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Category Archives: Child Protective Services

This is a follow-up article to the article presented entitled: Texas Senator Exposes Corruption with CPS and Child Abuse Doctors Over Medical Kidnapping of 4-Year-Old Child. link to complete story here 

Please note: it is reprinted directly from MedicalKidnap.com. It is being presented here in three installments due to length. This is the 2nd installment. The article in its entirety can be found here:  link to full article here.

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The Background:

THSC has launched a campaign to raise money for the Pardos’ legal expenses. The Pardos are a homeschool THSC member family. The Pardo case has gained media attention due to egregious and repeated violations of the law committed by CPS.  After refusing to inform the family of allegations against them, the agency fabricated an emergency to remove the child, ultimately pressuring a judge to grant them temporary conservatorship of Drake at a hearing on July 2.
The events have put the homeschool community, the family’s State Senatorand the media in an uproar.

CPS first made contact with the family on June 7, leaving a business card on the family’s door. Two weeks later, after repeated and unsuccessful attempts by the family and their attorney to obtain any information about the case, CPS suddenly declared an “emergency” and forcibly removed Drake from his home.

At the time of the removal, advocates from Family Rights Advocacy and the Parent Guidance Center were live on the phone, attempting to de-escalate the situation.

In a rough cell phone video captured by the family, the Pardos remained calm but can be seen challenging the caseworker’s claim to a two-week delayed “emergency” and the decision to suddenly remove Drake. Drake’s father, Daniel, can be heard for several minutes attempting to keep Drake calm as he is placed into the police car and as he asks repeatedly why his father is not coming with him.

On April 22, nearly two months prior to this horrific incident, the Pardos had filed an official complaint against Children’s Medical Center because of the refusal of one of Drake’s doctors to visit him while he was admitted to the hospital.

Children’s informed the family that they would review the matter and resolve it within 45 days. On day 46, with the family still having heard nothing from the Children’s Medical Center, CPS showed up at the family’s door with an affidavit signed by one of the hospital’s doctors and removed Drake.

At a hearing on July 2, approximately 100 homeschoolers arrived to support the Pardos and their attorney as they argued that Drake should be returned home. During the hearing, testimony from CPS and Dr. Dakil of Children’s Medical Center left the audience in shock.

Dr. Dakil admitted on the stand that:

  1. She had never seen or met with Drake or his parents;
  2. She had no first-hand knowledge of Drake’s medical conditions;
  3. The concerns listed in her affidavit were all speculative and she could not confirm them or rule them out without speaking to the parents, a step she had not yet taken;
  4. Her concerns were not an emergency;
  5. She had not requested that Drake be removed from his home and only wanted CPS to facilitate a meeting with the family on June 10 to help address her concerns;
  6. She was surprised when CPS chose to remove Drake from his home;
  7. Going forward, her concerns could all be alleviated by having a sit-down conversation with the parents to create a treatment plan and having both parents attend future medical visits;
  8. She was not sure how that would be possible as long as Drake remained in CPS custody as CPS had been given conservatorship of Drake;

The CPS caseworker and her supervisor admitted in testimony that prior to the removal CPS had:

  1. never seen or talked to the child, the parents, family members, neighbors, or any doctors who had first-hand knowledge of Drake’s condition;
  2. not conducted a background investigation;
  3. not pursued multiple opportunities to resolve the issue without removal;
  4. refused to disclose the allegations to the parents or to their lawyer;
  5. had no firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing by the parents;
  6. had intentionally not informed the family of the June 10 meeting requested by Children’s Medical Center.
  7. decided there was an “emergency” because the family failed to attend the June 10 meeting they were never informed of.
  8. decided there was an emergency based on the concerns provided by Dr. Dakil, despite Dr. Dakil’s testimony that her concerns were not an emergency.

State Senator Bob Hall, who attended the July 2 hearing, recently recounted his observations and his disbelief at the “egregious miscarriage of justice” that is taking place in the case.

