Vince Davis: Good morning. My name is Vincent Davis. I’m a licensed attorney in California and welcome to our show. Today we’ll be talking about getting your children back from CPS. I want to take a moment and say a prayer for those folks in Paris, France undergoing that horrific situation yesterday. And I’m sorry to say that this is the world that we’re living in right now.
Today I’m going to talk about what happens before your child is taken away by CPS and what you can do. In a lot of situations, children are taken away without any warning. That happens when a CPS social worker determines that there is an emergency and the child just can’t be left with you. But generally, in most cases, a worker does not take the child away unless they have a court order or a warrant. And in order to do that, they have to do some type of investigation before taking your child away.
My advice to most people, and I want to emphasize most because I don’t give this in 100% of the situations — I don’t give this advice in 100% of the situations, I think that you probably should not talk to social workers. When they investigate a case, they would come out and take your child from you if they have the evidence that you have abused or are at risk of abusing the child. Now when they come out, they don’t have that evidence and the first thing that they do is they speak to you and speak to others in the family, your friends and sometimes they are able to gather that evidence.
I’ve spoken to many people who have said that, “You know, I talked to the social worker and what I said was taken out of context,” or they’ll say, “I talked to the social worker and they twisted what I’ve said just a little bit.” And I talked to people who have said, “Hey, I talked to the social worker and when we see the social worker’s report, this is not what I’ve said at all.” And in those situations, it happens a lot more than you would think.
So my advice is just don’t talk to the social worker or the police authority because unless you talk to them, they can’t get any evidence against you to take your child. They can get a court order or a warrant to come out and then inspect your home. That does not mean that they can get a court order or warrant to make you talk to them. They can get a court order or a warrant to come out and speak to your children. However, in a relatively new law, I think less than 12 years old, social workers can go out to your children’s school and talk to them without your permission. It wasn’t necessarily the law all the time in California but now that is the situation.
We have a caller on the line right now. His number ends in 1521, they have been on hold since before this show started, so I’m going to take their call now.
Hello, you’re on the air Attorney Vincent Davis, get your kids back now. What’s your first name?
Vince Davis: Yes, you’re on the air, what is your first name?
Male: Okay. My name is Rabbi Aryeh Patterson. I live in Minnesota. On February 3rd, CPS stormed to my house [0:04:14 inaudible] SWAT came. I have two autistic children and a daughter who is not even disabled. They stormed to my house, terrorized my kids and took them out under the guys that the PCA that I had hired and I made the mistake of my life, I found out was downloading pornography to my children or my son. I found out later she had molested my son. I walked in on her talking extremely filthy things to my children and when I let her know, she — I would want to fire her, she retaliated and made a statement.
Now our house has been the target of hate crimes for at least eight years. We’re Jewish and we’re Christian which really shouldn’t matter but we have [0:05:03 inaudible] all over our land. We have “die Jew die” on my propane tank. They wrote, “we will kill you Jewish trash” on my driveway. I had to put up a six-foot fence which social services actually paid for to protect my son and keep one of them in who likes to wander. He’s more severely autistic and, you know, gives him a big yard to play [0:05:25 inaudible]. And then I put cameras up to catch these people and I purchased stun guns to protect my kids.
Well, when the PCA found out that I want to going to fire her, she went to Child Protective Services and told them that I had stunned my son which I had never ever, ever, ever done. And my children had told them all this. They waited two days after they took my children from the house. My son was exhausted. They interrogated them to a degree where my son was so scared. He, at 22, [0:06:05 inaudible] he told me that he peed his pants. He was so scared. My daughter on the other hand was not the least bit moved by them but Isaiah was.
And so they’re going on some statements that you said I’m going to view the video this Monday with my attorney and see exactly what they did but there’s been multiple, multiple reports sent in to CPS against the PCA who I found out had actually molested my son twice, not to mention downloading pornographies, touching my other son. My son actually saw her used my stun gun, [0:06:44 inaudible] it’s always in the drawer, you know, which I give to the kids to go out and lock the gate at the night because of this nasty stuff. I bought them their own stun guns to protect them and I’m not going to say I did that, I surely did.
And the whole thing is that they dropped two of the charges and now they know that it didn’t happen but CPS here refuses to do anything and in this state, we do not have a law for any crimes. So I really don’t know what to do. I have courts run on the bus on December 11. So that’s kind of what’s going on between — Civil Rights people sent — I sent them a letter and they told me that they wanted me to get all the information I could and get it back to them which I found out was quite unusual because they don’t really look at too many cases. Do you have any advice for me?
