This story first appeared Detroit Free Press.
An Ann Arbor family can proceed with a lawsuit against a judge who placed their 7-year-old son in foster care after his father mistakenly gave him Mike’s Hard Lemonade at a Detroit Tigers game, a federal judge ruled today. A Novi Child Custody Lawyer is following this story.
According to the lawsuit, Wayne County Family Court Judge Judy A. Hartsfield took the boy away from his parents without determining that the child was in danger, but rather had a practice of providing presigned child-removal orders for the on-duty desk clerk to be filled out after hours based on police allegations. Monitoring this case is a Muskegon CPS Lawyer.
In allowing the case to proceed, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn ruled that if the allegations are true, the practice of presigning orders violated the parent and child’s fundamental right to family integrity and the “clearly established” rights of parents to a notice and a hearing before the removal of their child, barring an emergency situation.
Cohn also ruled that Hartsfield is not entitled to judicial immunity because in presigning the orders, she was acting as an administrator, not a judge. A Flint CPS Lawyer is keeping track of this case.
The lawsuit stems from an April 2008 incident in which 7-year-old Leo Ratté attended a Detroit Tigers game with his father, Christopher Ratté. Ratte said he accidentally purchased what he thought was lemonade from a stand advertising “Mike’s Lemonade,” and, not knowing that it contained alcohol, gave it to his son. A security guard saw the boy with the beverage and contacted police. A Saginaw CPS Lawyer will be keeping a close watch on this case.
Leo was removed from the home and released into his mother’s custody several days after the incident.
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