Kern County is handing over one million dollars to a family in the Weldon area for wrongfully taking their son out of their home in 2008. The dispute started between the child's school, South Fork Elementary School and parents over what their kid could eat. While the school can't comment on the case until the settlement is signed; attorneys on both sides are talking about the bigger issues being brought out by this case.

... Read More at the

The County of Orange lost its battle in the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to overturn a record-setting $4.9 million judgment awarded to a Seal Beach woman, after two county social workers lied to a juvenile court commissioner in order to take away the woman’s two daughters.

It took Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick 6 ½ years to regain custody of her children.

The jury award given to Fogarty-Hardwick included damages against the two social workers. The Supreme Court also upheld $1.6 million in attorneys fees for Fogarty-Hardwick’s attorneys, but that could end being as much as $3 million, Fogarty-Hardwick’s attorney Sha...

November 2, 2007


On November 2, 2007, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association awarded a San Diego attorney top honors in electing him as the "Top Gun - Trial Attorney of The Year" in the area of civil rights. The award was based on the 4.9 million dollar jury verdict obtained by Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, against Orange County, its Social Services Agency, and two of its social workers Marcia Vreeken and Helen Dwojak earlier this year in a lawsuit alleging violations of her Constitutional right to familial association.

... Read More at the

... Read the PDF file

The threat came first: “If you don’t submit to me, you’ll never see your kids again.”

Then the Orange County social worker produced a document, telling her she must sign it.

Suddenly, Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick was faced with the social services version of a Solomonic choice: Sign a paper that says you’re a bad parent, or lose your children. Fogarty-Hardwick refused to sign it that day in 2000 and the very worst happened: Her two daughters, then ages 6 and 9, were placed in the Orangewood Children’s home and then in foster care.

“That’s when I thought, ‘OK, this is a nightmare,'” Fogarty-Hardwick said. “This is America.”

But last week, after a painful seven-y...

The Orange County Board of Supervisors may decide today whether the county will fight a record-breaking legal judgment it lost to a mother who said the Department of Social Services violated her parental rights.

At stake is a $4.5 million award decided by an Orange County Superior Court jury in March that found social workers fabricated negative evidence against Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick of Seal Beach.

The panel said Fogarty-Hardwick’s right to raise her children free of governmental interference had been violated and it also found the county negligent because if didn’t provide adequate training and supervision.

Attorneys for the county wouldn’t return phon...

Please reload

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

©2017  Shawn A. McMillan. All rights reserved.

  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Black Tumblr Icon