Lawsuit: County lawyers snooped in plaintiffs' child welfare records during civil litigation

Three children who are suing the County of San Diego on allegations that child welfare officials violated their rights have filed a new, class action lawsuit accusing the government’s lawyers of looking through their confidential juvenile case files without required judicial authorization.

The class-action lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court by children identified as A.C., A.E.1 and A.E.2, names as defendants the county and two of its in-house civil lawyers, Erica Cortez and Kate Jones. It asks the court for class-action certification and other relief including an injunction, unspecified damages and legal fees and costs. A.C., A.E.1 and A.E.2 are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit filed against the county last year. The 2017 lawsuit accused the county of violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights when social workers improperly detained the children in 2016 amid false allegations of abuse of another child.

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