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Court of Appeals Holds Dept. of Social Services Has Duty to Investigate Child Abuse Reports

On July 28, 2004, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion adopting the position argued by the Public Justice Center in an amicus brief: that the Department of Social Services has a duty to investigate reports of child abuse and that the State of Maryland may be liable for injury or death to the child if the DSS fails to properly investigate. In this case, a child's father had reported 8 times that his child was being abused by the child's mother and boyfriend, and that the child was killed after DSS had failed to investigate or intervene. The case is Eric Horridge et al.v. St. Mary's County Department of Social Services et al., CA No. 80, Sept. Term 2003, Reported. Wilner, J., Dissent by Cathell, J., joined by Battaglia, J.. Filed July 28, 2004. The PJC brief was written by Joshua Auerbach, Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellow at the PJC. 

Baltimore Sun: Md. ruled liable in abuse, neglect cases

Daily Record: Father can sue DSS over death of child

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