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Marisol v. Giuliani

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
929 F. Supp. 662 (1996)


Eleven minors (plaintiffs), over whom the Child Welfare Administration of the City of New York (CWA) (defendant) presently or previously exercised custody, sued CWA. Plaintiffs alleged that the acts and omissions of CWA resulted in plaintiffs’ abuse, neglect, and improper residential placements. For example, named plaintiff Marisol was born after her mother was arrested for drug dealing. CWA returned Marisol to the mother after her release from prison despite evidence that the mother abused Marisol during visits. Marisol’s mother severely abused and mistreated the girl once she regained custody. Although multiple reports of the abuse were made to CWA, the agency did nothing. Other plaintiffs alleged that CWA improperly shuttled them to one foster home after another and failed to perform when adults sought to adopt them. Plaintiffs filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, on the grounds that CWA violated their substantive due process rights as well as statutory provisions of federal acts including the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (Adoption Assistance Act), Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The trial court considered CWA’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims.

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