ALLEN v. FAMILIES THRU INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION, INC. et al

Masha Allen has filed a suit against the agencies involved in her adoption. Good news for those who want to hold child placement organizations responsible and accountable for the work they are supposed to do.

The defendants in the cace are Families Thru International Adoption, inc. (FTIA), Reaching Out Thru International Adoption, inc. (ROTIA), Child Promise, inc. and Jeannene Smith.

Let's clarify that list for those not too familiar with the Masha Allen case.

In 1997, Jeannene Smith was working as an independent contractor for FTIA. and in that capacity received a request for adoption from Matthew Mancuso, the man who later adopted Masha Allen. At that time relations between Jeannene Smith and FTIA were deteriorating and Jeannene Smith created her own agency, ROTIA, which finalized Masha Allen's adoption after Mancuso's request was transfered from FTIA to ROTIA.

During the congressional hearings  "Sexual exploitation of children over the internet: follow-up issues to the Masha Allen adoption before the subcommittee on oversight and investigations of the committee on energy and commerce house of representatives",  Keith Wallace, Chief Executive Officer of FTIA, made the following testimony with regards to Jeannene Smith and her relations with FTIA:

FTIA’s working relationship with Ms. Smith was interesting, to say the least. Ms. Smith is very industrious and very intelligent. It was partially through her urging that FTIA developed some of its foreign adoption programs. Even if I had done research in starting a new program, Ms. Smith would always have additional and helpful information. I even traveled with Ms. Smith several times when starting a new program.

I was contacted by Ms. Smith in the second half of 1996. Ms. Smith asked if she could work with FTIA. I contracted with Ms. Smith to work as a northeast regional coordinator for FTIA. Her main responsibilities were to hold informational seminars for prospective adoptive parents, provide education about adoption, and network with other professionals to get the word out about FTIA and the services we provide.

Initially I had agreed to let Ms. Smith receive some original dossiers from adopting parents and forward paperwork directly to our foreign representative for either Guatemala or Russia. But, after discussions with Anna Montez of the New Jersey state licensing agency, I withdrew that permission – that would have been very early on, most likely in late 1996. Ms. Montez explained if Ms. Smith was to have responsibility with a foreign representative or process paperwork (dossiers) in New Jersey, FTIA would need to obtain a New Jersey license. At that time FTIA had no interest in a New Jersey license.

The problems of FTIA’s working relationship with Ms. Smith were several. At the very beginning of her work in August of 1996, I submitted a short agreement for her to sign. She would suggest a change. I would make the change and resubmit the agreement to her only for her to come up with an additional change.

Through 1997, FTIA encountered many difficulties with Ms. Smith. The main problems in Ms. Smith’s performance were promising time frames to prospective adopting families that were not realistic, not following the procedures FTIA had established for her, and misrepresenting her relationship with FTIA. For these reasons and other reasons, I personally provided Ms. Smith verbal notice that I was going to terminate her contract with FTIA. As a courtesy, I advised her about a month before I actually terminated her so she could either find another agency to work with or she could get her own license. Ms. Smith was sent formal notice of her termination by letter dated February 13, 1998. Ms. Smith then founded an agency Reaching Out through International Adoption (Reaching Out). Because Ms. Smith continued to misrepresent her relationship with FTIA – after she created Reaching Out - FTIA sued Ms. Smith in federal court in December 1998. The lawsuit was settled in June, 1999.

After terminating her relationship, then we actually signed some agreements. We signed more than one agreement to settle our outstanding issues because after an agreement was signed, all the sudden there were new issues according to Ms. Smith or issues I thought had been settled but Ms. Smith did not understand it that way. During this period, I even wrote a letter of recommendation to the New Jersey licensing authority on her behalf. I had concluded that she could not work for FTIA, but I knew she was smart so I thought maybe she can run her own agency.

It was not until later that I finally said enough is enough and filed suit against Ms. Smith.

Ms. Smith recruited Mr. Mancuso to adopt while she was an independent contractor for FTIA. FTIA does not know how, when, or where Ms. Smith first had contact with Mr. Mancuso. FTIA did receive an application from Ms. Smith for Mr. Mancuso in 1997. The application had FTIA’s name, but Ms. Smith’s email address and physical address. FTIA received a copy of Mr. Mancuso’s dossier and a check in January 1998, which represented the second of three (3) payments for the FTIA agency fee. Again, the copy of the dossier and the check were sent to FTIA by Ms. Smith. However, FTIA never received an original dossier from Mr. Mancuso. When Mr. Mancuso submitted his dossier to Ms. Smith in January of 1998, I believe I had already verbally advised Ms. Smith that her contract with FTIA would soon be terminated.

The way FTIA has always processed applications is: after receiving an application it would be reviewed to determine if it was complete and the applicant(s) appeared to be qualified candidates for international adoption based on the information in the application. If approved, a coordinator is assigned to assist the family from start to finish with their adoption. The assigned coordinator would typically call the new applicant to introduce his/herself and to explain he/she was available to answer questions as they worked on INS (now CIS) approval and their dossier. Ms. Smith, as a regional coordinator, would provide some support and guidance during the dossier preparation, however, once the dossier was submitted all subsequent contact was to be with the FTIA coordinator in Evansville. This would include sending the referral information of a child to the family, arranging travel to the foreign country, providing travel letters and instructions and follow-up with all required post placement reports.

All files of adoptive families that complete their adoption through FTIA have several contact notes, copies of referral information on a child, copies of travel letters, and travel itineraries, etc. None of this is in Mr. Mancuso’s file because FTIA did not complete his adoption.

Soon after FTIA terminated its contract with Ms. Smith, FTIA sent a notice to the families that Ms. Smith had recruited. FTIA advised that if the family wanted to continue with FTIA all subsequent contact would need to be with FTIA. Applicants in the process of adopting that did not respond to this letter had their files closed.

Mr. Mancuso was such a client with no record of any direct contact with an Evansville coordinator. Although we had received an application and a copy of the dossier from Ms. Smith, our records indicate no contact directly with Mr. Mancuso. I concluded that he and others that did not respond to the letter from FTIA advising of Ms. Smith’s termination had completed their adoptions with Ms. Smith’s new agency. These applicants’ files were closed.

Thus, in Mr. Mancuso’s case, even though he completed an FTIA application (with a New Jersey address) and FTIA appears on some of his dossier documents, FTIA did not complete his adoption. Of particular note about Mr. Mancuso’s file - the home study prepared by Family Health Council, Inc. dba Family Adoption Center of Pennsylvania identifies FTIA as a New Jersey licensed agency. Mr. Mancuso submitted his original dossier to Ms. Smith, but FTIA never received his original dossier. If Evansville had received an original dossier, we would have record of (1) receiving it, (2) reviewing it, (3) sending it to one of the Russian coordinators/facilitators we worked with at the time. In addition, we would have record of receiving the last payment of his FTIA agency fee as well as a copy of the international fees. There are no such records and FTIA still has possession of all records from the inception of FTIA in 1995. Our policy was and is to keep a copy of all checks received at FTIA in the adoptive parent’s file.

FTIA is currently licensed/accredited in Russia by the Ministry of Education. Russia has long required four post placement reports after an international adoption is completed. Prior to the rule of four post placement reports, I believe Russia required three post placement reports. FTIA has a 100% record of submitting post placement reports to Russia as far as I can recollect. I have had to work very hard to make certain all post placement reports are submitted. In fact, I had to threaten legal action against a few families to secure their post placement reports. I have always had families sign documents agreeing to submit all required post placement reports and that if FTIA had to go to court to force compliance, FTIA would also be entitled to attorney fees. Most families willingly submit post placement reports. But a few families are not cooperative with the post placement report for a number of reasons.

I do not know for certain what adoption agency completed Mr. Mancuso’s adoption. I do know it was not FTIA, and I assume it was Ms. Smith based upon her April 21, 1998 communication to me when we were trying to settle outstanding issues of her termination. I do not know if anything was done wrong in the procedure allowing Mr. Mancuso to adopt. However, from what I have seen and heard something went very wrong with the required post placements.

Jeannene Smith was questioned before the same committee, but that day she suddenly suffered from temporary partial amnesia, so unfortunately she was not able to give any details about the case. Here are some of the answers she gave:

I don’t really know
I am looking at this document, but I don’t recall this.
I have no way of knowing that
I think we had a role in it, yes. I don’t know who, ultimately.
I don’t know. I don’t recall--
I don’t know the answer to that.
I don’t know that, but can I ask my social work--
I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.

