Shakhnes Second Circuit Decision


Yesterday, the Second Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the permanent injunction that had been entered by the lower court in Shakhnes ex rel. Shakhnes v Eggleston, 740 F.Supp.2d 602 (S.D.N.Y. 2010):

The lower court had granted partial summary judgment in the form of declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of a class consisting of  all New York City applicants for, and recipients of, Medicaid-funded home health services, who have requested or will request Fair Hearings challenging adverse actions regarding their home health services, and who are not challenging any decision regarding Medicaid eligibility, and who do not receive final administrative action from Defendants within ninety days of their requests for fair hearings. “Home health services” include home personal care, long term home health, and certified home health aide services.

Shakhnes, 740 F.Supp.2d at 637.

The Court of Appeals affirmed in part the Order of the District Court, because we conclude that Plaintiffs have a right to a Medicaid hearing and decision ordinarily within 90 days of their fair hearing requests, and that such right is enforceable under [42 U.S.C. § 1983. But we also conclude that the District Court’s permanent injunction is overbroad because “final administrative action” refers not to the implementation of relief ordered in fair hearing decisions, but to the holding of fair hearings and to the issuance of fair hearing decisions. Accordingly, we VACATE in part the Order of the District Court, and we REMAND the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Slip Opinion at 3.

The Second Circuit decision clarifies § 1983 jurisprudence by providing important rubrics for enforcing statutory rights that are further defined or fleshed out by federal regulations. Id. at pp. 4-14.

Gene Doyle

 Posted by at 8:58 am