In a news story of relevance outside of the particular realm of divorce and family law related matters in the state of Florida comes an interesting story first reported in the New York Post, here, of a mother’s decision to sue New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services for $900 trillion for removing her two sons from her custody.
The mother, Ms. Fausat Ogunbayo, is suing the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for the tremendous sum because, as revealed in court papers filed by Ogunbayo, who represents herself, in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, NY on January 30th, Ms. Ogunbayo claims that her civil rights were violated when her two sons, now 16 and 13, were improperly placed in foster care in mid-2008 after ACS worker’s asserted that Ms. Ogunbayo had mental health problems that prevented her from properly caring for her minor children. Amongst other specific allegations, Ms. Ogunbayo states that she and her children had suffered, “over three years of terror, horror, grievous harm, time lost, substantial economic hardship and injuries” due to their separation. When the children were initially removed the City of New York claimed that Ms. Ogunbayo was mentally unstable and had refused treatment. Also that Ogunbayo suffered from hallucinations and delusions and that she often left her sons at home for extended periods while she was working. In her complaint filed on January 30th, Ogunbayo refutes the allegations as a “huge lie.” Ogunbayo argues in her complaint that government officials “recklessly disregarded” her “right to family integrity.”
When reached for commentary on the high 15-figure payout, New York City’s legal department’s spokesperson stated, “It’s hard to even take seriously. There may be a case, which is for a court of law to decide, but that’s a made-up number.” While having one’s children ripped from their care is certainly traumatic, putting a price at $900 trillion is a bit excessive. To compare, the largest ever settlement by New York City to an individual is $18,278,000.00 which was awarded to a victim of the 2003 Staten Island dock crash who suffered paralyzing injuries. Additionally it is relevant to point out that the entire U.S. National Debt is $15 trillion.
Clearly, this case is one of mention simply because of the extreme amounts of money being sought as compensation. The events, if true, and Ms. Ogunbayo’s allegations, if deemed to be true by a court of law, are serious violations of a parents rights and seeking competent representation may be necessary to fight for your rights as a parent.