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YOUAKIM v. MILLER

February 28, 1974

MARCEL YOUAKIM ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JEROME MILLER INDIVIDUALLY AND AS DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS.



Before Stevens, Circuit Judge, and Marovitz and Tone, District Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Tone, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

This suit was commenced as a class action to enjoin the operation of the Illinois foster home program. Under that program foster parents who provide homes for children unrelated to them receive monthly foster care payments from the Department of Children and Family Services, but foster parents who provide homes for children related to them do not receive such payments. Because plaintiffs seek to enjoin the operation of a state statute, a three-judge court was convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2281, 2284. Defendants have now moved to strike and dismiss.

The Illinois statutory scheme allocates federally subsidized payments to foster parents who care for children who are wards of the state. Section 5 of the Department of Children and Family Services Act, Ill.Rev.Stat., 1971, Ch. 23, § 5005, empowers the Department ("CFS") and its Director to

  (a) establish rules and regulations concerning foster
    care;
  (b) accept for care and placement in foster homes
    children adjudicated wards of the state; and
  (c) make payments for the board, clothing, care,
    training and supervision of children placed in
    licensed foster homes.

Plaintiffs are Marcel and Linda Youakim, husband and wife; Timothy and Mary Lou Robertson, the minor brother and sister of Linda Youakim who have been living with their foster parents the Youakims since 1972; and Larry and Sherry Robertson, the minor brother and sister of Linda Youakim who have been living in foster care facilities operated by persons unrelated to them since 1969. The Youakims allege that because they do not receive the full foster care payments, they suffer severe financial hardship in caring for Timothy and Mary Lou, and are financially unable to take in Larry and Sherry. On behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated, plaintiffs assert that the distinction between related and unrelated foster parents for the purpose of determining eligibility for foster care benefits denies them equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, and they ask that defendants, the Illinois Department of Family Services and its director, be enjoined from enforcing, applying or executing this program.

Pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defendants have moved to strike and dismiss the complaint, asserting, in addition to an abstention ground which we do not reach, that

  (1) the Court does not have jurisdiction over the
    subject matter;
  (2) the action should not be maintained as a class
    action; and
  (3) plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon
    which relief may be granted.

Both sides having filed affidavits asserting facts outside the pleadings, we treat the motion as one for summary judgment, as we are authorized to ...


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