AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability
of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel


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Family Relationships

     A police officer shot and killed a female motorist at the conclusion of a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle, firing twelve rounds into the car which had stopped after ramming a police car several times. The woman had yelled "Fuck you!" in response to orders to turn off her car. The woman's children sued the officer for violation of their due process rights. The officer's motion for qualified immunity was denied, with the trial judge concluding that the jury could, based on the alleged facts, conclude that the officer had used deadly force with a purpose to harm the woman unrelated to any legitimate law enforcement objective. The jury awarded $30,000 in damages to both of the decedent's minor children. A federal appeals court upheld the pretrial denial of qualified immunity and the jury's verdict, finding it reasonable. Further proceedings were ordered, however, on an award of attorneys' fees and costs, with the appeals court finding that the trial judge should consider the amounts discussed in settlement negotiations when determining the reasonable amount of fees to award, based on an intervening change in the law reflected in In re Kekauoha-Alisa, #09-60019, 674 F.3d 1083 (9th Cir. 2012); and Ingram v. Oroudjian, #09-57022, 647 F.3d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 2011), cases decided after the fee award, but before the appeals court's decision. A.D. v. State of California Highway Patrol, #09-16460, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 6689 (9th Cir.).
     Officers were entitled to qualified immunity for temporarily physically separating a twenty-one-month-old male infant from his mother. The child became entangled in a soccer net, and was extricated by his mother, who found him not breathing. Officers summoned to the scene saw strangulation marks on the child and declared the area a crime scene. The mother was taken away because she kept screaming threats of suicide. The child died, and the mother sued, claiming that the officers' actions slowed down the efforts of paramedics to save him. There was no clearly established due process duty to provide protection and medical treatment to the child in these circumstances. Cantrell v. City of Murphy, #1041138, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 63 (5th Cir.).
     The due process and equal protection rights of a divorced mother were not denied by police officers when they prevented her from having one of her permitted visitations with her children at her ex-husband's residence when the children allegedly did not welcome her visit. The children were in the father's custody. The police action deprived her "of only a short period of visitation with the children: one three-hour visit," and any liberty interest involved had been substantially reduced by the terms of the divorce order. The court further held that school officials also weren't liable for allegedly preventing her from visiting the children at their school, since it "is not clear that a parent's fundamental liberty interest . . . includes unfettered access to the children during a school day." Schmidt v. Des Moines Public Schools, #10-3411, 655 F.3d 811 (8th Cir.).
     A woman brought five children sleeping at her house (her minor daughter and four minor grandchildren) to the hospital. She had found blood on the underwear of her daughter and learned that the boys and girls had slept together rather than in gender-separate rooms. After she refused to consent to the sedation of the girl for purposes of a sexual assault examination, she attempted to leave with the children. Medical staff members and police imposed a 72-hour hold on the girl and the boy suspected of assaulting her, and ultimately examinations of both children were carried out. Police and medical personnel were entitled to summary judgment on civil rights claims brought against them. They did not violate the Fourth Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment rights of the woman or the children under the circumstances. Doe v. Tsai, #10-2655, 648 F.3d 584 (8th Cir. 2011).
