In a case that goes back three years, a federal judge has now cleared the way for a homeschooling family in Tennessee to take the state to court.
Josiah and Holly Curry were cleared of accusations that they were abusing their children. Nonetheless, an investigator with child protective services and a deputy showed up without a warrant. Jim Mason, vice president of litigation and development for Homeschool Legal Defense Association, explains what happened after a local police officer had seen the six children and confirmed they were fine.
"Investigators came out to the house the very next day, knowing without any doubt that the children had not been harmed and were not at risk," he describes. "Nevertheless [they] went and got a sheriff's deputy, bullied their way into the home and then strip-searched all the kids."
According to Mason, one of the CPS investigators claimed that doing "body checks" is part of their normal procedure when they're conducting an investigation.
The Currys filed a lawsuit claiming their Fourth Amendment rights were grossly violated. Last week, Federal Judge Justin Walker ruled there was no probable cause for the government's actions, clearing the case for trial. In his conclusion, Walker wrote:
"Act One: An 'attentive and loving' mother gets muffins for her children. Act Two: There's a knock on her door and a threat by the government to take away her children. Act Three: Her children are strip-searched without cause. America's founding generation may never have imagined a Cabinet for Health and Family Services. But they knew their fair share of unwelcome constables. And they added a Fourth Amendment to our Constitution to protect against this three-act tragedy."
HSLDA reports the judge's decision could be appealed, which would set up a court battle before the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.