1. How can you “beat” CPS?
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE JUVENILE DEPENDENCY JUDGE WILL “DROP” THE CASE? NO WAY.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO “WIN” IF YOU TAKE YOUR CASE TO TRIAL? NO WAY.
As soon as you open the door and speak with CPS you’re in it for at least 12 months if a child is younger than 3 years old. 18 months for older children. You will be lucky to get visitation as I have seen many parents being denied lately. A woman we met through our blog has not seen her daughter since they kidnapped her at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego over a year ago. She has only spoken to her briefly one time on the phone. I wish I could say more about this case because it’s the worst I’ve ever seen CPS workers be toward a parent and people should know about it. Maybe if we all exposed what they do it would put CPS and their court cohorts under the microscope and possibly straighten up a little.
When parents contest the allegations, a hearing is conducted that the cohorts call a trial but there is no jury, just the judge (who is paid for by CPS). JV Judges sustain every petition even if it is an amended petition that strikes some of the original allegations and that resembles a plea bargain. Once CPS files that Petition, you are going to have to cooperate at some point if there is any chance of reunifying you with your child(ren).
Juvenile Dependency Court is rigged. It’s a sham, a scam, a three-ring circus. The entire process is just for show. CPS does whatever they want. The Judge works for them (paid by them) and never dismisses a Petition. CPS’s counsel (county counsel) will amend a Petition when parents are barking too loud and have solid evidence or witnesses to prove their innocence but, they will never dismiss it. Most often they already have your child and they will play you like a harp. The parent’s “attorney” will say that the only way to get the child(ren) returned is to submit to something and cooperate with the “case plan”. Reluctantly or eagerly, they make you give in because they know that if you truly love your child(ren) you will do anything to get them back. Always remember, they have this scam down solid. In California they have pulled this trick approximately 250,000 times in the last 5 years. I call them the Court Cohorts Collecting and Killing Kids.
I thought that using their own laws against them could “beat” them but since CPS does not adhere to their own laws (in CA Welfare & Institutions Code) and the Judge never holds them accountable for it, telling them what they have done wrong only pisses them off. In any other court, the Judge would hold CPS in contempt and many social workers would be charged with submitting fabricated evidence to the court. In Juvenile Dependency Court, the Judge does not ever hold them in contempt when they do not follow his “orders”. Orders are never properly executed and mailed to each party thus, making the “orders” null and void. Yet, no one cares and just accepts that CPS has custody of your child(ren). For example, when parents are battling in Family Court, both parties are provided a SIGNED, conformed copy of the Judge’s orders for custody. If the father is awarded full physical custody and the mother has supervised visits, then in the event she should pick the child up from school and say, take them home to her house without permission from the father and unsupervised, the father’s remedy would be to take his SIGNED COURT ORDER to the local police station and they would assist him in retrieving the child from the mother’s home. If the mother did not cooperate or leaves town then the police can and will file charges against her and issue a protective custody warrant for the child. If the father cannot provide the police officers a signed court order nor obtain one from the court file then they won’t help him. NO COURT ORDER, NO CUSTODY, NO ASSISTANCE, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Welfare & Institutions Code § 248.5.: All written findings and orders of the court shall be served by the clerk of the court personally or by first-class mail within three judicial days of their issuance on the petitioner, the minor or the minor’s counsel, the parent or the parent’s counsel, and the guardian or the guardian’s counsel.
In our case and every case in Riverside County, the Judge never signs any orders nor does the clerk provide copies of any orders from the hearing, not even the minute orders. However, the minute orders are not a true account of what actually happened in court. The clerk has a template with all of the required findings and orders that the Judge should be making but he doesn’t address many of the issues that he is supposed to. He merely “adopts” some findings and orders that CPS has attached to their report without even discussing them. See, the Judge just does whatever CPS wants him to.
This is only one of many things legally wrong with that court. Codes are enforced against parents but CPS can do whatever the f they want. They’re just great people, you know, saving abused and neglected children all day is a hard job and they do so many good things that it’s OK if they lie in every report, the end justifies the means and as long as the children are not with the parents they will be safe you know. (sarcastic)
So what is a parent to do? I do wish I had some solid advice for you but, for one, I am not an attorney and I cannot legally advise you however, I can tell you what I would do if I had to do it all over again.
I would have paid for my own hair follicle test at the same time that I gave the sample for CPS, even if I had to borrow or beg for the money ($100).
I would read a publication called the “Dogbook”, it’s the attorney’s guide book called, Dependency Quick Guide” and it explains exactly what your “attorney” can and can not do for you.
I would read the Petition’s allegation page and match them up with the Welfare & Institutions Code and I wouldn’t let them adjudicate my daughter a dependent of the court simply because her father, who moved to Greece years ago, has failed to pay child support. (My current husband had been providing ample “provisions for support” for all of the children, including my daughter from my first marriage. No child was in need of anything. In fact, they were spoiled.)
I wouldn’t sign their case plan because they have to give you services whether you sign it or not. I would have to play their game again, pretending to benefit from their “services” and kiss their ass. I wouldn’t tolerate any procrastination when it comes to the social worker providing the court ordered referrals. I would object to the social worker’s statements when they blame the lack of progress on me rather than admit that they procrastinated as they try to make it look like you are not putting forth any effort. I would complain to the supervisor and the supervisor’s supervisor when they switched social workers right when they are supposed to do something for you such as increase visits, allow the child(ren) to visit overnights on the weekends or place the child(ren) with family. I would complain to the supervisor when the new social worker tells me that they haven’t read the case file yet which is their excuse for not having to do anything for you for 2-3 weeks.
