Beltran v. Myers

PETITIONER: Beltran
RESPONDENT: Myers
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 80-5303
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 451 US 625 (1981)
ARGUED: Mar 24, 1981
DECIDED: May 18, 1981

ADVOCATES:
Gill Deford - on behalf of the Petitioner
Richard J. Magasin - on behalf of the Respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Beltran v. Myers

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 24, 1981 in Beltran v. Myers

Warren E. Burger:

We'll hear arguments next in Beltran v. Myers.

Mr. Deford, I think you may proceed when you are ready.

Gill Deford:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

The issue of this case is the disparate treatment of a discrete class of Medicaid recipients by the State of California.

California's decision to participate in the federal Medicaid system guarantees that it will be reimbursed 50 percent of its cost by the Federal Government.

However, at the same time California is obligated to comply with controlling federal law.

William H. Rehnquist:

How do you have your federal jurisdiction here?

Gill Deford:

In the District Court?

William H. Rehnquist:

Yes.

Gill Deford:

We had it... we alleged jurisdiction under both 1331 and under 1343.

The federal District Court found jurisdiction under both of those grants.

The Court of Appeals decided not to look at 1343, but did find jurisdiction under 1331.

Either of them are cause of actions 1983.

William H. Rehnquist:

1331 requires $10,000?

Gill Deford:

At the time this case was brought it did.

The federal District Court and the Court of Appeals both found there was $10,000 in controversy.

Since then, of course, the statute has been amended to eliminate the $10,000.

Thurgood Marshall:

Just nitpicking.

It's in excess of $10,000.

Gill Deford:

Yes.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Yes, but where did they find the $10,000?

Gill Deford:

For instance, the main plaintiff, Your Honor, has bills to the nursing home in excess of $14,000 because of unpaid nursing home bills.

Harry A. Blackmun:

In other words, what you're saying is they found it prospectively?

Gill Deford:

At the time the case was brought she would not have had bills in the amount of $10,000.

Harry A. Blackmun:

Therefore is there 1331 jurisdiction?

Gill Deford:

Well, since the case was still going on at the time that the statute was changed, I would think that even if there was less than $10,000 in controversy when it was brought, she would have had jurisdiction under 1331 in any event.

William H. Rehnquist:

Do you think we should treat it as if it had been filed after the amendment eliminated it?

Gill Deford:

I believe the amendment allowed for jurisdiction in the federal district courts for any case then pending.

In any event, as I've said, there was also jurisdiction in the District Court found under 1343, which does not require an amount in controversy.

William H. Rehnquist:

But then you run into a question, do you not, as to whether this is a proper 1343 jurisdiction case under the Houston Welfare Rights v. Chapman decision of this Court?