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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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On June 7 my granddaughter was ripped from her home by police

Customer Question

On June 7 my granddaughter was ripped from her home by police officers that had no court order or warrent with them to show (said it was being compiled). They took my granddaughter to an undisclosed location. She was allowed no contact with her mother or anyone she knew, nor was any of us allowed contact with her. <br />She was completely at the mercy of strangers. Finally, on June 23, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter got to have a one hour monitored visit. On June 24, my granddaughter finally got to go to her grandfather's home. Her mother can have no contact with her as of yet. <br />We have found out via my son-in-law and daughter's lawyer, that my granddaughter was grilled for over an hour and a half by the CPS worker. Is it not 'Child Cruelty' what the CPS worker has done to my granddaughter? And all the lawyer will say is that she is worried about what my granddaughter may have said. It does not really matter what my granddaughter actually said, because the CPS worker is going to write up anything she wants and present that as what my granddaughter said. This has already been done with the monitored visit my son-in-law had with his two children. <br /> <br />Thanks for listening, <br />
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 years ago.
Hello there:

I am very concerned by your description of events, but I would like to have some more details:


1. how old is your granddaughter?

2. what do you mean by "ripped" from the home? Was there forcible entry? In other words, were the officers permitted to enter the home or did they proverbially break the door down?

3. Where was the child's parents/guardians when this happened?

4. What were the child's parents/guardians told was happening when she was taken?

5. You said that she was "grilled" for an hour and 1/2; how did you folks learn of the duration of the interview/interrogation?

6. You said that she was "grilled"... what do you mean by that? Describe what a grilling is.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am very concerned by your description of events, but I would like to have some more details:


1. how old is your granddaughter? She will be 13 years old August 13th.

2. what do you mean by "ripped" from the home? Was there forcible entry? In other words, were the officers permitted to enter the home or did they proverbially break the door down?
My granddaughter was taken from her home against her and her mother's wishes. They stayed on the porch. My daughter told them that my granddaughter was a carded member of a Native American tribe, and that she might be covered by ICWA. They said they didn't know what she was talking about and that they were taking my granddaughter anyway. (Our tribe does not come under ICWA)


3. Where was the child's parents/guardians when this happened? Both my daughter and son-in-law were there.

4. What were the child's parents/guardians told was happening when she was taken?
I, just this minute, got the information that the officers gave copies of a summons. The officers said that they had to give them the papers and take my granddaughter.


5. You said that she was "grilled" for an hour and 1/2; how did you folks learn of the duration of the interview/interrogation? It was information given to my daughter and son-in-law by their lawyer.

6. You said that she was "grilled"... what do you mean by that? Describe what a grilling is.
interview/interrogation

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 years ago.
Let me preface this by making a statement: I hate CPS and CPS hates me. In the county where I practice, all of the social workers know me by name and face, as do their attorneys; some of them fear me, some of them despise me, and some of them respect me, but none of them like me. I understand the necessity of their mission, but they are, in my opinion, a broken operation that is beyond home of repair, and they and the laws that they operate under need to be completely dismantled and replaced with something completely different.

So you know where I am coming from when I tell you the following: I do not see facts that would constitute child cruelty, child abuse, or child neglect on behalf of CPS based on what you have said. The police have the legal authority to take a minor into protective custody if there is probable cause to believe that keeping her in her parents' home will cause her to be neglected or abused. Interviewing a 13 year old for 1.5 hours is more straining than 1.5 hours in a classroom, but most 13 year olds could handle it if the tone was professional. Not telling the parents where the child has been taken is required by operation of law in CPS cases, lest the parents "kidnap" their child out of state custody. So I am just being honest when I tell you that I do not see that any laws have been broken in that regard.

I am somewhat concerned about the manner of seizing the child; part of the problem may be that you were not present when the child was taken, but it is not clear to me that the police entered into the home to take the child. If the police actually entered into the home without permission, it would constitute a warrantless search and seizure and it would violate the civil rights of everyone involved. However, if they merely stood on the porch and said "the warrant and/or summons is on its way, so you better just do us all a favor and bring her out", there is no crime there.

