California civil rights attorney Shawn McMillan recently sat down and spoke with Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child show regarding his work in litigating against corruption within Child Protection Services (CPS). McMillan gained national headlines at the end of 2016 in a case against Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) when a jury awarded his client, Rafaelina Duval, $3.1 million in damages for wrongfully seizing her child. In this interview with Tammi Stefano, McMillan explains how he makes his living by exclusively suing county and state agencies that are involved in child abuse investigations, and violate parents' and children's Constitutional rights by misrepresenting facts to the court, either when they remove the children from the home, or afterwards. When Stefano asks McMillan why he does this, why he is so passionate about it, McMillan states: "They're stealing kids."
After a six-year court battle, a mother in Los Angeles who lost custody of her 15-month-old baby through false abuse charges won a major battle for parental rights last week. When Rafaelina Duval’s son Ryan was seized by L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in 2010, she was falsely accused of intentionally starving him. He had been diagnosed by a pediatrician with “failure to thrive,” but the doctor at the time also noted that the child was in no immediate danger, according to Duval’s attorney, Shawn McMillan. In a stunning blow to Los Angeles County, the jury found that its DCFS social workers “intentionally and willfully” seized her child without a warrant, and did so “with malice.” Additionally, the jury found that the county DCFS had “an official custom and/or practice of seizing children from their parents without a warrant” and failed “to enact an official policy or procedure when it should have done so.” The jury awarded Duval $2.94 million in compensatory damages, plus $165,000 after finding in a separate verdict that she was the victim of discrimination.