Vince Davis: Well, let me say this, I’m licensed in California and it’s only legal for me to give advice in California but I can give you some general advice and that is you need to talk a juvenile dependency lawyer who’s experienced, who’s been doing this for many years, has done many trials so that they can help you in your defense. If you Google for your area, juvenile dependency attorney or juvenile dependency lawyer, I’m sure that you’ll come up with several names of people that you can call and get a free consultation with. You can also call your Local County Bar Association and you can get names of people. Usually, each Bar Association has a lawyer referral service and you can get numbers and probably get a free or low cost initial consultation. But it really sounds like you have a probably sophisticated yet complex yet unfair situation going on there in Minnesota and I urge you to get competent legal advice in your area, somebody who’s an attorney, who’s licensed in your state.
Male: My children aren’t juvenile. They’re 22 and 21.
Vince Davis: Oh, and the social services is involved because they are special needs, correct?
Male: Well, two of my children do, my daughter does not but social services decided that they want to put her on a waiver so they need to go to a doctor, had the doctor say she had something, you know, to get her on a waiver, to get her on SS, it’s ridiculous what they can do without even your permission. And my daughter is not handicapped.
Vince Davis: Well, I wish I could give you some advice on that, I just don’t know Minnesota law. I’m only familiar and an expert in California law but I urge you to make those calls, do those Google searches to try to find a lawyer to give you some advice, perhaps free initial consultations so that you can get the information that you need to protect yourself and to protect your family. Thank you for your call, sir.
Male: What type of attorney did you say? I had trouble hearing you. What type of attorney did you say I should try to look for?
Vince Davis: Okay. So type in Google, juvenile dependency lawyer…
Vince Davis: Or juvenile dependency attorney.
Male: Okay. I can do that.
Vince Davis: And Google will give you results; Google will give you results for your geographic area.
Male: Excellent. Okay. Thank you. I appreciate it. I can do that. I’m a little computer savvy. I want to thank you for that though because I don’t really know what to do and I know you’re in California so the laws are different but I thank you for at least talking with me and helping me try to figure this out.
Vince Davis: Thank you and good luck to, sir.
Male: Okay. You have a best day.
Vince Davis: Bye-bye. Well, that was a call from Minnesota. Going back to our topic today, what to do before the social worker fetch your child who’s performing the investigation. Earlier I’ve said you should probably not talk to the social worker. Now, I wrote a blog and I forgot the name of the blog on my website to fight CPS or FightChildProtectiveServices.com. Let me see if I could find it. On the website, Talk Radio Experts, requesting of several blogs. One of the things that you should also consider is speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible.
I get a lot of calls from people whose children are eventually taken away and they call me in the middle of the investigation or the end of the investigation. And what has already happened in most of these situations is the mother and/or the father has already talked to the social worker and in a lot of these cases had, oh, you made damaging admissions or giving evidence or giving people — giving the names of people who have the evidence. How that can be used against the parents in a subsequent juvenile dependency case.
Again, if you don’t talk to the social worker, it’s unlikely that the social worker is going to get that information where they can use it against you. So on a lot of cases where people call me before the child is taken away, one of the things that we do at our office is we try to meet with the social worker and their attorney so you try to resolve the situation that are having to file a case in juvenile dependency court.
Now it’s very expensive for the counties in California to file a case in juvenile dependency court and many times, not all, but in many cases, they want to sit down with you and — they’re willing to sit down with you in a controlled the environment with your attorney there, try to work that as which your case doesn’t have to be filed. And in my practice, we do that in a lot of situations. We get a lot of calls. In my practice, coming Monday, I have a meeting with a social worker and my client in the morning and then in the afternoon at a totally different location, I think that’s even in a different county, I have a meeting with a social worker and their attorney.
And in these situations, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to control the social worker’s access to information and we’re trying to control the amount of information that is given to the social worker and also to work out some type of, shall we say, program where the children don’t have to be taken away and perhaps the parent can begin some type of immediate course to alleviate the needs for the child being taken away.
In California, taking away your children is supposed to be a last resort and in a lot of cases, the social workers are willing to work with you but you just have to make sure that you control the information that you give them. Let me give you an example of how this sometimes works. A social worker comes out to your home, you’re not there, and leaves a business card and says call me. Now right there, someone — you should know that someone has reported you for either child abuse or suspected child abuse. And it’s the social worker’s job and duty to try to investigate that.
At this point in time, you probably should call around and speak to attorneys in practice in this area. The reason is because a lot of people think, “Well, I can just meet with the social worker and I can talk my way out of it,” and a lot of highly educated people think that they can do that. The problem is is what they don’t realize is that social workers are trained professionals, they are trained investigators and they’re trained to find out if there’s abuse or suspected child abuse. So the social worker may talk to you, may be getting information that you probably don’t even realized that you’ve given and may be in the future used that against you.
