The Court of Appeals Finally Rule in Favor of A Parent Time to Get More!


California Court of Appeal Affirms Mom’s $4.9 Million Award Against Social Services Agency
RE: Fogarty-Hardwick v. County of Orange, et al. Superior Court of California, County of Orange Case No. 01CC02379 (Trial before Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Dept. CX103) In 2007 an Orange County jury returned a $4.9 million verdict in favor of Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick finding that county social workers had lied to the juvenile court in order to cause the removal of Fogarty-Hardwick’s young children – 6 and 9 years old at the time. In a unanimous scathing opinion issued Monday, June 14, 2010, Division Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal noted that the evidence presented at trial led both the judge and jury to conclude that “something seriously wrong had been done to Fogarty-Hardwick” and that the conduct of the social workers was not “an isolated incident.” The Court of Appeal went on to chastise the County saying “This conclusion is something that should be taken very seriously.
In this case, the jury specifically concluded that Vreeken and Dwojak lied, falsified evidence, and suppressed exculpatory evidence…There was no error in rejecting qualified immunity in this case.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2010

A California Appellate Court found this week against Orange County and its Social Services Agency, and Affirmed what is called a “Substantial” damages award arising from a Civil Rights Verdict obtained in May 2007.

After in depth review of extensive briefs and a complex record, Division Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal for the State of California issues its opinion today affirming an Orange County jury’s verdict awarding Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick approximately $4.9 million against the County of Orange, and two of its social workers.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeal voiced its concerns over what happened to Ms. Fogarty-Hardwick: “Stated plainly, the outcome of this case cannot be dismissed as merely the unfortunate product of a runaway jury. The evidence adduced at trial obviously caused both the jury and the judge to conclude not only that something seriously wrong was done to Fogarty-Hardwick in this case, but also that the wrongful conduct was not an isolated incident. That conclusion is something the County should be taking very seriously.”

The underlying case was filed by Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick against the County of Orange in February 2001. The suit alleged that Orange County, social worker Marcia Vreeken and her supervisor Helen Dwojak violated Ms. Fogarty-Hardwick’s constitutional rights to raise and associate with her children free from governmental interference.

On March 23,2007 an Orange County Jury found against Orange County, social worker Marcia Vreeken, and social worker supervisor Helen Dwojak and awarded monetary damages of $4.9 million. A third social worker, Elaine Wilkins was found not liable.

Lead attorney Shawn A. McMillan states: “Ms. Fogarty is very pleased with the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the verdict. This case encompasses extremely important issues for the people of Orange County, and the People of the State of California. Allegations of social worker misconduct of the type proven in this case is “ubiquitous” as admitted in an Amicus Brief filed by the California Association of Counties. Hopefully, the 52 counties that belong to the association will take note of the outcome of this case and promulgate policies to prevent their social workers from engaging in this type of conduct in the future.”

San Diego Lawyer Shawn A. McMillan, of the Law Offices of Shawn A.
McMillan, was lead trial counsel in the case, and the lead
appellate attorney. Attorney Sondra Sutherland was co-counsel at trial and assisted on the appeal.

RE: Fogarty-Hardwick v. County of Orange, et al.
Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Case No. 01CC02379 (Trial before Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Dept. CX103)

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
This entry was posted in Abuse by CPS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s