Visitor Question

Daughter Died While in Foster Care…

Submitted By: Laurie (Perrysburg, New York)

My daughter was put in a foster home while on a visit with her father due to the fact he molested her, she took drugs and he deemed her a bad child. They put her in the State’s care and for the next three years I fought for her. Prior to that I had custody of her. When she finally behaved they told me she could come home but they wanted me to let her finish school. There was only a month left so I reluctantly agreed.

In May of that year she ran away from the foster home, climbed up on a catwalk and either jumped or fell into the path of a truck. She was run over and killed. This happened 10 years ago. The foster home didn’t report her missing for three hours. I have asked for the police report but have been told I can’t have it without an attorney, so I have reason to believe there is something in there they don’t want me to see.

The State of New York’s child services would not talk to me. They retained an attorney immediately and agreed to pay for the entire funeral. I went to see an attorney who told me I had to get all the paperwork together for him, including the police report which I have been unable to get. The attorney was reluctant to take the case against the state.

I am still broken, confused and have many questions. This does not seem fair. I was a good mom and have the right to know what happened. I also think they should face charges for what they did to my angel. Is there anything I can do? Do I have any hope of at least getting the police report? Can I file a wrongful death suit? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Laurie,

Regrettably the Statute of Limitations, or “time period” for filing a lawsuit passed about 8 years ago.

You may though at least have access to the police report you have been seeking. The State of New York as well as its police agencies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. That will allow you to seek a copy of the report.

To do so first contact the police department which investigated the case. Ask them if they have the report. When they locate it ask them for a copy. If they won’t voluntarily give it to you can send them a letter asking for a copy of the report.

In the letter cite as much specific information as you can remember. Your daughter’s name, her date of birth and the date of her death will be vital. Once you have that information and submit it you should have a reply within 30 days.

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

Best of luck,

Published: January 21, 2012

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