     Parents and students claimed that a Nevada state child protection official improperly removed the students from a school during an abuse investigation. The action was taken after the official had compiled a "significant amount" of evidence of sexual activity allegedly taking place at the school involving staff members and students, as well as poor living conditions, inadequate medical care, the lack of supervision, and the possibility that two employees had criminal records. The official, therefore, could have reasonably concluded that the removal of the students was justified by a concern for their safety and did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The actions also did not violate the parents' rights to family integrity under the Fourteenth Amendment, as the failure to contact them before removing the students did not violate clearly established law. Barragan v. Landry, #08-16790, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 483 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
     A private religious boarding school for children with behavioral and substance abuse problems, six former students, and thirteen parents of the former students sued Missouri juvenile officials, claiming that they conspired to raid the school and seize scores of its students. The purported ringleader of the conspiracy allegedly disliked the school because it operated, legally, without a license, because he disagreed with its teachings, and because he believed that it had not acted "very Christ-like." Juvenile authorities and armed law enforcement officers, numbering 30 persons in total, arrived at the school and removed 115 of its students, based on ex parte orders from local juvenile court judges, allegedly obtained by misrepresentations that the students were in imminent danger of physical harm and that the school was unwilling to cooperate with juvenile authorities. Because the information presented was also "stale" the raiding party lacked orders for dozens of the students that they removed, but they had orders for about forty children who no longer lived there, as well as for four adults over whom the juvenile courts lacked jurisdiction. The children were detained until their parents could pick them up, and parents were then given "stern letters" telling them to keep their children away from the school. Juvenile cases involving the children were all dismissed. The defendants were not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity, as the constitutional rights violated under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment if the plaintiffs' allegations were true were clearly established. Heartland Acad. Community Church v. Anderson, #08-3723 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2619 (8th Cir.).
     A fourteen-year old daughter ran away from the home of her mother and stepfather. Her mother and father were divorced. When interviewed, she told an officer that her stepfather had struck her and also that he repeatedly grabbed her breasts. The officer, without contacting the father, and lacking a warrant, took the girl into protective custody. The father, mother, and stepfather sued, claiming that the officer violated their Fourteenth Amendment right to familial association. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the officer because he had a reasonable basis to belief that the girl faced imminent danger of physical harm, and the officer was entitled to qualified immunity on claims arising from his failure to contact the father. The county, however, was not entitled to summary judgment on the father's claim that the failure to contact him violated his rights. Burke v County of Alameda, #08-15658, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 24715 (9th Cir.).
     A woman called police and claimed that her husband had been drinking and was trying to leave with their infant daughter. The officers found that the husband was sober and he went to visit relatives. He slept in the same bed as the daughter and another child, and when he woke up, the daughter was dead. The wife claimed that officers who responded to her call improperly threatened to arrest her if she removed her daughter from her husband's car. While the officers claimed that they had a reasonable belief that the mother was about to violate a Tennessee state domestic assault law, the court ruled that the mother, at the time, had a legal right to her daughter, so that removing the child from the car would not have violated the statute. The mother was denied summary judgment, as were the officers on a Fourth Amendment claim, but they were granted summary judgment on a 14th Amendment due process claim. The mother failed to show that the city was liable on the basis of inadequate training of the officers. Adams v. Hendersonville, No. 3:06-cv-00788, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 72003 (M.D. Tenn.).
     Police were entitled to qualified immunity for requiring a father to remain at a family home while his wife took a small child, discovered not to be breathing, to the hospital. They allegedly told him that he could not leave until investigators interviewed him as part of the investigation. The child subsequently died. Under these circumstances, it could not be said that an officer involved in a child death investigation acted unreasonably in taking these actions. The court ruled that, even if the investigation had essentially developed into a "de facto" arrest of the father, an officer could still believe that it was investigative. If a mistake was made, it was a reasonable one. Seymour v. City of Des Moines, No. 06-3842, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 6138 (8th Cir.).
     Neither mother nor father of decedent who was shot and killed by police had standing to pursue federal civil rights or state law wrongful death claims arising out of the death when no one had been appointed as the representative of the decedent's estate. The lawsuit was therefore dismissed. Farrow v. Sammis, No. 3:07CV00097, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 90429 (E.D. Ark.).
     The family of a person who died in fatal car crash failed to show that the actions of police in dealing with them following the accident violated their due process rights. No prior case recognized a due process right concerning the manner in which a family is notified of the death of a family member, and if there was any such right, it would only apply to conduct that was shocking to the conscience. In this case, the police did not act with deliberate indifference and their conduct was not conscience shocking. They did use "deception" to first obtain a photograph of the victim to aid in his identification, and did not tell the family he had died until they had made the identification. A statement the police made to the media concerning the accident was justified by the legitimate purpose of informing the public about a fatal collision. Estate of Gadway v. City of Norwich, No. 3:05-CV-935, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 72561 (D. Conn.).
