AOC Sued In Federal Court

This was a comment posted by a reader.  I thought it deserved a post of its own so that others could read it.

You might want to note the Federal Court lawsuit filed against the AOC: It alleges that despite significant oversight regarding the problems in the dependency system throughout the state (particularly the staggering caseloads of counsel) and despite its role in funding counsel to represent children the AOC has not been providing sufficient funds to allow the dependency proceedings in Sacramento County for abused and neglected children to comport with due process.

5 responses to “AOC Sued In Federal Court

  1. Too bad that the person posting this information did not check the facts. Too bad that it is too easy to post information from unreliable and inaccurate media sources that do not check the facts. The facts….the LEGISLATURE has not appropriated the money identified by the AOC as needed to adequately fund this program. The AOC identified a need of approximately $55 million, but the LEGISLATURE did not act!! This federal suit will be interesting to follow, but like the prison system isssues, the blame is on the LEGISLATURE, not the AOC. Try again!

  2. Reader of the Complaint

    The Complaint itself was posted. Readers can see what is alleged and will likely conclude that the lawyers who filed the Complaint are not “inaccurate media sources” and did not rely upon “inaccurate media sources.” Moreover, “Bob” fails to support his assertion as to what the “facts” are with any reference whatsoever and fails to state why the funds set aside for the computer program, the court construction etc. are more appropriately spent on those items than upon the children in need.

  3. fallbrookflats


    When I followed the link it took me to a site with a copy of the complaint. Nothing else.

    You referenced information from “…unreliable and inaccurate sources that do not check the facts.”. Is there something else?

    The allegations in the complaint, and I recognize at this point they are nothing more, raise some interesting questions . For instance:

    “48. …the State of California has received federal funding pursuant to CAPTA……to assist California in supporting its programs for abused and neglected children.”. Complaint, Page 16, Lines 17 – 20.

    True? Not true? Are you saying that the State received the Federal Funding and refused or failed to turn it over to AOC? Or that the state never received the Fed funds at all? Or that it received funding for awhile and then it dried up?

    “Initiated in July 2004, DRAFT (Dependency Representation, Administration, Funding, and Training) was established by the Judicial Council to centralize the administration of court-appointed counsel services within the AOC. Accordingly, when Sacramento County joined the DRAFT program, the AOC became responsible for paying the court-appointed attorneys’ services.”. Complaint Pages 19 – 20, Lines 26 – 28, 1 – 33.

    Yes? No? Is there a DRAFT program as alleged? Was it created by Judicial Council in July 2004? If so does it obligate AOC as alleged? If so, is AOC only responsible to fund the DRAFT program at times when receives money from the legislature for that specific purpose?

    “The AOC’s funding is disparate and seemingly arbitrary,……AOC provides the children’s court-appointed attorneys with essentially the same level of funding that it provides to Alameda County….even though Alameda County has less than half of Sacramento’s caseload (2300 dependency cases as compared to Sacramento’s 5100).”.
    Complaint, Page 20, Lines 14 – 18.

    True? Not true? Does AOC provide essentially the same level of funding for appointed counsel in dependency court in the two Counties? Are the case load estimates of the two accurate? If so, do you know or can you explain why that is?

    Please believe me when I tell you that I’m not trying to play dog in the manger here. I’m simply seeking information and clarification from someone (you) who seems to have some inside track on the issues raised by this lawsuit and who seems to believe that inaccurate and irresponsible media outlets are attempting to smear AOC.

    Please accept my apology if I have offended you. It was not my intent.

  4. “Bob” above is only right if one assumes that the AOC should fund all of its other priorities — hugely expensive IT systems, conferences, etc. as documented elsewhere on this site — first and then fund dependency court if there happens to be any money left over.
    The AOC has the money to make this right. It simply chooses to spend it on other things.
    Foster children are called “wards of the court” for a reason. They are legally and morally the children of the court.
    If your children were imperiled, what would you spend your money on first before making sure they were safely taken care of?
    That is what this lawsuit is all about.

  5. Yes, the allegations in the complaint are all true. If you would like to see the documentation, you could contact the plaintiffs’ lawyers in San Diego. They have the documentation.