Vincent Davis: Good morning. This is Attorney Vincent Davis. And you’re on with Get Your Kids Back Now! How to fight CPS and DCFS social workers in the Juvenile Court systems. This show is dedicated to keeping families together and to fighting the tyranny of CPS and DCFS social workers. A secondary purpose of the show is to educate parents and relatives, or at least to show them where they can get the necessary information for their fight. The final purpose of the show is to remind people that change can be effectuated at the ballot box, at the state and federal levels. Let us unite, vote, and elect those who will make the necessary changes to keeping our families together.
This morning’s show, we’re going to be talking about the six-month review hearing. I didn’t get the chance to talk about it last Saturday. We had so many calls and I wasn’t able to talk about it. But I wanted to talk about the six-month review hearing. That is the hearing that is known as the 366.21(e) hearing. It’s also known as — oh, there’s another six-month review hearing called the 366.21(f) hearing. And there can be another hearing at the six-month review date called the 366.22 hearing. And the — these code sections that I’m referring to are code sections in the California Welfare and Institutions Code. You can find these sections on Google, you can look them up, you can read them.
Before we get in — before we start talking about the six-month review hearing, I’m going to take a call. The area code is 916, and it ends 66. Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Vincent Davis: Hello. How are you?
Female: Not good. They took my kids from me. How are you?
Vincent Davis: Oh, I’m doing good. It’s a — it’s a — it’s a nice, clear Saturday morning, right, in Southern California. Where are you located?
Female: On Victorville, California.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Why don’t you tell us what happened?
Female: So basically a few years ago my husband’s mother tried to take guardianship of his daughter, which is my stepdaughter. And we went to court and we won the guardianship and we hadn’t been in contact. And we were about to move out of state and I thought it would be a good idea to reunite, have the kids taken by their grandparents.
We talked to her, we let her kids go to a little carnival. By then said the kids [0:03:01 inaudible] after they could spend the night. We said that was okay but I need them back in the morning because we were packing up to go. The next day I can’t get a hold of her, she won’t return my calls, she won’t return my texts, and then we got a call from the Victorville Police Department, stating that the grandmother was there with allegations of child abuse and neglect. So we go into the —
Vincent Davis: Oh, my goodness.
Female: Yes. So we go into the station, and they started accusing my husband. The cop said that I beat the shit out my kids. “It’s totally okay if you do.” And me and husband are like, “We never touched our children. Their discipline is, you know, extra chore, time out.” And they kept accusing us, saying that they were being abused. They wouldn’t give the kids back when we told them that we were going to go see a lawyer. They didn’t call up until about 4 o’clock.
So, by the time we told them we’re going to see a lawyer, we left. Five minutes after we left the station, they call and say, “If you want your kids, come back right now.” So, my husband tells them, “I need to know what’s going on because I only have so much time before the lawyer’s office closes. So they were like, “Come back right now if you want your kids.”
So we come back. After like five, ten minutes, they released the two youngest, our boys, but not my daughter. And the boys were devastated, crying, saying they were forced to be put into a police car, there were no seatbelts. So I guess what happened was my mother-in-law took my daughter to the police station and left my two little boys, which are five and seven, at her house alone and she had the cop drive back to go pick them up, and force them in the car.
And so when we went back to the station — Go ahead.
Vincent Davis: No, I was going to say, where are your kids now?
Female: They took off. So what happened this Friday, so we — I guess that was the story. So we went to the police station. We were arguing with them because they keep trying to accuse us, trying to get us to admit the allegation. They tell us that a CPS worker is there. They bring in the worker. They kept trying to separate us, telling us, you know, that we could tell them what really happened and, you know, all these things and — of course we’re like, “Nothing happened. Like our kids [0:05:26 inaudible], our kids doing sport, our kids are in karate. Like, you know, we [0:05:30 inaudible]. Nothing happened.” And like I say, his mother has done this before. So they — what happened is they released our two little boys to us, but kept my daughter. And then — what was it — a Monday, that was Friday — in Monday, I get a call saying that they issued a warrant — or a warrant to pick up the boys.
Vincent Davis: Uh-hmm.
Female: So we — so by then we saw a lawyer. I look — her name was Nicole Anderson. And we were to talk to her. And pretty much it was hard because she just wanted that we give the money upfront and she just like a portion her money. And then that she didn’t mean that we work with her [0:06:17 inaudible]. She showed up to one court date of hearing, wouldn’t take any evidence or anything that we had because my daughter has been seeing a psychologist since. Even though she’s in sixth grade, she’s going to be seven, her mentality is still at second grade.
So, they wouldn’t take into consideration anything that we had. And the lawyer showed up, they took me to the hearing, which was two weeks ago, it’s a preliminary. And she said that just for her to show up then was worth $1,500. So she wanted more money to show up to the next hearing.
