September 2, 2018 § Leave a comment
Making Out the Monell Claim under Section 1983
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Blum, Karen M. (2012) “Making Out the Monell Claim under Section 1983,” Touro Law Review: Vol. 25: No. 3, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.tourolaw.edu/lawreview/vol25/iss3/2
This Selected Excerpts: Practising Law Institute’s Annual Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Program is brought to you for free and open access by Digital Commons @ Touro Law Center. It has been accepted for inclusion in Touro Law Review by an authorized administrator of Digital Commons @ Touro Law Center. For more information, please contact ASchwartz@tourolaw.edu.
August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
MONTREAL – A mother of seven from north of Montreal is awaiting trial after being arrested in April for dreaming of killing her children, her lawyer alleges.
The 38-year-old mother, whose name can’t be published to protect the identity of her children, allegedly told Quebec’s child protective services that she had recurring nightmares of entering her daughters’ room and stabbing them to death with a knife.
Two weeks after she told her story to Quebec’s child welfare agency, police arrested her and charged her with assault with a weapon, possessing a weapon, and for failing to provide the necessities of life.
“I never wanted to hurt my children,” the mother told QMI Agency. “There was never even a knife, it was a dream.”
Valerie De Guise, the mother’s lawyer, told QMI Agency the criminal accusations will likely not stick because they are based on her client’s statements to the child agency.
The mother of seven was jailed for 90 days and hasn’t seen her children since her arrest.
The Crown declined to comment.
August 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
Father of foster child who died speaks to KVUE
MURDERED TWO YEAR OLD WAS BEING “PROTECTED” BY CPS FROM HER POT-SMOKING (“Midnight Toking”) DAD
… Another baby protected to death while in the governments’ care…
Note: When I look at these photos, and they are coming through everyday, beautiful little children who were loved, kidnapped and murdered by government departments who move onto the next family the next day, I can’t help but be reminded of my own little angel Lukey Pookey. These government predators need to be jailed..
A loving father lost custody of his little girl last November in Austin, Tx, after he admitted to.smoking marijuana at night after he put his child down for bedtime.
The precious little girl was not ill, or harmed by her fathers nightcap, nor was she exposed to the marijuana he smoked, yet this loving parent had his two year old baby girl taken by CPS and placed in foster care last fall.
At visits, the father noticed bruises on his daughter, and voiced his concerns for the welfare of his little girl at the foster home she’d been placed in. Those concerns went ignored by CPS.
Now this beautiful baby girl was MURDERED in foster care by an abusive foster mom who was in it for the money! Below is an article where the woman admits, after changing her story a few times, that she slammed the little two year old girl down on her head at least two times before losing her grip the third time, dropping the girl on her head. Causing her death.
The foster mother was angry at the little girl for waking up hungry and getting herself something to eat and some water to drink out of the kitchen. So she killed her.
This child was removed from her natural home because of a father’s recreational marijuana use. The same natural herb that is rapidly being decriminalized in many other U.S. states!! Really.
As an advocate for the foster children and families torn apart wrongly by the system, I have stated before, my stance, on the issue of drug use and CPS. I strongly believe that absent evidence of abuse or neglect, and absent injury or harm to the child,there should be no reason for the removal of that child from their natural home solely because of a parents’ drug use and/or drug addiction particularly if there is no reason to believe that the drug was never used in the presence of the child. If the use of the marijuana was kept outside the child’s awareness, smoked after bedtime, I do not agree with the removal of that child solely due to that recreational marijuana use if it truly had no deleterious effect on the child, and where there is no other sign of abuse or neglect, and no injury to the child!
If the social worker truly believes a parent has a drug problem..there are plenty of outpatient rehabilitation programs available for the parent to receive help that the CPS worker could refer the parent to, while keeping the family unit in-tact.
Had an approach such a that been utilized in this situation, this baby girl would not have suffered abuse by the FOSTER PARENT and would not have been brutally and senselessly murdered! I also question the worker monitoring the visits who failed to investigate the signs of abuse that the father pointed out with obvious concern. What happened there?
What this is .. is a child welfare system failure at its worst!
I hope this case grinds deep into the minds of every cps worker. I hope this reminds them to rethink when they begin to needlessly remove a child from an abuse-free/neglect-free home where other in-home services are available.
