Vincent Davis: Good morning. You’re on the radio with Attorney Vincent Davis and this show is Get Your Kids Back Now, Fight CPS and Win. Today we have a packed schedule, we have several special guests and at the 8:30 hour, Attorney Stephanie Davis will be joining us. She’ll be joining us and we will be getting some tips from her with respect to handling a new whole dependency case in the courtroom.
The first thing that I wanted to talk about it the three things that you need to know if you have a juvenile dependency case. The first thing that you must know is that you must get experience and expert legal help. Work with your court appointed attorney or your private attorney. Do not try to do these cases on your own. You can always call another attorney and get a second opinion.
The second thing that you must know is you must get the necessary information you need to help yourself and to help your attorney. That can be done by talking to your attorney and you can download our free eBook at our website and you can always meet with your attorney and strategize before any court hearing that you’ll have. So don’t forget to download the eBook. You can also come to our February 27th webinar which is in the City of Arcadia and you can listen to this show ever week at 8 AM and you can go on our website and listen to all of the past shows. The next thing you can do is you can vote. You can register to vote. You want to make sure that we have family friendly judges and that elect family friendly legislatures. We can make changes in the law.
This morning before the show I Googled and Google knows all, I Googled elections in Los Angeles County and you can do the same for your county or your city. It came up with a website, it’s www.lavote.net, lavote.net. It’s the website for the Los Angeles County Registrar and the court who ordered who handles and administrates all the elections. At that website, there’s a wealth of information. You can even register to vote. So do me a favor, if you are listening to this program, go to your local website and make the arrangements to register today. Look, elections are coming up. New judged need to be elected, new legislatures need to be elected and we are going to make a difference in these coming elections.
The first thing I’m going to do today is we’ve got a lot of people in the queue waiting to talk to us this morning. So I’m going to take some calls first this morning. The first call I’m going to take is someone with an area code of 469 ending in 14. Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. Good morning. Hello? Okay, that person apparently is not ready to talk to us. The next person I’m going to talk to is area code 661 and ending in 2. Good morning, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Vincent Davis: Hello. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. What’s your first name?
Vincent Davis: Billy, good morning. Did you have a question or did you want to share a story with us?
Billy: Yeah, I want to share a story. Actually my parental rights were terminated like possibly four weeks ago and I need some guidance because I really feel that I was railroaded as far as early on in the case, they opened up three sexual abuse allegations against me towards my daughter. They were all closed, but they still took my visits rights.
Vincent Davis: Well, this is the first thing that you can do. If it’s only been four weeks from the date they terminated your parental rights, you must file a notice of appeal. Has anybody explained that to you? Has anybody explained it to you?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So what county was your case in?
Billy: LA County in Monterey Park.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you can go online and Google. First of all you should talk to your attorney. If you have a private or a court appointed attorney, talk to him or her, send him or her an email and say, “Hey you want to appeal this.” This should send you the form. If you don’t get the form from your attorney, you can go to the court’s office on the second floor in Monterey Park and get the form for filing a notice of appeal. Have your attorney help you fill it out, all right?
Vincent Davis: If you can’t afford a private attorney to do your appeal, the state of California will appoint to you an appellant attorney. And generally speaking, because I used to be one of those court appointed attorneys [0:05:57 inaudible] talented and very good attorneys. So I think you will get a good representation on your appeal. If you, as a last resort, if you can’t find it, the form or can’t go down there, you go to Google California Juvenile Court Notice of Appeal, something like that and the form will populate and come up and you can print it out and fill it out. But before you file it, make sure you get your attorney to review the form, okay, to make sure that it’s filled up correctly. And you need to do that though within 60 days of the last court date. You said it’s already been four weeks, so I wouldn’t wait any longer and get right on that today.
Vincent Davis: All right? I hope that answer helped you Billy with your question and thank you for calling in.
Billy: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I’m going to take another call. It’s area code 415 and ending in number 58. Good morning, you’re on the radio with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Female: Good morning. Thank you for your show. I have a few questions. I did talk to you, I have a lot of questions, I’m sure I cannot ask all of them on your show, my [0:07:24 inaudible] later, but I have a few. In general, the whole situation happened because I was gotten disability and very exhausted and we were supposed to fly to another country with my children to stay with family until I regain my health. And just two days before our flight, my children were taken away. So now, CPS is saying they don’t care about my health. They want me that I get up, get a stable housing and I do everything I supposed to do.