So, we didn’t have it. So then she said, “Well, I’m going to have to drop you guys and cancel that retainer.” So now I’ve been — I haven’t got to see my children. They told me that I would [0:07:03 inaudible], know when I could see them, and, you know, [0:07:06 inaudible] case worker. It’s been almost two weeks and I can’t get hold of anyone. No one has contacted me. I haven’t got no letters. The lawyer obviously drops us. So that’s where I am right now. I haven’t had the children and I haven’t seen them. They placed them with my mother. And it’s been really hard. My father died about a month ago when — I have a heart issue, and it’s just been very hard.
Vincent Davis: Do you have a pen and a piece of paper because I’m going to give you some advice?
Vincent Davis: You can write these down. Okay.
Female: Yes. Yes.
Vincent Davis: Okay, so your attorney, Ms. Anderson, I don’t know her.
Vincent Davis: But I can tell you — but I can tell you that if she appeared for you already in one court hearing, unless the judge gave her permission to get off the case, or unless you signed what’s called a substation of attorney, she’s still your attorney, whether you paid her or not. So, I would —
Female: Well, she — I’m sorry.
Vincent Davis: communicate with his —
Female: I’m sorry. She told my husband when we were in there — I’m sorry.
Vincent Davis: Uh-hmm. Go ahead.
Female: She told my husband when we were in there that she would get a public defender. And then she told the public defender that he didn’t want her. He wanted to represent himself. So he came out and told my husband, “Is this true? You want to defend yourself?” and my husband said, “No, I don’t want to defend myself. I just can’t afford her fee. I already gave her $1,500 down, and she wants $4,000 just to show up to the next hearing.”
Vincent Davis: Okay. So when your husband went into the courtroom, who was defending him? Ms. Anderson or the public defender?
Female: The — for his preliminary, it was Ms. Anderson.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, I can tell you then, unless Ms. Anderson filed a substitution, which your husband would have signed, or the judge has given her permission to get off the case, she’s still your husband’s attorney.
Vincent Davis: No matter what —
Vincent Davis: no matter what she says. Now —
Vincent Davis: what she’s going to do for you, I don’t know. I don’t know her at all. But I would suggest that you — that your husband, since it’s your husband’s lawyer, contact her via email and remind her that she’s still his attorney and she’s going to have to help him on this case.
The second thing that I want you to do is I want you to get the name and the telephone number and the email address of the social worker who’s on your case. That person may have changed since the beginning of the case. So you may have to call the social worker’s office to find out who’s assigned to your case. And you want —
Vincent Davis: to email them —
Vincent Davis: You want to email them that you want set up visits. All right?
Vincent Davis: And the — and the next thing you want to do is you want to email them and — excuse me — and request what’s called the case plan. Now, the case plan may include things for you to do, like parenting or anger management or something like that. I suggest you get into those classes and those counseling services, even if you’re innocent. It does not —
Female: Oh, yeah. I will — I was going to tell — I’m so sorry. Maybe I should [0:10:21 inaudible]. My daughter — he has a case with my daughter for supposedly neglect and child abuse. Well, then for my two sons, they filed under emotional neglect for me. That’s why they wouldn’t return the — my two boys to me. And they — the — my public defender recommended that. So about two weeks ago — this week will be three classes — she told me to start them. So I’ve already started parenting classes, both of us.
Vincent Davis: Perfect. Now, do you want your husband to get back his daughter?
Female: Honestly, we’re at the point where it’s more of a hazard. I have a — basically I’ve got letters from people who — even like a bus driver, where she has — she saw where — my daughter basically she hurts her brothers. I don’t know if it’s jealousy or whatever it is, but the bus driver had caught her slamming his head into a window, holding her — her hand his mouth, holding him, trying to keep from telling and things like that. So, no, my husband is at the point where he’d — if she wants to be with, you know, my mother, that’s fine. I just want the boys because the boys didn’t want to [0:11:34 inaudible]. You know, they come home.
Vincent Davis: Uh-hmm. Okay. And the — and the other thing that you must do — that you must — you and your husband must meet with your attorneys before the next court hearing. One of the things that’s going to happen before the next court hearing is that the social worker or the new social worker on the case is going to be contacting you and your husband to sit down with you to interview you regarding the allegations.
I always advise my clients, and it’s different for every attorney, so don’t — let me tell you — or I don’t want you to think that this is a must in every case. This is just what I tell my clients. I ask — I ask my clients to invite me to the meeting with the social worker, to make sure that, you know, things are recorded properly, are written down properly, that there’s no exaggerations about what was said. I sometimes ask social workers, “Can we record the interview?” They’ve rarely agreed to that. You want to make sure —
Female: You know, probably you could say that. Because when I had to turn in my boys they made me surrender them on Monday when they have a warrant. I had to drop them off. And then they took us and their interview was — well, she admitted saying that her daughter had the same problem, her mental ability slower, and that her daughter has accused her of putting nails through her hand and hitting her with hammers, and that she had to put her daughter in a [0:13:00 inaudible] home because of the accusations. And we told her that we were in the middle of moving. We — had given us 30-day notice to move out of state.