     Officers were justified in removing a newborn daughter from her parents' home when the father had been indicted for child molestation. The removal of a toddler son from the home, prior to that indictment, was also justified by the possibility that both parents might commit suicide, since one had threatened to do so, and the other had attempted it. The officers believed that there was an imminent risk that the son, then one year old, might not have a caretaker available to provide for his needs. Additionally, his presence on the scene during these events could raise the possibility that he would be subject to psychological injury. Rhode Island state law did not require a finding of abuse of the individual child before removing that child from the home, and removal of a child could instead be supported by an imminent serious risk of neglect. Carter v. Lindgren, No. 06-2539, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 21471 (1st Cir.).
     A federal trial judge has awarded $101.7 million against the U.S. government on claims that the FBI was "responsible for the framing of four innocent men" for murder, causing them to serve decades for a crime they did not commit. Four men falsely convicted of a 1965 gangland murder, and their estates and families asserted claims against the U.S. government under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. Secs. 1346 and 2671-2680 for malicious prosecution, civil conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and related claims. The trial court rejected the argument that the U.S. government was entitled to immunity based on the discretionary function exception to liability in 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2680(a). The FBI's alleged conduct in knowingly allowing an informant to provide perjurious testimony in the murder trial, failing to reveal exculpatory evidence, and failing to disclose information about the actual murderers for a period of thirty years was unconstitutional and violated its own rules, the judge ruled. The court found that the FBI's conduct was the cause of the convictions, and that the conduct met the standard for intentional infliction of emotional distress, as the alleged actions violated all standards of decency and were intentional. The family members of the convicted persons were entitled to damages, under Massachusetts law for bystanders' intentional infliction of emotional distress. $1 million for each year of imprisonment was awarded to the men falsely convicted, or their estates. The minor children of the convicted men, and three of the wives of the convicted men were also awarded damages, as were an adult child of one of the men, and a wife who divorced one of the men. Two of the four men are now deceased, while two of them are still alive. Limone v. U.S., No. 02cv10890-NG, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 54224 (D. Mass.). [Editor's Note: The total damages awarded were $101.7 million].
      Three surviving minor children of a man who died following a fight with police officers could not pursue claims for deprivation of their 14th Amendment right of familial association when they had not alleged or attempted to demonstrate that the officers directed their conduct at their familial association with their father or otherwise intended to interfere with it. The officers and city were therefore entitled to summary judgment. Estate of Herring v. City of Colorado Springs, No. 06-1166, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 11775 (10th Cir.).
     Social workers were not entitled to summary judgment for removing minor children from their home without a warrant, based on a report that they were not toilet trained, were locked in their rooms at night, were not receiving medical and dental care, and were living in a house that was "dirty" and contained unsecured guns. The conditions in the home did not suffice to show that the children were in imminent risk of serious bodily harm, and the law requiring judicial authorization for the removal of children under such circumstances was clearly established, so that qualified immunity was inappropriate. The alleged conduct would have violated the clearly established Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the children and the parents. Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, No. 05-16071, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 12359 (9th Cir.).