And maybe it’s a strange question, but — and this country is absolutely — is not taking into consideration that the person can get sick and needs to restore their health and get box of prayer to children even though a lot of doctors provide a note that I’m — even with my health period, I’m still safe with children. I’m drawn to many, many things of course. And I’m wondering, so if you got sick, they will just take your children away unless you actually go, get a job even though you’re sick, get an apartment, stable housing, et cetera?
Vincent Davis: So let me answer that question for you. If you are sick and the social worker shouldn’t take your children away unless they might — it interferes with you safely caring for your children. But in the state of California, before doing that, they are supposed to offer you what they call services to make sure or to allow the children to stay with you so that the children aren’t taken away while you recover from your sickness or your illness.
Also I want to tell you that your children, if they were taken away from you, they should be placed with relatives or close family friends. Was that done in your case?
Female: My relatives are all in different countries. I do not have relatives here in this country, so they were placed in foster care. And now I found a place in a different county here actually close by and I was told by a CPS worker I couldn’t move anywhere in LA. And just now they said that me moving into another county is going to be hard for the kids. It might delay the whole case. And now they didn’t also mention to keep the children at home, but now the kids has already moved on and I don’t know if I can anyhow bring it up. It’s already part of the tension and the kids fight far closer.
So can they actually delay the case seriously because me moving to another county even though the county is close to the regional county where now the case is open?
Vincent Davis: Okay. I want to tell you two things, number one, even if you have a relative that are out of the country, your children can be placed there. So write this down. I want you to tell your social worker or tell your lawyer to investigate the possibility of something called an international ICPC. ICPC stands for the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children. It generally means placing children in other states.
Now, there’s an interstate compact where if you move from one county to another in California, but there’s also this international ICPC, if you want the children placed outside of the country. Again, a lot of countries, most countries including us are member of what’s called The Hague Convention, it’s an international treaty. And part of the Hague takes care of placement of children in other countries. A lot of social workers don’t like to do that, but it’s something that you [0:12:04 inaudible] and you can ask your attorney and your social worker to take care of that.
And the last thing that I wanted to tell you is you have the right to move anywhere you want okay? So if you want to move to another county, you can do that. Your case, your juvenile case can be transferred to another county if you move. So you should investigate that. You should investigate that with your social worker and with your attorney. By the way what county are you in?
Female: I am in Solano County and the county where I want to move, actually I don’t know what the name of the county.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well don’t hesitate to talk to your attorney about that. And if you have any further questions, I welcome you to give me a call at my office either later today or next week and I can answer more questions for you in a lot more detail. But I want to thank you for calling us to talk.
Female: A question about international transfer, would it delay my procedure here or they still have to do everything here and it will be faster to give me my children back here, they’ll give it to me back here or if I request international transfer, they will delay everything or they’ll just start working for international transfer?
Vincent Davis: That’s a very good question. It will not delay. It is not supposed to delay your case at all. It just starts that part of your case when in parallel and at the same time as your regular case. Again, thank you for calling in this morning.
Female: Okay. Thank you very much.
Vincent Davis: All right, I’m going to take another call. The area code is 818 and ends in 13. Good morning.
Female: Hi, good morning.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. What’s your first name?
Female: Good morning. [0:14:03 inaudible]. I thank you for taking my call. I have a scheduled ACFT meeting for next week and I told the social worker that I wanted my attorney to attend the meeting. So the social worker asked me if my attorney had an investigative social worker. I don’t understand what that means.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So what county are you in? Okay, and you have a court appointed attorney, correct?
Female: Yes, that is correct.
Vincent Davis: So let me tell you what that means. The court appointed attorney firms in Los Angeles has a person who is designated to work with that firm who is a social worker and they help your court appointed attorney prepare and discover things on your case and they are referred as investigative social workers. So if you have a court appointed attorney from Los Angeles, from one of the three, what they would call, legal firms, you will have an investigative worker.
Now, you may not know that, your attorney now didn’t mention that to you, but you can ask your attorney about that and he or she will, I’m sure, give you that information until you have that investigative social worker can help you.
Female: Okay, great, thank you. I have another question. In regards to still in social workers, the judge is not allowed to change the social worker, but in regards to putting attorneys, why a person asks for permission from the judge to switch a court appointed attorney?
Vincent Davis: Okay, so you want to go from one court appointed attorney to another or do you want to go from a court appointed attorney to a private attorney?
Female: To a private attorney, that would ideally be the best thing.
Vincent Davis: It’s my opinion that if you have a private attorney who satisfies the experience requirements for a juvenile dependency court, you probably do not need the judge’s permission. All you need is something called a California Substitution of Attorney Form. And it’s a very — it’s a one page form that you, your current attorney and your new attorney sign and then you just file it with the court. The one thing you want to make sure that when you do this is that the new attorney has enough time to prepare for the next hearing.
So for example, a lot of people come to me and then want me to substitute in a case and it’s Friday and on Monday, they have their hearing. Now, if it’s not a trial, I can do that very simply, but if it is a trial, that’s going to be a lot harder. In rare cases, I can still do it, but in many cases, I can’t get prepared for a trial over Saturday and Sunday and then making it more difficult. For example, someone comes to me on Monday and says, “Hey, I want you to do my trial on Tuesday,” that’s not a good idea for the client nor for the private attorney. So you want to make sure you give your private attorney enough time to substitute them and get prepared for the case.
Vincent Davis: I want to thank you for your call today. Please listen in next week and the rest of today. And if you have any further questions, give me a call at my office either today or later on next week. Thank you, again.
Female: Thank you, and thank you, everyone for sharing your stories.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Okay, I’m going to take another call. The calls are backing up here. We’re calling to area code 562 and telephone number ends in 97, again, that’s 562 and 97.
Helena: Good morning.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vince Davis. What is your first name?
Helena: My name is Helena and I have a story to tell more than questions. I don’t have too many questions, but I do have a story that I would like to tell.
Vincent Davis: Sure.
Helena: I became a foster mom to a newborn. A friend of a friend needed assistance until she got on her feet and I was asked by the family to take care of a child when she was born because social services was going to take the child right after the birth. And so I became a foster mom for 14 months and everything was getting ready for me to adopt because the foster mom and the foster dad, their rights are going to be terminated and I was willing to adopt this beautiful girl that I had since she was two weeks old and she was beautiful, beautiful baby. For 14 months I took care of her.
And all of a sudden two weeks, listen, two weeks, it felt like a tornado. This happened, that happened, where did it come from? I have no idea. It was a blast and it was just so fast. I came in. They said this and this and they were rife and in less than two weeks, my child was gone and I was shocked. I was devastated. I cared for that baby when she was an infant. She was walking at a young age and she was very smart and she was beautiful and she was friendly. And when they took her that day, I could still picture it in mind. It was such a surprise. I even made a complaint to the state. I complained to this one and that one at CPS, but the bottom line is they have a job to do and they don’t care about our rights. They don’t care about how the child feels. They don’t care about these children that leave either from their mom or for me, their foster mom. All of a sudden they’re taking and they are devastated. They are destroyed because all CPS cares about is their job and it just frustrates me to death to hear these stories of people that have to suffer because of this. It’s just not fair.
And I thank Attorney Davis for helping me so much. We are working together on this and hopefully things will change, however only God can show me the way. So I don’t know if you have any questions for me Attorney Davis.
Vincent Davis: Well I do and I thank you for calling in and sharing your story with you. I would ask you to do a favor as I ask all the listeners earlier, make sure that you are registered to vote. If you’re not, go to lavote.net and join us in the upcoming elections to make changes in terms of changing laws, in terms of electing family friendly judges and making sure that CPS workers don’t have the power to hurt people and hurt children. Would you do that for me?
Helena: I will do that. I also want to — I was just so surprised on how much authority they have in telling the judge, oh sign this because of this reason or whatever reasons they are, they sign it off and then they are able to take your child away. What gives these social workers the ability to do that? Some of them don’t even have children. It’s just a job and I want to change the voting system and I hope that we can do that because where the things are now, I mean it’s not good. People are just caring about their jobs and not caring about what really CPS means. It means protecting the children and children that are in bad situations, not children that need some help, minor help or people that might need minor help. It’s devastating in how they have much that authority and that much toll to get the judge to sign that forum, okay, time to take the child.
Vincent Davis: You know what, thank you for calling and sharing with us. I agree with you 100% and don’t forget to register to vote.
Helena: Okay. Thank you so much, Attorney Davis. Have a good day.
Vincent Davis: You too. Okay, we’re going to take another call. I’m going to take the call with the area code 818 and ending in the number 46. Good morning. You are on with Attorney Vincent Davis. Good morning.
Vincent Davis: Hi. You’re on the radio with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Female: Hi. Can you hear me?
Vincent Davis: I can hear you loud and clear.
Female: Okay, great. Hi, there. How are you?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine.
Female: Yes. I’m calling on your radio show. I would like to talk a little bit about my experience that I’ve had with the department.
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Female: And I can’t really hear you.
Vincent Davis: What county are you in?
Female: I’m in Los Angeles County.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Go ahead and share your story.
Female: Okay. Well I have two children and I have always considered myself a very good mother. I have always been very close with my children and thought I was doing the right thing. The department have come to me with some situations that they believed I was having. And since they have come into my life, I have lost my children and I have been inherited left to right on how I am as a mother, what I need to do in order to have my children, to keep my children if I want to get my children back.
Whether or not I agree with their ways that they do things, you really don’t have a choice it seems like because even if they’re wrong, you just have to keep following everything they say if you don’t want to lose your children. And I am doing everything that’s being said that I have to do from the court and following them even though I don’t agree with what has happened and it feels like everyday it doesn’t get closer. So it just doesn’t seem like it’s never going to end and it’s just the scariest feeling knowing that your children are in the hands of the department.
So I don’t know if that’s a long story short, but it’s been a worst experience that I mother could ever have and her children. And I just know that from here on out, I have to just only focus on my boys and know that whatever it takes to get them back I’m going to do. But it’s the feeling that I will never experience again in my lifetime.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you for sharing with us. Don’t give up. You will get your children back, I’m sure of it. Are you registered to vote?
Female: I don’t vote. I have not.
Vincent Davis: Okay, did you hear earlier when I spoke to people in the introduction, one of the ways to change things is to vote, to change the laws, to get family friendly judges and to hold CPS and ECFS workers accountable. So please you need to go lavote.net and register to vote today and join us in the future. We are going to make a difference as a group not only in Los Angeles county but all over the state of California.
Female: Absolutely, I will.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for calling in.
Female: Thank you for hearing me. Thank you. Bye-bye.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I’m going to take another call. The area code is 760 and it ends in 25. Good morning, you’re on the radio with Attorney Vince Davis.
Ted: Good morning, Attorney Davis. How are you doing?
Vincent Davis: Good. Did you have a question for us today or did you want to share a story?
Ted: I would like to share a story. My name is Ted and I’m out of San Bernardino County and my child was taken from me I believe around September the 1st by San Bernardino County. It’s been an ongoing false allegation case for me, false reports. All the reports all of them found unfounded. I’m in a very bad family law situation with the ex and so she continuously reports the false allegations at CPS.
So this time the SSP worker, social service practitioner came to my daughter’s school when she is in the kinder care institution which is for a toddler. And I took my daughter from the school under false report and a trial was substantiated. After everything that happened and the in law, they realized of the false report, at the time they said it, they didn’t release my daughter from CSF, they still chose to hold it. And what I would like to share with everybody is I work in this field and I’ve been a contractor with Riverside County and the [0:29:23 inaudible] familiar with the rules and regulations. CPS and the county decided they don’t include it. And as if [0:29:33 inaudible] I hear the people still in your show. I talked to parents, foster parents, biological parents and they’re all afraid of CPS or CFS, they don’t know what they’re going to do. All they’ll tell you they’ve been lied upon or they’ve been set up or framed, like that’s what I have.
And the only advice I could give anybody is to talk to somebody like you and try to get that case situated because I mean now that I do have my daughter back, the emotional build will suffer, the big buildings as we call it in San Bernardino, the building with CFS is she is scared of it. She refers the CPS, the CFS, they’re strangers. She has nightmares at night. She had a perch of little life like most kids do, they’re close to live at home and they’re comfortable and then once they’re stripped away especially at the age of two or three or younger or even older, it doesn’t matter, they’re going to suffer mental and emotional abuse and those are things that are considered by the court by to no high regard. And the fact that the way the court will allow the CFS officers to go on the court and swear anything they want on the court record and it’s okay. Those things need to be changed and as you’ve said we need to vote to make those right changes to that.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you for sharing your story. I want to know based upon those false allegations that were made against you, have you thought about perhaps suing the social worker and the county of San Bernardino with a civil rights case?
