Clay Co. woman says state wrongly put her on child abuse registry

By Ben Hart | Apr 21, 2014

CHARLESTON -- A Clay County woman is suing West Virginia Child Protective Services and employees after she discovered her name on the child abuser registry list.

Melissa Cook filed a lawsuit March 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families Protective Services, also known as Child Protective Services, Douglas Robinson, Toby Lester and Tammy Bailey, citing intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, punitive damages, constitutional violation of due process and deprivation.

Cook claims she was in a relationship with an ex-boyfriend who acted erratically due to a head trauma and failure to take correct medication to control seizures. The suit alleges they would frequently quarrel and the defendant intervened in their relationship.

In April 2000, the ex was assessed to be a dangerous risk to Cook and his child, as well as Cook's other children, and was not allowed to be left alone with them.

According to the brief, Cook followed all plans requested by the defendants, but she found out in February 2012 she was wrongfully placed on a child abuser registry list, resulting in her job being terminated. She says she's suffered damages as a result.

Cook is seeking damages, immediate removal of Cook from child abuser registry list, attorney fees, interest and court costs.

She is being represented in the case by Charleston attorney Todd W. Reed. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-567

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