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Social workers get away with what they do (unreasonably remove children, falsify evidence, commit perjury, exaggerate and/or twist the truth, place kids in unsafe foster homes, etc.)  because the court cohorts do not hold them accountable to the statutes and rules designed to make the proceedings at least somewhat fair. We must educate parents as to the laws, the rules of court, their rights and their children’s rights as well as what their attorneys can but don’t do to help families stay together. We want to produce and print materials that would help parents to hold CPS and the court cohorts responsible for doing their job correctly. Please click on this link and check out our campaign and see if you can help us help parents. You never know, it could be YOU or someone you know someday.

IF THE LINK ABOVE DOES NOT WORK TRY THIS ONE:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/397060/wdgi/3133255

A version of this column originally appeared in donnellyjustice.me.

CPS’s Told Mother’s Therapist, “Prepare your client to handle never seeing her daughter again.”

Destiny Furlong was a typical 12 year old girl. Outgoing and smart, she did well in school. She participated in extracurricular activities and had many interests but the top two were: 1. Becoming a veterinarian and 2. Performing arts. Destiny is friends with a girl who was in the movie “Twilight” who inspired her to be on “America’s Got Talent”. She was even in the process of finding a talent agent.

Her mother, Karen Furlong, is a 38 year-old dedicated, responsible single mom who has worked at Target for 12 years. Karen is a pretty conservative woman who is always dressed appropriately, does not have any tattoos, rarely swears, attends church regularly and drives a BMW. A background search revealed a total of four previous addresses and no criminal history. Her father was a stock broker originally from Canada.

media_media205_0002057391_0002057391_sm_1221542626[1]Destiny and her mom have always been very close. They enjoyed running marathons together, going to amusement parks, museums, dining out and watching movies together. Destiny has an older brother, Mathew, who is almost 21 years old and lives in Los Angeles. Destiny’s father is from the UK and spent many years out of the country while Karen waited for him. When he finally moved back to the U.S. he stayed in another part of the country and eventually, the long-distance relationship dissolved.

In May 2012, 12 year old Destiny Furlong got a little thumb tack poked into her back at school. It was removed at school and left a tiny little mark which was barely noticeable. About a week or so later, Destiny began to exhibit physical symptoms such as tightening of the jaw, a lump at the puncture site and weakness. Her mother, Karen, took her to the Riverside County Community Hospital and Destiny was diagnosed with Tresmus, a less serious form of Tetanus. She stayed in the hospital for 6 days due to having an infection and an inability to walk. However, the hospital may have released her too soon.
100media95imag0425-1[1]A visiting nurse was assigned to Destiny and arrived at their home two days later. The nurse’s observation was that Destiny shouldn’t have been released from the hospital and still needed hospital observation. She suggested to Karen that if Destiny did not improve soon that she take her daughter to Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego. When Destiny did not improve and seemed to worsen, Karen drove her daughter to San Diego and Destiny was admitted to Rady’s due to the infection. The hospital was advised of the prior hospital stay for the same condition in Riverside.

The hospital staff claimed that the regular care rooms were full and that they needed to place Destiny in the Teen Eating Disorder ward temporarily. Karen stayed at the hospital with Destiny 24/7. Within the first 24 hours several psychologists had come into Destiny’s room to do “evaluations” which they claimed was “routine”. When Destiny was admitted to this hospital, she could barely walk and needed assistance in the bathroom and the shower. A nurse was assigned to assist Destiny with these needs however, this nurse was very rude and degrading to Destiny as the nurse made it very clear that her opinion was that Destiny was faking it and that it was “all in her head” and literally knocked Destiny’s head into the bathroom shower wall. Both Karen and Destiny demanded that this nurse be restricted from Destiny’s room. The hospital complied and re-assigned the nursing staff.

After a few days, the doctor came up with a new diagnosis: Conversion Disorder. According to WebMD, this is:

Conversion disorder is a mental illness characterized by the loss or alteration of physical functioning without any physiological reason. These physical symptoms are the result of emotional conflicts or needs. The symptoms usually appear suddenly and at times of extreme psychological stress. A lack of concern over the debilitating symptoms (la belle indifference), which commonly accompanies this illness, may be a clue to distinguishing it from the physiological disorder it may mimic.

This is when Destiny’s stay at Rady’s became very strange. Destiny had become very interested in eating disorders (due to being in this ward of the hospital no doubt) and looked it up on her laptop. Destiny began eating less and less. She actually acquired this disorder for real and got so bad that at one point the nurses would threaten to put a feeding tube down her throat if she did not eat. A team of 13 psychologists/psychiatrists began assessing Destiny’s mental health. Remember, she was placed in this eating disorder ward TEMPORARILY but never moved her. She continued to receive antibiotics for her infection and was physically recovering however, Destiny was still too weak to walk as she had not been eating well and her body was tired from fighting the tetanus infection.

Karen stayed with Destiny for 20 days without going home. When Destiny had come up with the “eating disorder” the two had a squabble about it being a pre-existing condition prior to the tetanus because Destiny was now claiming that she has had an eating disorder for a while. Destiny was so adamant about it that Karen grew concerned. She felt she should call Destiny’s school to inquire whether or not she had been eating lunch as Destiny claimed she had not been. The school confirmed that Destiny seemed to be eating just fine as an administrator verified with classmates about it. This embarrassed Destiny and she became upset with her mother for not believing her and calling the school. Destiny then told her mother that she did not want to go home with her and that she wanted to live with her Aunt Stella.

100media95imag0676-1[1]It was a typical mother-pre-teen riff. How many of us can relate to this? Some of you may even say, “Gosh, that’s nothing compared to the way me and my daughter…” Just put yourself right here, right now, instead of Destiny and her mom, you and your daughter because this is the moment that these two last had any sense of normalcy. Destiny was captured by CPS and they have absolutely NO plans at all to reunite them. The social worker told a therapist to “prepare your client for coping with loss and finding out that she’s never going to see her daughter again.”

