Minor v. StateAnnotate this Case
After the State filed a child in need of assistance (CINA) petition, the juvenile court issued a temporary removal order removing Child from Mother's custody and placing her in foster care. Once the CINA proceeding was dismissed, Mother sued the State and two employees of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the Iowa Tort Claims Act (ITCA), alleging the DHS social workers wrongfully removed Child from her custody and negligently failed to protect Child from abuse. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a social worker is entitled to absolute immunity when the social worker functions in the role of a prosecutor or ordinary witness; (2) a social worker is entitled to qualified immunity when acting in the role of a complaining witness, and for his or her investigatory acts; (3) alleged injured parties cannot maintain an action against a social worker under the ITCA where the alleged parties fail to exhaust the available administrative remedy prior to filing an action in court and where the basis of the complaint is that the social worker engaged in conduct functionally equivalent to misrepresentation or deceit.