To add to the list of offenses, when the July 2 hearing began it was discovered that CPS and the Attorney Ad. Litem had failed to respond to the valid discovery requests from the Pardo’s attorney.

Observers in the courtroom were left searching for anything that CPS had done correctly during their gross mishandling of the case.

Despite the lack of any evidence against the family and the admissions by CPS of their gross and repeated mishandling of the case, Judge Michael Chitty granted every single request made by CPS’s attorney, including leaving Drake in CPS custody, and issued a gag order preventing the family from discussing the case publicly. 

CPS saves thousands of children from legitimate situations of abuse. Their incredibly difficult job and the considerable weight of their responsibility is something that none of us should envy.  However, when laws are broken without a second thought, CPS can quickly become the source of trauma in a child’s life.

When this happens, judges, lawmakers, and the public must be willing to stand up to defend innocent families.

(end of  2nd installment)

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss

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This is a follow-up article to the article presented entitled: Texas Senator Exposes Corruption with CPS and Child Abuse Doctors Over Medical Kidnapping of 4-Year-Old Child. link to complete story here 

Please note: it is reprinted directly from MedicalKidnap.com. It is being presented here in three installments due to length. This is the 1st installment. The article in its entirety can be found here:  link to full article here.

Bob hall header 2by Texas Home School Coalition Association

On Friday, August 9, a status hearing was held in the Pardo case where the court considered what action steps would have to be taken before Drake could be sent home. Judge Tracy Gray, the same judge who signed the original emergency removal order on June 20, presided over the case. The tone of the hearing was strikingly different than the post-removal July 2 hearing presided over by Judge Michael Chitty, which Senator Bob Hall described as an “egregious injustice.”

While the scope of topics which may be considered at a status hearing is extremely narrow, several startling revelations were still made. Most strikingly, CPS brazenly asked that the court order Ashley and Daniel Pardo to admit to medical child abuse and to having “severe” mental health problems before they could have their son returned to them.

Nearly as incredible was when CPS was asked on the stand whether they had followed the required legal process in the construction of their recommendations for how the family could have their son returned home. When asked if they had followed CPS rules, along with state and federal law, the CPS caseworker responded “no.” The law requires that CPS develop the recommendations collaboratively with the family. Instead, CPS brought their pre-printed plan (which included a required admission of guilt) to the July 23 meeting with the family and then accused the family of “not cooperating” when they rejected the plan.

The Attorney Ad. Litem also asked the court to prohibit THSC from posting any updates about the case on social media, something the court has no jurisdiction to do because THSC is not a party to the case.

Judge Tracy Gray chastised CPS for the ridiculous list of requests included in their report to the court. Judge Gray threw out every item challenged by the family’s attorneys, ordered CPS to “expedite” their efforts to place Drake with family or friends, and to start allowing the family to bring a third party witness to visits with Drake, something CPS has prohibited thus far.

While the hearing was a great success for the family, there is still a long way to go. Judge Gray clearly appeared frustrated by CPS’ brazenly unconstitutional requests (like a court-ordered admission of guilt). This offers a ray of hope that CPS may not be able to continue getting away with their illegal actions.

Intervention from the Dallas Court of Appeals:
On August 2, Ashley and Daniel Pardo requested emergency intervention by the Dallas Court of Appeals after their son, Drake Pardo (age four), was illegally taken from his family by Child Protective Services (CPS) on June 20.

The family filed two motions asking the Court of Appeals to intervene on an emergency basis to stop the abuse being allowed by district Judge Michael Chitty. The family’s first motion was a petition for Mandamus, asking the appellate court to return Drake home and detailing how Judge Chitty abused his discretion by removing Drake from Ashely and Daniel without any evidence against them.

In their second motion, the family filed an emergency Motion To Suspend, asking the court to immediately dismiss Judge Chitty’s latest order on the basis that it was illegally issued and it harms the rights of Ashley, Daniel, and Drake.

