conditions and limitations on eligibility for FEPS regarding sanctions, rent arrears, restriction on the "Food and Other" grant, and other issues, the State approved over 13,200 FEPS applications between May 2005 and March 2007.

Current Status:The plaintiffs filed a motion challenging the shelter allowance levels that became effective on November 1, 2003, as well as the adequacy of the FEPS levels. On December 21, 2007, the trial court found that the FEPS rent supplement schedule complies with § 350 because the supplements are adequate to meet the needs of 93% of all affected households. The court reached no decision about the legality of restrictions on the FEPS program, which it considered "not ripe" for determination.

In a related matter, the trial court held that all families with minor children - including those who reach the 60-month time limit on federally funded welfare assistance - are entitled to adequate shelter allowances. On July 21, 2005, over two dissents, the Appellate Division reversed that order on the ground that this issue should be resolved in a separate action. The plaintiffs filed such an action (Brownley v. Doar) on August 11, 2005. (For further information, see Brownley v. Doar).

People


Judge(s)

Mazzarelli, Angela M (New York)

Moskowitz, Karla (New York)

Rosenberger, Ernst H. (New York)

Ross, David Bennet (New York)

Simons, Richard D (New York)

Smith, George Bundy (New York)

Sullivan, Joseph P. (New York)

Tom, Peter (New York)

Wallach, Richard W. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Asher, Rachel (New York)

Judge(s)

Mazzarelli, Angela M (New York)

Moskowitz, Karla (New York)

Rosenberger, Ernst H. (New York)

Ross, David Bennet (New York)

Simons, Richard D (New York)

Smith, George Bundy (New York)

Sullivan, Joseph P. (New York)

Tom, Peter (New York)

Wallach, Richard W. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Asher, Rachel (New York)

Bahn, Susan C (New York)

Barnett, Helaine (New York)

Booth, Jane E. (New York)

Crawford, Amy (New York)

Diller, Matthew (New York)

Finkel, Kalman (New York)

Gould, Maxwell (New York)

Green, Marshall (New York)

Lamb, Christopher D. (New York)

Marcus, Jane (New York)

Masters, Kathleen A. (New York)

Rosenberg, Scott Alan (New York)

Ruffo, Marie-Elena (New York)

Scharf, Rebecca L. (New York)

Zulack, Mary (New York)

Other Attorney(s)

Cartagena, Juan (New York)

Moreland, Thomas H (New York)

Shea, Stephen P (New York)

Trachtman, Jeffery S (New York)

Traylor, Shirley (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Kramer, Judith T. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Class Action Certification and Preliminary Injunction

Jiggetts v. Grinker

528 N.Y.S.2d 462

Jan. 12, 1988 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Jiggetts v. Grinker

New York state appellate court

543 N.Y.S.2d 414

June 15, 1989 Order/Opinion

Brief for the Plaintiffs-Appellants

Jiggetts v. Perales

New York state supreme court

Dec. 27, 1989 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Brief of Amici Curiae

Jiggetts v. Perales

New York state supreme court

Dec. 28, 1989 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion of the Court

Jiggetts v. Grinker

New York state appellate court

554 N.Y.S.2d 92

April 3, 1990 Order/Opinion

Plaintiffs' Proposed Findings of Fact

Jiggetts v. Dowling

Nov. 4, 1991 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Plaintiffs' Most-Trial Memorandum of Law

Jiggetts v. Perales

New York state supreme court

Nov. 4, 1991 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Plaintiffs' Post-Trial Reply Memo of Law

Jiggetts v. Dowling

Jan. 3, 1992 Pleading / Motion / Brief

What You Should Know about Jiggetts: A Guide for Residents of the Bronx

Jiggetts v. Dowling

No Court

Sept. 1, 1993 Press Release

Memorandum Decision

Jiggetts v. Perales

New York state appellate court

609 N.Y.S.2d 222

March 29, 1994 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1987