Skip to Main Content
Printer Friendly

The Law in Action: Watch the Carver v. State Arguments Live on September 16th!

September 11, 2015

Next week, on Wednesday September 16th at 2 p.m., Senior Attorney Susan Antos of Empire Justice Center will appear before the highest court in the state- the Court of Appeals - to argue Carver v. the State of New York - an important case dealing with fairness for people who are required to work as a condition of receiving public assistance.

Court House 2
Most people don’t know that public assistance is a “debt” and the government can recover it under certain provisions of the law.  The case is about whether Mr. Carver's public assistance "debt" should be reduced to reflect the value, at the minimum wage, of his work.

When Mr. Carver won the lottery, 7 years after he stopped receiving public assistance, the state took half of his winnings, claiming that it was to pay back his “debt.”  Mr. Carver claimed he had already paid back his debt by his work.  The Appellate Division, Second Department, agreed with Mr. Carver and held that when a local social services district assigns a recipient to work as a condition of receiving their grant, the  value of this work should be credited against any recovery of assistance the local district is entitled to make.  A lower Federal Court in New York has reached the same result in another case brought by attorneys from Empire Justice.

The State has appealed the Second Department’s decision, and Wednesday the Court of Appeals will hear arguments on this question.

From the comfort of your own home or office, you can watch the arguments live at, and cheer on our very own Susan Antos. Be sure to log on right at 2:00 p.m., as this case is first on the calendar!

We hope that you will be able to take the time to watch, as the Court’s decision will have great policy implications for public assistance recipients in New York State.  We will be sure to let you know of the Court’s decision once it becomes available.


Copyright © Empire Justice Center. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted only with permission of the authors.