Ted: Absolutely. There’s a lawsuit going on right now. And you can do it, people can do it and I will talk to somebody with experience like you and your law firm and move forward and don’t be afraid. The whole time that I was dealing with CFS, they tried to bully me. I was even told that I’m not going to get my daughter back at one point. That’s the worst feeling in the world especially when you know your innocent and you haven’t done anything.
We are all referred to parenting courses in California so as I was sitting in the room with other parents and hearing their stories and some of them had — maybe a reason why their kids should have been taken and some of them not, but at the end of the day, you know, these are pretty much all good people, even if they did have a problem, it can be worked out. So just don’t be afraid and most of the people were afraid of them and they know that. Just stand up for your rights and be there for your kid.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you for calling in this morning and sharing your story with us.
Ted: Thank you, Mr. Davis.
Vincent Davis: All right, bye-bye.
Vincent Davis: Okay, we’re at the 8:30 hour and I am going to bring on a special guest that we have, Attorney Stephanie Marie Davis. She is an expert in juvenile dependency law and juvenile delinquency law for approximately 16 or 17 years. She sat as the judge pro tem, that’s a temporary judge in Inglewood, California handling delinquency cases. We worked together before that and we’re working together right now. And I’m going to bring her on.
Good morning, Stephanie.
Stephanie Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine, and how are you?
Stephanie Davis: I’m good.
Vincent Davis: Good. Thank you for calling in this morning. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions that might help our listeners from your perspective. I know we practiced law together and I also know we practice law quite differently sometimes. And more times than not you are more correct about the situations than I am. So I want to ask you something, what would you advice our listeners to do if they have gone through the juvenile court process and have not had their kids returned at the disposition hearing and the case is continued for six months [0:34:35 inaudible].
Stephanie Davis: The last part of your question broke up and I didn’t hear it. Can you repeat just the last part?
Vincent Davis: Sure. I was asking you to tell our listeners what they should do if they lost their children at the disposition hearing and their case has been continued to the six-month hearing pursuant to 366.21E.
Stephanie Davis: The first thing I would advise them to do is make sure that they have a copy of the court order case plan that was discussed in court at the disposition hearing. I know at LA County, every parent is given a copy of that case plan. In other counties they do the same thing. They have it written down for the parents. If the parent doesn’t have it, they should get it immediately because that is the key to what’s going to help them get their children back because they will not get their children back until those orders, the case plan is followed.
So they need to have a copy of the case plan, make sure they understand what it is that they’re supposed to do and then begin, immediately begin participating in the programs whether it’s drug counseling and testing, parenting class, individual counseling or domestic violence counseling, whatever it is, they need to get into it immediately. The social worker is supposed to help them do that by giving them a list of referrals for places. If they have an issue with cost, it’s supposed to be low cost or no cost for referrals in their area. So you have to get proactive and call the referrals and set up appointments to get in and start the counseling immediately.
Vincent Davis: Do you advice the parents to support the counseling and parenting even before they have the trial in those case?
Stephanie Davis: I actually do for more times than not. The majority of the time I will advise the parents to get started. And the reason is, and I’m sure you probably talked about this before on the show, the burden of proof that is necessary to prove a petition is very low, so the chance that something in the petition, well one of the allegations in the petition will get sustained is pretty high. So there is a chance that they are going to have a dependency case of some kind.
So if they start the programs before the disposition, they are ahead of the game and can complete the program hopefully before the six-month date and then make a request before the six-month date to have their children returned.
Vincent Davis: You know sometimes when you start the programs early, even before the disposition, you can use that evidence at the disposition to get the children so you don’t have to wait six months. Do you agree with that?
