Can I sue ACS, Legal Aid or the Courts for how they mishandled my custody case?
Hme…this is a good question. The answer is, the short answer really, is you can sue who ever you want under the American judicial system. The worse that could happen is you get hit with a frivolous lawsuit petition or judgment and you will have to pay some fines and restitution.
When you start talking about suing ACS (Association for Children’s Services) and Legal Aid and the Court, my guess is that it will be an uphill battle to win such a lawsuit because each of these entities ill argue that they did what they did because they thought it was in the “best interest of the child.”
Recently, one of those children in whose best interest these entities acted, brought a lawsuit against each of them saying they “ruined his life” by removing him from his parents home when he was 3 years old and sending him to live with his grandparents in Connecticut. The case is pending as of this writing so it is not clear how that worked out for him.
Can ACS and Legal Aid and the Courts make mistakes? Can they cat overzealously in some cases? Can the wrong conclusions ever be reached in these cases? Sure. It is highly probably that a few mistakes were made over the course of many years and that children’s “best interest” was not served at all by decisions rendered.
This stuff is not an exact science. When you are dealing with human beings, all sorts of things can happen and there can be biases and their can be bad faith and their can be innocent mistakes made. Should you sue if you are at the receiving end of this inexact science? It really is a personal decision and it really comes down to the case and what exactly transpired and whether the professionals were negligent in how they handled the case, given the information they had before them at the time. With that said, suing the court and saying the court was negligent in how it handled your case? Not sure how likely you are to succeed with that. The court has wide discretion in these cases and is unlikely to rule, after the fact, that it was negligent in its interpretation of the child’s best interest. On the other hand, if lawyers for ACS or Legal Aid withheld or misrepresented information from the court – which can happen – that would have led the court to a different decision in your case, and you can prove this, it is possible you could have a cause of action against said entity.
It is tough to say. This one is case by case and even when you have a lot of evidence it will be difficult to prevail years after the fact against entities like ACS, Legal Aid and the Family Court.