On June 2, 2012, after discussing Destiny’s release with the doctor, it was determined that Destiny was well enough to go home in a few days. Karen decided to drive back up to Riverside and bring Destiny some fresh clothing and check on the house, look over the mail, etc. On the second day in Riverside, Karen called the hospital to see what time Destiny could leave and the nurse that had been physical with Destiny spoke to Karen and told her that Destiny was not, after all, going to be released that day and to call back the next day. Later that night, Karen received a call from the hospital wanting to know where she was and why she had not showed up to pick up Destiny the day prior. Karen was very confused and began explaining the conversation with the nurse however, Karen was placed on hold and someone claiming that they were from social services picked up the line and informed her that they were taking Destiny into custody and was going to be placed with the Aunt, Stella. Karen objected and promised that she would be there as soon as it took to get gas in her car and drive down there. The social worker, Angela Franklin, of the Riverside Department of Social Services, told Karen that Destiny did not want to live with her anymore and wanted to go to the Aunt’s so not to bother but Karen drove as fast as she could to Rady’s Children’s Hospital. By the time she arrived, Destiny was gone.
Angela Franklin did not place Destiny with her Aunt like she had promised both Destiny and Karen, instead she was placed in a foster home. A detention hearing was held on June 6, 2012 but Destiny was not there. There were false allegations in the Petition which Karen contested adamantly. Another hearing was held on June 11, 2012 and more false allegations now claiming that Karen medically neglected Destiny! This is, no doubt, because Karen was not “buying-in” to their system. Nonetheless, the court ordered reunification and weekly visitation, pending the contested jurisdictional hearing, including telephone contact with Karen, her older brother, Mathew, as well as the Aunt Stella.

The worker refused to schedule any visits claiming that Destiny did not wish to see or speak to her mother or her brother. When CPS took Destiny from the hospital, Destiny had a brand new $600 cell phone which was confiscated at some point and to this day Karen has no idea what happened to it. Destiny was directed to use the house phone and was able to speak with her Aunt Stella. Stella questioned Destiny about physical abuse or if her mom ever hit her and Destiny said, “No, never.” After that, Stella was told not to talk about the case whatsoever with Destiny, and not to speak to Karen or Mathew at all. The worker made it sound so serious to Stella that she truly believed that she wasn’t allowed to speak with Karen or Mathew at all. It wasn’t until Christmas that Karen finally spoke to Stella at church. Both finally learned many truths which we will get to later.

Angela Franklin did refer the case to the relative placement assessment department but there is no indication that it was conducted.

Let’s back up for a minute, after the first hearing, Karen had a meeting with Angela Franklin at the CPS office early one morning. This woman came out of left field and told Karen, “I know your kind. You abuse your child in secret so it’s hard to see, but I see it. You even reek of alcohol.” Karen said, “Really? Why don’t you breathalyzer me, heck, I drove here, why don’t you call the police and have me arrested for DUI?” The worker shrugged it off but referred Karen to drug test. They tested her for every drug under the sun and also performed an 80-hour ECG alcohol test. This is NOT protocol. There were never any allegations of excessive alcohol consumption or about alcohol abuse whatsoever. This test detects alcohol sugars going back 80 hours. That’s more than 3 days! So, the 80 hour test came back positive (for alcohol sugars! These tests are often false positives if there is even the slightest infection in the urinary tract or kidneys.). This is, to me, absurd to have ever even done an 80 hour test on her because 1.) she had absolutely no reason to expect this test, 2.) she was not in any kind of program and was not legally prohibited from drinking, and 3.) her daughter had been illegally removed and she was being denied any contact, what reasonable person would NOT have a glass of wine to calm the nerves? Consequently, Karen had to enroll in substance abuse classes which she completed without incident. Karen has never had a DUI or any drug arrests or convictions whatsoever. Karen even Live Scanned herself which came back clear.

On July 31, 2012 the contested hearing was held. Rather than object, argue or perform any defensive actions on behalf of his client, Karen’s attorney, Daniel Vinson, allowed Karen to be threatened, coerced, intimidated and bullied into agreeing to cooperate with a case plan. Despite providing Vinson with exculpatory evidence as well as a list of witnesses to subpoena in support of her innocence, he said that she should just cooperate because the Department was going to give Destiny back immediately. This is the hook-line-and-sinker question that the always ask you: “ Wouldn’t you do anything for your child? If you just cooperate with the case plan, you will get your child back right away.” So, reluctantly, Karen agreed and that was the plan, for Destiny to come home right away.

Right after that hearing, the social worker, Angela Franklin, stalked Karen around in her car. Karen went to the store and ate lunch. The worker even parked her car behind Karen’s, cornering it in, while she watched Karen eat lunch at a restaurant. When Karen came out of the restaurant and saw Angela Franklin, she simply smiled and waved at the worker and then the worker sped away.

Karen was finally able to speak to Destiny on August 2, 2012. Destiny was ecstatic to hear her mother’s voice, she sounded so happy and excited to know she could go home. They had a very good talk and expected to see each other within the next few days. But that never happened.

The next day Destiny was relocated to a “more restrictive environment”. The social worker claimed to Karen that the foster mother had issues with Destiny’s “behavior problems” as well as fear that she would have to deal with false allegations of mistreatment.