CHILDREN ARE NOT A SOURCE OF INCOME …. THIS WOMAN, when convicted (seems inevitable since she’s already confessed though, technically, she is still innocent til proven guilty in the court of law) (supposedly) SHE DESERVES DEATH…(and in my opinion,a slow painful death)
It should be recorded and televised for foster parents to-be to watch in training class. Then maybe the “monsters to-be” who are getting into foster parenting to “earn an income” like this monster did.. will reconsider fostering and go get a JOB away from our children if they saw something REAL AND JUST being done about those who abuse and kill foster children!
God be with this baby girls’ family in this time of grief.
I hope this tragic loss changes something in the system, for change is so drastically needed.
May this little girls death not be in vain.
ROCKDALE POLICE: FOSTER MOTHER ADMITS SHE SLAMMED TWO YEAR OLD FOSTER CHILD ON HER HEAD
by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE
ROCKDALE, Texas — Tucked away behind the trees in Rockdale, Texas is a normally quiet neighborhood, but the peace has been shattered.
“It shocked me. It really did,” said Lois Rash, who lives in Rockdale.
“It’s a shame. Never should have happened,” added neighbor Larry McAdams.
Their neighbor, 54-year-old Sherill Small is now charged with the murder of her foster daughter Alexandria Hill, better known as Alex.
Monday night, police, fire and EMS crews were called out to the Small home. Small, who was the only person home at the time, called and said the two-year-old wasn’t breathing.
Alex was taken to the hospital, then airlifted to the children’s hospital in Temple. Alex’s biological parents rushed to her side.
“When I got there, it was about 1:00 in the morning and I found out that Alex was in a coma,” said her father Joshua Hill.
Wednesday night Hill and Alex’s mother decided to take her off life support.
“There’s not words to describe trying to make that decision,” said Hill.
Back in Rockdale, police say Small’s story about what happened kept changing.
“Originally, Mrs. Small reported that the child was running backwards and had fallen and this is how she had received the injuries. Later, it changed to kind of we were playing ring-around-the-rosy and I was swinging her and she fell,” said Rockdale Police Chief Thomas Harris. “And at some point somebody had gotten information that she was supposed to have been riding a bicycle and fallen off.”
Chief Harris said things just didn’t add up.
“I mean a two year old child doesn’t run backwards and fall hard enough to get this type of an injury,” explained Harris.
Doctors say Alex had hemorrhaging in her brain and eyes. An autopsy shows she had blunt force trauma to the head.
Harris says Thursday morning, Small finally told them the truth.
“She had evidently been frustrated with the child all day long. She had… the child… had evidently gotten up before the Small’s did and she had went and got into some food and some water,” said Harris. “That is what Mrs. Small was initially upset with her about…. had made her stand in a dark room, according to our reports, for at least three-to-four hours, wouldn’t let her sit or anything.”
Then around 7:00 that night, the young child, so full of life, was knocked unconscious.
“She actually admitted that she had slung the child down on the floor,” said Harris.
Small told investigators she raised the toddler over her head and slung her down toward the floor twice.
“On the third time down she said she lost her grip and dropped the child. Slammed the child down on the floor,” explained Harris.
Harris says Small’s husband, who wasn’t home when the incident happened, became emotional and even cried when talking to police. But not Small.
“I did not see a whole lot of remorse. I think it’s more like a lot of times these people’s, they’re sorry that they’re in trouble. This is the sense that I get. It’s still about them, it’s not really remorse about the child. I never got that feeling,” added Harris.
The Small’s had another foster child who is eight-months-old. That child has been removed.
Police say neither Small or her husband had jobs, but were instead planning to foster between five and six children as a source of income.
Small is in the Milam County Jail. Her bond has been set at $100,000.
ROUND ROCK — He never thought his visit with her Thursday, July 25 would be his last.
“We got to sit down at McDonalds and have lunch and play for a while,” said Round Rock resident Joshua Hill.
“She got a little ‘Despicable Me 2’ toy in her happy meal and she loved it. She kept climbing up in my lap and she fed me french fries.”
But on Monday night, Hill’s daughter Alexandria, or Alex as they liked to call her, was rushed to a Rockdale hospital with severe head injuries, then flown to Scott and White Children’s Emergency Hospital in Temple and immediately placed on life support.
