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Full-Text Articles in Law

Human Frailty, Unbreakable Victims And Asylum, Rebecca Sharpless, Kristi E. Wintermeyer Apr 2023

Human Frailty, Unbreakable Victims And Asylum, Rebecca Sharpless, Kristi E. Wintermeyer

Articles

This article analyzes the asylum decisions of immigration agencies and federal appellate courts and demonstrates that the case law driven standard for persecution is out of step with the original meaning of the term, international law standards, and contemporary understanding of how human beings experience physical and mental harm. Medical and psychological evidence establishes that even trauma at the lower end of the spectrum of severity can inflict lasting and debilitating effects on people's health. Yet over the last three decades, virtually no court decisions have decreased the showing of harm needed to establish persecution. To the contrary, courts have …


Coming Of Age In The Eyes Of The Law: Theconflict Between Miranda, J.D.B., And Puberty, David M. N. Garavito Jan 2023

Coming Of Age In The Eyes Of The Law: Theconflict Between Miranda, J.D.B., And Puberty, David M. N. Garavito

Articles

Everyone knows that going through puberty is associated with a multitude of changes: physical, mental, hormonal, etc. Fewer people know that when and how fast one goes through puberty can also be associated with changes to one’s legal rights. The Supreme Court of the United States held, in the landmark case of J.D.B. v. North Carolina, that there were many “commonsense conclusions” that could be drawn from how a child’s age would affect their interactions with law enforcement. In that case, the Court was deciding whether age should affect whether a child was considered “in custody” of the police, granting …


Racial Trauma In Civil Rights Representation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri Jun 2022

Racial Trauma In Civil Rights Representation, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

Narratives of trauma told by clients and communities of color have inspired an increasing number of civil rights and antiracist lawyers and academics to call for more trauma-informed training for law students and lawyers. These advocates have argued not only for greater trauma-sensitive practices and trauma-centered interventions on behalf of adversely impacted individuals and groups but also for greater awareness of the risks of secondary or vicarious trauma for lawyers who represent traumatized clients and communities. In this Article, we join this chorus of attorneys and academics. Harnessing the recent civil rights case of P.P. v. Compton Unified School District, …


The Privacy Paradox By Proxy: Considering Predictors Of Sharenting, Niamh Ní Bhroin, Thuy Dinh, Kira Thiel, Elisabeth Staksrud, Kjartan Ólafsson Jan 2022

The Privacy Paradox By Proxy: Considering Predictors Of Sharenting, Niamh Ní Bhroin, Thuy Dinh, Kira Thiel, Elisabeth Staksrud, Kjartan Ólafsson

Articles

Despite being worried that children may compromise their privacy by disclosing too much personal data online, many parents paradoxically share pictures and information about their children themselves, a practice called sharenting. In this article we utilise data from the EU Kids Online survey to investigate this paradox. We examine both how individual charac‐ teristics such as demographics and digital skills, and relational factors, including parental mediation styles, concerns about children’s privacy, and communication between parents and children influence sharenting practices. Counter‐intuitively, our findings show that parents with higher levels of digital skills are more likely to engage in sharenting. Furthermore, …


A Quiet Revolution: How Judicial Discipline Essentially Eliminated Foster Care And Nearly Went Unnoticed., Melissa Carter, Christopher Church, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2022

A Quiet Revolution: How Judicial Discipline Essentially Eliminated Foster Care And Nearly Went Unnoticed., Melissa Carter, Christopher Church, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

This Article argues that juvenile court judges can safely reduce the number of children entering foster care by faithfully and rigorously applying the law. Judges often fail to perform this core functon when a state child welfare agency separates a child from their family. Judges must perform their role as impartial gatekeeper despite the temptation to be "omnipotent moral busybodies".


Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan Dec 2020

Feigned Consensus: Usurping The Law In Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma Prosecutions, Keith A. Findley, D. Michael Risinger, Patrick D. Barnes, Julie A. Mack, David A. Moran, Barry C. Scheck, Thomas L. Bohan

Articles

Few medico-legal matters have generated as much controversy--both in the medical literature and in the courtroom--as Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), now known more broadly as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT). The controversies are of enormous significance in the law because child abuse pediatricians claim, on the basis of a few non-specific medical findings supported by a weak and methodologically flawed research base, to be able to “diagnose” child abuse, and thereby to provide all of the evidence necessary to satisfy all of the legal elements for criminal prosecution (or removal of children from their parents). It is a matter, therefore, in …


Compassion: The Necessary Foundation To Reunify Families Involved In The Foster Care System, Katherine Markey, Vivek Sankaran Sep 2020

Compassion: The Necessary Foundation To Reunify Families Involved In The Foster Care System, Katherine Markey, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Compassion plays a critical role in ensuring that stakeholders can engage with, and support parents trying to reunify with kids in the foster care system. This Article will explore the compassion crisis in foster care, will present the research documenting the impact of compassion on engaging families, and will identify key steps stakeholders can take to incorporate compassion into their work.


Rethinking Foster Care: Why Our Current Approach To Child Welfare Has Failed, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church Apr 2020

Rethinking Foster Care: Why Our Current Approach To Child Welfare Has Failed, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church

Articles

Over the past decade, the child welfare system has expanded, with vast public and private resources being spent on the system. Despite this investment, there is scant evidence suggesting a meaningful return on investment. This Article argues that without a change in the values held by the system, increased funding will not address the public health problems of child abuse and neglect.


Prenatal Drug Exposure As Aggravated Circumstances, Frank E. Vandervort Nov 2019

Prenatal Drug Exposure As Aggravated Circumstances, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

In Michigan, "a child has a legal right to begin life with sound mind and body." Yet the family court may not assert Juvenile Code jurisdiction until after birth. In re Baby X addressed the question of whether a parent's prenatal conduct may form the basis for jurisdiction upon birth. It held that a mother's drug use during pregnancy is neglect, allowing the court to assert jurisdiction immediately upon the child's birth. In deciding Baby X, the Court specifically reserved the question of whether parental drug use during pregnancy might be sufficient to permanently deprive a parent of custody. …


Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay Aug 2019

Advocating For Children With Disabilities In Child Protection Cases, Joshua B. Kay

Articles

Children with disabilities are maltreated at a higher rate than other children and overrepresented in child protection matters, yet most social service caseworkers, judges, child advocates, and other professionals involved in these cases receive little to no training about evaluating and addressing their needs. Child protection case outcomes for children with disabilities tend to differ from those of nondisabled children, with more disabled children experiencing a termination of their parents' rights and fewer being reunified with their parents or placed with kin. They also tend to experience longer waits for adoption. Furthermore, the poor outcomes that plague youth who age …


New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay Jul 2019

New Juvenile Discovery Rules: Mandatory, Comprehensive, And Streamlined., Joshua B. Kay

Articles

The recently promulgated amendments and additions to the civil discovery rules include several changes affecting child protection and juvenile delinquency proceedings.1 The updates should make discovery in juvenile court matters more efficient by clarifying what is discoverable and requiring more timely exchange of information.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease? The Impact Of Removal On Children And Their Families, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell Jul 2019

A Cure Worse Than The Disease? The Impact Of Removal On Children And Their Families, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell

Articles

Removing children from their parents is child welfare's most drastic intervention. Research clearly establishes the profound and irreparable damage family separation can inflict on children and their parents. To ensure that this intervention is only used when necessary, a complex web of state and federal constitutional principles, statutes, administrative regulations, judicial decisions, and agency policies govern the removal decision. Central to these authorities is the presumption that a healthy and robust child welfare system keeps families together, protects children from harm, and centers on the needs of children and their parents. Yet, research and practice-supported by administrative data-paint a different …


Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas Feb 2019

Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

Modern doctrine and scholarship largely take it for granted that offenders should be criminally punished for reckless acts.1 Yet, developments in our understanding of human behavior can shed light on how we define and attribute criminal liability, or at least force us to grapple with the categories that have existed for so long. This Article examines recklessness and related doctrines in light of the shifts in understanding of adolescent behavior and its biological roots, to see what insights we might attain, or what challenges these understandings pose to this foundational mens rea doctrine. Over the past decade, the U.S. Supreme …


My Name Is Not 'Respondent Mother': The Need For Procedural Justice In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran Jun 2018

My Name Is Not 'Respondent Mother': The Need For Procedural Justice In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

You are a parent whose children are in foster care. Your court hearing is today, after which you hope your children will return home. Upon leaving the bus, you wait in line to enter the court. At the metal detectors you’re told you can’t bring your cell phone inside. With no storage options, you hide your phone in the bushes, hoping it will be there when you return.