I wouldn’t miss any visits because they can use that against you. I’ve seen a parent’s visits terminated the very first time that they missed one. I would write letters and notes to my child(ren) and make sure I made copies before giving them to the social worker to give to the child(ren). This shows how much you care and are bonded with the child(ren) that way the bond issue is not exploited against you. CPS always claims to do everything in the “best interests of the child” however, terminating services is the step before terminating your rights. Terminating your rights and severing the child’s bond with you is not in the child’s best interests and if you have made sure that the bond is on the record then even if they do terminate services and your rights, your chances in Appeal are much higher.
I have learned that many parents who have appealed the termination of their parental rights have won and the Juvenile Court’s termination ruling reversed and even got their kids back! If I would have known how to have an “appealable issue” then I would have appealed every decision or order that the Judge makes (but never signs) even if I somehow agreed to it. I would appeal the decision to declare my child(ren) dependents of the court even though I was willing to cooperate with the case plan and submit to the Amended Petition because I was coerced to do so. I would appeal the Judge’s decision if he denied placement with family. I would appeal orders granting the Department permission to medicate my child(ren). I would appeal any unreasonable demands by the Department or additional requirements that do not apply to your case. (i.e., Domestic Violence classes if there has been no domestic violence). You can appeal any reductions in visitation, appeal placement of your child(ren) with the other, abusive, parent, and you can appeal any decision that limits your rights to your child’s education.
OBJECTIONS ON THE RECORD:
MAKE A LIST OF THE LIES THAT THE SOCIAL WORKER HAS SAID IN THE REPORT. NEXT TO THE LIE STATE THE TRUTH. NAME THIS DOCUMENT, “UNTRUE STATEMENTS MADE BY SOCIAL WORKER, ________________, IN THE REPORT, _____(Jurisdiction/Disposition Report…[enter the name of the report and the date indicated on the bottom of the page]
In order to have “appealable issues” there must be objections made during the hearings (since your court appointed cohort won’t ever file any motions) and getting your attorney to object to anything will be very difficult, you may just have to do the objecting for yourself. You must object to everything that is untrue, unfair, unreasonable, a lie, a falsification or just plain evil trickery.
OBJECT to the perjury (lies), fabrications, exaggerations and inaccurate accounts of the truth that is contained in it. Have a list of what those are (as suggested above) and if they are contained in previous reports and which reports they are in. An example is here:
YOU MUST GET OBJECTIONS ON THE RECORD WHILE IN COURT DURING THE HEARING. This may seem difficult or impossible but the only thing stopping you is the intimidation that they are making sure you feel while in that court. SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT. You must pay attention to what is going on while your case is being heard. Well, that’s what I would do if I could do it all over again.
You may want to give your “attorney” the opportunity to object prior to the start of the hearing or you may not. It depends on whether you think they will try to sabotage your efforts and have their other cohorts try even harder to intimidate you.
Even if the lawyer tries to pretend that he/she will make these objections on the record, do not depend on it. Be prepared to speak up for yourself. In the event that this “attorney” does say something resembling an objection or two, do not count on him doing it properly. You will most likely have to do the objecting yourself.
MOST LIKELY YOU WILL BE TOLD TO SHUT UP. DO NOT LET THIS GET TO YOU. KEEP TALKING. If I could go back and do it all over again I would say something like:
“Your Honor, I object to the Department’s recommendations to declare my child(ren) a dependent of the court on the grounds that the Report is inflamatory, contains hearsay and lacks foundation. The report contains errors, omissions, fabrications, and grossly misrepresented statements of the actual facts. The social workers have committed perjury and used trickery to manipulate this court into believing that I am guilty of the allegations and that my child’s safety is at risk in my care.
I object to the statement: ______________________ as it is inflammatory and causes prejudice without evidence. I object to the social worker’s statements that___________________________ as it is ambiguous, confusing and vague.
I also object to the Department’s unreasonable questioning of my child on the grounds that based on allegations made by an anonymous caller, the questioning of my child lacked foundation. Moreover, the tactics used by the social worker intimidated my child(ren) by making threats which created fear in the child. ”
If it is not your first hearing, most likely these lies have been told before so you should also address that issue as well. You could add,
“The most damaging lies/misrepresentations contained in this current report have also appeared in several prior reports and I am hereby objecting to each and every use of the statement, ______________ in all previous reports as they lack foundation and are inflammatory. I request permission to submit this document which itemizes the statements that are not true and which prior reports they are in.”
Most likely the Judge will not allow your document. In this case you must state out loud, “For the record the Judge is refusing to accept a document entitled, “[name of your document] in case No. [enter case number]
OTHER GROUNDS FOR OBJECTIONS:
LACK OF REASONABLE EFFORTS OR MISREPRESENTATION OF THE DEPARTMENT’S “REASONABLE EFFORTS”
I would add something to my objections statement in court such as:
“I also object to the Departments claims that they have provided reasonable efforts. For one, they failed to offer services which would eliminate or reduce the alleged risk to the child prior to removing my child(ren) without offering services to prevent the need to remove my child(ren). Second, after the court sustained the Petition and ordered the Department to provide me and my family with services, there was a significant delay of three weeks before I received any of the referrals. Then there was a change in social workers which created an additional three week delay in increasing the visits per court order therefore, the social worker failed to provide me and my family with service referrals in a timely manner.”
You and your children can sue CPS once the case is closed if they have violated your constitutional rights. Specifically, your child can sue CPS for violating their 4th and 14th Amendment Rights and parents can sue for violations of their 14th Amendment Rights. It is called a Section 1983 Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights . I have posted an article with links for more information on that below this article.