Stephanie Davis: Yes, that’s absolutely correct. Because the issue is at the time of the disposition, whatever date that hearing is on, whether there’s a substantial risk of detriment and requiring the children to be moved from the parent home. So if they’re already in the programs and they’re making progress in their programs, it’s harder at that point to show that there’s a substantial risk. And the important part, another important reason to get started ahead of time is, I know you’ve also mentioned this before, that the burden of proof at a disposition hearing to remove a child from the parent is higher. So it’s harder to remove the child from the parent. So if you have them set up in the programs and they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, that it’s more difficult for CPS to prove — to meet that burden.
Vincent Davis: A lot of clients ask me or they’re hesitant to start the parenting class or the counseling or the drug testing or the drug rehabilitation course or the individual counseling because they feel that it is an admission to the judge or to the social worker that the allegations are true. What do you say about that?
Stephanie Davis: It’s not. What it shows is a willingness to cooperate and participate and do what’s necessary to make your home a safe place for your child or to get your children back. They cannot use the fact that you’re in a program, they meaning CPS cannot use the fact that you’re in a program against you to say, “See, they do have a drug problem because they’re in a program.” Because the court orders the generally ordered at the arraignment and detention hearing orders the department to assist the parent in programs, in finding programs to alleviate the need for removal of a child or assist with return of the child. And because that’s a court order and a statute, that can’t be used against them.
Vincent Davis: Very good, very good. Okay, hold on Stephanie. I’m going to take a call right now. The area code is 323 and the number ends in 04. Good morning, you’re on with Attorneys Stephanie Davis and Vince Davis.
Paige: Good morning.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Paige: I’m fine. How are you guys doing today? Thank you guys for letting me be on your show. Listen, my name is Paige and I know both of you guys pretty good. You guys have really helped me so much. I’d like to tell my story.
Vincent Davis: Okay, go ahead and share your story with us.
Paige: I was in a relationship a while back and found out that I had three warm beautiful children and the children were already in the system when I got my DNA test back and I found out that they were my children, I’m the biological father. And it has been almost a year and they still haven’t even made any decisions or made any progress on my case. It has been a long year. I can’t touch the children or they denied me even visitations. And I’m a good guy and I’ve been trying to get visitation, but it’s been a long torturous year. I don’t understand how the social workers and judges make decisions like this when I’m a parent here and I have room for all of my children and there are no drugs or no allegations or no criminal behavior. I’m a pretty good dad. I’d like to ball my horn a little bit. I’ve raised other children already and I still haven’t seen or touched my own children. It’s been a year and all they do is keep continuing the cases and keep continuing and continuing and it’s very frustrating and all I want to do is provide a home for my beautiful kids.
Vincent Davis: What’s your experience been like with the social worker on your case?
Paige: My experience with the social worker has been pretty much a nightmare. Before I took the DNA test, I was trying to call the social worker and for about a period of six months, just trying to call the social worker and leave messages and say that, “Hey, I think the kids are mine. I need a DNA test.” And then she never returned one of my phone calls. And almost to this day I’ve only talked to that social worker twice. And it’s been a complete nightmare.
The mother of my children, she was told several untruths and basically become a wall, a stonewall, like she have a hidden agenda or something like that, again, to me and the mother of my children. It’s pretty much a nightmare.
Stephanie Davis: Let me just interject just for a moment because Paige’s situation is not unfamiliar. Unfortunately when mothers comes into dependency court, a lot of times they don’t let the person that they know to be the actual father of the child, to let them know about the dependency case for lots of reasons. Everybody may have their own reasons, but I know one reason in particular is because if that person comes in and claims their selves to be the father and they’re identified as what’s called the presumed father, then they have a right to ask for custody of those children. And so a lot of women are afraid that if they name a father or if they name someone that they’re going to end up losing their children to that father and so they don’t do it or they name someone else that they know who is not the father and get someone else involved.
So it’s not an uncommon situation unfortunately when mothers are the ones who have the actual knowledge of who the biological father is. But people like Paige have rights that they have to exert in court as soon as they become aware that they may have some children in the dependency system. So they have to get into court as soon as possible to stand up for their rights and say that they believe that they are the biological father and have a test and then try to get a higher status, the highest status which is called presumed father, which allows that person to have reunification services and try to get those children back.
So there is a whole area of law that is involved in just this type of situation with presumed fatherhood and the rights of presumed fathers.
Vincent Davis: Paige, I want to thank you for your call and sharing your story with us.
Paige: Well, thank you very much. Thank you for having me on. You guys have a great and blessed day.