     Police officers and social workers were entitled to summary judgment in a lawsuit over their removal of the plaintiffs' children from their home without prior notice or hearing when they had reasonable suspicion that the children either had been subject to abuse, or that there was an imminent peril of that happening. Arredondo v. Locklear, No. 05-2237, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 23191 (10th Cir.). [N/R]
     The parents, siblings, and children of a man allegedly shot and killed without provocation by officers during a raid on a housing project did not have their own federal civil rights claim, as the officers did not act with the intent of interfering with their family relationships with the decedent. Martinez-Rivera v. Sanchez Ramos, No. 05-2146, 430 F. Supp. 2d 47 (D. Puerto Rico 2006). [N/R]
     Family members of a man allegedly subjected to unlawful arrest or other civil rights violations do not have an independent federal civil rights claim without a showing that the unconstitutional conduct was directed at their family relationship. Gonzalez v. Vazquez Garced, No. CIV. 04-2114, 389 F. Supp. 2d 214 (D. Puerto Rico 2005). [N/R]
     Deputy sheriff and police officer did not violate the constitutional rights of a mother and her seven-year-old son when they temporarily removed the son from her custody without a court order because they suspected the mother of involvement in narcotics trafficking and being drug intoxicated. K.D. v. County of Crow Wing, No. 05-2499, 434 F.3d 1051 (8th Cir. 2006), petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc denied, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 5117 (8th Cir.). [2006 LR May]
     Parent of adult who died from cardiac arrest from cocaine-induced delirium while being transported by officers could not sue for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 for the deprivation of her relationship with her son, since she had no constitutionally protected liberty interest in that relationship. She also could not vicariously assert a Fourth Amendment claim on behalf of the decedent. Hannah v. City of Dover, No. 05-2422, 152 Fed. Appx. 114 (3rd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Parents of armed robbery suspect shot and killed by police officers had no standing under California law to pursue a federal civil rights lawsuit or state law claims arising out of the incident on their own behalf when they were not financially dependent on the decedent. Foster v. City of Fresno, No. CVF035306, 392 F. Supp. 2d 1140 (E.D. Cal. 2005). [N/R]
     Family members of murder victim could not recover damages for emotional distress allegedly suffered due to police investigators failure to pursue or to inform the department of inculpatory evidence found during the investigation. Even if these claims were true, they were insufficient to "shock the conscience" and violate the family member's due process rights. Cusick v. City of New Haven, No. 03-7890, 145 Fed. Appx. 701 (2nd Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Family of man shot and killed by police officer could not pursue a federal civil rights claim for deprivation of their right to familial association in the absence of any evidence that the officers intended to interfere with their relationship with the decedent, and his estate was the only party authorized to pursue a claim under New Mexico's state wrongful death statute. Murphy v. Bitsoih, No. CIV. 02-1185, 320 F. Supp. 2d 1174 (D.N.M. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court, overturning 20-year-old precedent, rules that parents of an adult son shot and killed by a police officer could not recover damages in federal civil rights lawsuit for the loss of the companionship of their son. Russ v. Watts, No. 04-3628, 414 F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Nov]
     Iowa deputy violated due process rights of non-custodial father when he removed 12-year-old visiting daughter from his home after seeing her in the presence of an accused sexual offender, and failed to notify juvenile court of the removal. Father had a protected liberty interest in connection with his daughter's visitation. Jury improperly awarded $30,000 in punitive damages, however, based on improper jury instructions that failed to require a showing or either evil motive or reckless indifference to protected federal rights. Swipies v. Kofka, No. 04-3244, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 16861 (8th Cir.). [2005 LR Oct]
     Mother of 30-year-old man shot and killed by police officer following traffic stop had no constitutionally protected due process right to the companionship of her son which could be the basis for a federal civil rights claim on her own behalf. Robertson v. Hecksel, No. 04-12367, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 17201 (11th Cir.). [2005 LR Oct]
