Administrative Law Keyed to Lawson
Goldberg v. Kelly
This case was brought by residents of New York City who received financial aid under the federally assisted program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or under New York State’s Home Relief Program. Their complaint alleged that City officials administering these programs terminated such aid without prior notice and hearing, denying them due process of law. After the suit was filed, the City adopted procedures for notice and hearing, which the plaintiff-appellees then challenged as constitutionally inadequate. The procedure allowed the recipient to challenge the proposed termination of benefits within seven days and submit a written statement for the reviewing official to make a final determination. Appellees’ challenged the procedures’ lack of an opportunity to personally appear before the reviewing officer for oral testimony and cross-examination of adverse witnesses. The procedure did allow for a post-termination “fair hearing,” however. The District Court held that only a pre-termination hearing would satisfy the constitutional due process requirement.
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