Los Angeles Mother Receives Large Settlement from Child Protective Services

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The County of Los Angeles settles with a mother who had alleged that social workers for Department of Children and Family Services committed fraud.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $999,999 settlement with a mother whose two daughters were removed from her custody when their baby brother died. In a lawsuit filed against Child Protective Services, the mother was represented by Attorney Vincent W. Davis & Associates in the case.

According to court documents, it all started in October, 2012, when Lisa Castillo found her 3-month-old son lying in his crib, not breathing. The infant was brought to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The court documents further allege that the next day, a social worker with the county’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), also known as Child Protective Services (CPS) in some counties, informed Castillo of her decision to remove the two older children from her custody.

Again, according to court documents, Castillo, fearful of her children being placed in foster care or losing them permanently, alleged she was forced to sign a “voluntary placement agreement” at the meeting that consented to her children being placed in the custody of a relative.

Details from court documents allege that social workers employed by the county’s Child Protective Services (CPS) agency removed the children and then forged documents to suggest the mother, from the Crenshaw/Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, had voluntarily signed off on placing her children with the county.

As alleged in court documents, the social worker and her supervisors attempted to cover up the removal, and continued detention of the children, by backdating the documents to when the children were originally removed and signing off on a forgery.

The court documents also allege that it would take 217 days until the sisters were sent back home.

Castillo’s lawyers, Vincent W. Davis and Associates, CPS/DCFS defense lawyers, argued State and Federal laws are regularly ignored, and the children were removed because she was “judged as a second-class citizen”.

In court, Castillo’s attorneys argued her civil rights were violated, resulting in the county’s settlement.

Castillo, et al. v. County of Los Angeles, et al.
Case No. 2:14-cv-07702-BRO (VBKx)
United States District Court for the Central District of California

Attribution:
Article by Carl Finer in Chronicle of Social Change
Dec 14, 2016
https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/los-angeles-mother-lost-two-children-foster-care-wins-civil-rights-settlement/23429

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Verena Somer
Vincent W. Davis & Associates
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