CBA Record January 2019
The judge stated that there was a possibility that one of three rare medical events could have occurred in Yohan’s case. However, he found it unreasonable to conclude all of these rare incidents could have occurred at once. Redleaf appealed the finding of abuse on behalf of Yohan’s parents. Justice Michael B. Hyman’s decision swiftly overruled the finding of abuse and ordered the return of both children to the parents. Justice Hyman’s opinion faults the juvenile court for allowing the state to prove its case of abuse by relying on a “constellation of injuries” theory. This argument does not meet the state’s burden of proof. Redleaf believes that the opinion ratifies the parents’ presumption of innocence. The book ends with an epilogue called “What Needs to Be Done.” Redleaf believes that CPS policies and practices need more checks and balances. For example, families who cannot afford counsel do not have a right to appointed counsel during a CPS investigation of register listing challenge. She believes this is unfair to families who are at a disadvantage due to race, class, his- tory of substance use, disabilities, domestic violence, or criminal conviction. She also believes the risk of removing children from families must be reduced to make sure that this only happens in cases of actual abuse, in life-threatening emergencies. Redleaf also believes the state’s burden of proof in child protection cases should be height- ened (i.e., from the preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence), as relaxed burdens of proof give the state every possible advantage. Redleaf and her colleagues continue to fight on behalf of families at the Family Defense Center (which she founded in 2005), the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, and the United Family Advocates (which she founded and co- chairs).
Law At The Library
The CBA is proud to partner with the Chicago and Evanston public library systems to offer a free monthly legal information series offering practical insight for the general public into a wide variety of everyday legal topics. CBA members will offer their legal expertise in free seminars that will be held each month at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library and the Evanston Public Library. The sessions are free and registration is not required. For a complete schedule of dates for 2018-2019, go to lrs.chicagobar.org.
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