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Court Allows Couple’s Suit Against Two Caseworkers

(CN) - The Texas Court of Appeals allowed a couple who lost their children amid allegations of sexual abuse to proceed with legal action against two individual caseworkers.

The daughter of E.R. (the wife) claimed that she was sexually abused by J.R. (her stepfather). She later recanted the claim, and the charges were ultimately dropped.

However, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services placed E.R.'s two children in the custody of their biological father.

E.R. and J.R. sued the agency and three of its employees for fraud and injunctive relief. The trial court granted summary judgment to the department and its workers due to sovereign immunity.

However, on review, Judge Benavides ruled that E.R. and J.R. can proceed with claims against two caseworkers.

The couple alleges that caseworker Mayra Quintanilla showed a lack of good faith by failing to follow the family code's provisions for removing a child without a court order.

Also, Benavides ruled that the defendants did not show that supervisor Noe Pena had the authority to change the determination of the abuse allegations from "unable to determine" to "reason to believe."

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