495 F.3d 807 (7th Cir. 2007), 07-1655, Dupuy v. McEwen

Docket Nº:07-1655.
Citation:495 F.3d 807
Party Name:Belinda DUPUY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Erwin McEWEN, Acting Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:July 31, 2007
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 807

495 F.3d 807 (7th Cir. 2007)

Belinda DUPUY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

Erwin McEWEN, Acting Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 07-1655.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

July 31, 2007

Submitted April 25, 2007

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 97 C 4199-Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Judge.

Jack L. Block (submitted), Reed Smith, Jeffrey B. Gilbert, Johnson, Jones, Snelling, Gilbert & Davis, Robert E. Lehrer, Lehrer & Redleaf, Diane Redleaf, Redleaf

Page 808

Law Firm, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

William G. Sullivan (submitted), Martin, Brown & Sullivan, Jack J. Carriglio, Meckler, Bulger & Tilson, Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellee.

Before Easterbrook, Chief Judge, and Posner and Evans, Circuit Judges.

Posner, Circuit Judge.

This class action suit by parents, now in its eleventh year, challenges a range of practices by the child-welfare agency of the State of Illinois that are claimed to infringe parental rights protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case has twice been before us. Dupuy v. Samuels, 397 F.3d 493 (7th Cir.2005), 465 F.3d 757 (7th Cir.2006). In the second case, while affirming a preliminary injunction because the defendant had not appealed from its entry (instead the plaintiffs had appealed, contending the injunction didn't go far enough--we rejected the contention), we expressed, by way of guidance for the trial on the merits (only a preliminary injunction had been granted), our doubt about its soundness. The preliminary injunction required administrative review before the child-welfare agency could offer parents a "safety plan" in lieu of removing a child that it suspected of being neglected or abused from its parent's custody. (The safety plan might, for example, require that one of the parents move out of the home until the question of abuse or neglect was resolved.) We pointed out that as long as the parents weren't coerced to accept a safety plan by being given false information about the consequences of refusing, there was no reason to require administrative or judicial review of the offer--it was just an offer, which the parents would not accept unless they thought it would make them better off to do so.

When the case...

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