Well, in her — in her oath she was saying we were evicted. But now that we were not evicted, the landlord, you know, wrote a letter saying that we never paid rent, like we give our 30-day, you know, everything like that. But my attorney, the public defender, told me, “I’ll see you in the next court date.” So, like, you’re telling me I should get in contact with before, but she was like, “I’ll just see you in the next court date.”
Vincent Davis: Oh, you need to — in my opinion, you need to talk to your attorney, you know, frequently so that you can develop a strategy for your defense. It sounds like that — from what you’ve told me, and of course I haven’t seen the paperwork of the evidence, but it sounds like that you may have a good case to defend against because the primary witness against you is the daughter, and she may not qualify to testify as a witness. In order to testify at trial, the witness has to be competent and has to understand certain things like the consequences of telling the truth or telling a lie in court. And your daughter or —
Vincent Davis: excuse me — your stepdaughter may not qualify. So it might behoove you to have a trial in this matter. But that’s something that you need to talk to your attorney about. Of course every case is different, and I’m not sure what evidence they’re going to try to gather against you. But keep that in mind and that’s one thing that you should ask your public defender about; whether if we went to trial, whether this witness against you would qualify.
If you don’t get any response or the answers that you’re seeking, please give me a call up the office. We offer a free consultation, and maybe I can help you out and giving you some advice on the case when these reports — these new reports start coming up from the social worker. All right?
Female: Okay. I have one more question. For my —
Vincent Davis: Sure.
Female: cute little one, then it was only emotional neglect they filed against me, supposedly. What — how soon would I able to get him back?
Vincent Davis: Well, it depends on whether you’re going to have the trial or not a trial. So, at the next hearing, they way they — you’re in San Bernardino Juvenile Court, right?
Female: Yes. The worst one.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So what happens — the way they do it in San Bernardino is your next hearing, your second hearing, is going to be called something what’s called a juris hearing, a jurisdictional hearing. In reality, it’s the day when the social worker publishes her report, her new report to the judge. Now, at that hearing, you have the right to disagree with her recommendations or agree with her recommendations. Of course, if she recommends the kids — the two boys coming home with you, you’d agree with that. But if she doesn’t recommend that, what you can do is you have the right to set the case for a trial, and they do the trial like a week or two later.
At that trial, you can present all of your evidence as to why the allegations of emotional abuse are false. Because you haven’t told me anything about emotional abuse yet, perhaps you haven’t told me all of the facts, but I don’t see emotional in what you’ve told me. They’re just trying to piggyback your two boys and what may or may not have happened to the older girl.
Vincent Davis: So, even if — even if the allegations are true, when you have the trial, they’re — the way they do it in San Bernardino is they have two trials together. One is called the adjudication jurisdictional trial and one’s called the dispositional trial. Even if they are able to prove that there was some emotional neglect on your part, you still have the right to get the children back, unless the social worker can prove by clear and convincing evidence, which — it is very important — by clear and convincing evidence that you are a substantial danger to the child or to the children, and there’s no less restrictive alternatives. Well, I hate to say this, but very few people and very few attorneys think about this three-part test that I just told you.
Vincent Davis: There are many, many less restrictive alternatives. For example, let me give you one. The children could be returned to you because you’re in classes and counseling, and you’ve “learned” your lesson. Or number two — and this happened in a case recently that I was doing in Orange County — the kids can — the children can be returned if the mother lives with the grandmother, or if the grandmother live with the mother.
Vincent Davis: Another less restrictive — another less restrictive alternative that you can ask for right now is you can ask for in-home services. In San Bernardino, I get the impression that they don’t like to give in-home services, and the impression I get — no one’s ever told me this, but the impression I get is it’s because it’s expensive. You know, in LA County they have kind of a big budget for this. They have something called the wraparound services. That’s where they —
Vincent Davis: give you your children back — they give you your children, but they send you outside parenting and counseling instructors to your home three, four, five times a week. So they get to see you in-home all the time, every day.
Vincent Davis: Many, many years ago, I was a speaker for juvenile dependency up in Monterey. There’s a — there’s an annual conference of juvenile lawyers up in Monterey. It’s held in January. And I remember first meeting people from small counties in Northern California. And I remember talking to them, because in LA — LA is so big and if you had a — you know, if you were accused of using drugs, they would take a child away from you.
Well, in these counties, they didn’t do that back then. They — the social worker — the counties were so small that the social workers could see the children every day, at school. So they would know, you know, if the child was being well cared for. Today, it seems like there’s a — what they call strict liability that if you use drugs, then you lose your children, and that’s actually not the law. There has to be a connection between your drug use and, you know, abusing or not taking care of your child. In reality, there are many people in our society that are functional addicts or functional alcoholics.
Anyway. So, I’m getting off the point. What I want to concentrate on are these three things. Does the social worker have clear and convincing evidence that you’re a substantial danger? Probably not.
Vincent Davis: Number two — number two, are there less restrictive alternatives? There are many, many less restrictive alternatives that you don’t even know about that nobody will tell you about. Some of them I have — I had mentioned to you already. So talk about that with your court-appointed attorney, and you should have that discussion before you go to court in the next date. If you go to court —
Vincent Davis: to court on the next date.
Vincent Davis: If you go to court on the next date and you don’t agree, you have the right to set the case for trial. I hear a lot of people tell me — and this is from all counties around California — “Oh, I went to that second hearing. The attorney told me to plead no contest and to come back in six months and get my kids. It would be really easy.” That may or may not be true, but that’s not your only alternative. You can fight for your kids right away.
Vincent Davis: You can have the trial —
Female: That’s what’s — yeah.
Vincent Davis: within a couple — within a couple of weeks. So, make sure that you talk to your attorney. Make sure you — that you strategize. Make sure that you go over the evidence, the report that’s going to be prepared by the social worker. It’s called the Jurisdictional Dispositional Report. And if you have any questions or if you want a second opinion, you know, it’s like going to the doctor, give me a call. You can email me the report.
Female: What’s the —
Vincent Davis: Our — I’ll review it, I’ll talk to you, and, you know, I could help you that way.
Female: I’m definite [0:21:35 inaudible] that.
Vincent Davis: All right. Well, I’m going to thank you for calling this morning. I got to move on to the next call, all right?
Female: Of course. What’s your number for me to contact you for the consultation?
Vincent Davis: Oh. Triple 8, triple 8, 6582. That’s 888-888-6582. In our office —
Vincent Davis: My — I have a — I have a crew of receptionists that work seven days a week. So during Mondays —
Female: All right.
Vincent Davis: to Fridays you can call — you can call 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. You can call on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and then call on Sundays from 12:00 to 5:00. And when my, you know, hardworking receptionists aren’t working, we have a 24-hour answering service. So give us a call anytime.
Female: Thank you so much. I appreciate it so much. You have [0:22:30 inaudible] day. God bless. I will be in touch with the office.
Vincent Davis: Thank you very much. Goodbye.
Female: Thank you. Bye.
Vincent Davis: Okay, I’m going to take another call right now, from area code 530, ending in 18.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Male: Good morning, Vincent. My question is, when grandparents go to a state hearing, and the agency representative have eight months shows up unprepared, I have nothing but misdemeanors — 14-year-old criminal record, judge sites her grandparents’ neighbor? That’s my question.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, hold on a second because you might have left a little bit out of there.
Male: I probably did.
Vincent Davis: Are you in — are you in California?
Vincent Davis: Okay, so I can answer your question then because I’m only licensed to practice law in California. You’re a grandparent, I take it?
Vincent Davis: Okay. And —
Male: I have a state hearing. They moved in my favor. Because it’s —-
Vincent Davis: Let me — let me — let me get this straight. Administratively, the social worker wouldn’t place the child with you, so you appealed it through the state administrative process, correct?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So, that’s a little time-consuming. I hope at the same time you were working through and appealing it through the Juvenile Court system. Were you doing that?
Male: I was not. I was not aware —
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Male: that this was part of the process. And I was not told —
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Male: it was part of the process.
Vincent Davis: Okay. All is not lost. So, if you have a pen and a piece of paper, I will tell you what you should do.
Vincent Davis: Number one — well, let me — before I tell you this, what — what’s stage of the proceedings in the Juvenile Court? Do you know what they are?
Male: Excuse me?
Vincent Davis: Do you know what stage of the proceedings you’re in — your children — your grandchildren are in in the Juvenile Court?
Male: I’m waiting on a — on a date for a hearing. I’ve already filled up the paperwork for [0:25:22 inaudible], for the appeal, to go in front of a representative of the agency that’s not licensed as — excuse me — not licensed but it’s not a legal or has a — any kind of a degree in law. It’s on the judge.
Vincent Davis: Okay, it sounds like — it sounds like you’re still in the administrative process.
Vincent Davis: What you need to do — yeah, what you need to do is you need to jump over through the Juvenile Court. What Juvenile Court has jurisdiction right now over your children? Grandchildren?
Male: It would be [0:26:07 inaudible] County.
Vincent Davis: Where is that? Where is that located?
Male: That would be in North California.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So get a pen, I’m going to tell you what you should do.
