Timothy G. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services

Timothy G. alleged he was abused by his stepfather repeatedly between 1997 and 2006. In 2006, Timothy reported the abuse to his mother. She took Timothy and his four siblings to a shelter, sought a protective order against the stepfather, and instituted divorce proceedings. The Office of Children’s Services (OCS) then substantiated the report of harm, removed the children from their mother’s care, and placed them in foster care. In 2012, Timothy filed a complaint naming OCS and his stepfather as defendants. He sought compensatory damages from OCS, claiming that “[a]s a direct and proximate consequence of [OCS’s] breach of [its] dut[y] of care, [he] suffered physical injury, psychological and emotional injury and distress, psychological torment, torture and sexual abuse, pain and suffering, and resultant loss of earning capacity.” Timothy alleged that OCS had investigated at least ten reports of harm involving him and his siblings, but had taken no action. In response to OCS' motion to dismiss, Timothy G. asserted that the statute of limitations had been tolled on his claim because he was mentally incompetent following those years of abuse. The superior court held an evidentiary hearing on this issue and concluded that Timothy had failed to prove that he was incompetent. On appeal, Timothy argued that the superior court should have ruled in his favor if he produced more than a scintilla of evidence to support his assertion. But the Supreme Court concluded that the superior court applied the proper burden of proof and the proper test for competency, and that the court did not clearly err in finding that Timothy did not prove his incompetence. View "Timothy G. v. Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services" on Justia Law