Can You Sue DCFS for ''Mistaken Accusation'' of Child Abuse ?
In Pryweller v. Cohen, 282 Ill. App. 3d 899, 668 N.E.2d 1144, 218 Ill. Dec. 312 (1996), a divorced father filed suit after the defendant reported to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) her conclusion that the father had sexually abused his daughter. Pryweller, 282 Ill. App. 3d at 901-05, 668 N.E.2d at 1145-48.
DCFS made an independent determination that sexual abuse was indicated. Pryweller, 282 Ill. App. 3d at 910, 668 N.E.2d at 1151.
The father's contact with his children was terminated by court order but was reinstated eight months later. Pryweller, 282 Ill. App. 3d at 902, 668 N.E.2d at 1146.
DCFS subsequently reversed its determination that sexual abuse was indicated, and the court ultimately held there had been no abuse. Pryweller, 282 Ill. App. 3d at 903, 668 N.E.2d at 1146.
Nevertheless, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the father's complaint (under section 2-619), holding that the presumption the defendants acted in good faith was not rebutted and they were thus immune under the Act. Pryweller, 282 Ill. App. 3d at 907-12, 668 N.E.2d at 1149-52.