Vincent Davis: Number one, you immediately have to file what’s called a de facto motion.
Vincent Davis: And I — and I want you to look up a case. If you don’t have an attorney — well, the first thing you need to do is you need to try to get an attorney. But if you don’t get an attorney, you need to file what’s called a de facto motion, and it needs to be — include some — what’s called points and authorities and you need to mention a case called in Ray Charles S. And you could get a copy —
Male: [0:27:10 inaudible] Vincent Davis: of that. Charles, C-H-A-R-L-E-S, and the last initial, S.
Male: S. Charles S.
Vincent Davis: S as in Sam.
Male: S as in Sam —
Vincent Davis: Okay, what that case says is that if you’re a blood relative, and you have an interest in the child or children, the Juvenile Court judge should give you some type of standing and listen to the evidence that you want to present.
Male: Okay, let’s go back to number one. Find a — it’s called facto motion. I would file that with the Juvenile Court system, correct?
Vincent Davis: Yes. It’s called a de facto. D-E, second word, F-A —
Male: We have a bad connection. D-E F-A-C-T-O. A de facto motion, correct?
Vincent Davis: Yes.
Vincent Davis: Look, this is what I’m going to do for you. I’m going to give you a list of things, and I want you to call me later, if not today, on Monday — on Sunday or Monday, and we may be able to get a better connection and I can give you fuller explanation of what you need to do. But I’m just going to tell you briefly what you need to do, okay?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So, you need to file a de facto motion. You need to file a 388 petition. You need to file an 827 petition. And all of these numbers —
Vincent Davis: that I mentioned — All of these numbers that I mentioned — Uh-hmm. All of these numbers that I’m mentioning to you are part of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. So we have the 3 — the next thing you have to file is an 827 petition. That will give you access to the records and files of the social worker and of the Juvenile Court.
And then the last two things that you file, and many, many people don’t agree with me, but I file these anyway, I file petitions for you to become the temporary and the permanent legal guardian.
Male: That leads to another question.
Vincent Davis: Sure.
Male: When the — when the grandparents have done that, and it’s thrown out by the agency, is that legal?
Vincent Davis: It could be legal.
Male: Would that be?
Vincent Davis: Yes. But I — you know, I don’t think you filed that with the court. You may be filing this —
Male: Oh, yes, I did.
Vincent Davis: with —
Male: Court of law. [0:30:14 inaudible] California.
Vincent Davis: Did you file that with the — no.
Male: I had it signed it by a judge. —-
Vincent Davis: Did you file that with the — did you file that with the Juvenile Dependency judge?
Male: Juvenile Dependency judge?
Vincent Davis: Yes. Okay. Then this is getting a little bit more complicated. What I want you to do is when you make that appointment to speak to me, I want you to email me all the paperwork so I can review it and talk more intelligently about this with you.
Vincent Davis: Is that fair?
Male: Yes, it’s fair.
Vincent Davis: All right? Okay, so —
Male: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: go ahead and email — well, thank you for calling and I appreciate it. Okay, that grandparent — his story was getting a little bit more complicated than I can handle it in this radio show. So, I welcome all the listeners, if you want to have a more in-depth free initial consultation with me, you should probably email me paperwork. I’ll review it before our meeting. And that meeting can be in person, it can be over the phone. It can be via Skype. And I can talk more intelligently about your case.
Also, if you are a parent, it might be — it might be very helpful if you could get a copy of the last three-minute orders before our consultation because the procedural posture of where the case is makes a lot of difference in the type of advice that I can give you. Juvenile Dependency law is not constant. In other words, it’s very dynamic. At each hearing there are different rules, different standards, different things the judge has to look at by law. So, if you’re trying to get a child back or a relative, you know, child in your custody, you want to make sure that you know what procedural posture you — that the case is in. And the only way that the attorney giving you advice would know that is if you go and get copies of the Juvenile minute orders.
Okay, I’m going to take another call, from area code 310, ending in 22. Good morning.
Vincent Davis: You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Female: Hello. Hi. How are you?
Vincent Davis: Hello. I’m good and fine.
Female: Hello. How are you?
Vincent Davis: How are you this morning?
Female: I’m good.
Vincent Davis: Good. Did you call in to tell us a story or ask us a question?
Female: Tell you a story.
Vincent Davis: Okay, go ahead.
Female: My name is [0:33:02 inaudible]. I’m a mother of five. I have — oh, I’ve been having [0:33:08 inaudible] DCFS case since September of 2012. I did all of my mandated court thing that they have me to do like parenting or whatever, and my case was scheduled for trial last year in July, but it didn’t close because I have a personal — I mean, I had a personal policy. I had a — you know, my baby’s father you got to deal with. And he was sitting like he said what — I had to see my kids or whatever and I let him see my see my baby, and he was taking my baby. And I told the social worker that he took my baby.
