M.D. v. Abbott

When Texas officials remove a child from home due to abuse or neglect, the child first enters a temporary custody program where officials try to resolve the problems at home or place the child with a relative or adoptive family. If officials are unable to find a permanent placement, the child enters a different program where the state’s attention to the child diminishes drastically; caseworkers have enormous caseloads, short tenures; case file management is haphazard. Fifth Circuit: Much, but not all, of the challenged system violates due process; the district court’s injunction must be substantially narrowed. Judge Higginbotham (concurring in part and dissenting in part): Children are “shuttled throughout a system where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm.” The injunction should be entirely upheld.

Tags: 2018, Due Process, Fifth Circuit, Judge Higginbotham

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