I recently talked to a husband, a father, apparently, the social worker said that he called on the hotline, county hotline which each county has in California and the mother had been reported for suspected child abuse. And during that investigation, the child abuse was, what we call in the business, inappropriate discipline. Child was about 6 or 7 and it’s the form of discipline that mother had been spanking the child. Now, that’s not illegal in California but there’s a lot of problems with that. Most social workers think that you shouldn’t be spanking your child and if you do, it’s child abuse. That’s a whole different discussion.
But in the investigation, the social worker required the parents to take a drug test. Now, there’s no connection or there wasn’t any connection between the mother using a belt to discipline the child and drugs. No one had said anything about the parents are using drugs and they can’t take care of the child. Well, the parents thought that they were obligated so they took the test and then it turned out the father tested positive for marijuana and in California, he didn’t have a what they call a marijuana card, a medical card saying that marijuana was a prescribed. The social workers wanted to file a case against him and his wife for the suspected inappropriate physical discipline and the drug use, alleged drug use.
Now, in California, it’s not necessarily a child abuse problem if you’ve tested positive for any illegal substance. However, in many, many cases and in many, many situations, social workers act like it is — if you use drugs, you are per se unable to take care of your child and that’s just not the truth. But it turned out in this situation that the father was a war vet, a recent war vet who had been discharged from marine and was using marijuana albeit to self-treat or that helping his treatment of his post traumatic stress disorder.
In this particular case, since there was no evidence that this drug use taken his ability to take care of the child. What I did was I — they called me and I met with the social worker and a couple and the social worker’s attorney and I convinced them that perhaps the father could take a drug or a substance abuse class on his own, that he might test through urinalysis periodically for the social worker and that both parents would take the parenting class.
Luckily, the social worker and/or her attorney decided that that would be sufficient before filing a case and before taking the child away from the parents. The child in this case — I think was about 5 years old and was strongly bonded emotionally, psychologically and physically to the parents and removal of this child who’s such minor, when I call minor things, would probably do more harm than good. And in a lot of situations that I sometimes see or hear about, social workers will just take the child and file a case in court and then the parents are behind the 8 ball when it comes to going to court to probably get this child back. So there is a lot that could be done prior to the case being filed in court and prior to the social worker actually talking to you.
So if you take that card in your door and get a telephone call from a social worker, it’s my advice that you are not talk to a social worker by yourselves. Generally, you’re not going to talk yourself on a big situation and since social workers and trained professionals, if you meet with them, your point of base will be out of your league and the social worker may be gathering evidence to use against you to take your child. And then when you call me, the child has already been taken and called an attorney, you are behind the 8 ball and it’s going to be more difficult to get the child back or it may take a longer period of time to get the child back.
If your child has taken into custody by the social worker or by the police, the initial hearing in the juvenile dependency court must be held no later than the next court day. Now let me say that again. If the child is removed from your custody, the initial hearing in juvenile dependency court must be held no later than the next court day and that rule is found in the California Rules of Court. I believe that’s rule 5.670 Subdivision A.
Now, in many cases, in many cases, a child was taken away on Monday and you don’t go to court until Wednesday or a Thursday. And in a lot of situations — and I must admit, I haven’t done it myself enough times like I should, but you can argue that the case be thrown out if you think the social worker violates that rule. Now the downside of that is even if the judge dismisses the case because it’s held or had been filed too late, most of the times, these department or the county social worker, they just refile the case against you. So it turns out that that one day rule may not have been suit to it.
When a case is filed in juvenile court — let me back up a second. In California there are, as in most states, two judicial systems, one is the federal system and one is the state system. So there are federal courts within California as in all states and there are state courts. The juvenile dependency system is run out of the state court system. So each county in California has their own superior court and I’m in Los Angeles and so Los Angeles has the Los Angeles Superior Court. County of Orange has the Orange County Superior Court. The County of Riverside has the Riverside Superior Court. And they’re just divided up among I think it’s 57 or 58 counties within California. Now, each superior court in each county is divided up further and they’re divided up into different departments. So you have, for example, the Family Law Department which handles people getting divorce to child custody and child visitation and domestic violence between people who live together.
We had the Criminal Court and in that system you have cases where police authorities, the local police or the county sheriffs usually or the state police had filed a case against someone for committing crime or for allegedly committing a crime. Those cases are heard in the criminal department. And then you have the Probate Department and that’s where you go with respect to, for example, a trust or a will and there’s disputes after someone dies, that’s handled in the Probate Department. And you have the Traffic Department and on and on and on.
Then you have the Juvenile Department and most counties have the juvenile court divided up in two different sub department, one is called juvenile delinquency and that’s under the age of 18 and they committed a crime. They handle you on a special juvenile delinquency/criminal court process and the second sub department in the juvenile court is the juvenile dependency court and cases involved social workers taking away your children through CPS or DCFS, those are handled in the juvenile dependency court system.
