The United States Supreme Court recently had before them the case of Camreta v. Green, 131 S. Ct. 456 (2010). In this case, the issue presented was whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires government officials to obtain a search warrant or parental permission before they can interrogate a suspected child abuse victim. The second issue was whether an official who fails to obtain a search warrant or permission of the parents can be held liable for violation of civil rights laws.
Child Protection Agencies claim that they need to investigate abuse cases without giving prior notification to the possible perpetrators of these acts. In this case, the social worker, Bob Camreta, conducted an interrogation of a child at the child’s school. This was done without a warrant. The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that this warrantless interrogation violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the child. The court also stated that Mr. Camreta was protected by a qualified immunity from being held personally liable for civil damages under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Law.
Here’s how the system works in New York: Someone files a complaint with the New York State Child Protective Services (CPS). A local investigator comes to the house and insists on seeing the child. If the parent or guardian refuses to let the investigator see the child, the investigator claims he’s going to get a court order. He threatens to take the child away from the parents. Although the Child Protection Agency seeks to protect children, in New York, they often violate the Fourth Amendment rights of the parents and the child.
We protect fathers’ rights in divorce situations. We litigate spousal maintenance issues (alimony), child support, child custody, child visitation and we deal with the equitable distribution of property issues in divorces. We also negotiate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. Should the mother seek to leave the state with the child, we litigate relocation problems.
When our clients lose their jobs or have reduced income, we bring applications to reduce child support payments. We also educate our clients with regard to the new no-fault divorce law. In contested, nasty divorces, we deal with issues involving parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome caused by one parent making negative statements about the other parent to the children. Should you have a Family Court or divorce issue, feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.