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July 26, 2002
Mary Roe v. CPS
Social workers violate family's 4th Amendment rights

Filed: July 19, 2001, Fifth Circuit.

Nature of Case: Lubbock, Texas, was the scene of this alleged 4th Amendment violation by CPS workers investigating a non-emergency complaint. The court held that the law was clearly established that the 4th Amendment applies to social services investigations and that this worker should have known that a coerced entry violated it. Since the officials were denied qualified immunity, they have the right to file an interlocutory appeal to the 5th Circuit, which they have done. HSLDA filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief on behalf of the Roe family.

Status: On July 17, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted the argument in HSLDA's brief, ruling that social workers are bound by the Fourth Amendment when conducting abuse or neglect investigations.

Last Updated: July 26, 2002.