On August 4, 2012, social services called Karen on her way to work and demanded that she attend a TDM (Team Decision Meeting) where they were going to decide to let Destiny go home. These meetings are usually held for this reason or if a child is in the home, these meetings are to remove the child again. It is CPS’s standard protocol however, they are usually scheduled in advance, not done at the last-minute. Nonetheless, Karen took called in to work to let them know she just couldn’t make it to work yet. This is usually very frowned upon to do when you work in retail but since Karen has been there so long and her HR Manager knew the situation and was extremely supportive of Karen, knowing Karen and Destiny had a great mother-daughter relationship and that the return of Destiny was paramount.
Once again, the social workers and their supervisors played both Karen and Destiny. Destiny was there, being held in a room against her will, screaming. The new caregiver had a very bizarre smirk on her face that Karen thought seemed very odd. Karen could not tell at the time exactly what was wrong or going on. Karen was told that Destiny did not know that her mother was going to be there and was screaming at everyone to not make her see her mother! So the caregiver left with Destiny and Karen saw two other children literally carrying Destiny, holding her arms as if Destiny couldn’t walk and appeared somewhat limp. Then they held the TDM. Karen was so upset that she was about to lose it. She excused herself to the restroom and Angela Franklin escorted her to the bathroom as if she was making sure that Karen didn’t leave to go after her daughter.

Of course, the decision was NOT to return Destiny and to deny any and all contact between Destiny and her family. No one has seen or heard from Destiny since this day.

A new worker was assigned to the case after that. Her name is Sonia Correa. This worker never even met with Karen until January 2013 as she had canceled every single appointment to meet face to face. Karen has several voicemail which evidence this worker’s perpetual cancellations.

A birthday visit was approved though. Karen, Mathew, Stella and a few other family members were looking forward to celebrating with Destiny and had it all planned. The worker canceled that at the last-minute.
So, then the worker claims that Destiny hit her head and was taken to the hospital. She was referred to Rady’s again. They did this without telling Karen or getting permission to take Destiny back to Rady’s Creepy Hospital.

Destiny was referred to counseling at Novell & Novell Counseling Center, in Temecula, CA, and a psychological evaluation. The “counselor”, Bonnie Kendig, is merely a MFT (marriage family therapist), which is the easiest accreditation one can obtain to be a “counselor”. If Destiny had been as psychologically damaged by “abuse” then the standard medical approach for therapy, for a child, would be an actual Psychiatrist with a medical degree. Also, the social worker’s report claims that Destiny does not show up for counseling quite often or the counselor cancels the appointments. So, does Destiny actually go here or what? I personally went to this place and waited for over an hour on the day at the time Destiny’s appointments are. She did not show up.

In November 2012 Karen filed court documents requesting an ex-parte hearing to address the worker’s incompetence as she had failed this family, denying all visitation, communication, reunification, and for failing to perform any case maintenance activities. Karen also made the court address the lack of family placement assessments. At this hearing, the worker came out of left field with new allegations. This time very serious false allegations that were not only offensive to Karen personally but held criminal consequences. A special investigator was assigned to interrogate Karen about how many boyfriends she had and other things of that nature. These allegations are so horrific that if they were even the slightest bit true a criminal investigation would most certainly have been initiated. But there was no police investigation or inquiry whatsoever. It was purely an intimidation tactic to distract the court from the social worker’s apparent incompetence and utterly pitiful job performance. But that wasn’t the last of those allegations, it gets worse.

To Karen’s surprise, however, the court ordered that the department perform the relative assessment as well as order the department to provide visitation to the entire family. The court also ordered that reunification cannot happen if there is no contact or visitation and ordered that Destiny’s counselor begin communicating with Karen’s counselor to establish some kind of reunification strategy for mother and daughter. (Remember, the worker claims that it is Destiny that does not want to see or talk to her mother or brother.)

Almost immediately after this hearing, Sonia Correa claimed that Destiny went out of her way to speak to a middle-aged man named Eric Mortensen who is the CEO of the foster family agency, Kamali’i Foster Family Agency and gave detailed accounts of how her mother raped her and had 5 boyfriends over at one time and that she was raped by them all! Then, allegedly, Destiny saw a doctor for extreme anxiety and depression which she allegedly told this doctor was due to this sexual abuse. This doctor alleges that she consulted with Destiny on November 29, 2012 and filled out a Request to Administer Psychotropic Medication on December 3, 2012. The request claimed that the child’s need for this drug was an “emergency”. However, the doctor didn’t even submit the Request to the court until February 15, 2013. So much for an “emergency”.

The Department continued to be in contempt of the court order to assess a relative for Destiny’s placement as well as the visitation. The worker, Sonia Correa, claimed in her report for the January Status Review Hearing, that “no one had ever come forward for relative placement until December 10, 2012.” This is a blatant lie, Stella had been promised the day CPS took Destiny from the hospital that she was being considered and assessed and she called the worker quite often to check the status of the assessment and Angela Franklin’s report claims a referral was sent to the RAU Department.

As far as the therapists communicating, this was also thwarted by Sonia Correa who said that Destiny’s therapist simply “refused” to comply, as she believes that Destiny should not ever have to speak to her mother ever again.

Karen Furlong has reported her daughter as a missing person to the FBI. It is not common for the FBI to seriously consider these reports and Karen is still waiting to find out if they are going to do anything about this.

Destiny Furlong needs YOUR help! Pass this story along and anyone in the Temecula, Murrieta, Sun City, Menifee, Perris, Hemet, Winchester areas of Riverside County who knows a child who attends public school in those areas and ask them to find Destiny in their school and get a message to her:

Destiny, your family is very
worried about you!
They love you and miss you
ESPECIALLY YOUR MOTHER!

A version of this column originally appeared in donnellyjustice.me.

YOUR RIGHTS – Know ‘Em or Lose “Em!

No one knows anything about Juvenile Dependency Court, not even those attorneys who handle these cases! I am not joking either.  I have found hundreds of instances of malfeasance, nonfeasance, errors, omissions, violations of court rules and procedures, violations of W & I Statutes & Codes, violations of CPS’s own policies and procedures as well as violations of the statutory requirements set forth by the funding sources (listed below). This is why I know that for any of the attorneys to have missed is cause to determine that they are really really stupid or really really corrupt.

