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TT&H Attorneys Schwalm and Clayberger win summary judgment for a county children & youth services agency in federal civil rights action.


On October 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered summary judgment in favor of a county children and youth services agency represented by TT&H Attorneys David Schwalm and Matthew Clayberger.  The action was filed by the parents of a child, whose parental rights were temporarily altered by the agency because of founded indications that they had physically abused their child.  The parents alleged that the agency’s actions in limiting their parental rights through the use of a voluntary “safety plan” violated their due process rights as secured by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Attorneys Schwalm and Clayberger successfully argued that the parents’ procedural due process rights were not violated because the parents received an adversarial hearing in which a Common Pleas court judge determined that they had physically harmed their child before the agency utilized the safety plan.  Attorneys Schwalm and Clayberger also argued that the parents’ substantive due process rights had not been violated because the safety plan did not result in the removal of a child or parent from the family home.  Based on the evidence of record, the District Court entered judgment in favor of the agency, concluding that no reasonable juror could find that the parents’ due process rights were violated.

Questions about this case may be directed to Matt Clayberger, at (717) 237-7150 or mclayberger@tthlaw.com.

Dave Schwalm

David L. Schwalm, Esquire

Matt Clayberger

Matt R. Clayberger, Esquire