Hawkins v. Berlin

Beginning in 1989, Petitioner received public assistance from New York City Department of Social Services. Petitioner gave birth to a son, Michael, the next year. Michael was added to Petitioner’s public assistance case, and Petitioner assigned her right to child support for Michael. In January 2007, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determined that Michael was eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), retroactive to September 2005. Because Michael’s eligibility for SSI made him ineligible for public assistance, the City removed him from Petitioner’s case in January 2007 but continued to collect child support arrears that had accrued prior to January 2007. In 2011, Petitioner requested a review from the City to determine whether she was owed any excess child support payments. The City determined that it owed no payments because it had not collected sufficient child support arrears to exceed the public assistance provided to Petitioner’s household. The State confirmed the City’s determination. Petitioner then commenced this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding challenging Respondents’ determinations as arbitrary, capricious and erroneous as a matter of law. Supreme Court denied the petition, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the grounds that the City had not yet collected child support arrears that exceeded the unreimbursed benefits Petitioner’s family received. View "Hawkins v. Berlin" on Justia Law