Legal Briefs (May 2014)

NASW and the NASW Ohio Chapter, through the NASW Legal Defense Fund, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to review a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in Campbell-Ponstingle, et al v. Kovacic.

The case involves three Ohio child protective service workers — classified as social workers — who removed two children from their mother’s home because they believed the children were at risk of physical harm.

The appeals court denied the social workers’ ability to use the qualified immunity defense in removing the children without a warrant, thus exposing them to personal liability for their action.

The brief argues that by allowing the appeals court’s decision to stand, it substantially impairs the ability of social workers to protect children from abuse and could encourage inaction rather than protective efforts.

NASW urges the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case in order to ensure that Congress’s goal of protecting children from abuse — as outlined in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act — is upheld by the proper application of the immunity from suit defense.

Visit the NASW Legal Defense Fund's Amicus Brief Database