Judges Behaving Badly - Clinics Fighting Back: The Struggle For Special Immigrant Juveniles In State Dependency Courts In The Age Of Trump, Bernard P. Perlmutter Jan 2018

Judges Behaving Badly - Clinics Fighting Back: The Struggle For Special Immigrant Juveniles In State Dependency Courts In The Age Of Trump, Bernard P. Perlmutter

Articles

No abstract provided.


Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran Dec 2017

Moving Beyond Lassiter: The Need For A Federal Statutory Right To Counsel For Parents In Child Welfare Cases, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In New York City, an indigent parent can receive the assistance of a multidisciplinary legal team—an attorney, a social worker, and a parent advocate—to defend against the City’s request to temporarily remove a child from her care. But in Mississippi, that same parent can have her rights to her child permanently terminated without ever receiving the assistance of a single lawyer. In Washington State, the Legislature has ensured that parents ensnared in child abuse and neglect proceedings will receive the help of a well-trained and well-compensated attorney with a reasonable caseload. Yet in Tennessee, its Supreme Court has held that …


Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran Oct 2017

Child Welfare's Scarlet Letter: How A Prior Termination Of Parental Rights Can Permanently Brand A Parent As Unfit, Vivek S. Sankaran

Articles

In many jurisdictions, once a parent has her rights terminated to one child, the State can use that decision to justify the termination of parental rights to another child. The State can do so regardless of whether the parent is fit to parent the second child. This article explores this practice, examines its origins, and discusses its constitutional inadequacies.


Juvenile Lifers And Juveniles In Michigan Prisons: A Population Of Special Concern, Kimberly A. Thomas Sep 2017

Juvenile Lifers And Juveniles In Michigan Prisons: A Population Of Special Concern, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Prisoners serving life without parole for offenses they committed when they were juveniles have received much attention after the United States Supreme Court found in Miller v Alabama that mandatory life without parole for juveniles violated the Eighth Amendment and found that its Miller decision applied retroactively. Courts have begun the process of sentencing and resentencing these individuals, some of whom are still teens and some of whom have served 40 years or more in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). All told, not including new cases that come before the court, approximately 370 prisoners will receive individualized sentences under …


Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran Jun 2017

Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Removal and placement in foster care is child welfare’s most severe intervention, contemplated as “a last resort rather than the first.” Federal law, with an overarching goal of preventing unnecessary removals, bolsters this principle by requiring juvenile and family courts to carefully oversee the removal of children to foster care. Expansive research reminds the field that removal, while often necessary, is not a benign intervention. Physically, legally, and emotionally separating children from their parent(s) can traumatize children in lasting ways. Yet review of federal data concerning children in foster care reveal a troubling narrative: each year, tens of thousands of …


Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas Mar 2017

Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

First, this Article surveys the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to analogize life without parole for juveniles to the death penalty for adults, and discusses the Eighth Amendment law regarding the parameters around death penalty statutory schemes. Second, this Article examines the state legislative response to Miller, and scrutinizes it with the Court's Eighth Amendment death penalty law-and the states' responses to this case law-in mind. This Article highlights the failure of juvenile homicide sentencing provisions to: 1) narrow offenses that are eligible for life without parole sentences; 2) further limit, once a guilty finding is made, the categories of …


Easy Come, Easy Go: The Plight Of Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church Jan 2016

Easy Come, Easy Go: The Plight Of Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran, Christopher Church

Articles

This article explores the plight of “short stayers” and argues that juvenile courts are failing to use two tools—the federal reasonable efforts requirement and the early appointment of parents’ counsel—to prevent the unnecessary entry of children into foster care. The article also argues that states should give parents and children the right to an expedited appeal of removal decisions to ensure removal standards are properly applied. Finally, this article argues that the federal government must acknowledge the problem of short stayers by utilizing data related to children who may unnecessarily enter foster care in the Child and Family Services Review, …


Using Screening And Assessment Evidence Of Trauma In Child Welfare Cases, Frank E. Vandervort May 2015

Using Screening And Assessment Evidence Of Trauma In Child Welfare Cases, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

If you are a child welfare lawyer representing children, parents, or the child welfare agency, understanding how traumatic experiences may impact your clients will help you frame your advocacy. Understanding children and their parents’ histories of exposure to potentially traumatic life events and how those events have impacted the client’s functioning—in school, in interactions with other people, and as parents—can be critical to framing your approach in the case. Evidence of the client’s trauma history and any compromised functioning that may have resulted from that trauma is critical to integrate into your advocacy.


