Kelly (plaintiff) represented a group of residents of New York City receiving financial aid under the federally assisted program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or under New York State’s general Home Relief program. Kelly brought suit against Goldberg and other New York City and New York State officials (defendants) tasked with administering these programs. The suit was brought in district court on the grounds that the state terminated such aid without prior notice and hearing, thereby denying Kelly’s right of due process. The district court held that a pre-termination evidentiary hearing was constitutionally required and granted Kelly’s relief. The state appealed to the United States Supreme Court.