Department of Human Resources tries to seal civil cases in Florence child abuse case

DHR filed the motion to seal all of the cases on March 27.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 10:46 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2020 11:05 AM

In court documents filed last week, the Department of Human Resources is attempting to seal civil cases that say the department was grossly negligent in the Spurgeon case out of Florence.

Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon were arrested first in Florida and then Florence for abusing 11 kids they were supposed to protect while in foster care.

Attorney Tommy James filed four separate civil suits against DHR, the social workers in the Spurgeon case, and the commissioner of DHR. Each suit seeks $25 million per victim.

After James filed the civil suits, the Department of Human Resources, being represented by the Attorney General, filed a motion to seal the civil cases.

DHR's motion states:

"9. Violation of §12-15-133 and §26-14-8 are criminal offenses. Ala. Code §§12-15- 133(g) and 26-15-8(h) (1975) Thus, the disclosure of demographic and identifying information is illegal, possibly even criminal, regardless of intentionality, and the illegal disclosure in this case was done on the initial pleading. If the record is not sealed, then it is likely that nearly every pleading or filing will need to be accompanied by a request that the particular pleading be specifically protected, even against unintentional disclosure. Unless the entire record is sealed, all parties in this case will be unduly burdened to ensure that they are not violating the law by
inadvertently disclosing confidential information in a public record."

Attorney Tommy James told WAAY 31, "DHR lawyers are falsely claiming that these lawsuits are based on juvenile court proceedings and therefore should be confidential. That is ridiculous. These lawsuits are about DHR dropping the ball, which directly led to my clients being raped, sexually tortured, beaten and starved for years."

James went on to say, "DHR has operated in darkness for years and that must change. The victims in these cases suffered the most shocking abuse imaginable as a direct result of a catastrophic failure of Alabama’s child welfare system. The system is broken in Alabama and it has failed these and countless other victims and the people in our state need to know about it."

James said his clients are brave for coming forward and they don't want to see other foster kids go through this, which is why they filed the civil suits.

Daniel Spurgeon pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and sexual torture. He will spend the next 25 years in prison. Jenise Spurgeon's trial is set for 2020.

Huntsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Florence
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 25664

Reported Deaths: 408
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby5669127
Davidson563869
Rutherford139829
Trousdale13944
Hamilton99219
Sumner95146
Lake8350
Bledsoe6131
Williamson59511
Robertson5425
Putnam5256
Tipton4673
Wilson4598
Knox4455
Out of TN4264
Bedford3024
Montgomery2873
Rhea2170
Hardeman2040
Bradley1742
Madison1732
Macon1713
Loudon1650
Unassigned1610
McMinn14614
Fayette1442
Cheatham1400
Dickson1210
Cumberland1202
Maury1081
Sevier1002
Blount933
Coffee810
Washington760
Monroe743
Wayne640
Gibson631
Sullivan602
Lauderdale601
Dyer590
Hickman590
Franklin541
Greene522
Unicoi490
Obion481
Hamblen442
Marion441
Anderson422
DeKalb390
Smith361
Lawrence350
Marshall341
White340
Hawkins342
Haywood342
Overton330
Grundy321
Cannon320
Henry320
Lincoln300
Jefferson290
Carroll281
Meigs270
Warren270
Weakley260
Perry240
Hardin222
Cocke210
Sequatchie200
Polk190
Carter191
Jackson190
Johnson190
Campbell181
Morgan180
Roane170
Humphreys161
Crockett163
Grainger150
Henderson150
McNairy150
Giles140
Stewart140
Scott130
Chester120
Fentress120
Claiborne120
Houston80
Clay80
Benton71
Decatur50
Moore50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events