10th Circuit Court to Hear Cases at Law School

08-2146 NM Hatten-Gonzales v. Hyde, Appellant

Reproduced below are excerpts from each brief that summarize the issues.

NM Hatten-Gonzales v. Hyde, Appellant - APPELLANT’S OPENING BRIEF

This civil rights action was brought in 1988 against the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD), alleging that a variety of systemic problems in the applications process for food stamps and Medicaid benefits effectively violated Plaintiffs’ federal rights. In 1990, the parties submitted to the District Court a proposed settlement agreement that settled all of Plaintiffs’ claims without any admission of liability by HSD. Under the settlement agreement, HSD agreed to implement certain reforms to its application processing procedures, and Plaintiffs were allowed to review a limited number of HSD application files, subject to delineated procedures and timelines. On August 29, 1990, the District Court approved the settlement agreement, which governed the relationship among the parties and class members. The settlement agreement was subsequently amended twice at the parties’ request in 1992 and 1998. The controlling version of the settlement agreement is reflected in the latter Order Modifying Settlement Agreement, filed August 27, 1998.

NM Hatten-Gonzales v. Hyde, Appellant -

This is an appeal from the June 4, 2008 interlocutory order of the district court, enforcing its unstayed consent decree during the pendency of a previous appeal to this court. The department’s previous appeal, No. 08-2009, was taken from the December 17, 2007, interlocutory order of the district court refusing to dissolve the longstanding decree in this matter and to dismiss this case.

NM Hatten-Gonzales v. Hyde, Appellant - APPELLANT REPLY BRIEF

The argument is as follows: Plaintiffs have not shows that jurisdiction exists for the District Court's 2008 order; Even if rule 62(c) applies, the District Court exceeded its limited authority to maintain the status quo of the case.