Stephanie Davis: You too.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Stephanie, you know, you bring up this presumed father status. It hasn’t really happened in Los Angeles County, but it’s happening in other counties and I see it in cases and I’m just waiting for it to happen in Los Angeles. You know what’s happening — let me give you the scenario.
There is a father and there is a mother, they don’t live together and they’re not even divorced or they never were married. And the mother has a new boyfriend or even a new husband who has been helping raise the children. In nowadays when you went to juvenile dependency court, that new stepfather/boyfriend didn’t have any standing in the case. And I think in January of 2015 there was a new law that’s passed and it didn’t really have anything to do with juvenile dependency. It says that now children in California can have more than two parents.
So what’s happening in juvenile cases is that stepfather or the stepmother or the /boyfriend or the /girlfriend, they’re making notions in the court to be declared a presumed father. So I was involved in a case in San Diego recently where we had a mother and two presumed fathers, one of them being the bio father and one of them being the mother’s new husband. And there had to be a whole trial regarding this presumed father status before we even got to the jurisdiction and dispositional hearing. What do you think of that?
Stephanie Davis: I actually had the same kind of case and it was in Los Angeles actually, LA County and we did — we represented the mother, but there was a biological father and then the father who was the mother had another child with and they were living together at the time that the incident that brought them to DCFS occurred. And there was a battle between the two fathers, both of them were alleging to be the presumed father of the other child. And it took quite a while. Everyone did briefing. They briefed the issue for the court and there was argument and there were hearings and ultimately, the judge determined that the child had two presumed father and it created — it creates quite a situation.
There had to be shared custody. I’m sorry, there was shared visitation and then ultimately when the case ended up closing, there was a shared custody so that each presumed father had to work out Father’s Day and all the other holidays and then the two households had to figure out how to share the holidays amongst themselves with the child. So it becomes extremely complicated.
Vincent Davis: Yes, yes, yes. I think the floodgates are about to open in California juvenile dependency court with respect to these presumed father or presumed mother cases. But I just wanted to let our listeners knows that those things and those issues are out there and when you talk to your attorney, make sure you bring those issues up because that might be something that can help you. That might be something that could hurt you and you need to know what your rights are.
At this time, I’m going to take another telephone call. We have area code 415, up in the Bar area ending in the number 58. Good morning, you’re on the radio with Attorneys Stephanie Davis and Vincent Davis. Good morning. Okay, maybe our listener is not listening at the present time. I’m going to take another call. It’s area code 661 ending in 27. Good morning, you’re on the radio with Attorneys Vincent Davis and Stephanie Davis. Hello? Hello, you’re on the radio. Hello, good morning. Who are we speaking to?
Albert: Good morning. Albert.
Vincent Davis: Albert, I can hear an echo of our show. Could you turn off your radio?
Albert: Yes, give me one second. Hello?
Vincent Davis: Yes, Albert. Would you like to share a story or ask a question?
Albert: I want to ask a question. Okay, if my parental rights are about to be terminated, how — okay, what I’m trying to get at is I have a friend who is going to — she just got her custody back with her kid. Would she be — would it be good to use her as a monitor visits?
Vincent Davis: Yes. I mean you should use anybody and everybody you can for your monitored visits. But you initially said your parental rights are about to be tried and there are some things that you should do to try to stop that.
Vincent Davis: Okay. What county are you in?
Albert: Los Angeles.
Vincent Davis: Is your case in Monterey Park or in Lancaster?
Albert: Monterey Park.
Vincent Davis: So what you should do is you should call your attorney and talk to your attorney about strategies that can stop the termination of your parental rights. One big strategy that we use a lot is to file 88. Another strategy is if the child is with foster parents, you can file a motion or a privy to try to move the child to relatives. You may have waited too late if your rights are about to be terminated. That’s why I tell our listeners at the very beginning of the case, do everything possible with your attorney to get the child placed or to get the children placed with friendly relatives and in helping you do that, you should look at and talk to your attorney about California Welfare and Institution’s Code Section 309. Now you should read that and you should talk to your attorney about that to see how it can help you.
Vincent Davis: Any other questions you have for us this morning?
Albert: Yes, I have one more question. One of the foster parents she works for DCFS Mental Health Office. Isn’t that like a conflict of interest?
