Liberty Alerts, Liberty Counsel
Washington, DC – Liberty Counsel has filed an Amicus Brief at the U.S. Supreme Court, asking that the Court protect fundamental parental rights from being threatened by social workers and law enforcement officers conducting investigations without the knowledge or consent of parents. In Alford v. Greene and Camreta v. Greene, a social worker and deputy sheriff went to a nine-year-old girl’s school, took her out of class, and interrogated her for two hours without notifying or getting the consent of the mother, who was not a subject of the investigation. The question before the Court is whether the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures must be honored regardless of whether an investigation takes place at a school or in the family home.
In its brief, Liberty Counsel asks the Court to balance the fundamental rights of parents to raise their children with the government’s interest in preventing and prosecuting child abuse allegations. Liberty Counsel urges the Court to not permit governmental officials to sidestep parental rights and Fourth Amendment protections by arriving unannounced at a child’s school and interviewing her there instead of complying with the requirement of a warrant, consent, or emergency circumstances that is necessary when conducting an investigation at the family home.
Liberty Counsel also explains in the brief that while school officials have been provided some leeway in conducting searches related to the maintenance of order and discipline, those lowered standards should not be applied to nonschool personnel conducting investigations that are unrelated to school discipline. Liberty Counsel previously won a similar case arising out of Wisconsin at the federal court of appeals called Michael C. v. Gresbach. In that case, the court ruled that the social worker’s interrogation and strip search of a minor violated the Fourth Amendment.
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: “Government social workers must respect the privacy of minors and the rights of parents. Government agents cannot evade the Constitution. Unauthorized interrogations and body searches can traumatize innocent children. Social workers must exercise caution in this area.”
Used with permission.