As a result of their Barbara McDowell Foundation Grant, Children's Advocacy Institute filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in February 2019 seeking certification of a class of more than 5,000 children for declaratory and injunctive relief that would require appointment of licensed attorneys to represent children in Child in Need of Services proceedings. The Children’s Advocacy Institute and its co-counsel have provided expert declarations on the constitutional basis for the need for counsel.
Trial is scheduled to commence in December 2020. Nicole K. v. Marion County, Lake County, and Scott County, Indiana
“The Foundation’s support enabled us to lay the groundwork for this critically important lawsuit—which if successful, will ensure that all of the nation’s abused and neglected children are represented by legal counsel in judicial proceedings,” said Executive Director Robert C. Fellmeth, Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law.