Published December, 2002

Doe v. Division of Youth & Family Svcs., Amended Complaint, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic and ACLU of New Jersey Foundation (2002)

This complaint was filed on behalf of a woman who was tested for HIV during her pregnancy without her consent, followed by the unauthorized disclosure of her positive HIV serostatus, the involvement of state child protective services, and the forced antiretroviral treatment and temporary removal of her newborn infant. The complaint alleges that the defendants' actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey AIDS Assistance Act, the United States Constitution, and the New Jersey Constitution. The complaint further alleges tortious interference with parental rights, negligence, failure to investigate, and a violation of privacy and familial relationships. The complaint thoroughly explains the factual basis for each allegation and describes how the defendants' unlawful actions caused the plaintiff unnecessary suffering. Although based in part on New Jersey law, the complaint provides a useful template for advocates representing parents whose difficulties or disagreements with health care providers result in the involvement of child protective services and challenges to their fitness as parents. The complaint's state law claims could easily be adapted to meet the requirements of other state laws.