HARRISBURG — The federal complaint of a mother who is suing Mifflin County for falsely accusing her of child abuse is being challenged after the county filed a motion on March 21 to dismiss the suit.

The original complaint was filed on Jan. 5 on behalf of the mother and her child against the county, welfare case workers and doctors involved in the case.

The complaint said the child, who was found to have bruises, was improperly tested, a result which led to the child abuse charges. The child later was found to have a disease that causes bruising, and the mother sued, asking for a jury trial.

In the motion to dismiss, the defendants said that none of the issues raised in the complaint showed that any of the workers had exhibited “arbitrary or conscience-shocking” behavior in their investigation, or that they had behaved outiside the parameters of their professions.

The original complaint charged abridgement of several U.S. Constitutional rights, including illegal search and seizure and due process claims.

The county further claims the suit should be dismissed because accusations do not meet state legal standards and are without merit for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the statutes cited within either do not apply to the case or don’t supply specific financial remedies.

One of those accusations is based on a conspiracy clause under federal law, but the county’s attorneys argue that proving conspiracy would require proof the action was motivated by “class-based discriminatory animus” or proof of personal injury or loss of property.

“In the complaint, plaintiffs allege they are bringing this action under Pennsylvania law, but plaintiffs do not cite to any statute, regulation or principle of Pennsylvania common law to support the allegation,” the motion to dismiss says.

It goes on to say that the case has no legal merit “since plaintiffs have not alleged facts to satisfy even a single element of such a claim.”

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Harrisburg Division
228 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

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