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7/16/2003 5:49:03 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
North Carolina Supreme Court Rules Against Social Worker Investigation

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 16, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We at HSLDA are excited to report on a great victory in North
Carolina for the Stumbos, an HSLDA member family. The Supreme Court
of North Carolina has reversed the Court of Appeals decision that
required the Stumbo family to surrender their children for interviews
by social workers. HSLDA represented the Stumbos throughout the case.

The court ruled that the social workers did not even have
justification for investigating the Stumbo home based upon an
anonymous tip.

The Stumbos' troubles began in September 1999 when their 2-year-old
daughter slipped outside halfway through dressing - without any
clothes - to chase her new kitten. Although an older sibling
retrieved her a few minutes later, it was too late. A passerby
reported the family to social services.

Two hours later, a social worker showed up at the Stumbos' door,
demanding to enter their home and privately interview each child. At
HSLDA's advice, the Stumbos refused to let the social worker in.

Despite having no probable cause for entry and private interviews,
the social worker convinced a judge to issue a court order forcing
the family to comply. HSLDA immediately challenged the order, but the
North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld it, deciding that the order
did not constitute a "search" under the Fourth Amendment. The Stumbos
then appealed to the state Supreme Court, which heard the case in
February 2002.

This is a great victory for families in North Carolina and
potentially in the rest of the nation. Although the decision is only
legally binding in North Carolina, it provides more precedent for
HSLDA to use in defense innocent families across the United States.
The "battle for the front door" continues to be a vital component for
HSLDA in protecting our rights to home educate our children.

For more information on this case visit our website at:
http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/nc/200307160.asp

Sincerely,

Michael Smith
President of Home School Legal Defense Association

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