Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quotes From Amici - Camreta v. Greene

In support of neither party:

Children's Advocacy Institute
". . .the system in place includes numerous checks to protect the rights of suspected parental abusers, including required “reasonable efforts” not to remove a child; a detention hearing before a neutral
court with the burden on the State to show child danger; appointment of counsel for all involved parents;
mandated “reasonable efforts” to reunify; jurisdiction hearing; disposition hearing (pendente lite); review
hearings; and permanent placement hearings – all before the judiciary, and including liberal rights of
appellate review."

In support of the respondents:

Liberty Counsel
"Moving the seizure and interrogation of S.G. from the family's residence to a school office did not shield Petitioners from the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. A mere change in locale did not transform the
criminal investigation of alleged child abuse by a county child protection officer and deputy sheriff into a school discipline investigation by a principal or superintendent. The lessened expectation of privacy accorded to students in the latter circumstances cannot be applied to relieve Petitioners of their obligations under
the Fourth Amendment."

National Association of Criminal Defense Counsel
"History teaches that the Framers in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century would not have countenanced government’s meddling with America’s families. They would not have allowed government officials to take children because of alleged abuse. Simply put, the Founders did not consider raising and rearing children government’s business. Warrantless rescues based on claimed abuse would therefore not have been tolerated. Nor did such a practice exist at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted."

"One’s right to family cannot depend on location. It follows the family."

". . .the class of potentially “dependent” children is huge. It encompasses all children in America. Infants, toddlers and young school-age children, like S.G., are all potential targets. This vast universe of potential “status” victims, coupled with mandatory reporting requirements, vague understandings of “neglect,” and undertrained investigators produces a significant error rate within the child protection system."

"Petitioners’ demand for a lower standard is premised less on a desire to protect children than to win unbridled discretion. History teaches, however, that license breeds abuse. See, e.g., Kolender v. Lawson,
461 U.S. 352, 358 (1983) (warning that 'virtually complete discretion in the hands of the police' cannot
be tolerated); Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156 (1972); Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108-09 (1983). History teaches that 'unbridled discretion, however benevolently motivated, is
frequently a poor substitute for principle and procedure.' Gault, 387 U.S. at 18."

Liberty Counsel
"Rather than according Respondents' Fourth Amendment rights the respect required by Congress, Petitioners side-stepped the issue by conducting the investigation at S.G.'s school instead of the family home. Petitioners should not be permitted to evade their obligations under the Fourth Amendment by simply changing the venue for their investigations. Respondents' Fourth Amendment rights are not limited to the confines of their residence, and Petitioners should not be permitted to flout the will of this Court and Congress by doing at
a child's school what they cannot do in the home. Fourth Amendment rights should not be subjected to such gamesmanship."

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