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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13669
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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If my child was taken from her mother abused by CPS, how can

Customer Question

If my child was taken from her mother for being abused by CPS, how can I go about pressing charges?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

A private citizen cannot actually press charges. This is something that is very commonly misunderstood because it is portrayed in television and movies to seem like anyone can. The reality is that only the prosecutor's office, which is a division of the state government, can file charges against a person.

What you CAN do is file a police report (if there isn't already one -sometimes police are called out to a scene and that is how CPS initially gets involved) to report the incident and what happened and that CPS is investigating. The police will prepare their own report and may conduct their own investigation into the matter. Should they make any type of arrest, the file will then be passed along to the prosecutor's office for review, where a final determination will be made if enough evidence exists in order to bring a formal charge or charges successfully.

If you need additional information or clarification, please REPLY, I'll be happy to assist you further. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My daughter was initially dropped off with a group home, then returned home. Soon after the police removed my daughter from the home because it was unsafe, and she was being abused in many ways. I never got a copy of any police report if there was one. If they didnt charge her with child abuse, what can i do?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply. If you know the agency that responded to the call, you can see whether a police report was ever filed and get a copy (there's usually a small fee for the copy) as police reports are public records.

If they didn't take a report, you can ask that a report be taken about what happened although if you were not witness to anything specific, they may be reluctant, because what you are telling them would essentially be hearsay.

If the report has been taken, ask about the status of the investigation and if they are still looking into it. But as I said, if they don't intend to make any type of arrest (they feel there is no probable cause - that is, no reasonable belief that a crime has been committed), there's really nothing you can do as a private citizen. Ultimately, the decision whether to charge someone with a crime is that of the prosecutor's office to make. You can certainly talk to someone in the prosecutor's office in the county where this all took place; they'll likely tell you it's up to the police to investigate first and then they'll review the matter after the investigation has concluded.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is child abuse, and child endangerment a crime? It states these in court papers so the crime was commited. I dont believe i had to witness anything
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Absolutely child abuse and child endangerment are crimes -in every state.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Then why wouldnt they press charges?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

I don't think I'm being clear - my apologies. I am not suggesting that they would or wouldn't. I obviously have no way of knowing if a police report was even filed, and if so, what it says. I don't know what information, if any, the prosecutor's office has about this case, and it wouldn't be right of me to try and speculate about what will happen.

What I was trying to say is that only the prosecutor's office has the ability to file charges against someone. When they get a file of an arrest, it is going to be reviewed and one of the things they're going to think about when examining the evidence and reviewing things is whether or not they believe they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. That's a very high burden of proof. If they feel as if they cannot meet that burden, or there are other issues or concerns, then they may decide not to file charges -even if they believe a person is guilty.

Again, I'm not saying that's what's going to happen here. I don't have any of the same information they would, so I cannot make that determination. Your original question however was could YOU press charges - and to that, the answer is still the same as it was -no, you personally cannot, because it is up to the state to do so.

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