A married couple in Maine named Lionel and Joline Thiboutot have a combined number of eight children. Lionel had three children from a previous relationship and five children together with his wife Joline. According to their records, the Department of Human Services commuted that they were overpaying Lionel for the aid that he was receiving for the care of his children. It was decided that only the three children he has from his prior marriage would be considered for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Even though the couple was financially unable to care for all eight children. They appealed the decision and received a judgment for retro pay but nothing for the attorney fees they felt they were entitled to. The respondents are requesting that the attorney fees for all involved be paid in accordance with section 1983.


According to section 1983 of Title 42 U. S. C., if any state deprives an individual of benefits that they are entitled to under the Federal Social Security Act, that said state shall be held liable to the injured party/parties. This case does not argue that the monies be paid for the back aid owed, the argument is about paying the attorney fees attached to the cases.


If I were the judge in this matter, I would award the attorney fees. There’s nothing that clearly or plainly states the entitlement of the fees in the attachment to section 1983. However, according to the Civil Rights Attorney Fees Awards Act of 1976, the fees may be awarded when prevailing in a case that enforces the rights connected to section 1983.