The Texas Public Policy Foundation prevailed in its counter lawsuit against the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on behalf of Jordan and Mayra Eads.
“Not only have Mr. and Mrs. Eads been vindicated, but the court’s judgment will provide stronger protections for parents in these types of lawsuits brought by Child Protective Services,” says TPPF’s General Counsel Rob Henneke. “Filing a lawsuit against parents accusing them of abusing their children is a severe allegation and one that the Department should not make lightly. Yet, that was exactly what DFPS did here, and then tried to run from its own lawsuit when our clients fought back. After nearly three years of litigation, Mayra and Jordan Eads finally have their names cleared.”
In December 2017, DFPS sued the Eads to compel them to participate in services ordered by the Department after accusing the Eads of abusing their 7 and 3-year-old children. TPPF attorneys took lead on the case and countersued to challenge the legality of the Department’s actions, DFPS dismissed its lawsuit, yet continued to maintain the accusations against the Eads. With the final judgment of the 216th District Court, the Eads have been vindicated by the court’s declaration that DFPS unlawfully accused them of abuse or neglect in its initial lawsuit for services. The court also affirmed a higher standard of proof for these type lawsuits by the Department against parents.
“For years, the Department has used this statute to compel parents into doing whatever it wants,” says TPPF Attorney Chance Weldon. “Last week, the court held that, if the Department wants to restrict fundamental parental rights, it has to prove that it is more likely than not that abuse has occurred or is likely to occur in the future. That’s a victory for parents, children, and the notions of due process and fairness at the heart of our Constitution.”
Kerrville Attorney Patrick O’Fiel served as local co-counsel on this case.
To read the final judgment and order in full, please visit: