Fight Against Unwarranted Seizures of Babies, Children - NBC 7 San Diego

Fight Against Unwarranted Seizures of Babies, Children

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Stopping Illegal Seizure of Children

    San Diego attorneys are fighting against what they say is the unwarranted seizures of babies and children. They've filed a federal class action lawsuit in Riverside County, hoping other counties, like San Diego, will take notice. NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports. (Published Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014)

    San Diego attorneys are fighting against the unwarranted seizures of babies and children.

    Attorneys Shawn McMillan and Mark Ankcorn have filed a federal class action lawsuit in Riverside County.

    McMillan has been fighting for the parents, he says, are being ripped away from their children.

    "We see this over and over and over again. We know it's a systemic problem, and we've been looking for a way to address this systemic problem so we can get real permanent change,” he said.

    That change he’s hoping will come from a federal class action lawsuit filed this week in Riverside County. The plaintiff is a newborn. The lawsuit says the baby was taken from its mother without a warrant by the Riverside County Department of Social Services while the two were still in the hospital.

    "You absolutely cannot seize a child from its parents unless there is reasonable evidence to show that the child is likely to suffer severe bodily injury or death in a two hours it takes to get a warrant,” said McMillan.

    Just this year, the City of San Diego settled with Johnneisha Kemper for $225,000 after she said police took her newborn daughter without a warrant. She eventually lost custody of her child.

    McMillan says Riverside County realized it made a mistake and gave the baby back, but he says it's time for the mistakes to end.

    "You saw what the police in San Diego said, they said we're not changing anything. We'll pay the money and we're going to keep on doing what we're doing, but that doesn't work for us. What we're really looking for here is a government that's going to follow the law and protect its citizens,” he said.

    NBC 7 reached out to Riverside County Friday night, but no one was available to comment.