Suit: DCS removed children under false claims

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis couple has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services alleging the agency removed their two young children from their home under false pretenses, causing them to stay in foster care for months.

The lawsuit claims the children were taken after their father was wrongfully accused in 2018 of sexually abusing the daughter. The mother argues DCS refused to acknowledge any exculpatory evidence that was presented and believes her ability to take care of her children was brought into question because she is disabled.

Filed by Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP on behalf of Adam and Laura Huff, the lawsuit demands a jury trial and $3 million in damages from the agency due to violations of their First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The entire premise for removing the children from the family home was false,” attorney Tom Blessing said at a news conference last week announcing the lawsuit. “It was based on a lie.”

The law firm claims due to the allegations, the family was separated for several months, including over the holidays, and said the goal of the lawsuit is to hold DCS accountable and compensate the family for emotional distress.

DCS sought a voluntary dismissal of the case just days before they were to appear in court to argue the allegations, according to the suit. DCS spokeswoman Erin Murphy said in a statement that the agency investigates allegations of abuse and neglect and "makes recommendations to the court based on the evidence at hand," but did not comment on the family’s allegations or the lawsuit.

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