Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mom files wrongful death claim against CPS

Melissa Blasius
12 News
Aug. 16, 2007 05:26 PM
Six months after the body of her four-year-old daughter was found inside a Tucson storage locker, Jamie Hallam has filed a multi-million-dollar wrongful death claim. This week, the Notice of Claim was served on the State of Arizona, Child Protective Services, the Tucson Police Department and the City of Tucson.

Hallam's ex-husband faces criminal charges in the deaths of daughter, Ariana, and 5-year-old son, Tyler. Tyler's body has never been found.

The Notice of Claim asks for a $6-million-dollar settlement in the death of each child. It claims CPS and Tucson police made mistakes and broke policy when they last interacted with the children.

In March 2006, Hallam asked for police assistance to retrieve her children from their father's home. According to CPS records, a child neglect case against Hallum had been unsubstantiated and closed several days earlier. Hallum presented the officers with a Divorce Decree saying she had sole custody of the children. However, of the CPS caseworker and a supervisor advised the officers to ignore the divorce court order. The children were left with their dad. After that date, CPS never checked the children's welfare.

Last month, CPS officials told 12 News they support the case worker's decision. They say the mother had voluntarily left the children with their father for several weeks before the police involvement. While there were allegations of domestic violence between mother and father, CPS managers explain they never received any child abuse allegations against the dad.