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Supreme Court To Hear Oregon Parental Consent Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear an Oregon case that deals with state investigators interviewing children without their parents’ consent.

The case dates back to 2003 when a social worker went to a school to ask two children about possible sexual abuse at home.

The idea was to talk to the kids away from parents and suspects.

Accused parent Nimrod Greene said he’s innocent in the case, but agreed that information collected could lead a judge to find him guilty.

His wife, Sarah Greene, sued saying the social worker should have gotten a warrant to talk to the kids in school.

The federal courts agreed.

Oregon Justice Department spokesman, Tony Green, says his agency is pleased the Supreme Court will hear the appeal.

Tony Green: “Our concern is that the threat of litigation could seriously chill the ability of child welfare workers and law enforcement officers to do their jobs as they see under the circumstances.”

In her summary, appeals court judge Marsha Berzon said the court tried to balance protecting children with protecting parents. 

About one quarter of child abuse investigations find wrongdoing.