Wednesday, December 01, 2010

No relief for the falsely accused

The US Supreme Court just denied relief for those falsely accused of child abuse. CNN reports:
Justices rule against couple still on state registry

Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against a California couple "living every parent's nightmare" who tried to sue local county officials for damages after failing to get off a database listing known or suspected child abusers.

At issue was whether the database -- known as the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) -- violates the constitutional protection of due process because those on it are not given a "fair opportunity" to challenge the allegations against them.

The justices by an 8-0 vote ruled strictly on the complex, rather dry legal arguments, refusing to offer any sympathetic thoughts on the plight of either the parents in question, or the county. ...

However, a subsequent probe -- which included the family doctor testifying he had examined the girl on repeated occasions and had seen no physical abuse -- found the parents "factually innocent" and they were cleared of all charges.

When they next sought to remove their names from the CACI list, they were told to address their request to the local detective in the case. But they found the detective had been transferred and there was no procedure to challenge their listing. The state and county continued refusing to remove the Humphries designation as "substantiated" child abusers, even after a court order mandated the arrest records be sealed and destroyed. ...

This appeal raised the fundamental question of whether an absence of procedures or accountability amounted to a "policy."
Here is the opinion in LA County v Humphries. The LA Times reports:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that Los Angeles County does not have to pay attorney fees to a couple listed as child abusers even though they were declared innocent years ago.

Craig and Wendy Humphries were arrested by sheriff's deputies nine years ago after their rebellious daughter accused them of abuse. State courts ruled the allegation was false but they remain on California's Child Abuse Central Index.
This is disgusting. The court is more interested in rights for the guilty and various political causes, then defending the rights of the innocent.

My own situation is similar to Humphries. My ex-wife made false accusations of emotional abuse against me three years ago. Her own psychologist expert witness examined her claims, and testified that he could find no merit to them. And yet I cannot get off that California index either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you're missing the point: it's all about the legal system being above reproach and covering its behind. That's the overarching principle behind much of what's done, that's why the appeals process is a sham in most types of cases. Unless of course you're a wealthy and politically connected individual or large corporation. Welcome to being in what is now a 3rd World Country.