So, while you anticipate my posting of all those violations, here’s a site that is very informative so check it out:

AFR

http://familyrights.us/info/law/

FROM ABOVE REFERENCE: Violations of Federal and State Statutes, violations of the California Rules of Civil Procedure, Cal. Rules of Juvenile Court, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside Local Rules, violations of the statutes and regulations required by CAPTA, AFSA,  Youkim, SAPT Block Grant, Child Welfare Services Grant (Title IV-B, Subpart 1), PSSF Grant (Title IV-B, Subpart2), Title IV-E, and the SSBG Block Grant.

Blatant disregard for the fundamental rights, privileges and constitutional rights of parents and children. Don’t wait until your children or your friend’s children to be kidnapped by the state, educate yourself and make them do it right!

 

A version of this column originally appeared in donnellyjustice.me.

Constitutional Law Summary for Parents (MAKE CPS COURTS FOLLOW THE LAW)

Donnelly Justice writes

These are the laws they don’t want you to know

Injustice-lights-framed-dreamstime_xs_19885693Every parent must read this before going into CPS court do not back down make sure your cell phones are accidentally on record.  I have personally had the minute orders include things that were never said and the transcripts proved it. There have been many cases of transcripts are getting changed as well. DO NOT go into this courtroom with the idea that they are ignorant to the unconstitutionality of CPS because they are the leaders. There is no way to protect your child with a real record if you can’t find a way to record these proceedings.

Remember: You are not protected in these courts unless you have real proof, I can’t condone you to carry a cell phone left on record with a full charge that would be illegal. What I am saying if I was going into these courts again I would make sure I had 2 recorders on me,  anything it takes to protect your child.

CPS is a,Juvenile court law under ( California rules of civil procedure ), Natural laws do apply.  If your lawyer does not follow the law you must file a complaint with the board if your lawyer doesn’t follow your rights. Complain for ineffective counsel  Object if he doesn’t object to incorrect statements or allegations if you not correct.   If you do not object you can not file an appeal on those issues and are     considered true.  Do not let your lawyer run you he doesn’t care about you or your child,  he does this everyday.  Know everything you can in these courts. You are your child’s best interest.  Take your time and read through our website if we haven’t written about it then you will find link for it. The dog book of refereed to as The dependency quick guide is a very important guide for these JV courts.

I am mot a lawyer but I would do what ever it takes to protect my child.  You do what you feel is best.  I am here just to share my experience and find a way for good parents to have fighting chance.

God Bless and may the lord watch and guard you by pacing a hedge of protection around you.  The parent is always in the child’s best interest.

created by Daniel Lee,  ACFC Associate Director

Family Law Reference for Parents

This is the first update to a paper written as a guide for parents and legal professionals on family law. Primarily it is the words of the judges themselves, with some commentary to help explain concepts. Upon updating it became so complicated that it needed to be divided into two parts, and this is now the introductory one. If you wish to learn in more depth, this documents big brother (with full case citations) is available to officers of Childs Best Interest, or to judges and state attorney generals when they send a request on their letterhead to: 357 Dove Valley Collierville, TN 38017.

The relation between family and constitutional law needs to be clearly understood. Constitutional law has “bright lines” that identify areas where the state cannot tread. As of today all states’ family law consists of a jumble of rules and practices, many of which have little to no relation to these bright lines. The ensuing disorder allows judges great and improper discretion.

As I update the original paper, and so to with writing the original, no help was provided from legal professionals. We told hundreds of lawyers, judges, appellate justices, law school professors, state representatives and senators, and attorney generals about the problems in family law. None attempted to refute or add to the information. On a better note, many good rulings have recently been released by the Tennessee Middle and Eastern Section Appellate Courts. Nevertheless, it is clear today there is total failure in family law, and the legal profession in general.

Most of the research and development fell to me, with others providing real and useful input. Don, Chuck, and Dennis, of Ohio PACE, Mike “MD/JD” in California, Murray in Virginia, Karen in Alabama, members of Childs Best Interest across the U.S., and shared parenting advocates who acted as sounding boards and provided assistance in other small or large ways. Also help from the kind student librarians at the University of Memphis Law School Library was very useful and appreciated.

Today in most family law cases attorneys are not raising a constitutional shield to protect their clients. And when they fail to do that, a very cruel thing happens. Not only are one or both parent’s ability to parent their child indefinitely suspended with the state taking permanent jurisdiction of their child, but in legal terminology they will be considered to have voluntarily waived their right to parent their child! That’s pretty harsh to say a parent has voluntarily given this up, when it was only the attorney who failed to raise the constitutional arguments, but that’s the legal standard. If you are a parent not in an intact married relationship, or out of one and haven’t been designated the primary caregiver, somewhere along the line you surrendered your right to parent your child.

The following pages are to help all parents understand their rights in relation to raising their children. Having this knowledge will allow you to defend yourself and your child if ever required.

This document may be freely reproduced, and if doing so please credit the author. If you are in an actual case, please remember this information is not legal advice. Every case is unique and must be tailored accordingly by a litigant acting as their own attorney, or an actual one.

