COURT CASE CLAIMS SOCIAL WORKERS HAVE IMMUNITY FROM PERJURY CHARGES IF THEY LIE TO REMOVE CHILDREN FROM THEIR HOMES [VIDEO]
A court case known as the “Right to Lie” case would establish whether social workers are legally immune from perjury charges if they lie to the courts in order to remove children from their families — and it is now one step away from the Supreme Court.
Case number 15-55563, also known as Hardwick v. Vreeken or the “Right to Lie” case, was heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in October. The case is an extension of a long-running court battle between a California woman and her two daughters against the child welfare system in Orange County, California.
Paperwork filed in the case, Do Social Workers Have a Constitutional “Right to Lie” Case 9th Cir 15-55563, says that after a seven-week trial beginning in 2007, a jury found social workers and Orange County liable for the “unconstitutional removal and continued detention” of Kendall and Preslie Hardwick, then 9 and 6, from their mother, Deanna Fogarty.
The Orange County Register reports that in a lawsuit filed by Kendall, social workers Marcie Vreeken and Helen Dwojak were accused of lying in a court report, failing to disclose threats Vreeken made against Kendall and her sister, withholding evidence that would have cleared their mother, and filing false reports.
Caseworkers were also found guilty of withholding information about the girls’ emotional states in foster care. At one point, a therapist wrote to the agency that Kendall showed signs of emotional regression and was tearful throughout the session, begging to go home.
“She doesn’t know how much longer she can cope and visibly shook while relating this,” the therapist wrote. Despite receiving reports such as these, the caseworkers continued to report to the courts that the girls were “doing well.”
The jury found that the girls were removed from their home by caseworkers using a “pervasive pattern of lies and extensive cover-up.” The girls ended up spending six and a half years in foster care, despite their mother’s continual attempts to comply with every request the caseworkers made of her, The Orange County Register reports.
The court found that the child welfare workers committed “judicial deception” to facilitate the removal of the children from their mother. So far, the case has resulted in more than $10 million in judgments against Orange County.