Now in Los Angeles County, they have a building devoted to nothing but juvenile dependency cases and it’s in Monterey Park. San Diego County has several juvenile dependency court houses and one is in Meadow Lark, one is Downtown and one is in El Cajon and there’s one court of juvenile dependency in the South County. Riverside has several juvenile dependency courts. They have the main juvenile dependency court which is on County Farm Road in Riverside itself and then they have a courthouse in Murrieta, a courtroom in Murrieta in the Murrieta Courthouse. And they have a location, a juvenile court out in Indio near Palm Springs.
So each county handles it different way and not that I — remember, don’t forget, LA has another location in Lancaster where they had two juvenile dependency court rooms and I hear that in 2016, there will be a third one because, I don’t know, business must be moving for the DCFS and CPS [0:26:32 inaudible]. So that is the court you go to and juvenile dependency courts are governed by not only the federal constitution but the state constitution but primarily run by the laws of the welfare and institutions code in California and by the evidence code and somewhat by the code of civil procedure although a lot of people argue that the court of civil procedure does not apply in juvenile dependency court. That whole discussion thing gets complicated and we’ll probably cover that on a later show.
So if a case is filed against you, you’re going to the California Superior Court System, depending your county and where your location is. And [0:27:24 inaudible] which is at the intersection of the 10 and 17 [0:27:33 inaudible]. It’s different for every county where you’re going to be.
I see we have a couple more calls, I’m going to [0:27:45 inaudible] discussion about the beginning of the juvenile dependency case and I’m going to take a call I think it’s from San Diego ending in the numbers 5397. Hello, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis on Talk Radio Experts. How can I help you? Okay, they’ve hang up so I’ll go to the next caller ending in 3528. Hello, you’re on Talk Radio Experts with Attorney Vincent Davis. Hello? I can’t hear this person. If you can call back in, please do.
So going back to the topic of them taking away your children. Once you appear in court, there are several things that’s going to happen and each county handles it differently. So I’m going to talk briefly about Los Angeles County. Generally, they tell you to be in court with your first appearance about 9:30 on your first court day. At that time, you’ll be given a package of information which will show you the allegations by the social worker. Notice, what they call legal notice must be given to the mother and all presumed or alleged father or legal guardians must be given to the child itself, the adult siblings and the siblings subject to the jurisdictions. And if the child is an Indian child, an American-Indian child, notice must be given to the Indian tribe and to the Probate Department and to the District Attorney because a lot of child abuse allegations might have someone else implications. The welfare and institutions per Section 290.1 through 297 says that these allegations that are being filed should be hoarded to the District Attorney for investigation.
Before I continue, I’m going to take a call right now and it looks like it’s from the Los Angeles area and a number ending in 3722. Hello?
Female: Hi, good morning.
Vince Davis: Good morning. You’re on the air with Attorney Vincent Davis with TalkRadioExperts.com. How can I help you?
Nicole: Yeah. My name is Nicole Davis and I experience an [encounter] with Los Angeles County Child Protective Services about 15 months ago and they still have my children and I’m just listening and trying to get some information on how I could speed the process to get them back home.
Vince Davis: Okay. Well, let me ask you this, Nicole. Are your children in a foster home or with relatives?
Nicole: Well, it’s a tricky situation, one of the children, they have different fathers, one is 15, one is 6 year old, about four months ago, they placed him with his dad finally, so he’s with his dad in Los Angeles. The 15 year old however, there’s a lot going on with it because she won’t stay in their group home, she keeps leaving. She doesn’t want to be there and the case is involving her alleging that I hit her. We had a trial. We asked for a trial in the beginning, a speedy trial but we didn’t get a trial until last month. So the trial is mapping up and we go back to court and I don’t know what you’re going to do but I’m just hoping that this can all be over.
Vince Davis: Okay. Well let me ask you this, Nicole, did you say you’ve been involved in the court system for 15 months and you’re just having a trial?
Vince Davis: Okay, because there are laws that say and there’s cases that have been decided that your disposition hearing can’t occur more than 60 days after the detention hearing. So basically within two months you should have had a trial. So what happened that the case was extended 15 months without having a trial?
Nicole: The court just kept forgetting — in the beginning, my daughter was sitting still. She was placed with family for like six months, eight months out in Pasadena. The court kept forgetting the bus to pick her up, the court transportation was ordered to pick her up on six of the court dates for the adjudication hearing, they never got her, so when we went back to court, the judge apologize, sorry, transportation forgot to pick your daughter up. So that happened.
Vince Davis: Well, did your attorney object to these continuances?
Nicole: Never. I did all of the times because my thing was I just wanted you guys, the department, to do their job and investigate so the case can come home faster instead of having to wait.
Vince Davis: You know, did you object on the record in the courtroom and tell the judge you didn’t want these continuances?
Nicole: That I didn’t want anymore? I did and she said that they had the right to continue it for good cause.
