Dale Margolin


This article examines the potential effects of failing to preserve or produce evidence in the child welfare tort context. Section Two provides an overview of the record-keeping policies and practices in child protective systems throughout the country. It also describes the toll that civil litigation has taken on these systems because of negligent care of children. Section Three explains spoliation and its civil and criminal ramifications in other contexts. Section Four analyzes the effects that missing records have on child welfare torts. Section Five discusses best practices for attorneys and courts in addressing spoliation in child welfare tort litigation. Section Five concludes with systemic solutions for preventing the mishandling of child protective case records in the first place.

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