Posts tagged "1105314"

Ramzi, Inc., et al. v. Department of Public Health (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-053-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030;     12‑P‑1450                                       Appeals Court   RAMZI, INC.,[1] & others[2]  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH. No. 12‑P‑1450. Worcester.     December 6, 2013.  ‑  May 28, 2014. Present:  Fecteau, Sullivan, & Maldonado, JJ.   Department of Public Health.  Public Welfare, Food stamp benefits.  Regulation.  Notice.  Commonwealth, Contracts.  Contract, With Commonwealth.  Administrative Law, Agency’s interpretation of regulation.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 20, 2010.   The case was heard by Richard T. Tucker, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     John M. Goggins for the plaintiffs. Iraida J. Alvarez, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant.       SULLIVAN, J.  Ramzi, Inc., doing business as North End Market, Nahed Benyamin, and Emad Benyamin (collectively, Ramzi) appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court affirming, in pertinent part, a decision of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) upholding a determination of the Department of Public Health (department) to disqualify Ramzi as a WIC vendor for three years and to terminate Ramzi’s WIC vendor status.  On appeal, Ramzi contends that the judge erred as a matter of law in affirming the DALA decision.  We conclude that an amendment to the governing statute, and ensuing regulatory changes, require a remand to DALA for further consideration of so much of its decision disqualifying Ramzi for a three-year period.  Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part. Background.  The undisputed facts are set forth in the administrative record and are summarized as follows. 1.  The regulatory scheme.  WIC is a federally funded supplemental food program for income-eligible women, infants, and children.  The program, which is administered by the States, provides WIC checks redeemable in grocery stores, pharmacies, and farmers’ markets for approved foods.  See 42 U.S.C. § 1786 (2012); 7 C.F.R. § 246.1 (2009).  In the Commonwealth, WIC is administered by the department, subject to regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture (Department of Agriculture).  See 42 U.S.C. § 1786(b)(12) & (f); 7 C.F.R. §§ 246.1 & 246.3(b). 2.  Vendor agreements and compliance monitoring.  The department’s vendor agreement incorporates pertinent regulatory requirements applicable to WIC vendors.  The department and Ramzi entered into a vendor agreement, which outlines the responsibilities of a WIC vendor and potential violations and penalties for those violations, as set forth in the Federal regulations.  7 C.F.R. § 246.12(h)(1)(i) & (h)(3)(i)-(xxv).  Upon entering into the vendor […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 29, 2014 at 12:03 am

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