Update on Joey Watley

As reported here in October, Joey Watley is fighting the Connecticut Department of Children & Families (DCF). DCF took both of his sons away claiming disabilities of the children's mother and Joey. They are now adopted by their foster parents.

Joey has been fighting for the custody of his children for years. The main point is that the DCF workers should have offered the children's mother and Joey accommodations under the ADA if they thought the parents had mental impairments, rather than keeping the children in the system away from their parents.

He brought his suit to federal court in the Southern District of New York. After two weeks the court dismissed the complaint, and did not allow for him to be eligible for assigned counsel (pro bono).

He then brought the case to the Court of Appeals in the Second Circuit. They allowed him to receive legal services for free (pro bono). The lawyer's name is Andrew O' Toole.

Attorney O'Toole wrote a terrific brief and argued before the Second Circuit in New York City in January. I am told one of the judges, after the argument, from the bench, thanked Mr. O'Toole for his advocacy,

Within ONE WEEK the Court of Appeals vacated the judgment in the Southern District, and ordered a pro bono attorney be assigned to Joey. ( Watley v. Keller, Dkt No. 14-3862 (2d Cir.)).

The fight isn't over yet - but change can happen in the courts. Thanks Joey for keeping up the fight and Thanks to Attorney O'Toole for being one of the good guys!