Section 1 Controlling Law

Sections of the Constitutions where parental rights derive

The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Santosky v. Kramer United States Supreme Court (1982)

The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by First, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Doe v. Irwin United States District Court of Michigan (1977)

Tennessee’s historically strong protection of parental rights and the reasoning of federal constitutional cases convince us that parental rights constitute a fundamental liberty interest under Article I, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)

Parents have comparable interests under our state constitutional protections of liberty and privacy rights. “The right to the custody and control of one’s child is a fiercely guarded right in our society and in our law. It is a right that should be infringed upon only under the most compelling circumstances.” Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)

A parent’s constitutionally protected right to rear his or her children without state interference, has been recognized as a fundamental “liberty” interest protect by the Fourteenth Amendment and also as a fundamental right derived from the privacy rights inherent in the constitution. In re Smith Washington Supreme Court (1998)

[A] parent’s right to the care, custody, and control of his or her children is a fundamental right protected by article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. Santi v. Santi Iowa Supreme Court (2001)

Parental Autonomy is the condition that exists when a child is not subject to a judge’s jurisdiction

Parental autonomy is grounded in the assumption that natural parents raise their own children in nuclear families, consisting of a married couple and their children. The family has been seen as the “basic building block” of society. Parental autonomy strengthens the family and the entire social fabric “by encouraging parents to raise their children in the best way they can by making them secure in the knowledge that neither the state nor outside individuals may ordinarily intervene.” In re Smith Washington Supreme Court (1998) Note 1: We are aware of 1 parent outside of an intact married family receiving parental autonomy via a consent order. Wickman v. Dixon No.DR-96-1360.01C p.489. Note 2: Presumably parental autonomy exists in adoptive families with either one or two parents, and in natural parents who have sole custody with the other parent’s rights terminated, so it is not tied to married parents.

Parental Rights are Fundamental Liberty Interests

The liberty interest at issue in this case – - the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children — is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court Troxel v. Granville United States Supreme Court (2000)

It is well-settled that parents have a liberty interest in the custody of their children. Hence, any deprivation of that interest by the state must be accomplished by procedures meeting the requirements of due process.” Hooks v. Hooks United States Court of Appeals (1985)

Indeed, the right to rear one’s children is so firmly rooted in our culture that the United States Supreme Court has held it to be a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)

Parental Rights also contain Fundamental Privacy Interests

“[p]rivate realm of family life which the state cannot enter” Prince v. Massachusetts United States Supreme Court (1944)

Throughout this century, this Court also has held that the fundamental right to privacy protects citizens against governmental intrusion in such intimate family matters as procreation, child-rearing, marriage, and contraceptive choice. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey United States Supreme Court (1992)

Statutes and rulings that infringe upon fundamental rights are presumptively unconstitutional, and a substantial burden rests on the state, not citizen, to prove its case

It is well settled that, quite apart from the guarantee of equal protection, if a law “impinges upon a fundamental right explicitly or implicitly secured by the Constitution it is presumptively unconstitutional.” Harris v. McRae United States Supreme Court (1980)

The application of strict scrutiny is not flexible at all, and I can find no case in this state where application of this standard has resulted in upholding the challenged law. With the adoption of strict scrutiny, this Court has forced the State of Tennessee into an “all-or-nothing” scenario, where only the most impeccably drafted legislation withstands the slightest possibility of darkening the constitutional doorway. Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist Tennessee Supreme Court (2000) Note: This citation goes beyond saying infringements on fundamental parental rights are presumptively unconstitutional, and clearly states essentially no legislative restrictions on parents will be upheld.

If the classification affects fundamental rights however, there is no presumption of constitutionality, and the classification will be sustained only if justified by a compelling state interest. Coles v. Ryan Illinois Appeals Court (1980)

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The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees Due Process and Equal Protection to all

“[n]o state shall.deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” U.S. Const. Amend. XIV, § 1

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The state must meet a threshold prior to infringing upon fundamental rights

First, according to the Washington Supreme Court, the Constitution permits a State to interfere with the right of parents to rear their children only to prevent harm or potential harm to a child. Section 26.10.160(3) fails that standard because it requires no threshold showing of harm. Troxel v. Granville United States Supreme Court (2000)

The right of a parent not to be deprived of parental rights without a showing of fitness, abandonment or substantial neglect is so fundamental and basic as to rank among the rights contained in the State and Federal Constitutions” In re J.P. Utah Supreme Court (1982)

Likewise, following the analysis of the Tennessee Supreme Court in interpreting its state statutes and constitutions, we find that implicit in Georgia cases, statutory and constitutional law is that state interference with parental rights to custody and control of children is permissible only where the health or welfare of a child is threatened. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)

For the constitutional requirement to be satisfied, before visitation can be ordered over the objection of the child’s parents, a court must find an actual harm to the child’s health or welfare without such visitation. Williams v. Williams Virginia Supreme Court (1998)

Examples of Tennessee’s threshold standard

In 1993 in a grandparent visitation case the Tennessee Supreme Court held, “we believe that when no substantial harm threatens a child’s welfare, the state lacks a sufficiently compelling justification for the infringement on the fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit.” Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)

In a 1995 parent vs. third party custody case, “Therefore, in a contest between a parent and a non-parent, a parent cannot be deprived of the custody of a child unless there has been a finding, after notice required by due process, of substantial harm to the child. Only then may a court engage in a “best interest of the child” evaluation in making a determination of custody.” In re Adoption of a Female Child Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)

In a 1999 parental rights termination case, “Therefore Bond stands for the proposition that a natural parent may only be deprived of custody of a child upon a showing of substantial harm to the child.” In re Askew Tennessee (1999)

A July 2001 parental abuse case, “In furtherance of that goal, and in the best interests of Pamela due to a threat of substantial harm, the juvenile court ordered a termination of visitation.” “Although parents’ have a right to raise, care for and have the companionship of their child under both Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions, these rights can be infringed upon if the court finds substantial harm threatens a child’s welfare.” “The court made clear that there must be a threshold finding of harm before the state can intervene in a parent-child relationship; however, once this finding of harm to the child is made, a determination of custody is made based on the “best interest of the child”. This threshold finding of substantial harm was made when Pamela was found by the juvenile court to be abused, dependent, and neglected and removed form the custody of her parents and placed in foster care.” DCS v. Cox Tennessee Appeals Court (2001)

An August 2001 divorced parent v. parent case, “We believe the parents’ constitutional right of privacy as found by our Supreme Court in Hawk is applicable here where we have two fit parents, even if those parents are now divorced. Additionally, we believe the constitutional rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution are worthy of the same protection as is the constitutional right to privacy discussed in Hawk. Accordingly, the Trial Court could not restrict Father’s otherwise lawful possession of a firearm absent a showing of risk of substantial harm to the child. The Trial Court made no such finding.” Stillwell v. Stillwell Tennessee Appeals Court (2001) Note: This may be the first and only U.S. case where a harm standard was applied to divorced parents.

