Ashley M. v. DCFS

This case was filed by Ashley M., Grace R., David and Linda H., and Richard and Carolyn C. (together, the “Named Plaintiffs”), who were appointed by the Court to act as representatives of the Plaintiff Class.  The Plaintiff Class alleges that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services violated the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act by investigating and indicating persons under a rule known as Allegation 60 after the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Julie Q. v. DCFS in March 2013. Allegation 60 is the DCFS neglect allegation applicable in investigating and indicating persons for subjecting a child to an environment injurious to the child’s health and welfare.  The Illinois Supreme Court in Julie Q. v. DCFS found Allegation 60 to be legally void.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ashley M. Settlement

If you have received a letter from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) referring to a settlement in a class action lawsuit, Ashley M., et al. v. Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, et al., this information is for you: Frequently Asked Questions about the Ashley M. Settlement.

The letter (a sample of which is posted here) was sent to notify you that your name has now been removed from the Illinois State Central Register as a perpetrator of neglect due to an “environment injurious.” Ashley M. is a Family Defense Center case and we advise and represent many individuals who, like Ashley, are wrongly accused of neglect. The information below provides general answers to Frequently Asked Questions that we have been asked by many people who have gotten these “Ashley M.” letters. The information provided in this FAQ is general information only and is not to be considered as legal advice in any individual case or legal matter.

Summary of Ashley M. Class and Settlement

The following chart describes the basic terms of the settlement.  You will not be liable for any attorneys’ fees.  This settlement resolves the claims raised in this lawsuit.

If you

Relief

Were the subject of an indicated finding based on Allegation 60 prior to July 13, 2012: You are not affected by the settlement.  Your indicated finding has already been expunged.
Are the subject of an indicated finding based on Allegation 60 that was either investigated or entered after July 13, 2012 and before January 1, 2014: Your indicated finding for Allegation 60 will be removed from the State Central Register if the settlement is approved.  The removal of your name as a perpetrator of child neglect for Allegation 60 will not impact any proceedings in Juvenile Court.  If you were indicated for any other allegations during this time period, those allegations will remain indicated on the State Central Register.
Are the subject of an indicated finding based on Allegation 60 that was investigated on or after January 1, 2014 and entered prior to May 31, 2014: You are not affected by the settlement.
Are the subject of an indicated finding based on Allegation 60 that was entered from May 31, 2014 through June 11, 2014: Your indicated finding for Allegation 60 will be removed from the State Central Register if the settlement is approved.  The removal of your name as a perpetrator of child neglect for Allegation 60 will not impact any proceedings in Juvenile Court.  If you were indicated for any other allegations during this time period, those allegations will remain indicated on the State Central Register.
Are the subject of an indicated finding based on Allegation 60 that was investigated on or after January 1, 2014 and entered on or after June 12, 2014: You are not affected by the settlement.

Additional information about the Court’s rulings in this case is available below.

If you have any further questions, you may email class counsel at fdc@familydefensecenter.net.  In any email you send to the class counsel, please identify your question as concerning “Ashley M. Litigation.” Do not contact the Court.

Additional information regarding the settlement:

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ashley M. settlement
Ashley M. Notice of Proposed Settlement and Fairness Hearing
Ashley M. Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declatory Relief 
Ashley M. Class Certification Order 
Ashley M. Memorandum Opinion and Order 
Ashley M. Proposed Settlement Agreement 
Ashley M. Signed Settlement Agreement