    Parents and siblings of adult allegedly killed by bullet from a pistol that had been in the possession of a police officer could assert a claim under New Mexico law for loss of consortium, and could recover damages if they could demonstrate that their relationships with the decedent were sufficiently close, financially or socially, so that it was foreseeable that an injury to the decedent would also harm them. Fitzjerrell v. City of Gallup, #22,119, 79 P.3d 836 (N.M. App. 2003). [N/R]
     Father of adult son, in the absence of evidence that son was not emancipated, could not recover damages for violation of his parental liberty interest in son's companionship in lawsuit against city and police officers who allegedly shot and killed son. Federal appeals court, overturning prior lower court decisions in the Third Circuit, holds that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not extent to a parent's interest in the companionship of an independent adult child. McCurdy v. Dodd, No. 02-2708, 352 F.3d 820 (3rd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Deputy sheriff's action of removing man's 12-year-old daughter from his custody during court ordered visitation was not reasonable, when based on deputy's knowledge of pending charges against father for allegedly sexually abusing a fourteen-year-old female. Deputy was not entitled to qualified immunity in father's civil rights lawsuit, as his action was not justified as an emergency removal based on reasonable suspicion of child abuse. Swipies v. Kofka, No. 03-1274, 348 F.3d 701 (8th Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Feb]
     State social workers and other employees violated the Fourth Amendment in removing a 12 year-old child from his parents' home without a warrant and the plaintiffs adequately stated a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim for deprivation of a constitutionally protected liberty interest in their family relationship. Warrantless entry into home to investigate the possibility that the child was a victim of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), however, did not violate clearly established law because the defendants could have believed that exigent circumstances existed justifying the entry, based on the possibility of harm to the child. Further proceedings were ordered to determine if Utah state statutes providing only post-deprivation remedies in child removals entitled the defendants to qualified immunity for removing the child. Roska Ex Rel. Roska v. Peterson, #01-4057, 328 F.3d 1230 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court rules that the law of the state of Georgia as to the standing of a parent of an adult child murdered to pursue wrongful death claims against those who caused the death is incorporated into federal law under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988, and that, pursuant to the Georgia Supreme Court's answer to the question the appeals court previously certified to it, the mother of a man murdered by his surviving spouse could pursue a federal civil rights claim for the death. Carringer v. Rodgers, #01-15258, 331 F.3d 844 (11th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Father could pursue federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages for city's alleged failure to notify him of a hearing at which his parental rights were terminated. Claim was not barred by "domestic relations" exception to federal court jurisdiction, since he was not seeking the restoration of his parental rights or any other domestic relations award. King v. Commissioner and New York City Police Department, No. 00-9234, 60 Fed. Appx. 873 (2nd Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Georgia Supreme Court holds that, under state law, a parent of an adult child murdered by his surviving spouse can pursue a wrongful death claim against the alleged murderer or against "other parties" that proximately caused the death, answering a question certified to it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a case where the murdered son's mother asserted state wrongful death claims against the wife, a police chief, and the city. The claims against the city and police chief were based on the fact that the alleged murderer was a police captain who had previously attempted suicide. The police chief had ordered her to remove all weapons from her home, but did not relieve her of her duties, and she used her service revolver to shoot and kill her husband. Carringer v. Rodgers, No. SO2Q1483, 578 S.E.2d 841 (Ga. 2003). [N/R]
     Nebraska Supreme Court rejects argument by mother of cross-dressing woman that $98,223 in damages for failure of county sheriff to protect her daughter against murder by two men she accused of rape was inadequate. Court notes that mother's relationship with her daughter was "strained." Brandon v. County of Richardson, #S-01-1158, 653 N.W.2d 829 (Neb. 2002). [2003 LR Apr]
     Alleged police conduct of giving false and defamatory information about murder suspect to his family members to make them fearful of him, ostracize him, and elicit false accusations against him, if true, violated his clearly established constitutional rights to familial relationships. Patel v. Searles, #00-9552, 305 F.3d 130 (2nd Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Jan]
