The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
This is a class action for injunctive relief under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in which plaintiffs seek to enjoin Helene Wohlgemuth, Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Edward Kalberer, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Board of Assistance, Department of Public Welfare, from reducing or suspending the January 15, 1974, Aid to Families with Dependent Children grants to the named plaintiffs and the class they represent. On January 18, 1974, a temporary restraining order was issued granting plaintiffs and their class relief,
and on January 23, 1974, a hearing on plaintiffs' application for preliminary injunction was held. After hearing and upon due consideration of the evidence adduced this court makes the following:
1. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania participates in the Federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children (A.F.D.C.) program established by the Social Security Act of 1935, 42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.
2. Under Pennsylvania's plan of implementation, grants of A.F.D.C. benefits are paid semi-monthly by the State Department of Welfare to eligible parents and relatives of needy dependent children for the benefit of said children.
3. The recipients of A.F.D.C. grants are aware by previous notice that the grants are to be received on a semi-monthly basis. The grants are paid semi-monthly so as to allow the recipients to budget their grants.
5. Payment schedules showing semi-monthly payments have been mailed out to recipients of A.F.D.C. grants.
6. Persons whose welfare department case designation numbers end in "OC" have been notified by the Department of Public Welfare that they would receive a semi-monthly A.F.D.C. check on January 15, 1974.
7. Allegheny County has a "bank issuance" program for distributing A.F.D.C. checks whereby the checks are sent directly to local banks where they are picked up by recipients. The purposes of the program are to make sure the recipients receive the checks and thereby avoid the necessity of issuing duplicate checks and thus save money.
8. On December 31, 1973, State Welfare checks were not only sent to designated banks in Allegheny County but 2,200 duplicate checks were mailed directly to homes of recipients due to an error on the part of the Department of Public Welfare.
9. The Department of Welfare was aware of its error almost immediately after the checks were sent to the banks, and the participating banks were told to return the welfare checks which had not been claimed. The participating banks returned approximately 1,200 of the duplicate checks but approximately 980 checks had already been issued.
10. Recipients of duplicate welfare checks returned approximately 200 to the Allegheny County Board of Public Assistance and 173 to the Department of Treasury in Harrisburg. Approximately 563 checks were not returned and of this total approximately 325 represent A.F.D.C. grant checks. Each check, on the average, represents benefits for 2.4 children.
11. In order to avoid possible losses caused by the cashing of duplicate checks, the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare suspended the issuance of the January 15, 1974, A.F.D.C. welfare checks to recipients who had received ...