According to the family’s Mandamus petition, “The trial court is supposed to be the gatekeeper to ensure that actions taken by CPS conform to Texas Constitutional and statutory law, and the trial court utterly failed to perform that vital function.” If the appellate court grants the emergency orders the family could get immediate relief and have their son returned home. If not, the family may have to seek emergency assistance from the Texas Supreme Court.

On August 5, CPS filed a response to the family’s second emergency motion. In their response, CPS argues that Ashley and Daniel have nothing to complain about because Drake is receiving the same medical care which Ashley and Daniel would have given him. The response details repeatedly how the family has agreed to every medical recommendation being suggested for Drake and how the parents stated to the court that they plan to follow all recommendations from Drake’s doctors. CPS argues that because CPS and the parents plan to give Drake identical medical care, that therefore no harm is done by Drake remaining in state custody.

In essence, CPS claims that because the state is handling Drake’s medal needs the same way Drake’s actual parents had planned to, that he might as well remain in state custody. It’s hard to imagine a more callous view of family rights than this.

Apparently, the state does not believe that removing a child from his home or his family has any negative effect that the appellate court should consider.

The Court of Appeals has ordered CPS to file a response to the family’s petition for Mandamus by August 12 and will likely rule on the Motion to Suspend within the next few days.

(end 1st installment)

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss


Related imageAnd you wonder why people explode, why they want to just, you know, like, kill people. Of course I don’t mean kill as in actually kill someone. But I was feeling that I wanted run up to the judge and slap him silly, say “What the fuck is wrong with you? Can’t you see what’s going on here?”

But then that’s what they want. They want you to lose it, to go berserk so they can say they’ve been right all along. And that’s what they were waiting for from me, both in and out of court. That and for me to go broke.

Option B, the other option to cutting a deal of some sort, was for my lawyer to turn my case over to one of the smaller lawyers in private practice that he knew, one who would work for about a third of what he cost. He assured me that this other lawyer was every bit as good as he was. However, he had fewer resources and was a bit busier personally because he had less help and had to carry more cases on his own shoulders. But since he had much less overhead, he was much less expensive.

My lawyer assured me that he had plenty of experience. He wasn’t too clear on whether it would be a good thing to switch lawyers in terms of the case, this because it would signal to CPS that I was running out of funds or that I couldn’t afford to continue on the way we were going.

So I told him I would think about it, but I’d already made up my mind. I was willing, at least I thought so at the moment, to sell my house, even to go move in with my parents and to change our lives completely if I could only get my kids back.

I told him that I would probably continue on the way we were and that I would do my best to get him some money as quickly as I could. I told him that this meant getting money from my father, my father was already telling me that he had to take a home equity loan on his house in order to be able to access any funds.

And so there we were face-to-face, back on the clock again and discussing my case.

My lawyer told me that if I continued with him, and again he reminded me that he thought it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000, that at the next court date he would see about if they were willing to discuss options for getting the case over with quickly. He told me he could present to them the notion that it would be easier for them to find a way for unification with me and my children than it would for them to press for termination of parental rights. But he told me he couldn’t assure me they would agree to anything.

As we were speaking there were so many things we didn’t know, either him or me. But we would learn some of them at the next court date.

In his final instructions he told me to make sure that I was a model citizen at the visitations, that I did everything they asked of me, no matter how stupid or ridiculous it seemed. He reminded me that their game was to intimidate me and infuriate me, that they would do anything, including treating me like a baby and/or a moron, in order to do so. He reminded me that they were out to make me have an emotional outburst or go broke.

And then he said something very interesting. He told me that this case was no longer, and maybe never was, about my children. He told me it was about them and money.

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss


Please note: This article is reprinted directly from MedicalKidnap.com. It is being presented here in three installments due to length. This is the 3rd and final. The article in its entirety can be found here: link to complete story here

Bob hall header 2

Part 3: The Hospital/Doctor

In what can only be characterized as an extreme miscarriage of justice, the Texas Department of Child Protective Services (CPS) got an emergency court order in Kaufman County to remove a 4-year-old boy from his family.