Alex was living with foster parents after DFPS removed her from her parent’s home last November for “neglectful supervision.”
Hill admits they were smoking pot when their daughter was asleep.
“We never hurt our daughter. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care.”
For two months, Alex was placed in a home that Hill says was dangerous.
“She would come to visitation with bruises on her, and mold and mildew in her bag. It got to a point where I actually told CPS that they would have to have me arrested because I wouldn’t let her go back.”
In January, CPS placed her with Sherill Small in Rockdale, and Hill says things seemed safe there.
“They listened, they paid attention when we had concerns, they tried to keep us in the loop, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.”
Hill got the call Monday night that his daughter was in a Temple hospital.
“They wouldn’t tell me what condition she was in or what was wrong or what had happened. The only thing they would tell me is I needed to be there. When I got there, I found out that Alex was in a coma.”
For two days, they held out hope she would regain consciousness but on Wednesday night Alex was taken off life support.
Rockdale detectives say Small’s explanation didn’t match Alex’s injuries, so Thursday they arrested the foster mother on murder charges.
Hill says he was less than four months away from getting Alex back and now he’ll never get the chance.
CPS removed another child from the foster home on Monday after Alex was rushed to the hospital.
Small’s bond is set at $100,000.
Officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services tell KVUE they rely on private child placing agencies to perform background checks on all foster homes.
The agency in this case is called Texas Mentor and state records show 15 total deficiencies for the Austin branch of that agency over the past two years.
Four of those deficiencies were for failing to perform proper background checks on people who live in foster homes.
The state does not specify which homes were involved in those cases.
by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN
ROCKDALE (August 1, 2013)–A Rockdale woman was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging murder in connection with the death of a 2-year-old foster child who was placed in her home in January.
Sherill Small, 54, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bond on the murder charge, Milam County Jail records showed Thursday.
Bell County Justice of the Peace David Barfield pronounced Alexandria Hill, 2, dead at Scott & White’s McLane Children’s Hospital on Wednesday after she was taken off life support.
Barfield has ordered an autopsy.
Officers were sent to Small’s home at around 7 p.m. Monday in response to a report that the girl was unresponsive and not breathing.
The child was taken first to Richards Memorial Hospital’s emergency room and then was flown to Scott & White.
Rockdale police said Small was the lone caregiver at the time of the child’s injury and said the explanation she offered was inconsistent with what doctors found, police said.
Texas Child Protective Services and the Mentor Texas Program placed the toddler with Small and her husband Clemon in January, police said.
July 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
Judge dismisses lawsuit that challenged guardian ad litem system
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Moscow man who challenged Lackawanna County’s use of court-appointed attorneys in private child custody disputes.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann on Monday said the lawsuit filed by Dr. Michael Stefanov could not be heard in federal court because it involves an ongoing matter in state court.
Dr. Stefanov filed suit in March 2012 against Lackawanna County, Judges Trish Corbett, Chester Harhut and Thomas Munley and attorney Danielle Ross, who served as guardian ad litem, a court appointed attorney who represents the interest of the child in disputed custody matters.
Dr. Stefanov claimed Mrs. Ross, who is awaiting trial on charges of income tax evasion related to her court work, violated his constitutional rights by demanding he follow her often-unreasonable directives under the threat she would preclude him from seeing his son if he did not comply.
The lawsuit also faulted the county court system, alleging judges too freely appointed Mrs. Ross to cases where her intervention was not warranted, and failed to monitor her behavior to ensure she was not violating parents’ rights.
Judge Brann’s ruling does not address the merits of Dr. Stefanov’s claims as it is based on a legal interpretation of whether the case was properly before the federal court.
Attorneys for the county argued the case should be dismissed because it involves a custody case in state court. Federal appellate courts have previously held that the federal court system should not interfere with a state court proceeding except in extraordinary circumstances.
Dr. Stefanov’s attorney, Paul Cianci, argued the custody matter was not ongoing since a final custody order was issued in 2010. Judge Brann agreed with the county’s attorneys, who maintained the custody case was ongoing because the custody order could be modified at any time.
Mr. Cianci declined to comment on whether Dr. Stefanov will appeal the ruling.
