NewsPublic Affairs / February 23, 2016

Marion County Judge Dismisses DCS Workload Suit

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Marion County judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleges Department of Child Services workers are handling too many cases at one time.

Indiana law mandates DCS case workers shouldn’t handle more than 17 cases at once. But, case manager Mary Price says she was supervising the cases of 43 children when the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of her and other DCS caseworkers.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit Monday saying the caseworkers don’t have the legal right to bring the claim against DCS. ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk disagrees and says he will file an appeal.

"Under Indiana law when you have a mandatory statutory duty like this it can be enforced, which is what we intended to do," Falk said.

In a statement Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the courts were not the proper place for the discussion because it’s up to the general assembly to determine what resources DCS needs.

Legislators allocated $7.5 million a year to hire additional DCS case managers and supervisors in the budget they approved last year.

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