On June 20, 2019, the 4-year-old was forcefully taken by CPS with the assistance of law enforcement. Following that, on July 2, 2019, a Kaufman County judge upheld the order.

The doctor from Children’s Hospital, who apparently initiated the process which resulted in the forceful removal of a 4-year-old boy from his family by CPS, had no history of treating the child, had never seen the child, never spoke with the parents, and did not even make a complete review of all of the child’s medical records before submitting an affidavit simply expressing some concerns about the child’s medical history.

CPS then used (perhaps “misused” is more appropriate) this affidavit to get an “emergency” court order to remove the child from his home and start the process of permanently terminating all parental rights.

There are several problems with the affidavit submitted and the testimony of the hospital doctor who was responsible for the initiation of this CPS action.

The first problem is that all of her statements about the child and parents are pure speculation. She never saw or spoke with either parent or the child before submitting the affidavit.

All the “concerns” she expressed in her affidavit were simply “concerns.” She presented no firsthand or even secondhand knowledge of any wrongdoing by either parent.

Also, she did not express any urgency for an “emergency” action, and she made no recommendation related to a need for CPS to remove the child from his family.

Some of the highlights of inconsistencies between the affidavit, testimony, and the conclusions intended to be used are:

  • In her testimony, she questioned the decision made by the cerebral palsy doctor to provide a wheelchair for the child. Yet she admitted that she did not know and had not talked with that doctor. In paragraph 2 of her affidavit, she said, “I do not have access to the child’s records from the cerebral doctor.
  • The doctor discussed several medical issues, doctor visits, treatments, and medications the child has faced in his short four years. These include a brain surgery; before allowing it, the family got four second opinions from other doctors regarding the necessity of the surgery. He was also diagnosed, tested, and treated for many issues. These included autism, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, RSV viral lung infection, milk-protein allergy, cerebral palsy, and reflux. However, not all doctor-ordered treatments produced good results. According to the doctor’s seven-page affidavit, every medical diagnosis and treatment the child received was from a certified medical doctor. Yet under the medical findings on page four of the doctor’s affidavit, the doctor appears to criticize the mother by stating in Item 4, “. . . mother has expressed concerns for multiple problems over the years.” Wow. What loving, caring, and doting mother would not be “concerned” with so little progress being made by multiple doctors? But, the two big questions are:
  1. Why would CPS accept a sworn statement like this one when that doctor had never met nor talked with either parent or the child?
  2. Why would an allegedly impartial court system accept such a document as fact?

The only “significant” concern expressed by this doctor in her affidavit is directed at the competency of the other doctors, not at the parents.

In fact, almost all the “concerns” expressed by the doctor in her affidavit appear to be criticism of the previous doctor’s diagnosis and treatments.

On page 6, “Kaleb is a 4 yo male that is currently being seen by multiple doctors in the Dallas area. With much review, I have significant concerns about the accuracy of some of his diagnoses. I am very worried about medical abuse for this child.”

So, if this is truly her belief, why has she not reported these concerns to the Texas Medical Board for a malpractice investigation of the doctor for every procedure she questioned?

After all, it was the doctor, not the mother, that made the diagnosis and performed the procedure.

Even though there appeared to be some conflict in testimony between hospital doctor and the CASA representative, it was quite obvious that they had coordinated their testimony. They both used very similar words and scenarios to describe the child in the hospital.

However, one of them got their facts reversed on the issue of potty training. One said that “he only pooped in the toilet but he peed in his pull-ups,” while the other stated, “he only peed in the toilet but pooped in his pull-ups.”

Then, after the abduction but before the court hearing, the doctor did meet with the parents to discuss her concerns. It was noted by several people that attended the meeting, either in person or via telephone conferencing, that the doctor said her concerns had been answered and saw no reason for the child to remain in the hospital.

Why, then, does CPS insist on continuing to seek custody of the child and permanent termination of all parental rights?

These are just the highlights of the concerns with the doctor’s affidavit that began the persecution of this family.

In addition to the above, citizens should have serious concerns with the way that CPS and officers of the court twisted and misused her statements.