A standardized threshold (bright-line rule) is needed

Many threshold terms are in use, and the best seems to be “severe harm”. It has a proper sense of urgency which strikes a balance between too low of threshold terms such as “harm” which implies virtually no barrier, and too high of ones like “serious danger” implying an impossible hurdle. When combined with the designation as a “bright line rule” that cuts cleanly and clearly between the state and parents in all circumstances, a trial judge will have no problem properly applying family law to any circumstance that he or she faces.

The state may not apply the best interest of the child standard nor infringe in the parent-child relationship prior to proving that a child is in severe harm

We too, agree that neither the legislature nor a court may properly intervene in parenting decisions absent significant harm to the child from those decisions. In so holding, we approve the logic of Santosky v. Kramer which applied a two-step process to child neglect cases leading to foster family placement. In Santosky, the Supreme Court approved New York’s bifurcated proceeding requiring the state first to establish paternal unfitness before placing a child in foster care. This procedure assures parents that a “best interest of the child” analysis will not pit them against potential foster parents; rather, the state consider a child’s “best interests” until the natural parents have been declared unfit. Hawk v Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993) Note: In a case where parental rights are infringed to a much lesser degree than in a parent v. parent custody case, the Tennessee Supreme Court clearly states parents must be declared “unfit” prior to “best interests” being applied.

The proof in this case supports the trial court’s finding that the father is not unfit to have custody, and that he has developed a substantial relationship with the child. It shows that the child is in no danger of substantial harm. The father, therefore, has a fundamental interest in parenting the child which precludes a “best interest” determination of custody. Petrosky v. Keene Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)

If the threshold of severe harm is found, any orders issued must be so as no less restrictive remedies can be contemplated

To satisfy strict scrutiny, the State must show that a statute furthers a compelling state interest by the least restrictive means practically available. Bernal v. Fainter United States Supreme Court (1984)

Requiring a State to demonstrate a compelling interest and show that it has adopted the least restrictive means of achieving that interest is the most demanding test known to constitutional law. City of Boerne v. Flores United States Supreme Court (1997)

T.C.A. § 36-6-101(a)(1) “In a suit for annulment, divorce or separate maintenance, where the custody of a minor child or minor children is a question, the court may,.award the care, custody and control of such child or children.as the welfare and interest of the child or children may demand” Note: This is Tennessee’s custody statute for divorcing parents. No harm threshold is present, nor any requirement for narrow tailoring. This statute is facially unconstitutional on two grounds.

A statute must be followed as written

When “the language contained within the four corners of a statute is plain, clear and unambiguous, the duty of the courts is simple and obvious, ‘to say sic lex scripta, and obey it.” Hawks v. City of Westmoreland Tennessee Supreme Court (1997)

Thus, a court must “presume that the legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there.” A statute, therefore, must be construed as it is written. Berryhill v. Rhodes Tennessee Supreme Court (2000)

T.C.A. § 36-6-301 After making an award of custody, the court shall, upon request of the non-custodial parent, grant such rights of visitation as will enable the child and the non-custodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship. Note: A reasonable definition of the clause “enable the child and the non-custodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship” is two to three overnights per week. Tennessee courts routinely allow moveaways, long stretches (weeks/months/years) where no parenting occurs, and other restrictions such as every other weekend visitation. All of these circumstances violate their own case law, “the language contained within the four corners of a statute is plain, clear and unambiguous, the duty of the courts is simple and obvious, ‘to say sic lex scripta, and obey it.”, and can be challenged on this basis.

Parental rights are identical between natural parents, without regard to gender or marital status

The Constitution protects “the interest of a parent in the companionship, care, custody, and management of his or her children.” Stanley v. Illinois United States Supreme Court (1972)

“The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents.” Johnson v. Calvert California Supreme Court (1993)

The Nales’ position that this Court in Hawk limited the protection of parental rights to an “intact, nuclear family with fit parents” is untenable. Nale v. Robertson Tennessee Supreme Court (1994)

Parental Alienation

It is clear to this Court that both parents love their children. What concerns this Court most, however, and was apparently a concern to the trial court, is Wife’s blatant attempt to alienate the affections of the children from their father. When loved by both parents, children should be taught to love and respect each parent equally. The reciprocation, in turn, will garner self-respect and a positive self image in the children. The record in this case lends absolutely no reason as to why the children should not be encouraged to respect and love their father. We do not find the record to show that Wife has supported such a healthy relationship between parent and child. Although Wife testified otherwise, her actions speak loud and clear. Varley v. Varley Tennessee Appeals Court (1996)

Effect on the parent-child relationship by being apart

Between parent and child, there is no monster like separateness. It can grow even faster than children, shutting first the heart, then the home, then history. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)

Friendly Parent Doctrine

The Court stressed, the parent-child relationship “undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.” Stanley v. Illinois United States Supreme Court (1972)

Custody and visitation arrangements should promote the development of a healthy relationship between children and both their parents. Solima v. Solima Tennessee Appeals Court (1998)

Parent vs. Third Party Custody

Therefore, in a contest between a parent and a non-parent, a parent cannot be deprived of the custody of a child unless there has been a finding, after notice required by due process, of substantial harm to the child. Only then may a court engage in a “best interest of the child” evaluation in making a determination of custody.” In re Adoption of a Female Child Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)

