October 28, 2020

Dawson County Journal

Serving Dawson County Nebraska

State sued for seizing children because mom is disabled

State sued for seizing children because mom is disabled

A lawsuit has been filed against Indiana’s Department of Child Services after agents of the governmental agency took two children away from their mother because she is disabled.

A relative of the family made a “false report” that she saw abuse by Adam Huff. Authorities acted on the claim even though the cousin had waited a year to tell anyone about it, reported PJ Media.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Adam and Laura Hope Huff, described as “a normal American family except for the fact that Laura Hope Huff is in a wheelchair.”

That led Indiana’s Department of Child Services to remove both of the Huff children from their parents’ custody, the report said.

The state agents had demanded the right to interrogate the family’s children without a warrant, parental consent or probable cause.

“The lawsuit alleges that the Indiana DCS also violated the Huffs’ First Amendment right to exercise their religious beliefs, filed false affidavits in court, and placed Adam Huff on the Child Protective Index of persons ‘having been found to have committed acts of ‘substantiated’ child abuse or neglect,’ which he cannot get off of even though the state dropped its case against the Huffs,” PJ Media said.

The complaint seeks to have Adam Huff removed from the registry and to avoid similar cases in the future.

The initial state investigation found “there was nothing to the report and that the children were well taken care of and not suffering any abuse.”

But then agents returned, demanding to question the family’s oldest daughter with a forensic investigator without the parents.

Instead, she was turned over to a police officer who grilled her outside of the presence of any lawyer or advocate. A short time later they claimed Adam Huff behaved improperly, and he moved out.

“DCS then filed a false report with the court claiming that they had exigent circumstances to remove the children from the home without a court order, which they never had,” the report said.

A judge agreed. But the case was dropped a few days before a scheduled fact-finding hearing.

The case is seeking $3 million for violations of the First, Fourth and 14th amendments, as well as violations of due process, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, frivolous litigation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“DCS has earned a well-deserved reputation as a rogue agency with little regard for the rights of parents of the very children it is charged with protecting, but this is one of the worst abuses of state power I’ve seen,” said lawyer Tom Blessing.

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State sued for seizing children because mom is disabled