A Marion County court dismissed a lawsuit that a child protection case manager had filed against the State, claiming her caseload was illegal under a caseload ratio statute.
The court granted the State’s motion to dismiss, finding the plaintiff did not have the legal right to bring such a lawsuit.
The case is Mary Price v. Department of Child Services et al., filed last year in Marion County Civil Superior Court 1, case number 49D01-1507-PL-023062.
In a 12-page ruling today, Judge Heather Welch ruled that the plaintiff does not have a private right of action to bring the claim under the state statute setting a maximum caseload ratio, and that there is not grounds for the court to issue a mandate.
The court instead found the proper venue for the employee’s complaint is the State Employee Appeals Commission, an administrative board under the executive branch.
Zoeller’s office released the following statement…
“We have great respect for child protection caseworkers, who perform a very difficult, stressful duty in addressing the urgent needs of abused and neglected children. We appreciate the personal commitment these professionals make on behalf of the most vulnerable young Hoosiers. Under the law the Legislature passed it was decided that the judicial branch was not the proper place for this discussion. It ultimately is up to the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature to determine resources for the DCS and up to the executive branch to manage those resources.”