Judge can't dodge suit in case of child, booze

DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge is refusing to throw out a lawsuit against a Wayne County judge in a dispute over a child who was temporarily removed from his parents after mistakenly drinking alcohol at a Detroit Tigers game.

U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn says Judge Judy Hartsfield has no immunity. She had a practice of signing blank forms and leaving them to be filled in by authorities to remove children from parents.

Leo Ratte was 7 years old in 2008 when his father mistakenly gave him "Mike's Hard Lemonade." University of Michigan professor Christopher Ratte says he didn't know it had alcohol.

A police officer took steps to put Leo into protective custody for several days. Leo's parents say their rights were violated by the judge's practice of signing blank orders.

Published: Fri, Nov 29, 2013