A New York mother is suing the city for $900 trillion after what she says was a civil rights violation.
Fausat Ogunbayo, of Staten Island, filed paperwork in a Brooklyn courthouse alleging that the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) violated her family's civil rights. Her two children were removed from Ogunbayo's home in 2008 after ACS workers deemed her mentally unable of caring for the boys.
Ogunbayo's paperwork states that she is suing "for damages; for causing plaintiff [Ogunbayo] substantial economic hardship; for depriving plaintiff and plaintiff's children the right to family integrity; for depriving plaintiff and plaintiff's children the right to life, liberty, property and the right guaranteed by statute; for disregarding the probability of plaintiff's children, suffering emotional and mental distress."
The children, now 16 and 13 years old were placed in foster care after ACS agents reported Ogunbayo's neglect in leaving the boys alone for extended periods of time. Yet last month a court at the appellate level determined that Ogunbayo was, in fact, not guilty of neglect and returned the children to her home. The court ruled that there was no evidence of the children being in "imminent danger."
"Proof of mental illness alone will not support a finding of neglect," added the court. Evidence that ACS agents used to remove the children was found to be "vague and contradictory."
Ogunbayo told the Staten Island Advance that the city was "treating [her] very bad, and now they want to come around and lie against me." She is representing herself in the lawsuit against the city and states that her family has "suffered over three years of terror, horror, grievous harm, and time lost" in addition to the economic damages.
"It's hard to even take it seriously. There may be a case, which is for a court of law to decide, but that's a made-up number," said Kate O'Brien Ahlers of the City Law Department.