Parents Who Remain on List of Child Abusers Long After They Are Cleared Sue for Damages to Get Off List

California Mother and Father are raising 15 year old Daughter.

Daughter allegedly steals Mother’s and Father’s car and travels to Utah, to reunite with her biological mother and stepfather.

Daughter tells her biological mother that Mother and Father regularly physically abuse her.

The adults report the abuse to a child welfare agency and law enforcement authorities.

Medical examination of Daughter finds trauma, which examiners characterize as “non-accidental”.

Mother and Father are charged with the felony of “torture”.

Mother and Father’s two younger Children are taken into child protective custody.

Children deny any abuse.

Mother and Father are listed in the Child Abuse Central Index.

Authorities’ investigation continues.

Family doctor testifies that despite numerous examinations, he has not observed any evidence of physical abuse of Daughter.

Authorities eventually conclude that Mother and Father are innocent.

Charges against them are dropped.

But Mother and Father remain listed on the Child Abuse Central Index.

Finally, Mother and Father sue local officials for damages for failure to remove their names from the Child Abuse Central Index long after the charges against them are dropped.

Mother and Father assert that the listing in the Child Abuse Central Index violates their due process rights, because they were not afforded the opportunity to challenge the allegations against them before their names were listed in the Child Abuse Central Index.

The local officials defend by blaming the violation on the state.

An intermediate federal appellate court rules in favor of Mother and Father.

Now the case is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court.

Read more in this CNN article: Court hears appeal of couple cleared of child abuse, still on registry.