Camreta v. Greene – Preserving the Fourth Amendment

Camreta v. Greene
588 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2010)

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. The prestigious law firm Lanser, Kubitschek and Schaffer has been retained to represent S.G. and her mother Sarah Greene in the U.S. Supreme Court. Carolyn Kubitschek will argue the case in the Spring, 2011.

S.G was removed from her classroom and interrogated for two hours in the presence of a police officer. S.G. told the investigators that her father did not abuse her and always treated her well. However, as the 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.

Lanser, Kubitschek and Schaffer are seeking amici to support S.G. and other children from being subjected to the same or similar experiences. If you are able to assist in writing a brief, or want to sign on to one, please contact Lanser, Kubitschek and Schaffer or Diane Redleaf at the Family Defense Center in Chicago.

I encourage all family advocates to support this effort to secure the Fourth Amendment rights of our children in their schools.

I have assembled a Special Collection in the Lifting the Veil Scribd Database holding the 9th Circuits Opinion, the Petitions for Writ of Certiorari to both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Merits and Amicus Briefs that have so far been filed. Also included is some relevant correspondence from the law firm of Best, Best and Krieger discussing the impact of the case on current policy.