Arizona Couple Sues Wal-Mart After Store Calls the Police on Them For Developing Pictures of Their Children in a Bathtub — And the Children Are Taken By the State

225px-new_walmart_logosvgAn Arizona coupe, Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree, have filed an interesting lawsuit against Walmart (and the state) after being accused of sexual abuse and having their children taken away the State. Their suspected crime? Developing pictures of their children taking a bath.

We have been following these ridiculous cases of parents arrested for taking innocent pictures, here and here. It appears that if you want to develop pictures of your children at Walmart, you need sit them fully dressed at least two feet apart in any given frame.

What makes this lawsuit so interesting is the inclusion of Walmart as a party. I am not sure what this blog would do without Walmart. When Walmart is not destroying Civil War historical areas, it is supplying blogs with a steady supply of abusive corporate conduct here and here and here), crimes committed by employees (here and here and here), or crimes by customers (here and here and here and here and here).

In this case, the Demaree’s three daughters were filmed in the tub. These were a few pictures among 144 pictures taken on vacation in San Diego. Walmart called the police, who promptly took away the children pending an investigation. It appears that no one at Walmart or the police bothered to make an common sense judgment about the pictures before causing the trauma of a removal of the children. Unfortunately, such mindless bureaucratic responses are not unique. It took a month for the couple to force the return of their children.

During this period the children — 1 1/2, 4 and 5 — were housed with strangers and the state.

The lawsuit against the state could do some good in showing prosecutors and police that they cannot cavalierly shatter a family without potential costs and liability. This is particularly important given the refusal of some prosecutors to apologize or to question the decision to pursue parents as in this case. It remains a tough area of litigation, however. The same can be said about suing Walmart. The store knows that it is rare for companies to be held liable for calling police. It is ultimately the police who decide how to proceed on a matter. Yet, the story appears to have a policy or training program that fails to allow any degree of discretion or common sense in such cases.

For the story, click here and here.

29 thoughts on “Arizona Couple Sues Wal-Mart After Store Calls the Police on Them For Developing Pictures of Their Children in a Bathtub — And the Children Are Taken By the State”

  1. When these cases arise, provided it is obviously not a child porn case, We the people should march to the courthouse steps with our baby bath pictures and expose them to the prosecutor on the court steps and see how many people they arrest.These innocent people need the support of others who have “broken the same puritan laws” I cant see them putting that many people in jail and taking away all their kids, $$$. but by law they will have to arrest all of us or throw out the one case that they think is going to make their career…Prosecutors are bad news all around when it comes to twisting something innocent into a sinister event just so they can get another notch on their belt..

  2. Hmmmm ……..I often look at the 17 year old photo of my son sitting naked (except for a diaper) in an old fashioned bucket with a rubber ducky …and wonder . What was Walmart thinking when they offered in thier now infamous Walmart Portrait Studio ? Should’nt they be brought up on charges for lewd photography too ?

  3. what’s next? we can’t be naked in our own homes?

    Why yes that is what’s next. A man was arrested for walking naked by a window in his own home at 5:30 A.M. when a mother of two just happened to be walking by his house. She called the police and he was arrested, for being naked in his own home.

  4. Well Texas,

    I guess yo momma didn’t teach ya fool ass any manners, did shaw? I guess we got us Rick Perry reading articles again and he should pay attention to Arson investigations before Procedural Due Process is run amuck…. Oh yeah, after that its ok to kill em because it has been reviewed by all of the courts. Damn fool….

  5. They should take the author of this article to jail for his poor grammatical skills, does anyone proof read anymore?

  6. And of course, the authorities handled this pretty much as poorly as possible once it was turned over to them.

  7. I really don’t understand why everyone is freaking out about this. Yeah, it’s an unfortunate situation, but the walmart employee(s) only did what they were legally required to do. If you work in a photo center anywhere, department store or otherwise, and someone brings in photos of naked children to be developed, you have to take it to the police. No matter how innocent it looks, you are LEGALLY REQUIRED to do so. If they hadn’t, they could lose their jobs and have lawsuits filed against them.

    If anyone is to blame here, it’s the parents for being stupid enough to bring naked pictures of their children to be developed.

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