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DCS no longer removing children without hearing

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Department of Children's Services says case workers can no longer remove children from homes without a hearing in court.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1f694tI) reports the agency told employees this month about the change, which comes on the heels of a pair of U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions that said case workers have to abide by a constitutional amendment that guarantees people the right against searches and seizures without a warrant.

The move has received criticism from child advocates and juvenile judges, who say the safety of children is already being affected.

Before the court ruling, case workers and their supervisors could decide on their own whether to remove a child but had to petition a court to review their actions within 72 hours. The federal court found that practice was unconstitutional.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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