Legal Question in Family Law in Iowa

Child Abuse

I was recently accused of abusing my three children. I know and everyone I know including a friend of mine who is a police officer knows that I do not abuse my kids! I am a single mom and scared that I will lose my kids because of this . I know that I am being falsely accused so what do I do to stop this nonsense so that my kids and I can get on with our lives and be happy like we were before this started? And I know who did it!

Asked on 1/27/99, 12:51 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Barbara C. Johnson Law Office of Barbara C. Johnson

Re: Child Abuse

False allegations of abuse are extremely serious. This is not the time to conserve on time, effort, or money. Get yourself off to an excellent attorney immediately.

You do not share details as to what is going down,

but I can tell by your last sentence that a lot

of unpleasantness is occurring. This is one

area of the law where both federal and state

constitutions are trampled on on a daily basis.

While social workers at administrative

agencies (aka DSS, DYS all kinds of acronyms for

these agencies) more often than not just RUBBER

STAMP whatever the mendatory reporter or some

other reporter reported to the agency. In other


There needs to be almost no evidence for people

to be deemed guilty of any charge having to do

with sex. Go to

immediately and begin reading like crazy. There

is also a page with links to other websites.

That particular site is more informative than

any other on the Net . . . even thouygh some of them are similarly named.

It just may answer many of the questions you have,

Barbara C. Johnson

Law Office of Barbara C. Johnson

6 Appletree Lane

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Answered on 2/01/99, 8:33 pm

Jes Beard Jes Beard, Attorney at Law

Re: Child Abuse

Two other attorneys have posted on this before, with Jonathan Schiff suggesting you need not worry if the allegation is false.

Barbara Johnson, on the other hand, warns that false allegations are very commen and frequently cause major problems.

Ms. Johnson is right on the money and the website she suggests is a good place to start.


These cases can rip a family apart, send you deep into debt with snowballing legal fees, and end up with you in prison.

I've handled a number of these cases and the best approach is to get an attorney RIGHT AWAY to fight it early, when the fight might still be relatively inexpensive.

Jes Beard

Jes Beard, Attorney at Law

737 Market St., Suite 601

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Answered on 2/02/99, 10:22 am
Jonathan Schiff Self employed

Re: Child Abuse

The law in this area is in flux. I practice in Ohio so I am not familiar with the law in your state. However, the law in your state may allow a civil suit against someone who deliberately makes a false child abuse report. Although, it may be a different matter if the person is one of a class (school teacher, physician, etc.) mandated by law to make reports.

In any event, I wouldn't get too upset necessarily because an investigation was triggered. Most Children Services Boards are required by law to investigate abuse reports. Just because a social worker comes to your house doesn't mean he or she believes the report.

The investigator would have to have more than some 3rd person report in order to do anything. And even assuming that the worker was able to confirm that something happened, the response would be dictated by circumstances. The state of the law now is that because the family unit is recognized by the constitution as being sacrosanct, the authorities can't just come in and seize children. Even if, in the worst case scenario, a complaint was filed and the matter was set before the juvenile court, the court has an obligation to seek a solution with the family remaining intact, only looking to removal if there is some imminent danger to the child.

But it doesn't sound like that is the situation here. If this is a malicious neighbor or ex significant other and you maintain your cool, they'll get tired of the game eventually.

Jonathan Schiff

Self employed

605 Rose Hill Ave

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Answered on 1/30/99, 12:17 am

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