Deception 66: Child "Protective" Services, Part II
A video on the American Family Rights (http://familyrights.us) site features a former social worker giving inside information about the system. Her director would say regularly, "We aren't the friend of the family, we're the friend of the court." She was told that their agency actually made money for the judge and the court unlike so many other agencies. They tried to get more cases in order to garner more federal allotments. In the office, she saw deception, bias, discrimination, records destroyed, and office policies and rules change from week to week for the profit of the agency. Workers were told to withhold information, forms, policies, laws, and statutes from clients with questions and were forbidden to help them retain relief from unfair legal situations beyond their control. The speaker said that she rocked the boat when she wrote a book entitled, "Friend of the Court, Enemy of the Family." She said that divorced persons were insulted, tricked, and lied to. New and creative charges of abuse, neglect, and addiction arose--many times these were what she called "convenient charges" against the guiltless.
Familyrights.us features a number of informative articles that can help people to further understand their rights and the legal system as it pertains to CPS--this is not a Christian website. The reader may only want to peruse what we have on this page. What I see concerning contact with CPS is, be calm, contact your attorney immediately, keep your mouth shut and document everything in a chronological log--every encounter including dates, times, and names. Keep every piece of paper. Keep everything in one spot, e.g., cardboard box, briefcase, etc. Update your chronological case log as soon as an event takes place. If pulled into a situation, know the process of what is going on and might happen down the line. Don't leave case preparation solely in the hands of an attorney--he is your knowledgeable partner and advocate. Your log will help him. From what I have read, what a person says can be (and has been) twisted and used against them--no volunteering information, indiscriminately signing papers, etc. See, "Ten Things You Must Do if CPS Targets Your Family" below.
If your kids have just been picked up. (http://familyrights.us/how_to/just_picked_up.html)
If you are ever approached by anyone from social services... (www.familyrights.us/how_to/if_cps_comes.html)
The "How To Fight CPS" Page - Defend Yourself Against False Allegations (familyrights.us/how_to/fight_cps.html)
How to Win in Court - Self Help Course www.howtowinincourt.com, 866-529-3279 [things change online--doublecheck to see if familyrights.us and howtowinincourt.com are okay, especially as the years go on from the time of this article]
Court: Suspects must say they want to be silent
By Jesse J. Holland ASSOCIATED PRESS
11:27 a.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must tell police explicitly that they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants' rights "upside down."
A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are the first of the Miranda rights warnings, which police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But the justices said in a 5-4 decision that suspects must tell police they are going to remain silent to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.
The ruling comes in a case in which a suspect, Van Chester Thompkins, remained mostly silent for a three-hour police interrogation before implicating himself in a Jan. 10, 2000, murder in Southfield, Mich. He appealed his conviction, saying that he invoked his Miranda right to remain silent by remaining silent.
But Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the decision for the court's conservatives, said that wasn't enough.
"Thompkins did not say that he wanted to remain silent or that he did not want to talk to police," Justice Kennedy said. "Had he made either of these simple, unambiguous statements, he would have invoked his 'right to cut off questioning.' Here he did neither, so he did not invoke his right to remain silent."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's newest member, wrote a strongly worded dissent for the court's liberals, saying the majority's decision "turns Miranda upside down."
"Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent -- which counterintuitively, requires them to speak," she said. "At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded." FULL STORY
Got it? You have to SAY "I want to remain silent, and I want a lawyer"
Ten Things You Must Do if CPS Targets Your Family
1) Take the accusation seriously. I don't care how absurd or unbelievable the caseworker sounds. Understand that SHE is serious, and likely presumes - no, likely KNOWS that you are guilty as accused. Even if she doesn' t flat out say that she' s there to take the children, she is quite possibly intent on doing just that.
In testimony to Congress, Chris Klicka, senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association, stated that a case worker with 30 years' experience once confided in him that "When I started working, we tried to prove the family was innocent. Now we assume they are guilty until they prove they are not."
2) Ask what the charges are. Most of the time, the caseworker wants to keep you in the dark as to what you have been accused of, but she is now required by federal and state law to tell you the nature of the accusation at her first contact with you.
And don't settle for the answer of "abuse" or "neglect." Those are categories, not accusations. You are entitled to know what specific actions you are accused of committing.
3) Shut up. Shut up now. It is imperative that you not talk to anyone but your attorney. It is natural that innocent parents who have nothing to hide want to explain everything so that a reasonable person can see there's no problem here. But CPS agents are not reasonable. You are presumed guilty. That caseworker is there to find evidence to support what she already believes to be true -- that you abused your child.
