County wins Pipes lawsuit against CPS
Lassen County won a federal lawsuit alleging county child protective officials on a vendetta placed foster children in a home where they suffered sexual abuse.
U.S. District Court Judge Frank C. Damrell granted Lassen County’s motion asking the judge to rule on the merits of the case immediately, according to Kathleen Williams, of the Sacramento legal firm Williams and Associates, which represented the county.
The suit alleged current and former employees of Lassen County Child Protective Services took and placed in another foster home a boy and girl who were foster children placed in the home of Tom and Kimberli Pipes in October 2000 and who the Pipes were trying to adopt. The children allegedly subsequently suffered sexual abuse.
The case was “successfully concluded with a judgement in our favor not only as to the county but also the county employees,” County Counsel John Ketelsen reported to the Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, Feb. 15 meeting.
“The only thing remaining is to settle the attorney’s fees,” Ketelsen said. “There’s a proposal on the table right now to trade the attorney fees for a waiver of the right to appeal and that will resolve the matter entirely.”
Ketelsen said the county would waive about $35,000 in legal costs it could ask the court to make the Pipes pay in exchange for their agreement not to appeal the judgement.
The suit was scheduled to go to trial on March 14. The Pipes demanded a jury trial.
The suit accused the CPS workers of perjury, fabricating evidence, failing to disclose evidence that would have cleared the Pipes of any allegations of wrongdoing and obtaining testimony “by duress, fraud and undue influence.”
It alleged the CPS workers then advised the Pipes “they would never see the children again” and “there was no possibility of the children being adopted.”
For the full story, see the Feb. 22 issue of the Lassen County Times.
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