And after that, the next minute I know like three or four days later, the social worker had to call my children and my kids were scheduled to close. I asked the social worker like whey she’s doing that and she was like, “No, you let the baby — you let your daughter stay with the baby’s father.” And I was like, “No, I didn’t,” and she like, “Yes, you did.”
So as time went on, I’m going to court for my kids, and on August 5th of 2014 I go to court. And when I went into the courtroom, they told me that they were adopting my children out. They would adopt my children, and I was like, “No.” Like, “How could you guys do this?” And then they said, “Well, you know — well, you know, your social worker recommended that your kids won’t come back home to you.” I’m like, “No, that’s not fair.
And so I went — and I talked to my baby’s father, knowing that that the social worker left my baby with, and I had called — I had called him, so then I met up with him, and he called the social worker and he asked her like, “Why does she [0:34:39 inaudible] for me and my baby’s father?” And she said — she said — I mean, he said — I mean, she told him like, “Oh, because I don’t know where you were at. I don’t know where you were at or whatever to work out where you guys are — so you guys [0:34:51 inaudible] the baby.
So, and now the warrant and court already issued, and they have this for the baby [0:34:58 inaudible], but I didn’t leave the baby with the social — I didn’t leave the baby with my baby’s father. The social worker did. And I’m like, “She didn’t put that in the [0:35:06 inaudible] was because she didn’t know where he was at.” So I knew [0:35:08 inaudible] and she was kind of like they bring in.
So as time went on, we had a — they had a TBM. It was August 26, and me and my baby’s father — I mean, me, my sister and a social worker and a TBM facilitator were sitting in a room and I was telling them like things about what she was doing and she denied everything. So immediately knew like something was going on. But to back that up, my baby’s father, he’s — my baby’s father, he’s on probation, and he asked the probation officer what — he asked the probation officer. And I guess the probation — like, he told me he had called him, and she had met up with him at the probation office on August 11. And I had — and then also had told her when she left my baby with my baby’s father that he was on [0:35:53 inaudible]. She’d already know that.
So I told you the warrant was issued August 5th. So now the social worker is now meeting with my baby’s father. She’s now meeting with my baby’s father at his probation — at his probation office or whatever to detain the baby, so she said. But she’s not going to — he told me this that he’s meeting up with her for her to detain the baby on August 11. Now, this was after the warrants were issued, mind you. The warrants were issued August 5th. Okay, time [0:36:17 inaudible].
She doesn’t — she doesn’t actually detain my baby after August 18th of 2014. And that’s when she put her paperwork at the office. But I guess the probation officer that my baby’s father was going to he had it on record as August 11. So she has typically left my baby with my baby’s father seven more days after — I mean, seven more days from when she initially she said picked the baby.
So, time kept going on, so I left the court September 26. I go to court September 26, and my lawyer said that “Okay, we’re going to adopt your children,” I’m like, “No, you’re not.” Like, “What do you mean you’re going to adopt my children?” “You’re going to lose custody of your two youngest kids since your two youngest kids are under the age of four years old.” And I’m like, “No, that’s not fair.” Like, “What do you mean they’re going to take my kids? Like, I don’t understand that.”
So they [0:37:00 inaudible] for December 1st of 2014. So in between that time, my baby’s father, it was — emailed at me [0:37:05 inaudible] share with each other. August 22nd, I’ve seen there’s no email and I clicked on there, and my social worker, her name — her name was [0:37:14 inaudible] Shield, and it was her Gmail — it was [0:37:18 inaudible] gmail.com, and I knew that it was her, and she told my baby’s father that she loves him and she didn’t want to break up with him. So that’s when I knew — I had mainly knew that she had a personal relationship with him. So, I don’t know what to do with that.
So at time kept going on, like, being — like November 20, like, I kept out of [0:37:36 inaudible] he’s got to know what to do. And then November 20th of 2014, like 2:55 PM my cousin called me and she said, “Alicia, I think I see your baby’s father and the social worker.” I’m like, “No, you don’t.” She’s like, “Yes, I do.”
So I rushed to the hotel room, [0:37:51 inaudible] from Broadway where they were at. And I stayed there and my — and my mother was with me. And I’ve seen [0:37:57 inaudible] her car but I still wasn’t sure if it was her car. So I sat there and I was looking whatever, and my baby’s father he has to be at work at 5:30. So me and my mother waited there till 4:55, and the social worker and my baby’s father came walking out the hotel room. And I was looking like, “Oh, my –”
Vincent Davis: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Hold on a second.
Vincent Davis: You’re saying that the father of your child and the social worker are romantically involved?
Female: Yes, sir.
Vincent Davis: Okay, continue the story.