Her evasive responses and complete lack of accepting responsibility didn't go unnoticed. Congressman Whitfield made the following statement, which blasted Jeannene Smith's conduct in the Masha Allen case:

First, the evidence shows that Jeannene Smith, the founder of an adoption agency called Reaching Out Thru International Adoption, was the placement agency for Mancuso’s adoption of Masha. Mrs. Smith attempted to mislead committee staff about her role in Masha’s adoption and withheld documents in an attempt to minimize her role. I believe the reason she sought to minimize her role is because with that role came certain responsibilities. Ms. Smith did not live up to those responsibilities and as a result, Masha was left in the hands of a pedophile for many years. The primary responsibility that I am referring to is one that Masha rhetorically asked the committee in her testimony when she was here and she said, “Why didn’t anyone ever come to check on me?”

No one came to check on Masha because Ms. Smith’s agency, the agency responsible for the placement of the child, never told the home study agency that Mancuso had a child placed in his home, so the home study agency never followed up. Mrs. Smith also, in my view, shirked her responsibility to obtain three post-placement reports required by the Russian government, from Mancuso. These reports required exactly what Masha asked about; a licensed social worker to come see her at Mancuso’s home; to see how she was doing and progressing; and to talk to her.

Instead of, at a minimum, calling a licensed post-placement agency in Pennsylvania, which is where Mancuso and Masha were living, and asking them to contact Mancuso and set up a meeting, she went ahead and had one of her social workers call Mancuso and write a report based on a phone call. This report was then sent to the Russian authorities as an official post-placement report. Notably, nowhere in the report does it say it was based on a phone call. It is my understanding that a telephonic post-placement report is almost worthless and more importantly, a social worker can only do a post-placement report in the State in which they were licensed.

Jeannene Smith and her social worker were not licensed in Pennsylvania. I would like to know why they did not take their responsibility seriously and in the fact of documentation to the contrary, why she has repeatedly tried to mislead committee staff into believing she had a minor role and that her agency did not have contact with Mancuso after Masha was brought to the United States.

It is clear, from all the documents we have reviewed, that from the start of Mancuso’s adoption in August of 1997, all the way to the last contact with him, the infamous telephonic post-placement report in November of 2000, Ms. Smith and her employees were the only people Mancuso was contacting about his adoption of Masha. While certain official forms that Mancuso submitted may have had her former employee’s company’s name on it, an agency called Families Thru International Adoption, at all times Mancuso was a client of Ms. Smith.

I will certainly have some questions about why Families Thru International Adoption was not more stringent in their overview of these adoption applications that Ms. Smith was handling, but that doesn’t take away from her central role in Mancuso’s adoption of Masha. And we expect to get some answers here today. One of the things that is also disturbing about this international adoption process is the lack of and absence of any Federal guidelines or Federal regulations. And so it appears to me this is an area that certainly this committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, as a whole, needs to look at very closely.

After the congressional hearings Jeannene Smith changed the name of ROTIA in Child Promise and stayed in business until February 2008.

Plaintiff: MASHA ALLEN
Defendant: FAMILIES THRU INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION, INC., CHILD PROMISE, INC, REACHING OUT THRU INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION, INC. and JEANNENE SMITH
 
Case Number: 1:2008cv04614
Filed: September 15, 2008
 
Court: New Jersey District Court
Office: Camden Office [ Court Info ]
County: Burlington
Presiding Judge: Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez
Referring Judge: Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio
 
Nature of Suit: Torts - Injury - Other Personal Injury
Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Personal Injury
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff
0

Masha Allen's Civil Action Complaint

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MASHA ALLEN, by her Parent and :
Guardian FAITH ALLEN :
Johnstown, PA 15907 :
:
vs. :
:
FAMILIES THRU INTERNATIONAL :
ADOPTION, INC. :
400 Bentee Wes Court :
Evansville, IN 47715 :
And :
CHILD PROMISE, INC. (formerly known :
as Reaching Out Through International :
Adoption, Inc) :
c/o JOSEPH P. HUDRICK :
Registered Agent :
4 Ridge Road :
Southampton NJ08 088 :
And :
REACHING OUT THRU :
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION, INC. :
c/o JOSEPH P. HUDRICK :
Registered Agent :
4 Ridge Road :
Southampton NJ 08088 :
And :
JEANNENE SMITH :
312 South Lincoln Avenue :
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 :

CIVIL ACTION COMPLAINT

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
This action seeks compensation from the adoption businesses who facilitated and permitted a pedophile to adopt, sexually molest and exploit the minor plaintiff for approximately 5 years. Despite one red flag after another, the defendant adoption organizations recommended, facilitated and assisted a pedophile in the adoption of the minor plaintiff. Once placed with the pedophile, appropriate post placement evaluations were not performed. As a result, the minor plaintiff suffered unconscionable, repetitive and ongoing sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. Jurisdiction is conferred upon this Court by virtue of the parties’ diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332.

