A child protective agency can be invaluable in cases of child abuse. However, when caseworkers exploit their authority in a child custody situation, it can mean unnecessary heartache for parents and children. Ohio parents may be interested in a judge’s ruling against CPS in a recent child custody case.
During the summer, a mother took her infant son to the emergency room after he had fallen and hit his head. The boy had an MRI that showed another injury for which the mother could not give an answer. Because they feared both injuries were a result of child abuse, CPS removed the boy and his 2-year-old sister from the parents’ home and placed them with relatives.
After further testing, the hospital determined the boy’s second injury was due to a problem with his blood clotting. Their recommendation was that breastfeeding would help prevent future injuries. Even with this medical instruction, CPS would not return the children to their parents. When the mother brought the children home anyway, the caseworker went to court for an emergency injunction but omitted the boy’s medical diagnosis and suggested treatment in her request.
The parents took further legal action and landed in a courtroom, where the caseworker chose to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights. The judge called the actions of CPS malicious and ordered the agency to pay the family $127,000 plus legal costs and to require additional training for all their employees. The family’s attorney wants employment termination for the caseworkers who took the children from their parents.
What these parents went through was a nightmare for any parent, especially when there was no wrongdoing on their part. Fighting for child custody can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, whether it is against a state agency or a former partner. An Ohio attorney will fight for the needs of his or her clients, while keeping the best interests of the child as the focus of the legal dispute.