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CPS refused to take report of suspected child abuse, 11 months later child was removed from home by CPS. Do I have a case?

Akron, OH |

I am a non-custodial parent. I attempted to report abuse to DCFS hhotline, but was told "sir, this sounds like a custody issue, we can not help you. You need to contact an attorney" and the person hung-up on me...twice. 11 months later, a report was made by a panel of doctors to the same DCFS. Child was immediately removed and placed in emergency protective custody. Allegations were substantiated. I lost my job, house, everything in my pursuit to protect my child. I am now being treated for extreme emotional distress and PTSD relating to DCFS ruefusal to investigate or even take a report of abuse and dismissing me as a "disgruntled father who is simply unhappy with his parenting agreement"
Do I have a case against DCFS for ignoring my reports of abuse?

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Attorney answers 1


You should consult with a personal injury attorney in you jurisdiction who specializes in child abuse. Your case for PTSD is likely not a case an attorney would want to take on as those are difficult cases and you would need to have a formal diagnosis and need treatment in order to recover any damages on that claim. However, it sounds like your child may have a cause of action against the agency for failing to respond appropriately to your complaints. This would need significant investigation to prove, but if the agency failed to follow its own rules or their files indicate that they were negligent in some other way, it may prove to be a good case.

Answers submitted by this attorney posted on Avvo are not legal advice and under no circumstances form an attorney / client relationship with the party who submitted the question or subsequent readers or responders to the post. The attorney’s comments are informational only, not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction specific to your situation. A reader of this attorney’s comments should never act on the information provided as legal advice and should always seek counsel in person from a licensed attorney in their jurisdiction. No two cases are ever exactly the same and the information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Without consulting with a client in person and reviewing the evidence in your case an attorney cannot adequately evaluate the unique facts of your case and provide you with the legal answer you need. Additionally, remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature. The comments submitted by this attorney are not intended to solicit clients for matters outside the State of Oregon and may be considered advertising by the Oregon State Bar Rules. The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. 820 SW 2nd Avenue, Suite 280 Portland, OR 97204 503-546-0461



Thank you for responding! I'm not completely sure what the "official" diagnosis is, but I'm being treated along the same lines as PTSD. I can say that my employer sent me to take an MMPI test and based on that, my LTD claim was approved. My biggest problem is that I live several states away from where this all takes place. When CPS refused to listen to my concerns, I went on leave from my job and devoted my time to making sure that my child was safe. The later involvement by the panel of doctor's was a direct result of my efforts. The entire case was so mishandled by CPS and DCFS that regardless of whether or not compensation may be awarded, the failures and mismanagement must be addressed. The case is very complex, and I believe there are several people and entities that may be liable for various actions. What I need most is for an attorney or firm experienced in personal injury, family law, child abuse, and constitutional law to listen to the entire story and tell me what I can or should do next...or first.

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