The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci Jan 2015

The Child Quasi-Witness, Richard D. Friedman, Stephen J. Ceci

Articles

This Essay provides a solution to the conundrum of statements made by very young children and offered against an accused in a criminal prosecution. Currently prevailing doctrine allows one of three basic outcomes. First, in some cases the child testifies at trial. But this is not always feasible, and when it is, cross-examination is a poor method for determining the truth. Second, evidence of the child's statement may be excluded, which denies the adjudicative process of potentially valuable information. Third, the evidence may be admitted without the child testifying at trial, which leaves the accused with no practical ability to …


Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort Sep 2014

Arguing On The Side Of Culture, Debra Chopp, Robert Ortega, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Human service professions are increasingly acknowledging the ubiquitous role of culture in the human experience. This is evidenced in professional codes of ethics, professional school accreditation standards, licensing, and in some cases through state statutes regarding professional codes of conduct. Across professions, concerted efforts are being made to infuse standards of culturally responsive practice into curricular content and training. For example, instruction on cultural competence is expected in business and medical education.1 Psychology and social work both require their professionals to exercise cultural competence. When it comes to cultural competence/ though, the legal codes of ethics and professional practice are …


The Intersection Of Family Law And Education Law, Debra Chopp Jul 2014

The Intersection Of Family Law And Education Law, Debra Chopp

Articles

It is well-established that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in directing the education of their children. As family law practitioners know, however, parents do not always agree with each other on matters pertaining to their child's education. Where education issues arise in family law cases, it is important for members of the family law bar to have familiarity with education laws so that they may properly advise their clients. This article will identify and briefly discuss common intersections of family law and education law.


Foster Kids In Limbo: The Effects Of The Interstate Compact On Children In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran Jun 2014

Foster Kids In Limbo: The Effects Of The Interstate Compact On Children In Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Each year, child welfare agencies make over 40,000 requests for home studies to determine whether children in foster care can be placed with parents, relatives, and others living in another state. Each request is governed by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), a uniform law adopted by every state to coordinate the placement of foster children in other states. Under the ICPC, a child can only be placed in foster care in another state after the receiving state conducts a home study and approves the proposed placement. Despite its good intentions, the ICPC has become unworkable...A study …


Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci Jan 2014

Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci

Articles

Child maltreatment (CM) reporting laws and policies have an important role in the identification, treatment, and prevention of CM in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [US DHHS], 2012). Abuse by a member of the clergy “is not only a personal and emotional betrayal, but [also] a spiritual betrayal, with secrecy amplified by the unprecedented and systemic cover-up committed by the Church hierarchy” (Coyne, 2011, p. 15). Recent controversies have resulted in the consideration of changes in mandated U.S. reporting laws that include increasing requirements for clergy and extension to additional professions (Freeh, Sporkin, & Sullivan, …


The True Legacy Of Atkins And Roper: The Unreliability Principle, Mentally Ill Defendants, And The Death Penalty's Unraveling, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2014

The True Legacy Of Atkins And Roper: The Unreliability Principle, Mentally Ill Defendants, And The Death Penalty's Unraveling, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


Using Preventive Legal Advocacy To Keep Children From Entering Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran Jan 2014

Using Preventive Legal Advocacy To Keep Children From Entering Foster Care, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Children may unnecessarily enter foster care because their parents are unable to resolve legal issues that affect their safety and well-being in their home.[...] Yet these kinds of legal needs for poor families are rarely met. On average, poor families experience at least one civil legal need per year, but only a small portion of those needs are satisfied. For about every six thousand people in poverty, there exists only one legal aid lawyer. So legal aid programs are forced to reject close to a million cases each year. This lack of legal services threatens the well-being of children[...] who …


The Widening Maturity Gap: Trying And Punishing Juveniles As Adults In An Era Of Extended Adolescence, David Pimentel Jan 2013

The Widening Maturity Gap: Trying And Punishing Juveniles As Adults In An Era Of Extended Adolescence, David Pimentel

Articles

No abstract provided.