Female: Okay. So, they — so they both came out the hotel room. They both came out the hotel room, and — okay, they both came out the hotel room, and I asked my baby’s father like, “What is this?” And he said, “What are you talking about?” and I asked the social worker like, “What’s this?” And she like, “Oh, he told me you guys weren’t together.” And I said, “What do you mean he told you weren’t together?” I’m like, “I’m not worried about him.” I’m like, “You’re a social worker. You took my children and [0:38:58 inaudible] adopted my children out. And if I had not caught you at this hotel room, I would not highly possibly have custody of my kids.” And then she just told him like, “Come on, baby, let’s in the car [0:39:06 inaudible].” And this was November 20th.
Then December 1st, when I actually had [0:39:13 inaudible]. With this team, it’s called the wraparound team. And that’s what I have. I had the wraparound team. Let’s — not the wraparound team, and I guess on September 26th, the — I had my — my lawyer [0:39:26 inaudible] the wraparound team to come in to court on December 1st to represent me, to say that they had been coming back from house every single week and my children were in the house, so that was a lie that my baby’s father had custody — like had [0:39:38 inaudible] my baby’s father.
So after that, I had — after that or whatever, I had — I had — and so we came back to court December 1st. When we came back to court December 1st, I was in a courtroom whatever, and they [0:39:54 inaudible] and wraparound was there to represent me, also after they had put a restraining order on me. And I’m like, “What is this?” or whatever, and [0:40:03 inaudible] December 15. So I went down to the DCFS office in Wateridge and I did a 12-page affidavit, saying all of the things that she did towards me.
So then I had court January 29th. I had called my baby’s father. I called my baby’s father and I told him like, “You need to do something because this is not right. Like, you and her — you know, this is wrong.” So he came to court with me January 29th. So we all are in the courtroom with them. Well, he came there to tell them that he slept with her. The judge took her off the calendar. She didn’t even want him to get on the stand or anything. She’s like, “You’re all calendar.” He was there and he told his lawyer that — and he told his lawyer that he was sleeping with the social worker or whatever. His lawyer went into the office and he came out and said to him and the judge [0:40:59 inaudible] about the fact that they were sleeping with each other.
So then the judge said — when I went to court November 29th, she said that if my baby’s father is not staying with me, she would give me my kids back [0:41:00 inaudible], you know, 12 to 14. So they came out from my house and make sure he didn’t stay with me or everything. And every 29th I got [0:41:10 inaudible] — oh, [0:41:12 inaudible] on a restraining order in court January 29th. The judge — the judge had picked the restraining order off of me because she had found out that they were sleeping with each other.
Well, she picked the restraining order off of me and she put a state order for her to stay away from and me to stay away from her. So when the judge did that, the social worker went on the outside of the department and got a personal restraining order on me at [0:41:33 inaudible] at the county courthouse. So I was [0:41:36 inaudible] with a restraining order in February. So when I got the restraining order I had court — it took us court on — I had court — it took us court on April 7. And I went to court and I told the judge how she served me — no, how much she [0:41:50 inaudible]. I went into the courtroom and I told the judge how she had [0:41:53 inaudible] with the outside restraining order, and I told — and I — the court [0:41:56 inaudible] outside restraining order was set for April 7.
So then I went — so after that, the judge said she would want to transfer the restraining order case over to the Children’s Court case because she said she don’t understand why a social worker would do that, and she was contact of the case. So, at — so when time went on, when April 7th — when April 7th came, I came to the Children’s Court because the judge had told me she was going to transfer the restraining order case from [0:42:22 inaudible] court to a Children’s Court.
When I got into the courthouse at the Children’s Court, it was an attorney — I mean, not the judge in here. And the new judge told me that they don’t have jurisdiction over that, and I have been sitting here waiting for a long time, so I wind up going to the county courthouse, and I got there late because I [0:42:37 inaudible] Children’s Court.
I get to the county courthouse. They said they had dismissed it — they told me they had dismissed it because she didn’t make it to court on time either. So then I went ahead with the court, again the Children’s Court on April 20th. And let alone the social worker is no longer my social worker on the case, so she’s no — she’s under investigation at this time. She no longer has access to my case or anything. She has no access to it.
So then she leaves — so then I’m at court April 20th, and somebody comes up to me and walks up and serves me with another restraining order from the social worker at county court. So now it’s now scheduled for court on April 29th. So I’m sitting here wondering like, “How does she even know that — how does she even know that I even have court that day?” So I knew that my new social — or somebody in the building where she worked at had to tell her I had court, it’ll will be served, this restraining order. So I mainly I didn’t feel — I didn’t feel comfortable with being at that — at that office where the social worker was working at.