Next Article: Part 4 – “Was Justice or Injustice Served” will be a discussion of the role the court system played in assisting CPS in its mission to remove the child from its family.

Source: SenatorBobHall.com

end of article

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss


Please note: This article is reprinted directly from MedicalKidnap.com. It is being presented here in three installments due to length. This is the 2nd installment. The article in its entirety can be found here: link to complete story here

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Part 2: CPS Caseworker

This government agency, Child Protective Services (CPS), is the genesis of this problem and others like it. As has been confirmed multiple times, CPS does not know when or under what circumstances it is in the best interest of the child to remove the child from parental custody.

All too often, it seems CPS errs on the side of “the parent is guilty of child neglect or abuse” instead of ensuring the protection of the child from the true evil in the world. Unfortunately, from the testimony given last week, there appears to be little or no supervisory oversight to ensure that overzealous case workers are actually working in the best interest of the child.

The sworn affidavit and testimony of the caseworker has several issues. Remember, she testified that she had never seen or talked to the child or anyone with firsthand knowledge of the statements that she swears to be true.

Some of the questionable statements in her affidavit in support of removal, dated June 20, 2019, are: (Her affidavit paragraph titles and numbers are below, in bold.)

  1. ALLEGATIONS (page 2)
    Essentially, every statement is either untrue, a twisting of a similar statement, or just plain hearsay.

Examples of some of the misstatements:
“… referral alleging the physical abuse of Kaleb by Ashley Pardo.” – No such statement is in the hospital doctor’s affidavit.

“Ashley is displaying behavior associated with Munchausen syndrome by proxy.” – On what basis? The caseworker is not a doctor and has never seen Ashley.

“Ashley convinced a doctor to put in an NG tube … .” – There is no evidence or testimony to support this. How does anyone “convince” a doctor to do a medical procedure against his will?

“Ashley constantly wheels Kaleb around in the wheelchair.” – This statement is not in the hospital doctor’s affidavit, and the caseworker could not possibly have any firsthand knowledge.

“Ashley began telling everyone that Kaleb had epilepsy.” – There is no evidence or testimony to support this statement. Again, the caseworker is swearing this to be true, even though she has never heard Ashley speak.

  1. CPS HISTORY (page 4)
    This is a particularly outrageous section in which the caseworker uses “allegations” against Ashley’s previous husband—who, it appears, has some real problems—to make it appear to the casual reader that the problems were with the current family; nothing could be further from the truth.

The caseworker began this section with the statement: “The family appears to have previous CPS history” – She then uses four pages to list several law enforcement allegations against Ashley’s first husband; none of which had any finding of neglect or child abuse.

In the second to last sentence of the 05/23/2014 allegation statement, the caseworker makes an outright lie when she states:

“Ashly Pardo said Daniel Pardo struck Ashly Pardo while Ashly Pardo was pregnant with Linzey Pardo.” This could not possibly be true. Ashly and Daniel did not meet until long after Linzey was born.

It appears that the caseworker knew her case against the Pardo family was extremely weak, therefore she chose to include these “red herring” allegations to mislead the court into thinking this was a really bad family with a lot of violent history.

  1. CONCLUSION (page 7)
    The caseworker misquotes the hospital doctor’s affidavit and makes a statement that is contrary to courtroom testimony. One of the two statements has to be untrue.

“The Reach clinic has provided its findings as highly concerning for medical child abuse.”

The word “highly” is not in the hospital doctor’s affidavit. In fact, in testimony, the hospital doctor made it quite clear that she simply had “some” concerns after a partial review of the child’s medical files, and those concerns were resolved after discussion with the parents. (This discussion took place after the affidavit but before the court hearing.)

“The Department has attempted to identify safe family members or fictive kin with whom the child could be placed as opposed to placement in foster care, however, no such individuals could be found.”

“Reasonable efforts had been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of these children from the Prado’s home … .”

In the court hearing, the caseworker could not describe any effort made by CPS to resolve the concerns without removing the child from the home.