Vincent Davis: Sounds like to me, but you would have to talk to your attorney about the details about whether it’s a conflict of interest because in some cases it can be and in some cases it’s not going to be, but, you know, from the phase of it, there’s some type of impropriety in my opinion. Now, there are a lot of people that won’t agree with me, but that’s just my opinion. But that’s something that you should have talked to your social worker or talked to your social worker — not your social worker, your attorney as soon as possible.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for your call this morning. Go ahead.
Albert: You know what, I did bring it up to the judge and you know what the judge told me, she actually yelled at me. She said, what do you want me to do. Do you want me to have her fired? I was like woah, okay. That was her exact answer.
Vincent Davis: Have you talked to your attorney about this before you brought it up to the judge?
Albert: Yes. And my state appointed attorney and I weren’t seeing eye to eye and I kept telling her what to tell the judge and she just wasn’t saying it. So then when I spoke up and that was her answer.
Vincent Davis: There’s probably a better way to bring it up before the judge and that’s by way of a motion. But that’s something you’re going to have to talk to your attorney about. If your state appointed or court appointed attorney is not assisting you, you might want to ask for another court appointed attorney or consider hiring a private attorney.
Albert: Okay, all right.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for your call. I appreciate.
Albert: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: I’m going to have to apologize for all of the listeners who are still on hold waiting to get in. We’re about to run out of time and there are some things that I have to discuss before the show ends this morning.
I want to reiterate that if you have a juvenile dependency case, you must get experienced and expert legal representation. You must work with your court appointed or your private attorney. If necessary, if you still have questions, you can always call us for a second opinion. The second thing you must do is you must get the necessary information that you need to assist you and your attorney in this case. You can get that information by downloading our free eBook at our website. You can get that information by meeting with your attorney and actually strategizing and discussing your case because each court hearing. And if you can’t meet with your attorney, do it by phone or by Skype or by email, but you have to communicate with your attorney.
The next thing that you can do is you can — to get educated, you could come to one of our live seminars. We do a live seminar every month, once a month and in February, it’s going to be February 27th in Arcadia, I believe at the Embassy Suites Hotel. So consider coming to that live seminar. We give you a lot of free resources. We give you the hardcover copy of the book. We give you a couple of DVDs for you to watch to assist you and to give you more information where you can help and assist your attorney. And you can also listen to this radio show every Saturday at 8 AM. There are replays at this radio show and you can also listen to in on demand at our website talkradioexperts.com.
The last thing that I want to mention is what I mention and I’m becoming more and more known at this, please register to vote and vote. You can Google whatever county you’re in, the county registrar, I believe you can register online or by mail and when it comes time for the elections, and all the elections you will on the county websites will show you when the elections are. You go out and you vote and you vote to make a change. We should organize, get together, we should change the laws that are not fair towards families in these juvenile cases. We should make social workers accountable at the ballot box and we should elect judges who are family friendly.
That’s all I have today. We will see you next week on Talk Radio. Thank you.
Call me personally - 888-888-6582 - I am waiting to hear your story now, to defend you and keep your family together or reunite you and your precious loved ones.We Are Your Juvenile Dependency Lawyers and we are proud to serve Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino , Ventura, and San Diego Counties.
Where We Can Meet You - Contact a Juvenile Dependency Attorney Now
150 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: (888) 888-6582
Beverly Hills Office
9465 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (888) 888-6582
La Mirada Office
Cerritos Towne Center
17777 Center Court Drive ,
Cerritos, California, 90703
Phone: (888) 888-6582
Los Angeles Office
Gas Company Tower
555 West Fifth Street,
Los Angeles, California, 90013
Phone: (888) 888-6582
Long Beach Office
111 West Ocean Blvd.,
Long beach, California, 90802
Phone: (888) 888-6582
17901 Von Karman Avenue,
Irvine, California, 92614
Phone: (888) 888-6582
3281 E. Guasti Road,
City of Ontario, California, 91761
11801 Pierce Street,
Riverside, California, 92505
Phone: (888) 888-6582
402 West Broadway,
San Diego, California, 92101
Phone: (888) 888-6582
Ladera Corporate Terrace
999 Corporate Drive,
Ladera Ranch, California, 92694
Phone: (888) 888-6582