The decision ends the civil case, but Mrs. Ross still faces trial in federal on charges she failed to pay income tax on approximately $200,000 she collected between 2009 and 2010 from parents for her guardian ad litem work. No trial date has been set.
Contact the writer: email@example.com
July 11, 2013 § 3 Comments
* This is just the latest twist in what has been a totally bizarre month in St. Clair County…
A former state lawmaker who’s the new clerk of southwestern Illinois’ St. Clair County says his new job will pay about $20,000 less than what he is making, but he’s fine with that.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Tom Holbrook will make $100,800 as St. Clair County clerk. He’s now making $120,000 a year as chairman of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
The county’s board on Monday night unanimously appointed Holbrook as the replacement of Bob Delaney, who resigned last week after an employee accused him of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Delaney denied any wrongdoing.
* The Delaney incident was really awful…
Employees of St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney, who resigned abruptly this week, complained that their boss grabbed their breasts and buttocks, kissed them and made inappropriate comments at work, according a copy of an investigative report released Thursday.
The report, by county Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Laura Beasley, also said workers accused Delaney of drinking on the job, using racial slurs and cultivating a climate of fear and racial discrimination.
Beasley determined that the complaint was “overwhelmingly founded.”
The investigation was prompted by a May 16 complaint from Laura Romero, a 25-year-old employee who had been fired. The report was released Wednesday by Romero’s lawyer, Thomas Kennedy III, but parts were missing due to a faxing error.
The complete report says that four other employees were mulling complaints against Delaney. It says seven employees told Beasley that Delaney had grabbed the buttocks of workers, two employees said he grabbed their breasts and 13 said they had been kissed by Delaney “on the face, cheeks, and lips.”
* But that was nothing compared to what happened in late May. The judge who presided over the county’s drug court, and whose father is a major trial lawyer and bigtime Democratic campaign contributor, was arrested. From May 24th…
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook is the target of a federal investigation. […]
The investigation has raised new questions about the death of Circuit Judge Joe Christ, who died in March while at a hunting cabin in Pike County, Ill., owned by Cook’s family. The Pike County coroner, Paul Petty, confirmed Friday that Christ died of cocaine intoxication, and that traces of cocaine and drug paraphernalia were found near his body.
Christ, 49, a longtime St. Clair County prosecutor, had only been on the bench about a week before his death.
A southwestern Illinois judge already under scrutiny after a colleague died of a cocaine overdose at his family’s hunting lodge was charged Friday with possession of heroin and guns.
Wearing cutoff shorts and a T-shirt with the slogan “Bad is my middle name,” St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty to federal counts of possessing heroin and having a firearm while being an illegal user of controlled substances. The criminal complaint alleges those offenses took place Thursday, and that Cook is an addict.
Earlier Friday, the county coroner said toxicology tests showed that Cook’s colleague, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Joe Christ, overdosed on cocaine while staying with Cook at the Cook family’s 2,500-square-foot cabin near the Mississippi River in western Illin
* Apparently, the two went easy on an alleged heroin dealer who sold them drugs…
First Assistant U.S. Attorney James Porter blames St. Clair County justice for the absence of criminal convictions against alleged heroin dealer and addict Sean McGilvery of Belleville. […]
Porter said he was aware that a report from probation officers listed no convictions.
“We are also aware that the reason is because of the people he dealt with in the courthouse,” Porter said.
“He simply hasn’t been made to pay for any of the things he has done in the past.”
McGilvery allegedly supplied heroin that addicted former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook.
* Christ dismissed tickets…
In his final days as a St. Clair County prosecutor, Joe Christ recommended that traffic tickets be dismissed for two men accused in federal court documents of selling cocaine and heroin to Christ and his friend, Circuit Judge Michael Cook, and then Cook obliged.
* The scale is just mind-boggling…
Suspended Circuit Court Judge Michael Cook’s long-time friend, Sean McGilvery, has been named a co-defendant in a high-volume heroin distribution case allegedly run by a mother and son team from Fairview Heights previously charged with concealing the drug overdose death of a 30-year-old woman.
McGilvery, 34, of Belleville, was charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute more than two pounds of heroin. McGilvery, who pleaded not guilty, resided at 309 N. 38th St. in Belleville, the same address where the home’s owner, McGilvery’s mother Linda Gibson, said Cook was arrested Wednesday evening by federal agents.
