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Court Nixes Challenge to Child Services Settlement

(CN) - The 2nd Circuit dismissed a challenge to a class-action settlement over New York's alleged practice of removing children from the homes of black and Latino parents or guardians without properly investigating allegations of abuse and neglect.

Nearly 11 years ago, People United for Children filed a class action against New York City, the city's Administration for Child Services, its commissioner and then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, claiming the city's child-removal policies discriminated against minorities and violated their constitutional, parental, privacy, cultural and religious rights.

In February 2007, U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy approved the parties' settlement, which took steps to keep parents better informed and to eliminate potential bias. The city also agreed to pay nearly $100,000 in "incentive awards" to all but one named plaintiff.

The Manhattan-based federal appeals court upheld the settlement as "fair, adequate, and reasonable," despite the objections of two class members.

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