This case challenges the New York City’s and New York State’s failure to provide adequate services to developmentally disabled children in the foster care system. On May 1, 2008, the Appellate Division, First Department, upheld a State Supreme Court judge’s ruling granting class action certification and denying defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment. The decision on class certification was appealed to the New York Court of Appeals.
The NYCLU, along with 15 other national and local civil rights advocacy groups, filed an amicus brief urging the Court of Appeals to affirm class certification. The brief argued that class action is an indispensable judicial device because it is the most efficient, economic and effective means to address government violations resulting from systemic failures. On May 16, 2010, the Court of Appeals upheld the Appellate Division’s ruling. This decision provides support for litigants seeking to use the class action mechanism to enforce civil and constitutional rights.
State Court of Appeals, Index No. 400207-04 (amicus)