Vince Davis: You know, in a lot of cases, when someone doesn’t show up in court, the judge has the ability to order that the department or the sheriff’s department go and pick that person up and bring them to court. Was that ever talked about in your case?
Nicole: Never. Every time when they didn’t pick her up, they just reschedule a whole 30 days later.
Vince Davis: Very unusual, very unusual. Do you have…
Nicole: Well, I’m working…
Vince Davis: Go ahead.
Nicole: I’m working with an attorney on the side, it’s a civil attorney, however, I went through like three private attorneys. They weren’t very knowledgeable. I think the first one I hired didn’t even specialize in CPS, it looked like the law office was [0:34:45 inaudible]. They specialize like divorces, visitations. So I think that just not having the right knowledgeable attorneys kind of also lead this for longer.
Vince Davis: Yes, that is a strong possibility. I tell people all the time that if you’re going to hire a private attorney, you’re going to have to make sure that they are experts in his field because juvenile dependency unfortunately is a very specialized area of the law, very specialized area of the procedure. So if you’re going to hire someone, you got to make sure that they have the experience. Someone once asked me, well what [0:35:30 inaudible] expert in this field and I said probably someone that’s been doing this more than 10 years, you know, on a full time or semi full time basis because there’s just so much to know, so much power, so much procedure, so much laws, so much basis, so much politics, that a person is going to have to have that type of experience. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hire a five-year attorney but in my opinion, the five-year attorney may not have a sufficient amount of experience to do these types of cases, I don’t know it’s [0:36:10 inaudible].
Nicole: Yeah, I think that the first one didn’t and the second one, she kind of did, she used to be a — one of the free attorneys that they give you if you go into the courthouse and you don’t have an attorney, she used to do that, then she opened her own office, I hired her next and then she even have complications with my case because she had even said that she felt like because they didn’t like me in the courthouse, that I’m not getting treated fairly. I have a background in criminal justice, I’m a paralegal and I’m a real estate agent but I don’t know a lot about this law but I just only was doing whatever I could to try to fight and get my kids home and then I also have a cousin who’s a social worker and most people were saying, “Oh, well, because you’re fighting them, they’re going to make it harder for you.”
Vince Davis: You know, I’ve heard that said many, many times. I’ve had that personal experience with that as my opinion as well. But never give up, never give up the fight. You know, I have a lot of callers calling in, I’m going to give you a telephone number and I want you to call me later today or later tomorrow on Sunday and we will push and we’ll talk about your case, okay? Are you ready to take the phone number down?
Nicole: Yes, I’m ready.
Vince Davis: Okay. It’s 888-888-652. So it’s 888-888-6582. And when you call that number, make sure you tell them you want to speak to Vince personally.
Nicole: Okay. And do you want me to call you on Monday?
Vince Davis: Monday is fine. When you call me, I want to talk in detail about your case and maybe give you some helpful hints that will help you prevail and get your children back, okay?
Nicole: Okay. Thank you so much, Mr. Davis.
Vince Davis: Thank you for the call. The calls are backing up, so I’m going to take another call right now. Hello, you’re on with Attorney Vince Davis, get your kids back now, TalkRadioExperts.com. Tell me what your first name is. I’m talking to a person whose telephone number ends in 6576. Hello.
Serena: Oh, hi, Mr. Davis, this is Serena. Can you hear me?
Vince Davis: Oh, yes, I can, Serena, how are you? You’re on the air with…
Serena: I’m fine, I’m fine, thank you. I just wanted to call in and tell you how much I appreciate the free seminars that you’re [0:38:51 inaudible].
Vince Davis: Well, thank you very much, Serena. I appreciate that. I give free seminars every other month at different locations around Southern California and the next time I’m giving a seminar is December 5th, I believe that’s in the South Bay. Unfortunately, I think that may have sold out and I’m giving seminar December 12 in Orange County.
Serena: Right, right. I just wanted to let you know that those seminars, December 5th and December 12th are all sold out. But I got your email saying that you’re going to be scheduling for seminars in the future so I’ll keep a look out for those.
Vince Davis: Okay. Very well. And thank you for your call. Calls are backed up so I’m going to take another call with a person who has a telephone number ending in 3783.
Selena: Hi, good morning, this is Selena.
Vince Davis: Hi, Selena, how are you?
Selena: Good, how are you?
Vince Davis: How can I help you this morning?
Selena: I just had a general question, I just barely started, I just had my daughter removed in October and my question was as long as she keeps refusing to try to see me, they’re just going to keep the case open until she decides that she wants to either come back or that she wants to see me?
Vince Davis: How old is your daughter?
Vince Davis: And she doesn’t want to live with you?
Selena: She’s currently just stating right now that she does not want to talk to me, she doesn’t want to see me or, you know, even the intent to come back home.