If you say nothing to them, you have taken away their greatest weapon, which is their ability to twist your words. Let me give you some examples of what was done to parents who did talk to them:
The husband of a client of mine had been accused of sexually molesting their autistic, non- verbal daughter. The CPS investigator asked the mother if her daughter had exhibited any unusual behavior lately. The only thing she could think of was that a couple of times the month before, the girl had wanted her mother to come lay down with her for a few minutes. Usually, she would just go in and go right to sleep. The investigator stated to the court that the mother admitted her child had become afraid of her own bedroom.
One father I defended told the caseworker that he had disciplined his daughter over a 20 minute period, where he would talk to her about what she had done wrong, swat her a few times, and then talk some more. The investigator stated to the court that the father admitted to beating his child non-stop for 20 minutes.
4) You must find an attorney who has experience in fighting CPS, as soon as you realize your family is being investigated. Notice I said experience in fighting CPS. Many attorneys- if not most - believe their role is to find out what CPS wants and make sure their clients do it. That way often leads to disaster -- and the loss of your children.
5) Be polite. Hostility toward the investigator is considered evidence of guilt. Your perfectly natural angry reaction to being accused of harming your child will be used as evidence of an abusive personality.
6) Under no circumstances should you let any government agent in your home unless he or she has a warrant or order issued by a court. Ask to see the warrant or order, because the CPS worker may lie and say she has one when she doesn't. When she doesn't have one, politely but firmly tell her that she will have to stay outside until she gets one. If she claims it's an emergency, make her tell you what it is. Call her bluff -- if it were a true emergency, she would be there with armed police officers, forcing her way in. Do not even open the door to let her look at the children.
There is no compromise on this. There is no exception. If you invite a caseworker into your home, you have waived your fourth amendment protection.And if the caseworker is intent on taking your children, SHE WILL FIND SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME TO JUSTIFY IT. THAT IS A GUARANTEE.
Understand that you may be threatened. You may be lied to. She may tell you that the 4 th amendment doesn' t apply to caseworkers. That is a lie. She may tell you that she doesn' t need a warrant. That is a lie. She may tell you that she'll return with armed police officers. And she will. But that changes nothing. Even a man with a gun on your porch doesn't change the fact that she still has no right to enter your home.
Listen to the words of an ex-CPS investigator:
"I wish I could shout from the highest mountain to parents to vigilantly learn their rights! If they knew what their legal rights were there would be significantly lower numbers of child removals. Social workers, unlike policemen making an arrest, are not required to inform the parents of their legal rights. All we had to do to remove a child was to show up at the home and tell the parents we came to remove the kids. Often times we would take a police officer with us (never telling the parents he was there for MY protection, not to enforce an order or warrant). 99% of the time we never had to get a warrant or court order to remove kids because the parents would be so intimidated by the officer that they would just hand their kids over and show up for court the next day. But if they had legally known their parental rights, they could simply have told me that I could not take the children unless I had a court order signed by the judge or had a warrant to remove the kids. ... the majority of times parents were just intimidated and gave consent for the whole process to begin; completely unknowing of what rights they just waived."
If officers do force their way in, do not physically resist. Make your objections clear, but stand aside. There's no point in getting arrested, or risking injury or death. Your children need you. Demand that you not be separated from your children, and that your children be interrogated only with your attorney present. (This demand will likely be ignored, but demand it anyway. The fact that you did may become important in later court proceedings.)
7) Demand that CPS tape any interrogation of your child. They are required by Texas law to do so. Bring your own recorder in case the CPS agent "loses" her tape.
8) If the accusation is one of physical abuse, have your doctor give your child a thorough physical exam. Ask him to write a letter stating that no bruises, marks, or health concerns were found on the child that would create suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Go to a doctor you trust. Never never never go to a doctor recommended by CPS.
9) Gather names of friends and relatives who are willing and able to care for your children if CPS takes them. If your children must spend time away from you, it's far better that they do so with people you know and trust than in an abusive foster facility.
10) Never admit guilt, even if CPS has taken your children and offers to give them back if you do. It would be immoral to do so if you truly haven't done anything, and it may be a quick way to jail and to lose your kids forever. CPS agents are not above lying to you to prove your guilt.
August 21, 2008
Case Name: U.S. v. Craighead, District: 9 Cir , Case #: 07-1-135
Opinion Date: 8/21/2008 , DAR #: 13245
Interrogations occurring inside the home are custodial, requiring Miranda advisements under the Fifth Amendment, if the circumstances turn it into one of a "police-dominated" atmosphere.
As soon as you DEMAND your Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights, CPS will very likely turn it into a "police-dominated" atmosphere. If they brought a cop along, it ALREADY IS a "police-dominated" atmosphere. The police commonly threaten the charge of "interfering with an investigation". The catch is, if there is NO CRIME, there is NO Police investigation. The CPS is there to coerce you to "volunteer" away your (and your children's) Constitutional Rights. The moment you "volunteer", you have surrendered your Constitutional Rights. This is what the Miranda Warning is for, and why you had best just SHUT UP. What you say WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU.