Lawsuit Claims Child Taken From Home Without Just Cause

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (AP) - A lawsuit claims a police officer and a social worker in southeastern Kentucky worked together to remove a child from his home without just cause.

The lawsuit filed by the boy's parents says the 2-year-old was taken after his mother, Felicia Morgan of Williamsburg, "had words" on April 9 with the officer's mother, Gladys Bird, who was a neighbor.

Gladys Bird called her son, Williamsburg Police Officer Wayne Bird, who arrived at Morgan's home minutes later in uniform with state social worker Stephanie Bryant, according to the court document. They told Morgan they were investigating a complaint that she and her husband were allowing the boy to drink beer, the suit says.

"It was obvious to Stephanie Bryant that the child was not intoxicated, was drinking root beer and was well-cared for," said the lawsuit, filed last week in Whitley Circuit Court.

Bryant placed the child in the temporary custody of Felicia Morgan's mother. He was returned to his parents the next day.

The Morgans are suing Wayne Bird, his mother, and Bryant, alleging that the three "clearly falsified untrue allegations." The lawsuit also names the city of Williamsburg and Bryant's employer, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, as defendants. The couple asks for $8,000 in damages.

Wayne and Gladys Bird and Bryant could not be reached for comment.

Cabinet spokeswoman Vikki Franklin said state officials could not comment because they had not received the lawsuit.

Williamsburg City Police Chief Denny Shelley said he was not aware of the lawsuit or the incident.

"No formal complaint has been filed with the city," Shelley said.

Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Karen Location: Eastern KY on Mar 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM
    I was arrested after complaining that a social worker lied in court. When I made bail, my husband and I then were accused of abuse. A state investigator has concluded that we were accused solely in retaliation for our truthful (and her perjurious) testimony. To be jailed and threatened with having your child removed when you are a good parent (I have never been arrested; do not drink or do drugs; and have worked hard my entire life) is a shock, but to know that your files are "secret" due to "child privacy" laws should be illegal. Child services are the only law enforcement officers allowed to come into your home without a warrant even when there is no complaining witness other than the worker whom we told the judge had allowed our child to be abused by leaving her alone with the abusive (non-custodial) adult after a judge ordered visits to be supervised. We have spent $30,000 of our live savings to get justice. We are thinking of leaving our home state, KY, when this is through.
  • by Mary Location: Kentucky on May 24, 2007 at 06:27 AM
    The news journal a Whitley County paper said the baby was took fr 3 days, it was also in that paper when a lawsuit has been filed against all involved. Some try to show their power. Bird should be put on subspension until this is resolved.
  • by MELISSA Location: MOREHEAD on May 16, 2007 at 07:58 PM
  • by John Location: Lexington, KY on May 16, 2007 at 02:48 PM
    The state of KY has begun investigating similar charges. See the following site:
  • by renee Location: williamsburg on May 15, 2007 at 06:02 PM
    it is wrong to take a child without reason. i could understand if the social worker seen a reason . i have never heard of a child being took for a day. to me it seems like someone is trying to show power. again nothing will happen of it. that is how it is here,.
  • by melissa whitt Location: carlisle on May 15, 2007 at 02:35 PM
    i would not like it if some s/worker came in my house and tuke my kids eather that is just wrong
  • by Ann Location: KY on May 15, 2007 at 06:24 AM
    This is terrible a nosey woman would cause a baby to be took from its home. From reading the Lexington paper she peeps through a private fence on people in some apartments there.The police officer and social worker did wrong, why dont they get abused kids that are really being hurt.Maybe some could be saved from being hurt bad or killed, thumbs down to the officer and social worker. Thank you.
  • by Jury still out Location: Pikeville on May 15, 2007 at 01:31 AM
    What happened to the whole premise of innocent until proven guilty? This is not even a criminal case but only a civil case of the parents alleging misconduct. There is nothing heard yet from any of the defendants regarding their actions nor have we seen the reports filed in the case. Yet the messages here seem to already be siding that the police officer and social worker were wrong. We have only heard one side of the story. Why have the parents filed suit seeking monetary damage yet they have not filed any complaint to have either the social worker or the officer disciplined or investigated? If I were in their position my thoughts would be to ensure this does not happen to another "innocent" family rather than on making money from the situation. I also find it hard to conceive that within minutes of the mothers exchanging words that the son arrives in uniform and with the company of a social services worker. If that time line is accurate Williamsburg must be an awful quiet and boring place. At this point I would rather wait to learn the truth of what happened before rushing to condemn the officer or the social worker. If they are found to be guilty of misconduct then they need to be removed from their public positions. But, they both have very difficult jobs and I would not want to see them unjustly accused and seen as guilty before all the facts are revealed.
  • by renee Location: williamsburg on May 14, 2007 at 07:31 PM
    this does not shock me at all. it has been this way for a while. i hope this brings attention to the way things are here but it most likely will not.
  • by From Florida on May 14, 2007 at 05:24 PM
    After the parents file a formal complaint with the police/city, the officer should be suspended w/o pay until the matter is resolved.
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