Court holds that psychologist providing custody recommendation to court enjoys complete immunity
In D'Itri v. Hobbs, et al., the Plaintiff sued her lawyers and the mutually-appointed psychologist after she lost a child custody battle. She argued that both were negligent in their roles. The Court summarily dismissed her claim, finding that the psychologist, who was appointed by stipulation of the parties, enjoyed immunity both for her findings and for her recommendation regarding custody.
The Court then reviewed the complaints about the attorney and concluded that the Plaintiff could not win the "case within a case" essential to proving malpractice by the lawyer. The Court did not explain by what logic it was entitled to decide the latter factual dispute, which is normally a question for jurors.