- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging the state of Arizona violated the civil rights of nearly 17,000 foster children.

Children’s advocacy groups filed the lawsuit in February in U.S. District Court. It claims the state fails to provide needed mental and other health care, and enough foster homes for children removed from their families.

The lawsuit names as defendants the head of Arizona’s child welfare and health services agencies. The defendants had asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying it interferes with state-level proceedings.

Judge Roslyn Silver denied the request this week.

She says if the plaintiffs prevail, the court could fashion a remedy that doesn’t impinge on decisions made by juvenile courts in specific cases.

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