Medical Marijuana Patient Sues After Children Taken by HHS

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on February 12, 2015 · 0 comments

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A medical marijuana patient in Coronado is suing the City of Coronado, San Diego County and nine police officers after their children were taken away for a year when officers discovered marijuana use in the home.


Michael and Lauren Lewis say it started in August 2011, when police officers visited the home following a complaint that the family was running an illegal day care center at a site where marijuana was being smoked regularly. Michael Lewis, a Gulf War veteran, has a medical marijuana card and a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana to treat migraines resulting from chemical exposure he suffered while serving. Migraine is one of the many conditions recognized in California’s Proposition 215 that can be effectively treated with marijuana.


Despite finding no evidence of an illegal day care, the officers left and three days later, agents from California’s Department of Health and Human Services came and removed the two children from the home due to “general neglect.” They were left at an emergency shelter for two weeks.


The Lewis’ attempted to get their children returned using all measures available to them in the court system for the next year, but were unsuccessful. An attorney for the family says HHS agents gave multiple false statements to the court to prevent the children from being returned to their parents. Finally, in August of 2012, a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence in the case to justify detaining the children any longer, and they were released to their parents.


The family is suing the city, county and nine local police officers for abduction of a child, invasion of privacy, emotional distress and false imprisonment.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.


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