CIR General Counsel Michael Rosman travelled to Idaho to urge a panel of Ninth Circuit judges to hold state officials liable in their personal capacities for the arbitrary seizure of minor children from perfectly competent parents.
CIR is representing Idaho residents Eric and Corissa Mueller who had their five-week-old daughter removed from their custody during a late-night visit to the emergency room in 2003 because an emergency room physician interpreted the mother’s questions over the proper treatment of a high fever as child endangerment.
The Ninth Circuit currently is reviewing an appeal from a police officer who was found liable for failing to inform the father (who was at home with the couple’s other children) of the impending decision by state officials to remove custody. After the question of the officer’s immunity is decided, the case will return to the District Court.
The Mueller’s case could turn out to be one of the decade’s most important family law cases. It promises to strengthen the fundamental constitutional right of families to make important medical decisions on their own.