In ongoing series, grantee examines state’s power to remove children from homes in Hawaii

Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

In Hawaii, 85 percent of children who were removed from their parents in abuse and neglect cases last year were removed without a court order. Hawaii Civil Beat’s John Hill has produced an extensive series supported by the Fund, which has chronicled the clash of parental rights and workers who manage child protective services, including police. His latest story highlighted a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that found that a police officer could be sued for actions aiding the removal of a child from her mother – a removal that was soon overruled by a federal judge who ordered the child returned. The case provided a rare look at Hawaii officials’ immense power to remove children from their households, even without a court order.