On October 26, 2021, oral arguments are slated to begin in front of the Ohio Supreme Court for the case Tammy Smathers, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Harmony Brooklyn Rayne Carsey v. Rick Glass, Executive Director of Perry County Children’s Services, et al. (Smathers v. Glass).
At the heart of Smathers v. Glass is the question of whether a child protective services worker should be granted immunity for their actions that lead to the death of 2-year-old Harmony Carsey’s death if those actions were based on a mistaken belief about where Harmony was living at the time of her death.
APSAC’s amicus brief committee submitted an amicus brief in support of paternal grandmother Tammy Smathers’ claims that, due to the wanton, reckless, and malicious conduct of the caseworker’s actions — which included falsification of records — they should be denied immunity. (See ORC 2744.02(A)(1) and ORC 2744.03(A)(6)(b)).
Furthermore, CPS knew Harmony was being kept locked up in a hot room without food or water, and APSAC’s brief points out that this may indicate that what Harmony experienced at the hands of her mother could fall under the category of intrafamilial child torture (ICT). ICT is a particularly severe and dangerous type of child abuse, often resulting in permanent physical and psychological damage, disfigurement, and death. Parental caregivers who torture children are also difficult to treat because they have particularly treatment-resistant psychopathologies. Taking these issues into consideration, APSAC’s brief argues that summary judgment should be overturned and the case should be remanded for trial.
For a very detailed and interesting overview of all parts of this case, check out the discussion by Judge Mariana Bettman on her website, Legally Speaking Ohio.
You can also tune in to listen to the oral arguments live on October 26th, 2021 at 9:00 am EDT.