Biological parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care and custody of their children under both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. These parental rights are superior to the rights of others and continue without interruption unless a biological parent consents to relinquish them, abandons his or her child, or forfeits his or her parental rights by some conduct that substantially harms the child. O’ Daniel v. Messier Tennessee Appeals Court (1995)

Grandparent/third party visitation

This appeal presents the issue of the constitutionality of Georgia’s “Grandparent Visitation Statute”, OCGA § 19-7-3. We hold that the statute is unconstitutional under both our state and federal constitutions, and reverse the trial court’s order to the contrary. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)

Children in state care

Judge Quinones, a Family Court Judge with eight years of experience, described the conditions of detention as follows:

“Then again, Juvenile Center, as much as we might try, is not the most pleasant place in the world. If you put them in detention, you are liable to be exposing these youngsters to all sorts of things. They are liable to be exposed to assault, they are liable to be exposed to sexual assaults. You are taking the risk of putting them together with a youngster that might be much worse than they, possibly might be, and it might have a bad effect in that respect.”

Many other observers of the circumstances of juvenile detention in New York have come to similar conclusions. Schall v. Martin United States Supreme Court (1984)

1st Amendment Protest Guarantees

We have recognized that the First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment” to the principle that “debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” This has led us to scrutinize carefully any restrictions on public issue picketing. Boos v. Barry United States Supreme Court (1988)

The traditional approach sets forth a bright-line rule: any restriction on speech, the application of which turns on the content of the speech, is a content-based restriction regardless of the motivation that lies behind it. Boos v. Barry United States Supreme Court (1988)

Pro-Se litigant’s pleadings

Pro se litigant’s pleadings should not be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers. “Significantly, the Haines case involved a pro se complaint – as does the present case – which requires a less stringent reading than one drafted by a lawyer. Puckett v. Cox United States Court of Appeals (1972)

Section 2 Persuasive Arguments

Thus, apart from constitutional problems of using the best interest of the child standard without a prerequisite showing of harm, the vagueness and subjectivity of such a standard lends itself to an invasion of family privacy which is abhorrent to our current society. Kathleen Bean (1985-86) Grandparent Visitation: Can the Parent Refuse? Note: This statement is equally applicable to all invasions of the parent-child relationship.

The bible advises input from both parents; “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching;” Proverbs 1:8 Revised Standard Version

Hubin, Donald (1999). Parental Rights and Due Process. University of Utah Journal of Law & Family Studies Volume 1 Number 2, 123-150. Note: The best article on unconstitutionality of family law.

See at: http://www.cohums.ohio-state.edu/philo/people/faculty/hubin.1/Research/P RDP.PDF

See Childs Best Interest website generally for useful information: http://childsbestinterest.org

Section 3 Traps

When a legal action is initiated which involves a child, if a parent is not residing in the same home as the child, he or she will presumptively be considered as the non-custodial parent. The only way to avoid this trap is to not leave the home, or allow your child to be taken out of it.

When hiring an attorney, one of the first things they do is request financial information. This is because they are mentally figuring how much wealth they will be able to transfer to themselves.

At the filing of a legal action involving a child, if a temporary injunction is issued to maintain the status quo (keep the child under the care of one parent), the excluded parent will presumptively be considered as non-custodial. Any pre-trial orders which impede your ability to parent your child can be immediately appealed. If you wait for trial, you will waive your right to later raise these issues.

Pre-trial if a parent consents to pay child support, the judge and both attorneys will take this as a signal that he or she agrees to be the non-custodial parent.

Any consent order a parent agrees to (even if it comes after a contested hearing) cannot be appealed. You do not have to “consent” to anything, even if your attorney says otherwise. Remember, attorneys are officers of the court, and quite possibly friends with the judge and opposing attorney. They are required to zealously represent you, and to uphold the constitution. Expect neither.

Normally an investigation of the parents will be done. This can be anything from a college volunteer working for CASA, an attorney called a Guardian Ad Litem, a private investigator, up to a pediatric psychologist. The job of all these folks is to invade the privacy of your relationship with your child, and transfer as much wealth as possible to themselves. Also you will either be encouraged or mandated to attend counseling, to achieve the same goals. Using the above constitutional citations you can object to any invasion of your privacy and your child’s. If you fail to object, you waive your rights.

At trial your attorney can have a pre-trial brief prepared which carefully identifies the applicable laws and how your case applies to those laws (including of course constitutional law). Very few attorneys will do this. Most will present your case with no reference to any laws whatsoever, and simply allow the judge to rule as he or she wishes.

Also at trial both parents are considered to be voluntarily submitting the question of child custody to the court. Your attorney can assert that you do not want custody of your child decided by the state. If you don’t do this, it will be considered waived for appeal purposes, as will any applicable state and constitutional laws not raised by your attorney in his or her oral arguments.

If you ask that the law be followed in your case, expect intimidation tactics such as your attorney threatening to resign, or being told visitation with your child will be reduced. If any of this happens, request a brochure or other method whereby you can file a complaint with your state board of responsibility against the unlawful attorney. To make a complaint call: 1-800-486-5714

If you receive an unfavorable decision at trial, your attorney can file a motion to reconsider, or a notice of appeal. If you are appealing there are strict time limits on this, which if not followed will cause your case to be thrown out. If you consent to anything at trial, it will not be appeallable.

Appeals are usually taken to a state appellate court, then if needed an application is filed to your state supreme court (they may be called another name). The state supreme court has discretion whether to take your case or not, and they probably won’t take it. If your state supreme court does not give you a favorable ruling, you can appeal properly preserved constitutional questions to the United State Supreme Court, which virtually never takes a family law case. Wherever your case finally stops, it will be considered final.

