Judge Arthur Engoron
Strauss was born in New York but moved to Florida with her family when she was eight years old. Deciding on attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice, she moved to New York, intending to remain permanently. Strauss lived rent-free in a premises her parents owned, but was not listed as a dependent on their taxes. She paid a higher, out-of-state tuition, but asked the school to deem her an in-state student for tuition purposes after her first year. The request was denied, as was her appeal, based on the undisputed fact that she was not the child of in-state parents, not 24 years old, and not financially independent, which precluded her from being considered a New York domiciliary. The court found that irrebuttable presumption was an unconstitutional deprivation of due process, noting depriving in-state tuition to a student who was a bona fide domiciliary would be unjust and contrary to respondents’ stated goals and policy. It declared null, void and unenforceable, as a deprivation of constitutionally-mandated due process, the irrebuttable presumption contained in respondents’ tuition policies, that a student who was not the child of in-state parents, not 24 years old, and not financially independent, and did not fit within a limited number of exceptions, was not a New York domiciliary.