Can I sue CPS and a court mandated reporter for not reporting abuse?

by Kylie

I just turned 18 and left my abusive mother. My little sister is still living with her. We have both told the Police, CPS (Child Protective Services), and the court mediator and 733 evaluator about the abuse, and on one occasion my mom admitted it in court, but nothing is being done.

Can I sue the county and all the people mentioned above civilly for doing nothing? From what I can see, it's the only way to help my little sister get out of there. What else can I do to get my little sister out of that abusive situation? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can I sue CPS and a court mandated reporter for not reporting abuse?":

Kylie (California):

If you believe your sister is in danger, it is incumbent upon you to continue to contact the California Department of Child Services and the local police to report the abuse.

Go here: Report Abuse to report the abuse to the California Department of Social Services.

The 733 evaluation you refer to takes anywhere from one (1) to three (3) months to be concluded. The evaluation can include the following actions:

- Interviewing parents, family members, friends, teachers, and other third-parties
- Observation of the Parent-Child relationship
- Psychological testing
- Review of reports and other documents
- Home visits

You are prohibited by law from suing the the county. Under the legal doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, governmental agencies and their employees, while acting within the scope of their duties, can not be sued, unless they agree to be sued.

For more information on Sovereign Immunity go to:
National Conference of State Legislatures

Finally, inasmuch as you are 18 years old and an adult, there is no legal prohibition against your removing your sister from the abuse environment. As long as you can do so without causing harm to your sister or to others, you may take such action as you believe required to protect your sister from further abuse.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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