In Seine-Saint-Denis, the administrative department northeast of Paris that takes in a number of proches banlieues (inner suburbs), four mayors have decided to take the French State to court for breaching the principle of republican equality, a right guaranteed under the constitution. A May 2018 parliamentary report took the federal government to task for underserving the territory, denouncing a "failing Republic" in Seine-Saint-Denis [informally known by its official administrative number, 93, quatre-vingt treize, and more colloquially called the 9-3, "le neuf-trois"]. Indeed, public services here are in rough shape. The individuals working within the district to provide such services – educators, healthcare professionals, court and police personnel – have ventured above and beyond to keep them afloat. But many believe that their stopgap efforts have gone on too long. And so four Seine-Saint-Denis cities – Stains, Saint-Denis, L'Île-Saint-Denis and Bondy – are turning to the courts. Elected officials, professionals and residents of the department say they long for the day the law applies here as it does elsewhere in France: no more, no less. FRANCE 24 went to meet them and investigate.