     Jurors could reasonably find that actions by state police in failing to send assistance to truck driver in backing an 18-wheeler truck loaded with overhanging poles out onto the highway did not render them liable for the deaths of two occupants of a car which collided with the truck as it backed out after sunset without a police escort. Officers believed that driver would not make such an attempt after sunset, when the driver indicated that he knew it would be illegal for him to be on the road at that time. Trial judge properly found sheriffs' office, however, 20% at fault for failing to respond to request for assistance. General damages of $400,000 to each of ten adult children of two parents killed ordered, increasing prior award of $200,000 each, based on children's close relationship with parents, and fact that the parents were killed on Mother's Day, after celebrating that day with their children. Davis v. Witt, #01-894, 831 So. 2d 1075 (La. App. 2002). [N/R]
      Parents of motorist shot and killed by police officer could pursue a Fourteenth Amendment claim for the deprivation of their son's relationship despite the fact that he was an adult and had fathered a child, when he had never become part of another "family unit" since he had not married, but his siblings could not do so. Russ v. Watts, 190 F. Supp. 22d 1004 (N.D. Ill. 2002). [N/R]
     Decedent's family had no constitutionally protected privacy interest in preventing officer from making public statements containing information about his highly personal sexual behavior of an allegedly autoerotic nature, and were not entitled to a "name-clearing hearing." Livsey v. Salt Lake County, No. 00-4005, 275 F.3d 952 (10th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR May]
       342:90 County sheriff had a duty to protect cross- dressing rape victim against threats by her assailants that they would kill her if she reported the crime; sheriff's "demeaning" and "accusatory" statements to victim during interview were "outrageous" as a matter of law; Nebraska Supreme Court rules that mother of murdered rape victim must be awarded full $80,000 for decedent's pain and suffering, as well as some amount for loss of companionship and orders further proceedings on emotional distress claim based on sheriff's conduct. Brandon v. County of Richardson, #S-00-022, 624 N.W.2d 604 (Neb. 2001).
     338:27 UPDATE: Federal appeals court reduces jury award of $98 million for failure to protect informant from being murdered to $1.1 million, while upholding determination that officers should have constantly monitored informant as he faced dangerous situation in attempting to purchase crack cocaine; punitive damages were not available against D.C. and informant's mother had no constitutional claim based on loss of companionship of adult non-dependent son. Butera v. District of Columbia, No. 00-7008, 235 F.3d 637 (D.C. Cir. 2001).
     341:70 County was not liable for alleged failure to allow mother of children to contest county's obtaining of permanent custody of her children, when there was no showing that it was a county policy or custom to deny parents a hearing; county social worker who allegedly failed to notify state court that mother wanted to assert her parental rights, however, was not entitled to absolute immunity, as she was not a "legal advocate" or prosecutor in the case. Holloway v. Brush, No. 96-3732, 220 F.3d 767 (6th Cir. 2000).
     [N/R] Man forcibly removed from his parents' home as a minor due to allegations of child neglect purportedly related to relatives' objection to his parents' religious beliefs could sue on his claim that his seizure in his home was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment; county sheriff and county probation officer who removed child were subject to individual liability. Brokaw v. Mercer County, No. 98-1131, 235 F.3d 1000 (7th Cir. 2000).
     316:55 Wife and mother of man shot and killed by officers at the scene of domestic disturbance had no standing to pursue Fourth Amendment claim on his behalf when they failed to bring suit as representatives of his estate or his "successors in interest" under California law; plaintiffs were also properly barred from pursuing their direct claim for interference with their family relationships when they presented no evidence on such claim at trial. Byrd v. Guess, #96-55532, 137 F.3d 1126 (9th Cir. 1998).
     316:54 Man convicted of two counts of criminal sexual conduct with minors was not entitled to damages from police officers who immediately removed his infant daughter from his home without a warrant when his niece had stated that she and another minor had been sexually abused there. Falkiewicz v. City of Westland, 25 F.Supp. 2d 783 (E.D. Mich. 1998).
     313:8 Arrest of parent who refused to leave school premises when asked to do so by school officials then in charge did not violate her First Amendment right to express concern over her child's treatment or her constitutional right to direct the education of her child; officer had probable cause for arrest under the circumstances. Ryans v. Gresham, 6 F.Supp. 2d 595 (E.D. Tex. 1998).
