The city of Waltham, Massachusetts, has been sued by a couple after police showed up at their home in a middle-of-the-raid raid and demanded to take custody of their two children.
Originally published by WND News Center. Used with permission.
“The government cannot show up under the cover of night and take your children without a warrant or a reasonable belief a child is in imminent danger,” explained Joshua Thompson, senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation.
“Parents should be able to sleep without wondering if the government is going to take their kids in violation of constitutional guarantees.”
The legal action was brought against Waltham on behalf of Joshua Sabey and Sarah Perkins.
The attack on the family happened after Sarah brought 3-month-old Cal to the emergency room with a fever.
“Doctors discovered an older, healed fracture on one of Cal’s ribs,” the legal team explained.
Hospital staff members immediately summoned the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, which claimed it suspected child abuse.
The legal team explained, “Three days later, around 1 a.m., DCF workers and Waltham police officers showed up at Josh and Sarah’s home without a warrant, which is required by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The police threatened to break down the door if they didn’t turn over Cal and his three-year-old brother Clarence to be taken to a foster home. Josh and Sarah complied, and after a heart-wrenching four months, the government restored their full parental rights and cleared them of any wrongdoing.”
The lawsuit now is a follow-up to the city’s actions.
The city’s actions were “reprehensible and plainly unconstitutional,” the complaint, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, said.
Authorities had no warrant and there was no plausible imminent threat and more.
The legal team warned, “Nothing can undo the trauma of that early July morning and the prolonged abrogation of the Sabey’s parental rights. For parents, the emotional and physical toll of having your crying children torn from your arms never goes away.”
Government employees Katheryn Butterfield, Aaron Griffin, Carolyn Kalvinek, Bonnie Aruda, Anthony Scichilone, Richard Couture, Elias Makrigianias, and Stefano Visco are being sued, along with the city.
When the family members were accused of abuse, they could respond that the only potential situation that might have resulted in a cracked rib was a fall the baby had had weeks before. That apparently left no injury.
They denied any domestic abuse.
The family’s pediatrician told investigators there was “zero” concern about abuse in the family.
But investigators then told authorities that Sarah “rolled her eyes” while being questioned.
But they were told by hospital officials, “there were no signs of domestic abuse, no signs of substance abuse…”
Investigators also determined there were no concerns about the home.
The city officials are accused of violating the Fourth and 14th Amendments.
The case seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys fees and other relief.