NCLEJ and Empire Justice Center Achieve Settlement Ending Lengthy Delays in Processing of Food Stamp and Medicaid Applications in Long Island, New York
NCLEJ and the Empire Justice Center have achieved a settlement in a United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York case challenging Suffolk County’s unlawful practice of delaying food stamp and Medicaid applications. Under the terms of the settlement in Maryann C. v. DeMarzo, approved by the Court on June 8, 2009, Suffolk County must abide by federal and state deadlines for processing food stamp and Medicaid applications. Additionally, Suffolk County must provide certain information and services to individuals in immediate need. Finally, counsel for individuals experiencing food stamp and Medicaid application delays are able to use an out-of-court relief mechanism to resolve their application delays.
The Court will retain jurisdiction over the case for three years, with a process for extending jurisdiction if defendants fail to comply with the terms of the settlement. Compliance with the timeliness requirements will be monitored through regular reports to plaintiffs’ counsel and sampling of case files.
The case was brought under the Food Stamp Act and its implementing regulations and the Medicaid Act and its implementing regulations. On April 13, 2009, the Court certified the class and appointed NCLEJ and the Empire Justice Center as class counsel.
For further information contact Marc Cohan (cohan(at)nclej.org), Tedde Tasheff (tasheff(at)nclej.org), or Laura Redman (redman(at)nclej.org). Co-counsel are Linda Hassberg (lhassberg(at)empirejustice.org) and Bryan Hetherington (bhetherington(at)empirejustice.org) of the Empire Justice Center in Central Islip, New York, and Rochester, New York respectively.
Update: Contempt Motion Filed February 2012
Groups Push Suffolk on Services (Newsday, February 15, 2012) (pdf)
- Contempt Order Sought Against Suffolk County for Failure to Provide County’s Neediest with Food and Medical Assistance (press release, February 2012) (pdf)