Vince Davis: Okay. So it’s my opinion that the tail does not wag the dog and 15 year olds don’t necessarily get to determine where they should live or what they should do. I know there are lot of cases that I’ve seen over the years where children make statements about abuse or alleged abuse because they don’t want to be return to their parents’ home where there are rules and regulations. What’s your situation?
Selena: She alleged that I hit her which I did hit before but the bruising that she has did not come from me but she said that it did. So now we’re going through the system and they’re asking her, do you want to see her, do you want to talk, do you want to text and she keeps refusing.
Vince Davis: And where is she living now?
Selena: She is placed with my brother that at that time I thought it was suitable for her but now, I don’t think so.
Vince Davis: Does your brother have less rules and restrictions for her?
Vince Davis: Did he allow her to go out on dates where you wouldn’t?
Vince Davis: I see this a lot, you know, in cases where the child makes some type of allegation and then is taken away so they could get into a better — what they believe to be a better situation. It reminds me of the case that I did years and years ago where a guy had married a woman and had a child but she already had an older daughter and the daughter was about 15 or 16 and this gentleman was acting as the stepfather and he was, you know, kind of strict and didn’t let her date and didn’t let her go out and didn’t let her get on — or didn’t have social media but didn’t get on the internet at that time. And she made an allegation against him that he had sexually abused her and we went to trial and unfortunately we lost. She got on the stand and she seemed very credible to the judge and told the judge in detail what he had done to her.
And unfortunately for him, he didn’t stop there because the police picked up the case, prosecuted him and put him in jail for a few years and when he got released, he was deported [0:43:18 inaudible] green card and he was deported. Now, he was married to this teenager’s mother and they had a new child together, a little boy.
So years go by and I happened to be in an office building at that time that had on floor many, many attorneys that we all shared a conference room and [0:43:42 inaudible] agency and we shared a library. But one day I walked into the library and I saw this young lady sitting there and she was obviously doing some type of work for an attorney on one of the floors. She saw me. I didn’t say anything to her and I just left the library — I was kind of shocked and blown away but I would see her.
As the weeks went on, I saw her again in the library on several occasions and one day, she came over to me and she said, “I bet you don’t remember me.” I said, “Actually, no, I remember you.” And she said, “Well, I just wanted to tell you something,” and I was thinking of what she’s going to say. And she said, “I wanted to tell it wasn’t true.” I said, “What wasn’t true?” She said her stepdad’s name, “He never did that to me. I made it all up because he was too strict.” And here’s the real ticker, you know, it’s maybe five, six years have gone by, she says to me, “I’m distraught and depressed because my brother had to grow up without a father and my mother never dated again.” And we never were able to locate this gentleman who was my client because he had been deported and went back to Mexico and nobody ever heard from him again.
So these types of situations happen, you know, and your daughter is not going to realize what she’s doing until she’s much older.
Vince Davis: It’s just, you know, what teenagers do and sometimes teenagers learn from school or learn from their friends, “Yes, I make allegations, I get taken out of the home and go some place where I can have an easier and better life.” And fortunately for her and unfortunately for you, she had a family relative that was [0:45:38 inaudible] to her twice and got placed in his home.
Vince Davis: Are you in counseling or conjoint counseling with her at all?
Selena: No. Right now, there’s nothing between me and her because she’s refusing to have any, any type of contact with me but I am going through my own individual and parenting classes on my own.
Vince Davis: Is she your only child?
Vince Davis: Okay. Well, it’s very tough situation. Some people would tell you, hey do the parenting, do the counseling classes to get back with your daughter. I’ve had some clients who tell me, “You know what, if she’s going to act like this or he’s going to act like this, I don’t want to even be — I don’t want her back.”
Selena: Yeah, that was my initial response at the beginning.
Vince Davis: So, I mean, it’s something that you should definitely speak with a counselor about, perhaps legislator as well and try to determine what would be best for you or sometimes…
Selena: Well, my question was she can just keep refusing, refusing, refusing and then, you know, six months, eight months passed until she wants to?
Vince Davis: You know, I don’t think that she can. Unfortunately, in a lot of the cases and if she continues to do it, you may lose permanent custody of her. But I think a lot of the judges — is your case in Monterey Park in Los Angeles?
Vince Davis: A lot of the judges there at some point in time are going to get a sense that, hey, we had the tail wagging the dog and make her or require her to go to conjoint counseling with you to see what the problem is.
Vince Davis: And unfortunately, there is a problem, it may be all her fault, it may be all your fault, it may be a little of both, who knows, but there’s a problem that somebody should get to the bottom of and discuss so that you guys can get back together because I can tell you now, you know, five years from now, she’s going to regret what she’s doing but it’s going to be too late.
Vince Davis: Her life would be altered, your brother’s life will be altered, your life will be altered and I bet this should probably calls the skepticism or divide within your own family, you know, your parents, your brothers and sisters.
