A jury ruled against an Irvine couple who sued the County of Orange after being placed on the state's child abuse registry for punishing their adopted daughter by cutting her hair.
George and Betty McFetridge had sought $28,000 to cover the cost of sending the teenager to a residential program and $1 for each of the 11 months their names appeared on the Child Abuse Central Index.
The wife meted out–and her husband agreed with–the clipping punishment imposed on the girl for running away from home and not disclosing her whereabouts in 2008. A county social worker later deemed it “inconclusive” whether the haircut amounted to child abuse. State law at the time required parents and guardians be named on the child abuse list even if findings are inconclusive.