INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis couple has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Child Services claiming the agency removed their children from their home under false pretenses.
The lawsuit was filed by Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP on behalf of Adam and Laura Huff and claims that two minor children were taken from their home in 2018 after the father was wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct with one of the children.
"You have people who are weaponizing DCS because of a grudge against us. DCS is supposed to go after false accusations,” said Adam Huff.
The children spent two weeks at the Children's Bureau before being placed with a family friend. The mother mother believes her ability to take care of her children was brought into question because she is disabled. “It’s discrimination no matter how you want to cut it slice it or dice it,” said Laura Huff.
"As a mother I am infuriated that someone had the nerve to do this to my children and to take their innocence away from them. That's who took their innocence, DCS,” she added.
"They went to the court and said we have to take these kids now and then say never mind we're dropping it after holding our kids hostage for four months. They put us through all of that to just in the end say never mind,” added Adam Huff
" It is not just our families its countless other families,” said Laura Huff. "When this is all said and done with every breath of our being we will fight to see this gets reformed so that children are truly being protected."
"DCS employees made false, misleading and improper statements to justify removing the children," the law firm said in a statement. "They allowed one of the minors, a female, to be interrogated by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer without a parent present, in violation of DCS policy."
The law firm claims the family was then separated for several months, including over the holidays, because of the allegations.
"DCS dismissed the case altogether instead of having to admit to the court that it lacked evidence for the removal," the law firm said.
One of the firm's partners, Tom Blessing, announced the filing Tuesday.
“The United States Constitution gives parents the right to raise and care for their children as they see fit,” Blessing said. “It is appalling that state authorities would knowingly use false information as a basis to remove children from the care of their parents."
Blessing said the goal of the lawsuit was to hold DCS accountable and compensate the family for the violation of their civil rights and emotional distress. The family is seeking $3 million in damages, according to the law firm.
The DCS responded to the suit with this statement:
“State and federal confidentiality laws prohibit DCS from disclosing information, including even if a child is in DCS’ care. The agency investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect and makes recommendations to the court based on the evidence at hand. DCS is charged with ensuring the safety of Indiana children whether that is by providing services, support and resources to maintain the family or removing a child from a home due to abuse or neglect.” –DCS Spokesperson Erin Murphy
Watch the full press conference with the family below.