Ninth Circuit Case Law Part 4

Government officials are required to obtain prior judicial authorization before intruding on a parent’s custody of her child unless they possess information at the time of the seizure that establishes Reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and that the scope of the intrusion is reasonably necessary to avert that specific injury. Wallis v. Spencer,202 F.3d 1126, 1138 9th Cir. 2000 citing Mincey v. Arizona,437 U.S. 385, 393, 98 S.Ct. 2408, 57 L.Ed.2d 290 1978.

Whether the plaintiff has succeeded in demonstrating such deliberate indifference is generally a question for the jury. Lee, 250 F.3d at 682 Alexander v. City of San Francisco, 29 F.3d 1355, 1367 9th Cir. 1994,

To establish municipal county liability, the Plaintiff must show that 1 she was deprived of a constitutional right; 2 the County had a policy; 3 the policy amounted to a deliberate indifference to her constitutional right; and 4 the policy was the moving force behind the constitutional violation. Van Ort v. Estate of Stanewich, 92 F.3d 831, 835 9th Cir. 1996.

In the area of child abuse, as with the investigation and prosecution of all crimes, the state is constrained by the substantive and procedural guarantees of the Constitution. The fact that the suspected crime may be heinous—whether it involves children or adults—does not provide cause for the state to ignore the rights of the accused or any other parties. Wallis v. Spencer, 202 F.3d 1126, 1130 9th Cir.1999

Our conclusion that no exigency existed here is also supported by the fact that the Child Protective Services delayed in investigating the case and in removing the children. See Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808, 813 9th Cir.1999 holding that a 14-day delay by social workers in entering the family home to investigate a report of abuse is evidence of lack of exigency

Once the plaintiff has demonstrated that a custom existed, the plaintiff need not also demonstrate that official policy-makers had actual knowledge of the practice at issue. Navarro, 72 F.3d at 714–15; Thompson, 885 F.2d at 1444. But see Blair v. City of Pomona, 223 F.3d 1074, 1080 9th Cir. 2000

Qualified immunity shields a government official from liability for civil damages if 1 the law governing the official’s conduct was clearly established; and 2 under that law, the official objectively could have believed that her conduct was lawful. Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237 F.3d 1101, 1106 9th Cir. 2001

However, in her written claim, which was submitted on a form provided by the County, appears to contain several relevant allegations including: names, dates, details and causes of action based upon state grounds, violation of statutes, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. These details satisfy the threshold notice requirement of claim submission. See Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 910, 910.4. While Mabe’s CTCA submission contains duplicative claims addressed elsewhere in this opinion, at least two of these claims sound in state law, which are also presented in Mabe’s opening brief on appeal — statutory violations and emotional distress. Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237 F.3d 1101, 1111 9th Cir. 2001

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that parents will not be separated from their children without due process of law except in emergencies. See Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651, 92 S.Ct. 1208, 31 L.Ed.2d 551 1972; Ram, 118 F.3d at 1310 9th Cir. 1997 Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237 F.3d 1101, 1107 9th Cir. 2001

A material question of fact exists regarding whether . . . there was reasonable cause to believe, on the basis of the information in the possession of the . . . police officer, that the . . . children faced an immediate threat of serious physical injury or death. Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237 F.3d 1101, 1108 9th Cir. 2001

It is well settled constitutional law that, absent exigent circumstances, probable cause alone cannot justify an officer’s warrantless entry into a person’s home. Mabe v. San Bernardino County, 237 F.3d 1101, 1108 n.2 9th Cir. 2001

The indifference of city officials may be shown where, in light of the duties assigned to specific …employees, the need for more or different training is so obvious, and the inadequacy so likely to result in the violation of constitutional rights, that the policymakers of the city can reasonably be said to have been deliberately indifferent to the need. City of Canton, 489 U.S. at 390; see Long, 442 F.3d at 1186–87; Johnson, 388 F.3d at 686; Berry v. Baca, 379 F.3d 764, 767 9th Cir. 2004;

Balances, on the one hand, the need to protect children from abuse and neglect and, on the other, the preservation of the essential privacy and liberty interests that families are guaranteed under both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of our Constitution. Rogers v. Cty. of San Joaquin, 487 F.3d 1288, 1297 9th Cir. 2007.

Seizing and interrogating a suspected child abuse victim without parental consent violates the child’s Fourth Amendment rights absent a warrant, court order, or exigent circumstances. See James v. Rowlands, 606 F.3d 646, 652 n. 2 9th Cir.2010

Families in child abuse investigations are protected by two provisions of the Constitution, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Search and Seizure Clause of the Fourth Amendment. Parents and children have a well-elaborated constitutional right to live together without governmental interference. That right is an essential liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that parents and children will not be separated by the state without due process of law except in an emergency. Under the Fourteenth Amendment right to familial association, an official who removes a child from parental custody without a warrant must have reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to experience serious bodily harm in the time that would be required to obtain a warrant. Rogers v. Cnty. of San Joaquin,487 F.3d 1288, 1294 9th Cir.2007.

When the district court denies summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds, the appealable issue is a purely legal one: whether the facts alleged by the plaintiff support a claim of violation of clearly established law.Id. at 528 n. 9, 105 S.Ct. 2806. Jones v. Cnty. of L.A., 802 F.3d 990, 999 9th Cir. 2015

The child subjected to seizure is also protected by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. Kirkpatrick v. Cnty. of Washoe,792 F.3d 1184, 1187–89 9th Cir.2015 ; Wallis,202 F.3d at 1137 n. 8. Jones v. Cnty. of L.A., 802 F.3d 990, 1000 9th Cir. 2015

Under this standard, a municipal defendant can be held liable because of a failure to properly train its employees only if the failure reflects a conscious choice by the government. Kirkpatrick v. Cty. of Washoe, 843 F.3d 784, 793 9th Cir. 2016

Parents and children may assert Fourteenth Amendment claims if they are deprived of their liberty interest in the companionship and society of their child or parent through official conduct. See Lemire v. Cal. Dept. of Corr. & Rehab., 726 F.3d 1062, 1075 9th Cir. 2013 parents and children; Smith v. City of Fontana, 818 F.2d at 1418-19; Curnow v. Ridgecrest Police, 952 F.2d 321, 325 9th Cir. 1991 parent; Crumpton v. Gates, 947 F.2d 1418, 1421-24 9th Cir. 1991 Thomas v. Cannon, No. 3:15-05346 BJR, 14 W.D. Wash. Jan. 11, 2018

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