Section 4 Legal Primer

There are three types of law, constitutional, statutory, and case. Constitutional law is primarily what this paper consists of, it is written by the people, and everyone must follow it. Statutory law is created by your state legislature, and the judges and all citizens must follow it as written. Case law is the judge’s interpretation of how constitutional and statutory law apply to individual cases. Most libraries will have copies of your state constitution, and statutory laws.

Solima v. Solima 7 S.W.3d 30, at 33 (Tenn.App.1998)

Being able to read case citations is very important as this enables you to look up and verify the original. In the above example the “style” of the case is Solima v. Solima, and these of course are the two parties at odds.

The next part 7 S.W.3d 30 tells you the original decision is contained in the “SouthWest” reporters. If you are unable to find them yourself, the law school librarian can show you where they are at. 7 is the volume number, 3d means third edition, and 30 is the page the case begins on. The at 33 is the specific page where the quote you are referring to is at, and (Tenn.App.1998) tells you the court that issued the decision and year it did so. If you see a case citation that has only the year listed without any court, such as (2000), that is a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. NY or Utah would be a state supreme court, U.S.D.C. is a federal court, and U.S.C.A. is a federal appeals court.

If you are starting from scratch and don’t have a case citation, ask the librarian where the “digests” for your state, or the “Corpus Secundum” are. These allow you to start with a subject, such as “constitutional law”, and look up all of the cases cited in that area.

Summary

Parental rights consist of fundamental liberty and privacy interest, which the state can only infringe upon after finding a child is in severe harm, or severe danger of being harmed. You must properly assert your rights at every stage of litigation, or forever waive them, and your ability to parent your child.

As a final note constitutional rights in general, and parental rights in particular, are being regularly eroded. Amendments to the U.S. and state Constitutions must be enacted to reverse this.

Daniel Lee ACFC Associate Director

© Copyright Daniel Lee 2001 CBI Home: http://childsbestinterest.org ACFC Home: http://www.acfc.org/

Children Need BOTH Parents!

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children

A version of this column originally appeared in donnellyjustice.me.

Dpss-cps FAILS CHILDREN AND STEALS GOVERNMENT FUNDING

the-crown-heights-jewish-community-council-inc-pickpockets-community-government-grants-fraud-corruption-stealing-robbingSocial Security IV-E Benefits Codes, Rules, Regulations
Dpss-cps FAILS CHILDREN AND STEALS GOVERNMENT FUNDING: THEY PRETEND  TO DO THESE THINGS BUT THEY DO NOT: (letters and sentences on paper does not constitute child welfare services actually rendered in accordance with funding requirements)

Sec. 421. [42 U.S.C. 621]  The purpose of this subpart is to promote State flexibility in the development and expansion of a coordinated child and family services program that utilizes community-based agencies and ensures all children are raised in safe, loving families, by—

(1) protecting and promoting the welfare of all children;

(2) preventing the neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children;

(3) supporting at-risk families through services which allow children, where appropriate, to remain safely with their families or return to their families in a timely manner;

(4) promoting the safety, permanence, and well-being of children in foster care and adoptive families; and

(5) providing training, professional development and support to ensure a well-qualified child welfare workforce.

The red text highlighted part is the ONLY thing they do. They remove children from loving homes and put them in foster care and then adopt them out for more money.

There is something you can do about it and it is pretty simple.

First, get copies of your Minute Orders. Just get in the Family Law line in the Court’s Clerks Office (the place in the courthouse that has all those windows) and ask for a copy of every SIGNED Order with the Judge’s signature on it. Oh, bring your ID so they know you are a party to the case. Children over 10 have a right to the case file as well and Minor’s Counsel will provide them for free (they should by law). They may tell you to come back another day to pick them up and they will charge copy fees.  Shouldn’t be more than a few bucks for just the Minute Orders. So, most likely they will give you unsigned Minute Orders which is very common in California anyway.

When you have the Orders, check out the name of the Court Reporter (not Clerk), it should be in the first few lines, and contact that person to order a copy of the Transcript. Ask how many you can get for one low price but if you have to choose, get the Detention Hearing for sure, Jurisdictional Hearing and/or Disposition Hearing transcripts. California has an online Transcript Request Form you can submit online or by mail. They will contact you, sometimes it takes more than the stated two days, keep bugging them. They will charge approximately $60. I got three hearing transcripts for that price but one would have been the same amount. Go get the money order and send it to the reporter and you should have the transcript in about 2 weeks or sooner if you pay the extra fee.

Now, the FUN part! When they arrive, give yourself an hour of distraction free time. Get a pencil and a highlighter and compare the transcripts to the Minute Orders. Oh, before you start, make extra copies of each so you’re not writing all over the originals. You are trying to find where the Judge does not say the things that the Minute Order says he said. If the Minute Order says,

“Based on the court’s review of the Application and Detention Hearing Report, the court makes the following findings and orders herein:

Notice given/attempted as required by law.

Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that conditions exist that would justify initial assumption of jurisdiction…

Court orders…Court authorizes..Case plan read…

The Department has provided reasonable efforts to maintain the child in the home but continuance in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child…”

but if the transcript does not show that one or all or any of these were actually spoken on the record, that’s your evidence of FRAUD. DPSS is going to turn in the Minute Order to obtain Social Security Title IV-E funding as this document qualifies them for it. If you provide this proof to The Office of the Inspector General (Social Security Auditor) with a complaint about how DPSS and the courts have treated you and has frauded them and they investigate it to be true, you just GAVE IT TO THEM BIG TIME! RIPPED THEIR MONEY RIGHT OUT OF THEIR SLIMMEY DIRTY HANDS! Good Luck!

Feel free to email me at billandsharon9@msn.com if you have any questions.
Filed under: CPS corruption, Juvenile Dependency Court California, Research! Law, Codes, Procedures, Cases, etc., This site is dedicated to helping you get your child back,

A version of this column originally appeared in donnellyjustice.me.