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Case Name D.B. v. Richter CW-NY-0010
Docket / Court 402759/2011 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
Because this is a state case, we do not have access to all the links and documents. We are getting complaint information from various online articles and the ... read more >
Because this is a state case, we do not have access to all the links and documents. We are getting complaint information from various online articles and the stipulation and order of settlement.

On October 17, 2011, youth in New York foster care represented by the Legal Aid Society, Lawyers For Children, and private attorneys filed this class-action lawsuit against the City of New York and the New York Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in the New York State Court. The plaintiffs alleged denial of adequate services and lack of supervision from the ACS post-discharge unit, which resulted in youth homelessness. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that ACS failed to assist youth in identifying and securing adequate post-foster care housing, discharged youth from foster care into unsuitable conditions, and failed to supervise former foster care youth until their twenty-first birthdays. According to the plaintiffs, the Defendants’ lack of adequate assistance was in violation of New York State law and Social Services Law with respect to its permanency planning goal aimed to assist foster youth in their transition to self-sufficiency upon discharge. This case was assigned to Judge Geoffrey Wright.

On April 19, 2016, the parties entered into a settlement in which the ACS was required to implement policies and programs for youth leaving foster care. The ACS was required to assign caseworkers to youth in care, provide housing assistance, and provide ongoing monitoring and access to services until the youth reached 21 years old.

The settlement was approved by Judge Wright in 2012. The settlement prompted the ACS to establish the ACS housing unit to support caseworkers and youth, as well as programs to promote independent life skills and meaningful community connections prior to discharge. However, the D.B. settlement alone was regarded as insufficient to address various problems faced by youth by the Columbia Adolescent Representation Clinic because the programs under the settlement were limited in youth engagement and depended heavily on caseworkers facing high turnover rates.

The case is now closed.

Averyn Lee - 06/07/2019

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Foster care (benefits, training)
Housing assistance
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) New York Administration for Children’s Services
New York
Plaintiff Description Youth in and/or discharged from New York foster care struggling with inadequate housing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 10/17/2011
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
Date: Summer 2009
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School Faculty)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
State Supreme Court
Stipulation and Order of Settlement
CW-NY-0010-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Banks, Steven (New York) show/hide docs
Benkard, James W.B (New York) show/hide docs
Freedman, Karen J. (New York) show/hide docs
Freeman, Lisa (New York) show/hide docs
Gutheil, Karen Fisher (New York) show/hide docs
Kataria, Priti (New York) show/hide docs
Katz, Sharon (New York) show/hide docs
Kramer, Betsy (New York) show/hide docs
Luftglass, Scott B. (New York) show/hide docs
Pitluck, David C. (New York) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Cardozo, Michael A. (New York) show/hide docs

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