If a child is taken away from his/her parents, is that a civil rights violation?  The answer to that question is a very complex maybe.  Government employees such as social workers, police and prosecutors have both qualified and absolute immunity depending on the precise activity they are performing at the time.  Just investigating an allegation of abuse that turns out to be false is not necessarily a violation of a parent’s civil rights, even if the children were removed from their home.  While the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that the right of a parent to the care, custody and control of their children is a fundamental right, it is not an absolute right and the law says you do not have a right not to be investigated for child abuse.

You do have a right to what is called procedural due process which means that your right to the care custody and control of your child cannot be curtailed unless you are properly notified of what you are accused of doing and are given the opportunity to defend yourself.  In some cases, social workers may have violated a parent’s right to due process.  The analysis of whether your right to due process has been violated is complex and fact intensive.   You also have a right to what is called substantive due process.  This means there are some actions by social workers can be so egregious that they lose immunity and may constitute a civil rights violation, even if the parent was afforded all of the procedural due process provided by law.   If you are interested in exploring whether you may have a civil rights claim email me at mark@markdfreemanlaw.com.

Here is a civil rights lawsuit reported by the media and filed when doctors failed to do a complete workup for alternative medical explanations for the child’s condition and jumped to the false conclusion of abuse.  Civil rights complaint

Counties in Pennsylvania:

Adams County Lackawanna County
Allegheny County Lancaster County
Armstrong County Lawrence County
Beaver County Lebanon County
Bedford County Lehigh County
Berks County Luzerne County
Blair County Lycoming County
Bradford County McKean County
Bucks County Mercer County
Butler County Mifflin County
Cambria County Monroe County
Cameron County Montgomery County
Carbon County Montour County
Centre County Northampton County
Chester County Northumberland County
Clarion County Perry County
Clearfield County Philadelphia County
Clinton County Pike County
Columbia County Potter County
Crawford County Schuylkill County
Cumberland County Snyder County
Dauphin County Somerset County
Delaware County Sullivan County
Elk County Susquehanna County
Erie County Tioga County
Fayette County Union County
Forest County Venango County
Franklin County Warren County
Fulton County Washington County
Greene County Wayne County
Huntingdon County Westmoreland County
Indiana County Wyoming County
Jefferson County York County
Juniata County

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  • Mark Freeman is an attorney that got involved in defending those accused of shaking a child when a close friend was charged with child abuse for allegedly shaking his son.
  • After spending hundreds of hours investigating, reading medical journal articles and speaking with doctors from around the country about shaken baby syndrome, Mark confirmed with science what he knew in his heart, that his friend was innocent and that the doctors were wrong.
  • Since that first case, Mark has vigorously defended innocent parents of false charges of child abuse, regained custody of children for innocent parents and has defended innocent parents of criminal charges. Mark is now pursuing civil rights lawsuits in cases where false accusations of child abuse resulted in the violation of parents' civil rights.
  • Mark is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and consults with local attorneys in other states. Email Mark at mark@markdfreemanlaw.com or call Mark at: 1-800-580-0084