Keep in mind that this system is supposedly to protect the kids who's parents are violent, careless drug abusers. They think that they are the good guys; play into that if you have to, but your focus needs to be on what needs to be done to get your granddaughter back.

I wish that I had better news for you, but I hope that my information helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Super short rundown. Son-in-law's first wife, mother of his daughter and son, was killed in a car wreck in 2003. His former in-laws had caused trouble before. At previous trial, it slipped out that they were "mad at him" for remarrying. They were restricted to one visitation per month - if it did not interfere with the children's/parent relationship. Present. 6/2 at 3:00pm Son-in-law was called in by CPS and treated very badly. 6/4 Son-in-law went to CPS requesting children's removal from their grandparent's home. Was told he would have to write out his request in long hand, which he did. CPS used this same paper to say he had signed away his parental rights. 6/4 Former in-laws went to children's school and informed school that they now had custody of children. 6/7 Officers came for my granddaughter. Gave her a copy of Summons dated 5/28. Gave my daughter and son-in-law copies of summons dated 6/7. A ten day/two different months typo??? The so-called 'anonymous' complaint was called in 5/31 - three days after date on granddaughter's summons. Daughter and son-in-law have been forbidden to tape record anything, even though our State Code says it's legal. During the one monitored visit my son-in-law has been allowed with his children on 6/24, his daughter told him about everyone there being drunk. One man was bad and had to be "run off". His son told him about the dog dragging him down the road by his arm, and was showing the wounds left by a rooster that had flogged him. The report of the visit said that my son-in-law asked if he had to spend extra time with the children, and that he acted like he didn't want to be there, which is very untrue. The report made no mention of what the children had told him. I guess this is why recording is forbidden. No further contact with the children has been permitted. My granddaughter has even had to delete her mother from her Facebook friends list. My son-in-law's former mother-in-law and her sister (who we are 99.9% sure made the 'anonymous' complaint) are both County Deputy Sheriffs working at the County Courthouse. They are friends with the CPS worker. The Judge is the one this CPS worker always appears before. My son-in-law and daughter have now been ordered to pay the children's grandparents $1200+ dollars in child support, which they do not have. Medical bills for my daughter's thyroid cancer is taking every dime they can get their hands on. I only make $10,000.00 per year, and cashed the only CD I had to get the money for them to get a lawyer. My son-in-law and daughter do not have any chance at all. Crooked cronyism is going to ensure their destruction. How do you fight back when you are not allowed to dispute anything that is said?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 years ago.
Hi again:

I understand how stressful these actions are, and after reading your last post, I am just reminded of how appalling the system can be; it always seems like CPS clamps harder on people with less financial resources, and I do not think that is an accident--they are easier to bully.

But how to fight back when you are not allowed to dispute anything that is said? CPS cases basically have two parts (three, if you count appeals). The first part is about establishing probable cause... CPS only needs to show that there is probable cause to believe that the children are in danger; it is all about accusations that are unchallenged. Part 2 is the trial. The trial comes late at times, but that is where the other side gets their chance to be heard. You may not be at that point yet. Just take comfort knowing that the court understands that your side has not been heard yet and that everything going on is temporary until the point when you can be heard.

I do not have a magic wand to fix all of this; I hope that my information was helpful in bringing you to an understanding of what is happening and where it is going. Please remember to click "accept" if my answers have been satisfactory and let me know if I may be of further assistance. Thank you.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience: Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
Brandon M. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

"Just take comfort knowing that the court understands that your side has not been heard yet"

 

Did you even read?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 4 years ago.
I'm not sure if I understand the new question (because I did read and understand what you wrote... ) Are you just asking for clarification?

The court will make orders based on incomplete information, but those orders are temporary in nature. Long-term orders cannot be made without due process. Due process is the right to timely notice and a hearing.

Edited by B. T. Mayer on 7/2/2010 at 9:02 PM EST

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Brandon M.
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