     311:166 Federal appeals court restores jury's $2.25 million award to wife and children of arrestee shot in leg and back by police officer while trying to escape from custody; $1.25 million also awarded to arrestee's estate; defendants failed to object, before trial, or even at its conclusion, to claims brought directly on behalf of arrestee's family members. Robles- Vazquez v. Garcia, #95-1375, 110 F.3d 204 (1st Cir. 1997).
     307:103 Minor children of Florida man imprisoned for 30 months until his conviction was reversed on grounds of entrapment had no claim under federal civil rights law for loss of family association; Florida Supreme Court declines to recognize such a claim. Garcia v. Reyes, 698 So.2d 257 (Fla. 1997).
     305:68 Mother of public school student did not have a "clearly established right" to repeatedly strike her son with a belt on school property without having the incident investigated for the possibility of violation of state law protecting children from injury by parents; deputy was entitled to qualified immunity for investigating incident and reporting it to prosecutor, who brought criminal charge against mother. Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385 (9th Cir. 1997).
     303:38 Deputy sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity for taking woman's children into custody and giving them to her husband; deputy found terms of protective order confusing and sought advice from a county prosecutor. Hollingsworth v. Hill, 110 F.3d 733 (10th Cir. 1997).
     {N/R} Father who sued police officer and social worker under federal civil rights statute, asserting that they removed his children from his custody without prior notice or a hearing, based on two year old allegations of sexual abuse previously investigated and found unconfirmed, adequately stated violation of clearly established rights. Ram v. Rubin, 118 F.3d 1306 (9th Cir. 1997).
     {N/R} Alleged conduct of seeking and obtaining ex parte order for temporary custody of woman's daughter in retaliation for her obtaining counsel in sexual abuse investigation would have been clearly unlawful deprivation of woman's First Amendment rights of association; police detective not entitled to qualified immunity. Malik v. Arapahoe County Dept. of Social Services, 987 F.Supp. 868 (D. Co. 1997).
     294:88 Deputies' alleged interference with divorced father's visitation with his son did not constitute deprivation of a constitutional magnitude Zakrzewski v. Fox, 87 F.3d 1011 (8th Cir. 1996).
     296:121 Police officer was entitled to qualified immunity from liability for death of motorist killed in collision with stolen car officer was pursuing; Massachusetts federal court rules that no constitutional right against such injury was clearly established in 1991; court also rules that motorist's children could not assert a claim for the loss of their relationship with their parent Corbin v. City of Springfield, 942 F.Supp. 721 (D.Mass 1996).
     279:41 Children of woman who attempted to swallow container of cocaine during police raid on her home could not sue officers for loss of mother's companionship when she sunk into "vegetative" state as a result Broadnax v. Webb, 892 F.Supp. 188 (E.D. Mich 1995). Editor's Note: For similar decisions, see Harpole v. Arkansas Dept of Human Servs, 809 F2d 923 (8th Cir. 1987), (grandparent could not sue for the death of a grandchild); Ortiz v. Burgos, 807 F2d 6 (1st Cir. 1986), (stepfather, mother, and siblings could not sue under section 1983 for death caused by officers); Berry v. City of Muskogee, 900 F2d 1489 (10th Cir. 1990), (children could not sue for death of their parent); and Wilson v. Meeks, No 91-1504, 1994 WL 324575, 1994 U.S. Dist Lexis 9105 (D.Kan June 6, 1994), (children could not sue for wrongful seizure of their parent). For decisions to the contrary, see Smith v. City of Fontana, 818 F2d 1411 (9th Cir. 1987), cert denied, 484 U.S. 935 (1988), (children could bring section 1983 suit for deprivation of father's companionship when father was killed by officers during his arrest); Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F2d 1205 (7th Cir. 1984), (father, but not siblings, could recover where police killed son); Estate of Bailey v. County of York, 768 F2d 503 (3d Cir. 1985), (parents can sue for the killing of child).

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