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Storming the Castle to Save the Children: The Ironic Costs of a Child Welfare Exception to the Fourth Amendment

129 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2006  

Doriane Lambelet Coleman

Duke University School of Law

Abstract

This article first sets out the child welfare system's assumption that there is a child welfare exception to the Fourth Amendment and then describes the ways it is used to facilitate child maltreatment investigations. It goes on to analyze the validity of this assumption according to current Fourth Amendment doctrine, including the special needs "administrative" exception. (This analysis may be particularly useful to both family/children's law scholars as well as to Fourth Amendment scholars, as it examines all of the state and federal appellate cases addressing the subject, and provides a most up-to-date evaluation of the Supreme Court's special needs doctrine.) Finally, the article makes the normative argument that a child welfare exception under any guise is unreasonable because it is both unnecessary to accomplish the desired ends and causes harm to more children than it helps.

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Doriane Lambelet, Storming the Castle to Save the Children: The Ironic Costs of a Child Welfare Exception to the Fourth Amendment. William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 47, p. 413, 2005; Duke Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 94. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875432

Doriane Lambelet Coleman (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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