Saturday, May 2, 2009

Judge Dismissed Suit

A federal judge has dismissed a sweeping lawsuit that alleged widespread abuse of the children in Department of Children, Youth and Families care, saying the state’s child advocate, who brought the suit on behalf of 10 children, had no standing in the case.

Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald R. Lagueux ruled that Child Advocate Jametta O. Alston and others who backed the suit had no authority to proceed because the children they claimed to represent are already in the jurisdiction of the state Family Court, where their guardians had been appointed.

Alston and the child-advocacy organization, Children’s Rights, pursued the suit in June 2007 on behalf of the 3,000 children now in state custody, with the aim to overhaul Rhode Island’s entire foster-care system. The suit alleged children in DCYF care were being molested, beaten and, in one high-profile case, killed. Her suit claimed staff faced excessive caseloads and that too many children were being placed in institutions and group homes, or being reunited with abusive parents.

The suit named Governor Carcieri, Jane Hayward, former secretary of the Office of Health and Human Services, and DCYF Director Patricia Martinez as defendants, and charged that the child-welfare system is underfunded, understaffed and mismanaged.

The state asked that the case be dismissed in January 2008. Lawyers questioned the remedy sought — namely that Alston wanted the court to take control of the DCYF. They argued the case belonged in family court, not federal court.

Full Article and Source:
Child advocate’s suit over DCYF care dismissed

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's it -- dismiss the case and the issue by saying the state's child advocae doesn't have standing -- that's a good way to shut things down.

But, we the people know it. We see through a very transparent dirty trick.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) should be embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I bet Judge Ronald R. Languex slept soundly after his decision.

Of course, it wasn't about his kids. If it had been, the decision would have been different.

Anonymous said...

This is a sad decision for justice and vulnerable children.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked and dismayed.

This isn't right at all.

Anonymous said...

What a shame. Decisions like this send a strong message to anyone who has guts enough to stand up and shout about abuse.

If jusge Ronald Lanueux were molested or beaten, well everyone would have been outraged.

But sadly, orphans aren't worth it. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I am just sick over this. The judge's decision told those kids that what happened to them didn't matter.

fedup said...

Shameful and a disgrace