In fact, her testimony confirmed that the only action CPS pursued was that of an “emergency.”

However, the “emergency” was allowed to go on for two weeks between the time the CPS worker put a business card on the family’s door and the time the child was removed—more than ample time for parents to be allowed to address the allegations without further traumatizing the child.

The court hearing testimony and behavior of the caseworker can only be described as strange or bizarre. On almost every question that could be answered with a “yes” or “no,” the caseworker would first look down and appeared to be shuffling through papers, looking for the answer.

Then she would look up at the CPS attorney who would be nodding her head in either a “yes” or a “no” movement. The caseworker would then answer accordingly.

Even though there was an exhaustive series of questions asked, the caseworker refused to answer why the first and only official action by CPS had to be an “emergency” order for removal.

The only thing close to an explanation the caseworker would give for refusing to tell the parents or their lawyer the allegations was that she was afraid the parents would run and hide.

It was also quite clear, to me, that the CPS caseworker’s ego led her to take it upon herself to pursue an “emergency” order to show the family’s lawyer that she was from the government and she could do anything to that family that she wanted to do.

(end of second installment)

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss


Please note: This article is reprinted directly from MedicalKidnap.com. It is being presented here in three installments due to length. This is the 1st installment. The article in its entirety can be found here: link to complete story here

Bob hall header 2Texas Senator Exposes Corruption with CPS and Child Abuse Doctors Over Medical Kidnapping of 4-Year-Old Child

Commentary: CPS Heavy-Handed Overreach

by Senator Bob Hall

When the overreaching heavy hand of the government leads to even one instance of injustice, a little bit of liberty is lost for all citizens.

On July 2, 2019, in Kaufman County, Texas, another piece of liberty was chipped from our society. Once again, in a very sad courtroom scene, the “legal” abduction of a 4-year-old child by the Texas Child Protective Service (CPS) was upheld by what can only be described as an egregious miscarriage of justice.

During a hearing, that lasted more than six hours, little to no evidence was presented that indicated either parent, of the 4-year-old boy, had actually done anything remotely close to child abuse. In fact, no one involved in the whole prosecution process had ever met or talked with either parent, or met or talked with the child.

The doctor from Children’s Hospital, who apparently initiated the forceful removal, had no history of treating the child, had never seen the child, and did not make a complete review of all of the child’s medical records.

The CPS caseworker, responsible for initiating the legal process, as an “emergency” necessity, had no firsthand knowledge of any of the alleged charges she levied against the parents, had never met or talked with the child, and had made no attempt to complete a background investigation, as required by CPS policy.

Yet, the courtroom judge insisted that the process to permanently terminate parental rights be continued, that no further interaction between the child and the parents be allowed except with CPS approval and supervision, and that CPS be granted total control over all needs of the child.

Yes, that is the same Texas CPS that is notorious for the extensive abuse and high rate of suicides of children, in their care and in their foster child care system.

How Could This Have Happened?

Each of the four parties (Hospital/Doctor, CPS, Court System and Child’s Ad Litem Attorney) involved failed in its primary responsibility to act in accordance with its role of “protecting the child first”.

While all four parties failed their responsibility, CPS is the root of the failure.

This government agency is the real genesis of this problem and others like it. There has been multiple confirmed cases that CPS does not know when or under what circumstances it is in the best interest of the child to be removed from parental custody.

All too often it seems CPS errs on the side of the parent is guilty of child neglect instead of ensuring the protection of the child from the true evil in the world.

Unfortunately, from the testimony given last week, there appears to be little or no supervisory oversight to ensure that overzealous caseworkers are actually working in the best interest of the child.

In this instance, the CPS caseworker had:

1. never seen or talked to the child;
2. not seen or talked to the parents;
3. not seen or talked to family members;
4. not seen or talked to neighbors;
5. not conducted a background investigation;
6. not attempted to resolve the issue without removal;
7. refused to disclose the allegations to the parents or to their lawyer;
8. misquoted and misrepresented a hospital doctor’s affidavit to obtain the court order and;
9. had no firsthand knowledge of any wrong doing by the parents;

By declaring it an “emergency”, the caseworker was able to forcefully remove the child by requiring his father to put him in a waiting police vehicle without having to first complete any of the procedural steps which were supposedly put in place to ensure that removal from the home was done as a last resort action.

