Case Title

Campbell-Ponstingle v. Kovacic, No. 13-933, United States Supreme Court

Document Type

Briefs and Court Filings

Publication Date



NASW's first argument is simple. To protect children from abuse - a major congressional and state legislative goal - this Court should apply qualified immunity to protect social workers from personal liability where a reasonable decision has been made to remove a child without a warrant.

NASW's second argument is equally cogent. DeShaney was decided 25 years ago. Since then, this Court's "continued silence" on the issue, Kovacic, 724 F.3d at 708 (Sutton, J., dissenting), has failed "to provide guidance to those charged with the difficult task of protecting child welfare within the confines of the Fourth Amendment." Camreta v. Greene, 131 S. Ct. 2020, 2032 (2011). In light of the circuit split on this issue - compare Hatch v. Dep't for Children, 274 F.3d 12 (1st Cir. 2001) with Kovacic, 724 F.3d (6th Cir. 2013) - guidance from this Court is more necessary today than ever.


C|M|LAW Clinical Professor Doron Kalir worked with Civil Litigation Clinic students Amy Polomsky and Kate Southworth to produce this brief.