Selena: More so with my husband. Now, he’s afraid, he’s afraid that if she comes back, she might say something about him. So my marriage is over because of this.
Vince Davis: I’m sorry to hear that.
Selena: Yeah, it’s very hard, it’s very hard but if she keeps denying to try to see me to fix anything with me, then I guess, I don’t know. That last lady, she said 15 months, that’s very surprising to me.
Vince Davis: Yeah, that’s a very unusual case and that’s why I told her to call me at my office but…
Vince Davis: Your case, well — let me ask you this, do you want to get your child back in your home?
Vince Davis: Okay. Then you’re going to have to focus on the counseling part, your individual counseling and that conjoint counseling. So whoever your lawyer is, you need to tell them, “I want you to do everything possible to get the conjoint counseling done.” Now, one of the things…
Vince Davis: Conjoint, that means you and your child together.
Vince Davis: You know, one of the things you should also ask your attorney to do is you should ask your attorney to have the judge order what’s called a 730 evaluation. 730 refers to Section 730 Evidence Code and in a lot of cases, both family law, criminal, juvenile, there is a list of 730 experts who do psychological evaluations of people for court purposes. And in this particular case, this might be a good idea — you need to talk up with your attorney about it, this might be a good idea to have the child and you undergo a 730 evaluation so that some expert can get to the bottom of what the problem is. And 730 evaluators can be found on the Los Angeles Superior Court website. I can give you the exact link but if you Google it because Google knows all, right?
Vince Davis: Just Google 730 evaluators Los Angeles Superior Court and you’ll probably come up with the link. There’s a list of 730 evaluators. The juvenile dependency court in Los Angeles has its own list of evaluators as well, so usually people that are use — in addition to the evaluators listed on the superior court website. And that report can be ordered. Let me tell you what a 730 evaluation is. What the evaluation usually entails is that everybody that’s involved in the evaluation goes into a psychiatrist or a psychologist and takes psychological testing and then undergoes a series of interviews.
And sometimes in this particular situation, your daughter will take the testing, you will take the testing, your daughter will go for one or two interviews with the evaluators by herself, you’ll go for one or two interviews by yourself and then some evaluators would possibly bring both of you together where you’ll have an interview together and be evaluated with the proceeding interaction based upon what he knows about the history of the family, the history of each individual, the allegations made. And a lot of the 730 evaluators are truly experts, they’re truly skilled in what they do. I always find it amazing in what they do when they’re publishing their reports. The evaluators are doing all of this testing and interviewing.
And then the evaluator will talk to what’s called collateral witnesses. You know, you might want the evaluator to talk to your husband or to talk to a co-worker or talk to a family friend or that first cousin of your child who knows her very well. And so the evaluators can get information from all different sources and then the evaluator, he or she, writes a report. It’s progressed for a lot of the evaluators now, not a lot, some, are now becoming trained and accustomed to that particular background and, you know, the way ethnic groups interact with each other.
So I think a couple of 730 evaluators that have been experts in African-American families, experts in Latino families from Central or South America. So depending on the ethnicity, there may be issues going on that this psychological evaluator can get to and explain to the judge, “Hey, the reason why this is going on because in this ethnic culture, this is things that are valued or looked down upon,” and that evaluator can write a report that can help the judge understand what’s going on so the judge can make appropriate [0:53:04 inaudible].
And one of the appropriate [0:53:06 inaudible] might be, “Hey, the child — the 15-year old child and the mother must go in a counseling together, must talk with a counseling so they can talk to their problems,” and then hopefully she’d come back for and maybe she’ll realize what she’s done. It’s just not, “Hey, I got to go live with my uncle,” and now everything is over. No, the judges aren’t going to let that happen. The judge is going to make orders to hopefully get the two of you back together because that’s the goal of the juvenile dependency system. If your child is taken away from you, the goal is for that judge to put you back together. So that might be helpful to ask your attorney about the 730 evaluation and the conjoint counseling.
Vince Davis: I hope that helps you.
Selena: Yeah, very much, that’s very, very, very helpful information because now I know what to tell my attorney because I feel like they’re just — you know, they already go through the cases and they’re already doing whatever they think they know but we never get to say, can you do this.
Vince Davis: Right.
Selena: So thank you. I really appreciate it.
Vince Davis: Your attorney probably is a very good attorney. I guess the only problem probably they had too many cases.
Selena: Yeah, I agree.
Vince Davis: But if you want to talk to me in the future offline, if you want to write down that telephone number, you can call us, speak to me at my office anytime. That’s 888-888-6582. But make sure you ask for me because there’s a lot of people that work in my office. You may get sent to somebody else.
Selena: Vincent, right?
Vince Davis: Okay?
Selena: Yes, thank you.