2. The amount in controversy is in excess of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000) exclusive of interest and costs.

3. Venue is properly placed in the District Court of New Jersey pursuant to 28 U.S. C. §1391 because the defendants reside in the district or have conducted business in this district.

FACTS IN SUPPORT OF CAUSES OF ACTION
4. The minor plaintiff, Masha Allen is a minor citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and resides in Johnstown, PA with her parent Faith Allen.

5. Defendant Families Thru International Adoption, Inc (“FTIA”) is a state licensed child placement agency, organized and existing under the laws of Indiana, with offices located at 400 Bentee Wes Court, Evansville, Indiana 47715.

6. At all times material hereto, FTIA acted through its agents, servants, and/or employees acting within the course and scope of their employment.

7. Defendant Child Promise, Inc. (formerly known as Reaching Out Thru International Adoption, Inc.), is a business entity organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Jersey, with offices located at 144 South White Horse Pike, Somerdale, New Jersey, 08083.

8. Child Promise, Inc. is the successor in interest and in liability to Reaching Out Thru International Adoption, Inc.

9. Defendant Reaching Out Through International Adoption, Inc. (“ROTIA”) is an international adoption agency, which may or may not have been licensed by the State of New Jersey at various material times, with offices located at 144 South White Horse Pike, Somerdale, New Jersey 08083.

10. At all times material hereto, ROTIA acted through its agents, servants and employees acting with the course and scope of their employment.

11. Defendant Jeannene Smith is an adult individual, founder/operator of Reaching Out Thru International Adoption, Inc., who resides at 312 South Lincoln Avenue, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002.

12. At times material hereto, Jeannene Smith acted through her agents, servants and/or employees within the course and scope of their agency.

13. At times material hereto, Jeannene Smith was the agent, servant and employee of FTIA and thereafter ROTIA and Child Promise, Inc. and acted in the furtherance of the business of FTIA and ROTIA.

14. The minor plaintiff was born in Novochakhtinski Russia on August 26, 1992. At the approximate age of three, the minor plaintiff was placed by the Russian Government in an orphanage.

15. In or about July of 1996, defendant Smith became an employee and/or agent of FTIA for the purpose of identify potential clients for FTIA and for creating awareness of FTIA’s adoption program in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania vicinity. Defendant Jeannene Smith provided these employment services in an about the State of New Jersey.

16. In September of 1997, Matthew Mancuso, a single 39 year old divorced male, residing in New Kensington, PA, submitted an adoption application to defendant FTIA with Jeannene Smith.

17. In application papers submitted by Matthew Mancuso to FTIA, Mancuso indicated that he preferred to adopt a five year old female from Russia.

18. On or about September of 1998, Mr. Mancuso submitted an application for a home family study to be performed by Adiago Health (formerly known as Family Adoption Counsel).

19. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a home study report, required under 23 PA. C.S. §2530 and N.J.S.A. §9:3-54.2 respectively, is an evaluation of the fitness of a potential adopting parent(s) to provide a loving, stable home environment for an adopted child.

20. 23 PA. C.S. §2530(a) provides in pertinent part: No intermediary shall place a child in the physical care or custody of a prospective adoptive parent or parents unless a home study containing a favorable recommendation for placement of a child with the perspective parent or parents has been completed with three years prior thereto…

N.J.S.A. § 9:3-54-2 provides in pertinent part:

…[A] home study completed by an approved agency shall include a recommendation regarding the suitability of the home for the placement of the child…

21. A reasonable and objective review of the home study performed by Adiago reveals that not only had Mancuso not been in a stable and supportive relationship with another person, let alone a child, for years, the last personal relationship ended in divorce whereby he became estranged from his own biological daughter. Yet, this man was specifically seeking the adoption of a 5 year old girl under the auspices that he could provide a stable family relationship and family environment for her.

22. Despite the red flags in Mr. Mancuso’s home study, FTIA and/or ROTIA failed to perform any investigation into Mr. Mancuso or the veracity of the information he supplied. At no time did FTIA investigate Mancuso’s fitness to adopt a child or question the reasonableness of the information contained in the home study report.

23. On or about January 26, 1998, Mancuso sent FTIA a written letter as to why he wanted to adopt as well as reference letters including one that he forged from his own daughter Rachel Mancuso Byers. In Mr. Mancuso’s letter, he writes,

“it became clear to me that I really need the day to day routine and family to make my life complete. I then began investigating the possibility of adopting.”

24. At no time did FTIA, Jeannene Smith, or subsequently ROTIA question Mancuso as to why he sought to create a family through the adoption of a 5 year old girl. and not by the customary means of dating, marriage and procreation. At no time did FTIA, Jeannene Smith, or subsequently ROTIA question the reasonableness of why a single man who had been divorced over 11 years with no evidence that he had engaged in a stable relationship with another person during that 11 year period, needed to create a family with a 5 year old girl.

25. Despite the red flags, FTIA, Jeannene Smith, and subsequently ROTIA failed to investigate or otherwise determine the veracity of Mr. Mancuso’s statement.

26. At no time did FTIA, ROTIA or Smith contact the Mancuso’s birth daughter to determine the veracity of the forged reference letter.

27. Although FTIA was not the agency that ultimately placed the minor plaintiff with Mancuso, FTIA facilitated the adoption process and at no time acted on the red flags evident in Mancuso’s efforts to adopt a young girl.

28. In or about February of 1998, defendant Jeannene Smith ceased her employment relationship with FTIA and formed an entity known as Reaching out Through International Adoption (“ ROTIA”).

29. Based on information and belief, ROTIA may not have been a properly incorporated and/or a properly licensed business in the State of New Jersey for a period of time relevant to this matter.

30. On or about July of 1998, ROTIA and Jeannene Smith facilitated the adoption of Masha Allen, from Russia by Mr. Mancuso.

31. On or about July 11, 1998, Mr. Mancuso returned to the United States from Russia with the minor plaintiff.

32. Pennsylvania Code 55 Pa. Code §3350.13 requires a minimum of 3 post adoption placement supervisory visits with the child and the adoptive parent(s) within a six month period.

34. Russian law required Mancuso to undergo four post placement visits performed at six, twelve, twenty-four and thirty-six months. Reports generated by those visits were to be forwarded to the Russian Government.

35. ROTIA and Jeannene Smith never informed the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that a child had been placed in the home of Mancuso.

36. Upon information and belief, ROTIA and Jeannene Smith never informed Adiago Health that a child had been placed with Mancuso nor sought Adiago’s assistance in performing post placement evaluations of Mancuso.

37. ROTIA and Jeannene Smith knew that Mancuso was not obtaining appropriate post placement evaluations but failed to investigate and take appropriate action to have a proper post placement evaluation performed.

38. On or about March 23, 1999, ROTIA and Jeannene Smith received a post placement evaluation of Mancuso and the minor plaintiff from an entity called Social Services of Western Pennsylvania. Neither ROTIA nor Jeannene Smith knew of an entity called Social Services of Western Pennsylvania and in fact no such entity existed and the evaluation was fake.

39. ROTIA and Jeannene Smith failed to take appropriate and reasonable action to determine whether Social Services of Western Pennsylvania was a viable agency.

40. In November of 2000, ROTIA and Jeannene Smith performed a postplacement evaluation by telephone with Mr. Mancuso despite the fact that post placement evaluations are required to be performed in person.

41. Had ROTIA performed an in person post placement evaluation of Mr. Mancuso, they would have determined that Mancuso did not provide the minor plaintiff with her own bedroom and required the minor plaintiff to sleep with him.

42. Had FTIA acted on the red flags evident in Mancuso’s adoption application and home study, the minor plaintiff’s adoption by Mancuso would not have occurred.

43. Had ROTIA and Smith acted on the red flags evident in Mancuso’s adoption application and home study and had properly performed post placement evaluations, the minor plaintiff’s adoption by Mancuso would not have occurred and/or would have been terminated.

44. Over a period of approximately five years, Mr. Mancuso molested the minor plaintiff and sexual abused her on a nightly basis. At times, Mr. Mancuso chained the minor plaintiff in the basement.

45. To prevent the minor plaintiff from maturing, Mancuso starved her and only provided her small rations of food.

46. Over a period of approximately five years, Mancuso took hundreds sexually explicit photographs of the minor plaintiff and posted them on the internet. Mancuso subjected the minor plaintiff to extreme exploitation, sadomasochism, starvation and forced exhibitionism.

47. On May 23, 2003, Matthew Mancuso was arrested and charged with various counts of child abuse. The minor plaintiff was removed from his home and his custody.

COUNT I
MINOR PLAINTIF VS. FTIA

48. The averments set forth in paragraphs 1 through 47 inclusive, are incorporated hereby by reference.

49. The negligence and carelessness of FTIA consisted of the following:

a) Failure to properly investigate and evaluate Mancuso to determine his fitness to adopt;

b) Failure to corroborate the information provided by Mancuso;

c) Failure to check and corroborate references supplied by Mancuso;

d) Failure to properly evaluate informed contained in the home study

e) Failure to properly assess whether the home study report reflected that Mancuso had appropriate parenting skills;

f) Failure to properly assess the home study report to determine the nature of the family life Mancuso would provide the minor plaintiff;

g) Failure to properly question and assess the import of Mancuso’s request to adopt a 5 year old girl;

h) Failure to properly question and assess Mancuso’s inability to maintain a relationship with his biological daughter;

i) Failure to properly question and assess the lack of any relationships in Mancuso’s life since his divorce;

j) Improperly facilitating an adoption by a pedophile;

k) Facilitating an adoption without a proper state license;

l) violating the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey.

50. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff was adopted by a pedophile and suffered horrific physical harm and mental anguish. The minor plaintiff will continue to suffer horrific mental anguish into the future.

51. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future suffer a loss of the enjoyment of life and quality of life.

52. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future incur otherwise unnecessary medical expenses, treatment and costs.

53. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff may suffer a loss in earning capacity.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully request judgment in her favor and against defendants, joint and severally, plus interest and costs of suit.

COUNT II
MINOR PLAINTIF VS. CHILD PROMISE, INC.

54. The averments set forth in paragraphs 1 through 53 inclusive, are incorporated hereby by reference.

55. The negligence of Child Promise, Inc. consisted of the following:

a) Failure to properly investigate Mancuso to determine his fitness toadopt;

b) Failure to corroborate the information provided by Mancuso;

c) Failure to check and corroborate references supplied by Mancuso;

d) Failure to properly evaluate information contained in the home study;

e) Failure to properly assess whether the home study report reflected that Mancuso had appropriate parenting skills;

f) Failure to properly assess the home study report to determine the nature of the family life Mancuso would provide the minor plaintiff;

g) Failure to properly question and assess the import of Mancuso’s request to adopt a 5 year old girl;

h) Failure to properly question and assess Mancuso’s inability to maintain a relationship with his biological daughter;

i) Failure to properly question and assess the lack of any relationships in Mancuso’s life since his divorce;

j) Improperly facilitating an adoption by a pedophile;

k) Failure to notify a state agency of Mancuso’s adoption;

l) Failure to investigate the lack of post placement evaluations;

m) Failure to properly question the veracity of an alleged post placement evaluation performed by Social Services of Western Pennsylvania;

n) Failure to provide appropriate post placement evaluations;

o) Improperly conducting a post placement evaluation by telephone.

p) Facilitating an adoption without a proper state license;

q) violating the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey.

56. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff was adopted by a pedophile and suffered horrific physical harm and mental anguish. The minor plaintiff will continue to suffer horrific mental anguish into the future.

57. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future suffer a loss of the enjoyment of life and quality of life.

58. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future incur otherwise unnecessary medical expenses, treatment and costs.

59. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff may suffer a loss in earning capacity.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully request judgment in her favor and against defendants, joint and severally, plus interest and costs of suit.

COUNT III
MINOR PLAINTIF VS. ROTIA

60. The averments set forth in paragraphs 1 through 59 inclusive, are incorporated hereby by reference.

61. The negligence of ROTIA consisted of the following:

a) Failure to properly investigate Mancuso to determine his fitness to adopt;

b) Failure to corroborate the information provided by Mancuso;

c) Failure to check and corroborate references supplied by Mancuso;

d) Failure to properly evaluate information contained in the home study;

e) Failure to properly assess whether the home study report reflected that Mancuso had appropriate parenting skills;

f) Failure to properly assess the home study report to determine the nature of the family life Mancuso would provide the minor plaintiff;

g) Failure to properly question and assess the import of Mancuso’s request to adopt a 5 year old girl;

h) Failure to properly question and assess Mancuso’s inability to maintain a relationship with his biological daughter;

i) Failure to properly question and assess the lack of any relationships in Mancuso’s life since his divorce;

j) Improperly facilitating an adoption by a pedophile;

k) Failure to notify a state agency of Mancuso’s adoption;

l) Failure to investigate the lack of post placement evaluations;

m) Failure to properly question the veracity of an alleged post placement evaluation performed by Social Services of Western Pennsylvania;

n) Failure to provide appropriate post placement evaluations;

o) Improperly conducting a post placement evaluation by telephone.

p) Facilitating an adoption without a proper state license;

q) violating the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey.

62. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff suffered horrific physical harm and mental anguish. The minor plaintiff will continue to suffer horrific mental anguish into the future.

63. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future suffer a loss of the enjoyment of life.

64. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future incur otherwise unnecessary medical expenses, treatment and costs.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully request judgment in her favor and against defendants, joint and severally, plus interest and costs of suit.

COUNT IV
MINOR PLAINTIF VS. JEANNENE SMITH

65. The averments set forth in paragraphs 1 through 64 inclusive, are incorporated hereby by reference.

66. The negligence of Jeannene Smith consisted of the following:

a) Failure to properly investigate Mancuso to determine his fitness to adopt;

b) Failure to corroborate the information provided by Mancuso;

c) Failure to check and corroborate references supplied by Mancuso;

d) Failure to properly evaluate information contained in the home study;

e) Failure to properly assess whether the home study report reflected that Mancuso had appropriate parenting skills;

f) Failure to properly assess the home study report to determine the nature of the family life Mancuso would provide the minor plaintiff;

g) Failure to properly question and assess the import of Mancuso’s request to adopt a 5 year old girl;

h) Failure to properly question and assess Mancuso’s inability to maintain a relationship with his biological daughter;

i) Failure to properly question and assess the lack of any relationships in Mancuso’s life since his divorce;

j) Improperly facilitating an adoption by a pedophile;

k) Failure to notify a state agency of Mancuso’s adoption;

l) Failure to investigate the lack of post placement evaluations;

m) Failure to properly question the veracity of an alleged post placement evaluation performed by Social Services of Western Pennsylvania;

n) Failure to provide appropriate post placement evaluations;

o) Improperly conducting a post placement evaluation by telephone.

p) Facilitating an adoption without a proper state license;

q) violating the laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey.

67. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff was adopted by a pedophile and suffered horrific physical harm and mental anguish. The minor plaintiff will continue to suffer horrific mental anguish into the future.

68. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future suffer a loss of the enjoyment of life and quality of life.

69. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, minor plaintiff has in the past and will in the future incur otherwise unnecessary medical expenses, treatment and costs.

70. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the minor plaintiff may suffer a loss in earning capacity.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs respectfully request judgment in her favor and against defendants, joint and severally, plus interest and costs of suit.

KOLSBY, GORDON, ROBIN, SHORE & BEZAR
_Robert N. Hunn /s/____________________________
ROBERT N. HUNN
ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF
2000 Market Street, 28th Fl.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215.851.9700
Fax: 215.851.9701
rhunn@kolsbygordon.com

Rectification

In an earlier comment made in this thread I mentioned a sum of $100,000 was asked in this case. That information was incorrect.

In the above complaint is stated:

The amount in controversy is in excess of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000) exclusive of interest and costs.

The amount of $75,000 is a requirement in the State of New Jersey's statute to justify the Court's exercise of its diversity jurisdiction. It is a legal technicality and does not relate to the actual amount being demanded.

The sum of $100,000 was mentioned on the Civil Cover Sheet, which by the express terms of the form itself neither replaces nor supplements the pleadings required by law. It is a clerical form with no legal import. On the Civil Cover Sheet filed by Masha Allen's counsel, Bob Hunn, at Part VII, he did list the amount of $100,000, presumably for no reason other than it was in excess of the $75,000 minimum "amount in controversy"

Current status

Hello,

Does anyone know the current state of Smith? Is she still involve din adoption placements. If so, where.

I have been asked to participate on a panel at the Adoption Law Institute 2009, New York City – December 18, 2009, Live Webcast – December 18, 2009. I will be addressing attornyes and law students onthe topic of ehtics and fees in adoption. Please see: http://familypreservation.blogspot.com/2009/09/sixth-annual-adoption-law...

Any input anyone would like to share with me as I prepare my presentation would be welcomed.

I would also like to make you aware of a new website: http://AdoptionResoureCenter.org

Thank you

Mirah Riben

Primary links

Pound Pup Legacy