252 A.D.2d 461 (1998)

676 N.Y.S.2d 151

Yvonne McCain et al., Appellants, v. Rudolph W. Giuliani, as Mayor of The City of New York, et al., Respondents In the Matter of Maria Lamboy, Appellants, v. Marva L. Hammons, as Human Resources Administrator of The City of New York, et al., Respondents Karen Slade et al., Appellants, v. Rudolph W. Giuliani, as Mayor of The City of New York, et al., Respondents

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department.

July 30, 1998

In 1996, the New York State Department of Social Services (State DSS) promulgated 18 NYCRR 352.35, establishing for the first time eligibility requirements and standards for the provision of temporary shelter and other assistance. The regulation mandated, inter alia, that applicants for temporary shelter cooperate with the agency's assessment of their needs and with the development of an independent living plan. The regulation further provided that applicants who failed to cooperate with and complete the needs assessment would have their applications denied (18 NYCRR 352.35 [c] [1]). Similarly, unreasonable failure by a recipient on two or more occasions to comply with the agency's independent living plan would result in discontinuance of temporary housing "until the failure ceases, or for 30 days, whichever period of time is longer" (18 NYCRR 352.35 [c] [2]).

Contrary to plaintiffs' contentions, the promulgation of 18 NYCRR 352.35, conditioning an applicant's entitlement to temporary housing benefits upon the applicant's satisfaction of the above-described requirements, was a proper exercise of State DSS's rulemaking authority pursuant to Social Services Law § 20 (3) (d) and § 34 (3) (f). Those requirements are rationally related to the agency's legitimate rulemaking objective of assuring that temporary housing resources are not squandered on those having no real need of them and to the related, equally legitimate objective of attempting to reduce prospective reliance upon temporary housing provided at public expense. We note that the regulation's sanction is to be invoked only when an individual makes no attempt to comply with the regulation's requirements, not for an inability to comply with those requirements, and that, pursuant to the regulation, aid is to continue pending a fair hearing determination, even after an individual's receipt of a termination notice, so long as he or she asks for a fair hearing.

While imposition of the regulatory sanction may in some cases entail harsh consequences, we are presently determining only the regulation's facial validity, and in that context it is appropriate to observe that "it is not the function of [the] court to sit in review of legislative policy and the rationally based implementation thereof by an administrative agency, so long as no constitutional or statutory mandate is violated" (Matter of Barie v Lavine, 40 N.Y.2d 565, 569; see also, Matter of Rodriguez v Perales, 86 N.Y.2d 361, 367; Goodwin v Perales, 88 N.Y.2d 383). Since the regulation does not on its face permit the arbitrary, outright denial of temporary shelter, the regulation does not violate article XVII (§ 1) of the New York State Constitution or our prior rulings in McCain v Koch (117 A.D.2d 198, revd in part 70 N.Y.2d 109), McCain v Dinkins (192 A.D.2d 217, mod 84 N.Y.2d 216), Cosentino v Perales (153 A.D.2d 812, lv dismissed 75 N.Y.2d 808), and McCain v Giuliani (236 A.D.2d 256).

We have considered plaintiffs' remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.


1000 Characters Remaining reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

User Comments

Listed below are the cases that are cited in this Featured Case. Click the citation to see the full text of the cited case. Citations are also linked in the body of the Featured Case.

Cited Cases

  • No Cases Found

Listed below are those cases in which this Featured Case is cited. Click on the case name to see the full text of the citing case.

Citing Cases