On Friday, Cook was charged with possessing heroin and a felony weapons charge. He pleaded not guilty.
Also charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin are Deborah A. Perkins, 64, and her 46-year-old son, Douglas W. Oliver. They were charged Sept. 5 with moving the body of Jessica Williams from their Fairview Heights home and dumping it in Washington Park. An autopsy showed Williams died from a heroin overdose. […]
In addition to being friends for years, McGilvery is also linked to Cook through a 1999 injury liability case where Cook was his lawyer, and in a 2011 drug possession case where Cook was the judge. Cook dismissed the felony drug possession charge in May 2012 after McGilvery completed a drug treatment program.
* And the irony is too thick to be imagined…
The St. Clair County Circuit judge at the center of a drug scandal and charged with heroin possession, handled 90 percent of the circuit’s drug court cases. Judge Michael Cook decided if felons were complying with their rehabilitation efforts. Ironically, it is the judge who is in rehab right now.
* A probation officer was also involved…
On Tuesday, St. Clair County Probation Officer James K. Fogarty, 45, of Belleville, appeared in federal court to answer to charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty and waived his preliminary hearing. He remains in federal custody until a bond hearing set for next week.
During an interview with FBI agent Joe Murphy at Fogarty’s home, Fogarty said he used cocaine with Cook and newly elected Associate Circuit Judge Joe Christ, who was a longtime St. Clair County prosecutor.
Fogarty told Murphy that he sold an “eight ball of cocaine,” or about an eighth of an ounce, to the judges with each paying about $140 apiece. The cocaine was purchased by the judges the day before Christ was found dead at Cook’s family’s hunting cabin in Pike County, Ill. The Pike County sheriff has said that Christ died of cocaine toxicity.
* And that probation officer reportedly squealed…
In asking a judge not to release a former St. Clair County probation officer on bond, a federal prosecutor said the defendant “implicated a number of prominent people up in Belleville and the area around.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Porter said the government was concerned that these people might encourage James K. Fogarty, of Belleville, to flee so that he could not further implicate them. He said Fogarty, in his job as a probation officer, committed “a jaw-dropping and extraordinary breach of trust,” and is a flight risk.
* The rot appears to be quite widespread…
The daughter of a former St. Clair County judge was a co-defendant in a drug case against a man who federal prosecutors say provided heroin to another county judge, Michael Cook.
Katherine C. O’Malley, 33, of Belleville, the daughter of retired Circuit Judge Michael O’Malley, is listed as a co-defendant in the 2011 case of Sean McGilvery of Belleville, who was charged with possessing crack cocaine.
Cook, a longtime friend of McGilvery’s, ordered McGilvery to complete a drug treatment class, then dismissed the case.
O’Malley’s case has been expunged and is no longer listed in the circuit clerk’s records, but her attorney, Greg Skinner, said she was ordered to complete drug school, then Circuit Judge John Baricevic dismissed the case on May 23, 2012. It was the same punishment as McGilvery received.
* The US Attorney is expanding the probe…
U.S. Attorney Steve Wigginton told reporters the investigation into who else might be involved is “wide open,” and continues within St. Clair County Courthouse and beyond
* Did that federal probe include a local police chief, who killed himself?…
No one has implicated the late Caseyville police chief J.D. Roth as a suspect in a federal investigation, except Roth himself.
After his June 13 suicide, those close to him told Fairview Heights police that he had been depressed for months about an investigation.
Public records show Roth was arrested on May 8, when state police picked him up on two charges of official misconduct.
Roth shot himself in his back yard, at 9704 Avalon in Fairview Heights..
* Departing clerk Delaney faces action over bad debt
* Bound in handcuffs, Belleville woman is interrogated by FBI about Judge Michael Cook
* Judge grants Cook’s motion to continue trial on drug charge; Grand jury returns indictments of McGilvery, Fogarty
* Mothers of women who died from heroin blame Cook: ‘If (he’d) been doing his job …’
* ‘What’s the difference between him and me — the black robe?’: Former addict resents being sent to prison by Cook
* Fallout from Cook case: St. Clair County may expand drug testing
* Accused drug dealer at heart of courthouse scandal won’t go to rehab
* Steven McGlynn named to St. Clair County bench
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