Monday, August 15, 2011

CPS and qualified immunity

CPS and other government agencies are protected by something called Qualified Immunity.  Qualified Immunity protects public officials from being sued unless they violate a "clearly established" law that a reasonable official in their position should have known.

Seems kinda..... wishy washy doesn't it?

I hear time and time again people in cases with CPS saying "I'm going to sue their asses off once this is over!"  My response is always, good luck.

This is where my rule #1 comes into play for your benefit though.  Always record EVERY conversation with any CPS worker.  (Again, check your states wiretap laws for information on doing this LEGALLY). If you don't have that audio/video you cannot prove anything, it's your word against theirs and who do you think a judge is going to believe?  A government employee or the person who "abused" their children?  Easy enough.

In the past few years there have been some supreme court cases on this where parents have won and removed the qualified immunity of CPS workers.  Most of them stem from the 4th amendment.  You see, no government official (not even police!) can enter your home without  your consent, a warrant signed by a judge, or exigent circumstances.  If they do, and a judge finds that they violated your constitutional right (as in the FLDS case and in Gates Vs. TDCFS) they lose their qualified immunity and can therefore be sued for damages.

Exigent circumstances are defined as:  reason to believe an illegal or abusive act is currently occuring, or will be occuring in the imminent future.

Below is a link to the CPS memorandum after the Gates case that went out to all CPS workers.  It basically states "stop violating civil rights", but I'll let you read it for yourself as it pretty clearly outlines what cps can or cannot do and what defines exigent circumstances.

Arm yourself with information.  Your family depends on it!

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