Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

P.F. v. Gordon

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

October 27, 2017

P.F., et al., [1]Plaintiffs,
v.
Betsy Gordon, et al., Defendants

          ORDER

          JAMES G. CARR SR. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a suit under 28 U.S.C. § 1983, in which the plaintiffs, the parents P.F. (father) and D.F. (mother) of a minor daughter, B.F., allege that the defendants, employees of the Ottawa County, Ohio, Job and Family Services agency (JFS) violated their rights to procedural due process. The gravamen of the complaint is that, without a court order, and over the objections of the plaintiffs, the defendants removed B.F. from the family home in violation of the right of familial companionship, care, control, and custody.

         Pending are two motions to exclude expert testimony: defendants' motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs' expert, Michael Corey (Doc. 58) and plaintiffs' motion to exclude the testimony of defendants' expert, Judith K. Engelhart. (Doc. 71 (corrected)).

         For the reasons that follow, I grant both motions.

         Background

         1. Removal of B.F.

         On the afternoon of April 27, 2015, P.F. had taken two foster children (not plaintiffs in this action) to attend a soccer game in which one of the children was playing. Plaintiff D.F. had remained home with B.F.

         Shortly thereafter, Ottawa County Deputy Sheriff Matt Gandee came to the home with JFS social service workers defendants Betsy Gordon and Julie Barth. Gordon told D.F. that there was a sexual abuse allegation against P.F.[2]

         The parties disputed what happened next.

         According to the plaintiffs, defendant Gordon presented D.F. with an “ultimatum:” either P.F. would have to vacate the home pending further investigation or B.F. and the two foster children would be removed and placed in “respite care.” Neither caseworker mentioned a less drastic alternative available under Ohio law - namely, creation of an in-home safety plan.

         D.F. objected to the children's removal if P.F. were to remain in the home. To be compliant with the caseworkers, she filled out the respite care “paperwork.”

         As D.F. was packing bags for the children, P.F. arrived home with the foster children. He likewise objected to either having to leave the home or having the authorities remove B.F. and the foster children.

         Jeff Hartlage, who was to be the foster parent for B.F. and one of the foster children, had also arrived. He testified P.F. objected to leaving the family home.

         Defendants, in contrast, assert that, when presented with the option of removal of B.F. and the two foster children or P.F.'s living elsewhere for the duration, D.F. said she did not want her husband to leave. Thus, the defendants contend, they had obtained either express or implicit consent for B.F.'s removal.

         After P.F. and D.F. had retained counsel, their lawyer notified JFS that his clients objected to continued removal of B.F. from the family home. On receiving this notification, JFS filed an abuse complaint with the Ottawa County Juvenile Court seeking an ex parte order for temporary emergency shelter care for B.F. On May 15, 2015, the court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.