4 Clearinghouse Rev. 1 (1970-1971)

handle is hein.journals/clear4 and id is 1 raw text is: NATIONAL INSTITUTE for EDUCATION in LAW and POVERTY
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Vol. 4, No. 1

May 1970

Suggested Attacks on The NOLEO Requirement-Part I
by Laurens H. Silver, Director, National Legal Program on Health Problems of the Poor, U.C.L.A. School of Law, and
MaryAnn Efroymson, Third year student, The National Law Center, George Washington University
[Editor's Note: This is part one of a two-part article attacking the NOLEO provision of the AFDC program. The first part
deals with statutory challenges to NOLEO based upon the Social Security Act and the proposed Family Assistance Act of
1970. The second part, to appear in the June issue of the Clearinghouse Review, will consider the constitutional challenges to
NOLEO and the argument that NOLEO violates state laws prohibiting a mother from testifying in proceedings which may
bastardize her child.]
I.  Introduction
When a mother applies for or receives Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), she may be required, as a
condition of initial or continuing eligibility, to identify and give information about the father of her children if he has
deserted or abandoned the family. This requirement, known as NOLEO (Notice to Law Enforcement Officials), varies in its
specific content from state to state. In some places, a mother, in addition to identifying the father, must file a claim for
support against him, or initiate a paternity action if he is not her husband and has not acknowledged his paternity of her

children. Through such requirements, the state seeks to
correspondingly reduce the family's AFDC grant.
Thus, in the District of Columbia, the welfare regula-
tions require as a condition of initial or continuing
eligibility that, when a husband or parent fails to support,
an applicant or recipient must take appropriate action in a
court of the proper jurisdiction ....  (D.C. Handbook of
Public Assistance, vol. 2, RS 6.4, I.A). Before an applica-
tion will be approved for assistance to children in need
because of the absence of a parent, the applicant is required
to give facts to verify the deprivation of parental support,
provide information about the departure and identity of
the absent parent, and exhaust all resources to locate him
and obtain support. (EL 4.4). If the absent parent does not
enter a voluntary agreement to support, the applicant must
take court action. (RS 6.4, IV B). A mother's failure to
cooperate under these provisions with respect to the father
of any one of her children will result in the denial or
termination of assistance to her entire family.1
(continued on page 13)
1.  See, Doe v. District of Columbia Dep't of Public Welfare, No.
5182, D.C. Court of Appeals, Jan. 30, 1970, in which AFDC
assistance was terminated to Clara Doe and her two eldest children
as a result of her refusal to identify the father of her youngest child.
The decision of the welfare department to terminate the family's
assistance was appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals under the
District's Administrative Procedure Act, and the court stayed the
agency decision pending the outcome of the appeal. The case
challenges the statutory and constitutional validity of the District's
NOLEO eligibility requirement.
A similar case is now pending in Washington, challenging that
state's NOLEO eligibility requirement underwhich assistance is
terminated to the entire family if a mother fails to identify the
father of any one of her children. Doe v. Smith, No. 721263, Super.
Ct. for King County Washington, prelim. injunction entered, April
14, 1970.
In California, a suit has been filed challenging section 11477 of
the state's Welfare and Institutions Code, underwhich AFDC
assistance was terminated to plaintiff and her three minor children

obtain support payments from the absent father, and to
The Case for the Immediate Environment-Part I
by Daniel Win. Fessler, Fellow in Urban Legal Studies,
Harvard University, and Lucy S. Forrester, Ford Fellow in
Clinical Legal Education, Harvard University.
[Editor's Note: This is part one of a two-part article on
municipal services. Part one discusses the constitutional
theory for service equalization suits and the outcome of the
initial litigation efforts in this area. Part two, which will
appear in the June issue of the Clearinghouse Review, deals
with the common law basis for such litigation.]
To equalize the immediate environment-to secure
relief for those of our fellow citizens consigned by
economic and social circumstances to dwell on the wrong
side of the tracks in every city and town of our most
prosperous nation-has become a recent topic of concern
within the ranks of Legal Services and allied attorneys. The
results of the initial litigation efforts are now substantially
in, and thus we are presented with a timely opportunity
to re-examine our strategies and direction. It will be the
purpose of this brief comment to review the extant
theoretical approaches, the    pending   and  concluded
litigation, and recent developments in analogous areas of
substantive law. At the outset, we admit of a bias in favor
of common law approaches put forth within the context of
litigation in local, i.e. non-federal forums.
All agree on the end to be achieved: a meaningful
measure of equality in the qualitative and quantitative
distribution of existing municipal services.1 Typical of such
services, though by no means an exhaustive list, are the
1.  Our emphasis is on the word equality, and thus we do not
propose to discuss the discrete topic of how one might compel a
municipal corporation to undertake the provision of a service which
it currently renders to no one within the municipal entity.

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