Tell me about "immunity" and how it pertains to the family and juvenile dependency courts.

There are different types of immunity.

In the Bible, in hundreds of places of some form or another, the word sovereign appears. God states, "I am the sovereign God" and people call God sovereign, unquestionable, and unaccountable to all. We are not going to debate "Sovereign Immunity".

In the law, in hundreds of places, the words "absolute immunity" appear. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently held that certain officials deserve some type of immunity from lawsuits to protect them from "potentially disabling threats of liability." Whether or not "absolute immunity" shields these officials from criminal and civil liability is beyond the scope of this blog, so we are not going to debate "Absolute Immunity" either. For the record, we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice (NALNLA)

A judge has a form of "absolute immunity" from being sued, being questioned, or being held accountable to all called "judicial immunity". This type of immunity does not shield a judge from being criminally prosecuted and RaiseYourRights is keeping a running account called "Bad Judge" on Facebook of judges held accountable for criminal acts. "Judicial Immunity" as we understand it, applies only to civil matters and as far as we know, there hasn't been a single judge in California, or the United States, held responsible for civil actions in their official judicial roles. No one has sued a judge civilly.

"Quasi-Judicial Immunity" shields those who are lawfully acting in a judicial role but who are not judges from liability, such as commissioners. It also shields those who have been court appointed to assist a judge in making decisions from liability, such as psychologists, mediators, attorneys for minor children, custody evaluators, clerks, etc.. In some cases, they can be questioned or held accountable by the judge. It is very unlikely that litigants themselves will be able to sue someone with "Quasi-Judicial Immunity". Your local district attorney can, and often has brought criminal charges against someone with "Quasi-Judicial" Immunity but not when they are acting in a judicial role or assisting a judge. So despite all of the times you hear about parents suing someone in federal court who has quasi-judicial immunity, it is very likely that their complaint was dismissed before it was heard.

"11th Amendment Immunity" as it is written it says "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State" which was loosely translated to mean that you can't sue your state as an entity, or employees of your state including social workers, in a federal court. The 11th Amendment followed the 10th Amendment which, as it is written, says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This loosely translated means that the federal government retain controls of some things, and your state has control over pretty much everything else that happens inside its borders. The states demonstrated this to US citizens by restraining its own residents inside their homes recently and closing businesses that operated inside of the states' respective borders.

However, in 1908 there was a landmark decision handed down by the US Supreme Court which loosely held (NALNLA) that if a state official enforces an unconstitutional law against you, and you are harmed, 11th Amendment Immunity doesn't shield that person from being sued if you can prove that this person was acting as an individual and not on behalf of your state government entity. At the end of 1979, federal CIVIL code was amended to include 42 United States Code, Section 1983 (aka Section 1983) allowing you to CIVILLY sue these individuals and outlining the parameters to do so. It even allows you to seek relief from a judge as long as you aren't looking back at the damages. Instead you need to look forward find the solution to stop the unwarranted governmental interference. At the end of 1995, as a result of lobbying efforts by members of RaiseYourRights, the California Government Code, Title I, Division 3.6, Part 2, Chapter I, General Provisions Relating to Liability, Article 3, Liability of Public Employees, Section 820.21 was added which states, "Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the civil immunity of juvenile court social workers, child protections workers, and other public employees authorized to initiate or conduct investigations or proceedings pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 200) of Part I Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall not extend to any of the following, if committed with malice: (1) Perjury. (2) Fabrication of evidence. (3) Failure to disclose exculpatory evidence. (4) Obtaining evidence by duress, as defined in Section 1569 of the CIVIL Code, fraud, as defined in either Section 1572 or Section 1573 of the Civil Code, or under that is carried on by the PERSON described in subdivision (1) with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others. This loosely translated means (NALNLA) that you need to be able to prove malice to sue a social worker.

What the bottom line in order for parents to have every layer of protection available to them to keep legal rights to their own child from the State of California or the other parent? The place where it all begins, with jury trial rights in our family and juvenile dependency courts like parents in Texas have.

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