The court hearing testimony and behavior of the caseworker can only be described as strange or bizarre. On almost every question that could be answered with a “yes” or “no”, the caseworker would first look down and appeared to be shuffling through papers looking for the answer.

Then she would look up and at the CPS attorney who would be nodding her head in either a “yes” or a “no”movement. The caseworker would then answer accordingly. After a while, I began watching the judge and it appeared to me that he, too, was watching the CPS attorney appearing to be coaching the witness, but he never called them out.

Even though there was an exhaustive series of questions asked, the caseworker never gave a reason why the first and only official action by CPS had to be an “emergency” order for removal.

It was also quite clear, to me, that the CPS caseworker’s personal push led her to take it upon herself to pursue an “emergency” order.

Doing so, in essence, showed the family’s attorney that she was from the government, she could do anything to that family that she wanted to do, when he indicated he was going to take the case up the CPS chain of command.

Knowing that judges, for self-protection, almost always side with CPS was the only path to ensure that she got a pelt-for-her-belt.

(end of first installment)

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss


Related image

 

So the lawyer and I had to talk. The talk, of course, cost me money, three-quarters of an hour’s worth, or on toward three hundred dollars.

First, he told me he thought maybe we ought to see if they would offer some kind of settlement. He said I might think about copping to neglect if they would return my children.

In essence, then, we could talk about this at the next court date and if everyone were amenable, within about a month after that I could have my kids back.

But I didn’t do anything, I told him. My boy was hit with a baseball that his friend threw with competitive exuberance against one of those “return the ball” screens. Except he was distracted and missed it.

The lawyer said he knew what happened and how it happened and he said he knew I wasn’t guilty of anything. He said that sometimes we find ourselves in a position where someone else is holding all the cards and at times like that it’s usually better to fold.

What does that mean? I asked him.

It meant that they had me beat financially, that they could drag the case on for maybe eighteen months or so which would cost me a fortune and during which time they would file a permanency plan which in all likelihood would recommend the judge terminate my rights as a parent and that my children be kept in foster care until such time as they were adopted by loving, caring people who wanted them.

So my lawyer stopped the clock then, so to speak, and said he wanted to tell me a story, but that he wouldn’t charge me for his story. He had his paralegal pull out a court transcript — apparently it was one she was familiar with because she knew exactly what he was referring to and where to find it.

It was a case that had seventeen court dates. His client hadn’t done anything wrong, nothing, but they managed to make it seem as if the client was about ten shades worse than Jeffrey Dahmer.

The bottom line of the case and what was in the transcript was a simple spoken line where the DAG said to the judge that the truth didn’t matter. Straight out. She said the truth didn’t matter. She said this after my lawyer claimed that what she had presented was simply not true, that it was an outright lie, a pure fabrication and he could prove it. The DAG held to it, that the truth didn’t matter, that the only thing that mattered was the presumption, or the mere possibility that it might be true.

My lawyer went off. He told the judge that if the truth didn’t matter it could not be a serious court. He said he had presented and was again presenting truth, facts and records that showed the truth and which totally belied what the DAG was claiming.

So my lawyer looked at me when we finished reading and said that the judge peered out kind of blank-eyed, that he stared out into nowhere off beyond where they all were. Then he yawned and put his hands up in the position of “what should I say?”

He didn’t stop what was going on. He didn’t find for my lawyer at all. He just, as my lawyer told it, “looked at me kind of sheepishly, and let it all go on.”

It’s all fixed, my lawyer said. So think about making a deal. The worst that we would accept is your going on the registry, but at least you’d have your kids back.

I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything.

So I sat there in his office and cried.

Pick up a copy of  all my works here:  By Peter Weiss



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