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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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a report was called in to the sheriffs saying my young children

Resolved Question:

a report was called in to the sheriffs saying my young children were playing on the street, but my children were in the front yard. the sheriff said he had to call children services and now they want to do a home assessment and want to speak to my and my young children, what are our rights?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of these circumstances. You are free to decline their request for a home assessment. You are free to decline to answer their questions.

If they wish to pursue the matter, they can obtain a court order to enter your home. If that occurs, they can question your children outside of your presence.

The question of course is whether or not they have probable cause evidence to give a judge. If they do not have probable cause, then a judge will not sign such an order.

Of course, you are also free to simply invite them into your home, show them that your children are properly cared for, answer their questions, and they will close out the complaint as unsubstantiated.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied and select the Happy Smiley Face. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Okay but my children are very young 6, 4 and 3. I don't know if it's wise to let them talk to CPS since they tell stories on each other 'lies' they blame each other for things that the others haven't done. Such as who left the milk out? My sons will blame each other or my youngest and I want to know what is in their best interest in this type of circumstances. They are scared because the cops were here first. Plus they weren't on the road playing it was the call that was made from a neighbor who wants us out. The cop never seen them and I went outside they weren't on the road but in my yard. What should I do?
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
CPS understands kids. They've seen and heard it all. The only job of CPS is to ensure that your children are in a safe environment.

What you already have working for you is the officer not seeing anything wrong. The officer only notified CPS because that's what their policy requires. It's all a matter of being proactive in ensuring that kids are safe. Nothing more. Most of these files are closed out with no action -- because they are so proactive and take nothing for granted. They don't want to risk ignoring a sign and later having a child harmed.

CPS also understands neighbor disputes.

The easiest thing to do is just cooperate. Thank them for their time. And then apologize for them having to come out, but you appreciate the job they do, for some reason the neighbor doesn't like you, etc. And leave it at that. CPS just wants to see that they're safe. And, again, they understand kids and, yes, sometimes kids will say things that embarrass parents. It happens. That doesn't mean you're a bad parent.

Everyone has a job to do. There's no harm in letting them do theirs and, in the process, ticking off your neighbor when CPS takes no action.
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