Vince Davis: Alrighty. Good luck to you.
Selena: Thank you.
Vince Davis: Bye-bye. Okay. So we only have about four and a half minutes left in the show. So I want to go over a couple of things that I wanted to cover today. The last we were talking about, we were talking about who’s supposed to get notice and I mentioned to you that the District Attorney is supposed to get noticed. So if you are ever involved in a child abuse case or suspected child abuse case with the Department of Children and Family Services or with Child Protective Service, please know that there could be criminal implications, hence the further advice, don’t talk to social workers because that information can be used against you in the juvenile dependency court. It also can be used against you in the criminal court procedure. So don’t talk to social worker and don’t talk to police.
They are also supposed to give you notice of the detention hearing. Well, the detention hearing is that first hearing and they’re supposed to give you notice of the hearing and they’re supposed to give you personal service or certified mail notice of the hearing. Many times you get notice of the hearing just by telephone or by telegraph in the old days.
Now, I’m getting messages that there are several other people in the call waiting to be heard. Let me try to see if I can take a couple of calls before we left. Hello. That one was — bad connection. Hello. I’m talking to the person with the phone number ending in 9301. This is Attorney Vincent Davis , you’re on the air with TalkRadioExperts.com.
Sarah: Hi, thank you for taking my call.
Vince Davis: Sure. What’s your first name?
Sarah: I was just listening to — Sarah.
Vince Davis: Sarah, how can I help you?
Sarah: In listening to, for example, last one was on the air. I have a friend that has a similar situation but there was no abuse and the DCFS social worker knowingly went after the parent knowing the parent was innocent and another DCFS social worker that was under that supervisor was not allowed to dismiss the case and there were a half a dozen families that he wrote a letter for on city stationary saying that, I’m telling the attorneys, the defense attorneys to call in these witnesses but they didn’t because they didn’t want the judge to see the letter. And he [0:58:08 inaudible] social worker’s DCFS and is willing to go public with this information but not sure really how to do that. Do you have any suggestions for those families?
Vince Davis: Okay. So let me get this clear, the families didn’t have a case, they were going to be witnesses on the case?
Sarah: I’m sorry. Say that again.
Vince Davis: Okay. You ask me to give you advice for the families, now were the families part of the case or just witnesses in the case?
Sarah: No, these were families that pleading for open, so they were in dependency court and the one supervisor knew that these families were innocent and continue to pursue and for all of these families has caused separation with the child who originally made the false accusation and the case is just kind of ended up a year or two years later being dismissed for lack of evidence but it destroyed the families. And the CSW underneath the supervisor all during those cases kept telling the department that these parents were innocent, there was no abuse. And then two of the families, they knew that the place where they had placed the child was an abusive environment. So it really was very conscious and intentional.
Vince Davis: Okay.
Sarah: And that CSW left the department.
Vince Davis: Is the CSW that left the department willing to testify against the department?
Sarah: Yes. Yes.
Vince Davis: Okay. All right. So this is what I want you to do, we’ve run out of time for today but I want you to take this number down and I want you to have the family call me so that I can speak to them and my number is — you ready?
Vince Davis: 888-888-6582. That’s 888-888-6582. Make sure when they call that they ask for me personally, okay?
Vince Davis: There’s a lot of people that work in my office and they will know we had this conversation.
Sarah: All right.
Vince Davis: And there’s a lot that can be done with respect to going public with it, there’s a lot that can be done making official complaints about it to the State of California and perhaps the federal government and there’s a lot that can be done with respect to perhaps bringing some type of claim or loss with respect to Civil Rights violations. What you’re telling me right now, if true, is very, very serious.
Sarah: Yes, I know.
Vince Davis: Do you understand what [1:01:30 inaudible].
Sarah: I know, I know.
Vince Davis: Basically what you’re telling me is crimes had been committed. That’s what you’re telling me.
Sarah: Yes. This is more than just — right, I mean, there’s falsification of records. It’s more than that. One family had a special need child who — two special need children who were severely damaged emotionally for the rest of their lives because of this problems they created.
Vince Davis: Let me ask you this, let me ask you this, when did this case end, how long ago?
Sarah: In the end of 2013 I believe or middle of ’14.
Vince Davis: Okay.
Sarah: I know one of the families had pursued several personal injury attorneys but couldn’t get through right to you, you know, got through the other people.
Vince Davis: Okay. Well, have them call me on Monday. All right?
Sarah: Okay, great.
Vince Davis: Thank you for your call.
Sarah: Thank you.
Vince Davis: Okay, folks, we’ve run out of time. I have to sign off. I am told that this show will be replayed today at TalkRadioExperts.com today I think at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. I will have another live show next Saturday at 8:00 AM and I’m getting a lot of request to do the live show more often so maybe I’ll be doing it more often. But until we talk again, good luck and take care.
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