Lansner Kubitschek Schaffer was selected by the New York State Bar Association for its 2011 President’s Pro Bono Service Award for a small firm for having served as lead counsel for the plaintiff child in the United States Supreme Court case of Camreta v. Greene. Carolyn Kubitschek argued the case on March 1, 2011, and the Court issued a mainly favorable decision.
Nicole Farbes-Lyon, a third-year student at St. John's Law School who interned with LKS, won the National Law Forum's student legal writing competition for her paper on compulsory arbitration of Title VII claims. Her article is published in The National Law Review and can be accessed online by clicking this link.
The Supreme Court issued its decision today in Camreta v. Greene. The decision was all on procedural grounds. The Court vacated some of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on the Fourth Amendment, but did not issue its own ruling on the Fourth Amendment. So this was a great victory for a case before this current Supreme Court.
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case which will determine whether Child Protective Services, accompanied by police, can take children out of their classes at school and interview them without parental consent or court order. This case will have a major impact on families’ rights. Our firm has been retained to represent S.G. and her mother Sarah Greene in the Supreme Court. Carolyn Kubitschek will argue the case on March 1, 2011.
A man in Oregon called police and reported that his employee Nimrod Greene had sexually molested the man’s 7-year-old son. The son told police that Nimrod had touched his genital area, over his pants.The father then said that Nimrod had several times previously admitted to sexually mistreating his own daughters, S.G., age 9, and K.G., age 5. The boy’s mother said that Sarah Greene, Nimrod’s wife, had several times admitted that her husband had behaved inappropriately with the daughters.
The police arrested Nimrod Greene. Ten days later they called the child abuse hotline. Child protective services assigned caseworker Bob Camreta to investigate. Camreta learned that Greene had been released from jail, but did nothing for four days. On February 24, 2003, Camreta, along with Deputy Sheriff James Alford, went to S.G.’s school, had her removed from her class and brought to a room next to the principal’s office, where they questioned her for two hours.Alford was in uniform, and armed with a clearly visible gun.
S.G. told the investigators that her father did not abuse her and always treated her well. However, as hours passed, S.G. concluded that Camreta and Alford would not let her go until she answered yes – untruthfully – to their questions about sex abuse. When she finally did so, Camreta and Alford allowed her to leave and return home to her purported molester. Since then, S.G. has always stated that she was never abused, and that she felt forced to agree with Camreta’s untrue suggestions. A subsequent evaluation by the KIDS center, the child advocacy center in Bend, confirmed that neither S.G., nor k.G. had been abused.
S.G. was very upset by the interrogation and vomited when she returned home. She was also embarrassed in front of her schoolmates. She is still traumatized by the event. S.G. and K.G. were later removed from their mother, Sarah Greene, for three weeks. S.G. and her mother sued, claiming, among other things, that S.G.’s two-hour detention and interrogation was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment because there was no court order or warrant, no consent, and no exigent circumstances. The Ninth Circuit agreed that it was unconstitutional, although the court granted qualified immunity to Camreta and Alford. Greene v. Camreta, 588 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2010). The sheriff and caseworker have taken the case to the United States Supreme Court, which granted certiorari.
We are seeking amici to support S.G. and other children from being subjected to the same experiences. If you are able to assist in writing a brief, or want to sign on to one, please contact us. If you are unable to reach us, please contact Diane Redleaf at the Family Defense Center in Chicago, 312-356-3202 X11, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner Carolyn Kubitschek has been elected an at-large member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Carolyn has lectured for many years at NOSSCR's semi-annual conferences on New Developments in the Law.