CHARLESTON, WV (AP) – An appeals court has revived a federal lawsuit accusing the state of West Virginia of failing to protect children and fix its overwhelmed foster care system.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday sent the lawsuit back to U.S. District Court in Charleston. The lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed in October 2019 on behalf of a dozen children against Gov. Jim Justice, the state Department of Health and Human Resources and other state officials.

A federal judge last year agreed that the state court system should have jurisdiction over child welfare cases. But the appeals court found no reason to dismiss the case.