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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Thursday May 27th my wife was arrested due to a phone call

Customer Question

Thursday May 27th my wife was arrested due to a phone call from the child protective services hotline for child cruelty. She was notified by the Glendale police department to come in for some questioning. In which she and I was also unaware that the police had retrieved my 3 children, one from school and the other 2 from home once they arrived. my children were questioned as well as my wife without any legal representation and she was cuffed before being read her Miranda rights. Being that I am overseas and was the parent not involved with this situation wasn't informed of anything by either the police department or CPS. I was informed through a series of third parties. Once I had knowledge of the situation I quickly made arrangements for my children to be cared for by either an immediate relative or close family friends. I tried keeping in contact with CPS and had solutions but was not receiving any cooperation and my children were separated in which I was again not informed even though I still have legal rights to where they should go. I spent ever4y effort to get in contact with the CPS supervisor to find out where my children were no one kept me informed. For some reason I feel like I wasn't being treated fairly and that CPS took things into their own hands and wasn't very helpful. I'm not sure of the legal aspects in how this whole ordeal was conducted but it doesn't seem right and I would love for someone to guide me in the right direction on how I can get some sort of action taken against CPS and the police department. I was treated very rudely from the foster home parents in trying to speak with my children to ensure that they are okay until a family member arrived in California to get them while I'm away. I do understand that there are steps to take in situations as these, but what I don't understand is the blatant unprofessionalism of the system. I'm in dire need of legal representation to help me figure out what was violated on my wife and childrens end.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 6 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you with this matter today.

You have two separate (but related) issues that you will want to address.

First:

With regard to your wife, there are criminal charges that may be levied against her (you say she has been arrested, even if she is no longer in custody at the moment, she is still facing potential prosecution). She will want to retain a criminal defense attorney to represent her.

If she cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney to represent her (to do this, she will want to contact the County Public Defender's Office).

She should not speak to law enforcement without her attorney present - and she should only respond when instructed by her attorney.

The fact that she was arrested prior to being Mirandized may give her attorney a potential avenue to help defend her (if testimony is given without proper warnings, the testimony cannot be used in evidence at trial, and any information that law enforcement gets based on that testimony is also disallowed (this is called "fruit from the poisoned tree"). But these are things that your wife's attorney will want to deal with.

Second:

Your children and their placement. You say that you have a family member traveling to CA to take custody of the children while you are making arrangements for them. This should deal with the situation in the short term.

As far as dealing with the inconsiderate and rude treatment by the staff and employees of the CPS division and the foster care home, unfortunately there is not a lot you can do here to be compensated. (I say this from experience working in these types of offices - elder care and conservatorship offices in different counties), but you can (and should) file complaints regarding this conduct - probably after you get a resolution to your case, it doesn't make good strategic sense to create more problems with these people who are going to have a lot of input into the resolution of your case now. But you can complain to the District Attorney's Office, the County Counsel, and to the Court's Administrative Division (all of which have oversight over the CPS division).

I do not know that there will be any actual resolution over this - unfortunately my experience has been that these departments operate with a great deal of immunity from criticism and review, but unless citizens raise these issues there will be no oversight whatsoever. Bringing these considerations to your elected officials (County Supervisor) can be even more influential as they must respond to their constituents and are often more responsive to these complaints.

If your children are harmed - then you can file suit, but unfortunately the conduct you describe is probably not going to result in significant recovery (you can always consult with a local attorney - usually a probate attorney (a civil litigation attorney that specializes in the probate department of the courts) is going to be well placed to deal with this, or a family law attorney with a strong litigation background.

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