by Gene Doyle, LMSW
In a May 1, 1991 memorandum to ALJs, Acting Deputy Counsel for Fair Hearings, Russell J. Hanks, set forth the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) policy with respect to social services districts' failures to comply with 18 NYCRR Part 358. Under the heading, "Other Concerns" (at p. 4), Mr. Hanks stated that:
"For a social services district that routinely fails to meet regulatory requirements, a directive in similar cases (18 NYCRR Section 358-6.3) should be issued requiring the district to review other cases for conformity with the principles and findings in the decision."
On May 29, 1991, Local Commissioners Memorandum 91 LCM-100 was issued to address "Compliance with Fair Hearing Decisions; Directives in similar cases." With regard to the duty of local social services districts under of 18 NYCRR § 358-6.5 to comply with directives in similar cases, 91 LCM-100 instructed (at p. 2):
"This Department's regulations also provide that when a decision contains a direction to a social services district to correct a misapplication of law, Department regulation or State-approved local policy in all cases similar to the one in which the decision has been issued, the district must report the actions taken to comply with the direction within thirty days after receipt of the decision. A report on these compliance actions is required in each case in which a direction in similar cases is made, and should be transmitted to the appropriate program division of this Department. A report of such actions is required whether or not a compliance complaint is received from an individual appellant."
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