Sunday, December 8, 2013

Marisol v. Giuliani case brief

Marisol v. Giuliani case brief summary
929 F. Supp. 662 (1996)

Plaintiff representatives of minor children filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983against defendants, city and state officials, for violation of the children's rights under the state child welfare laws, and filed a motion to certify the action as a class action. Defendant city officials filed motions to dismiss the complaint and to bifurcate. Defendant state officials filed a motion for a partial order of dismissal.

Eleven children suffered severe abuse and neglect while under the care of a city child welfare agency. Representatives brought a civil rights action under § 1983 on behalf of the children (children) against city and state officials.


  • The court held: 
  • 1) that custodial children were entitled to pursue their substantive due process claims for violations of their right to be free from harm during foster care placements and their right to associate with biological family members; 
  • 2) that custodial and non-custodial children were entitled to pursue their procedural due process claims for denial of entitlements under the state child welfare laws; 
  • 3) that the children were entitled to pursue their claims under the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 620-28, 670-79a, the Multiethnic Placement Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 622(b)(9), the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 5101-06a, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq., and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.S. §§ 794, 794a; and 
  • 4) that the state law claims were justiciable and the abstention doctrine was inapplicable.

The district court denied the city and state officials' motion to dismiss and denied the city officials' motion to bifurcate. The district court granted the representatives of the minor children's motion for class certification.

See also: Abstention (Doctrine) definition -

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