Social workers have immunity against lawsuit, Iowa Supreme Court rules

Linn County mother had alleged workers violated her civil rights

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The Iowa Supreme Court says two social workers have immunity against a lawsuit filed by a mother who alleged federal civil rights violations.

The employees of the Iowa Department of Human Services successfully had a lawsuit dismissed in Linn County District Court. A judge found the workers were covered by federal protections providing immunity to government workers when performing certain acts.

The Supreme Court agreed that social workers are entitled to absolute immunity when acting as witnesses in a child custody case and a more limited qualified immunity when investigating child abuse.

The case revolves around the removal of Vania Minor's daughter for three months in 2005 after social workers became concerned about the child's care. The case was later dismissed and the child returned home.

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