So I winded up in court April 29th out — at the county courthouse, and the social worker was telling — the social worker was telling the judge that I was harassing her. And I guess the judge said that the social worker had told her [0:43:52 inaudible] over there, but she’s going to — she’s going to recommend that I get the restraining order put on me for three years. She did several restraining order on me, and I felt the judges [0:44:01 inaudible] you want to go to trial. She said [0:44:03 inaudible]. I told the judge, “No, I want to say it right now.”
So the same day, April 29th, I’m going to court. Oh, I’m [0:44:10 inaudible]. The same day on that court — same day on that court, April 29th, like we had to both plead our case. And she was telling the judge that I was harassing her. I had [0:44:21 inaudible] through emails and through Google Maps and I was calling there and I was [0:44:25 inaudible] her phone. And she said that the day after I got served with the restraining order, [0:44:29 inaudible] April 20th, she said I came down to her job on April 21st and she said that — she said I came to her job at the DCFS office and she said that — she had found out that her office that she said that she gave the restraining to her supervisor and her supervisor has [0:44:45 inaudible] me at the DCFS office. The supervisor has [0:44:50 inaudible] at the DCFS office with the restraining order again. And after she spoke I immediately told the judge, I — you know, they got to have, you know, comprehension, I told the judge, I said — I said, “First of all, you Honor, it’s all a lie.” I say, “Your Honor, the Children’s Court have their own restraining orders.” I told them the Children’s Court have their own restraining order, and I said, “They would not have served me with outside restraining order because they don’t acknowledge outside restraining order. They have their own restraining order.”
So her supervisor wouldn’t have [0:45:19 inaudible]. “You are right.” She’s like, “You know what [0:45:26 inaudible] ? Do you have any other proof?” and she said no. She said, “You know, I’m not going to recommend this restraining order.” She’s like, “You know, she’s been harassing me, she’s been doing it.” She said, “Well, if she calls you, better get — record it on here,” whatever, whatever.
And after all that, I’m still going to court. I’m still going to court for my case, and then I’m going to court and the judge still hasn’t recommended that my kids come back home to me. And till today I’m still fighting to get my kids back and I still haven’t got them back yet after all the things that they know they [0:45:50 inaudible]. Oh, then Internal Affairs they were — they’ve been their investigation. And they wind up concluding — I guess they were — they concluded that, you know, she would [0:46:01 inaudible] everything that I said and they did not find her baby [0:46:05 inaudible].
Vincent Davis: And when is your next court date?
Female: My next court date is in — is May — my next court date is May — I think May 21st. May 21st in Children’s Court.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So after this telephone call, what I want you to do is I want you to call my office. I want to — I want you to make an appointment to speak to me on Monday. Would you do that for me?
Female: Okay. Yes.
Vincent Davis: All right. Thank you for calling in today. That’s an incredible story.
Female: Thank you so much.
Vincent Davis: Just when you think you’ve heard it all. Well, that’s quite a story; social worker sleeping with one of the parents. And apparently making false accusations or reporting false things to the Juvenile Court at the same time about the mother. Going to have to investigate that one.
I’m going to take one more call. We have a few minutes left. The telephone number is 818, ending in 13. Hello, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. Hello?
Female: Hello. Good morning.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Female: I’m a little bit confused just because I was served with a restraining order at Children’s Court last week. But I didn’t receive the paperwork. It was just a verbal restraining order. My —
Vincent Davis: But there’s no such thing as a — there’s no such thing as a verbal restraining order. Has to be in writing.
Female: Okay. Okay. So then I don’t understand why I have to go to court on Friday last week, just to be informed that I have a restraining order.
Vincent Davis: Okay. When was the last court hearing you went to and when is the next court hearing?
Female: The actual court hearing is May 9th. But at [0:48:26 inaudible]. They have been [0:48:31 inaudible] from foster care home, [0:48:33 inaudible]. And they’re placed in a temporary custody with their father.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Is it — is it your goal to get the children back?
Female: Yes. I have been working on that, and every time I do this conjoined family therapy we get to do about 16 weeks, two therapies, and my children being relocated. So now I’m another waiting for conjoined family therapy, and every time I go to court I’m not able to complete the therapy because I have monitored therapy — monitored sessions with my children. So I need to rely on someone to take the children to the therapy sessions. And that — we did have therapies. We were having therapy at McKinley Children’s Center. And suddenly the social worker decided to move the children with their father.
So that interrupted our therapy sessions. Prior to that, the therapy sessions were also [0:49:38 inaudible] of my son’s [0:49:41 inaudible] also. Because we were having therapy sessions at [0:49:46 inaudible].
Prior to that, we have therapy sessions over at Pasadena — sorry — yes, Pasadena Mental Health. And those were also interrupted. Until — I’m having a very difficult time completing this conjoined family therapy with all these interruptions. My son has been placed in seven different foster care placements. And now he’s with the father, so it was — in a sense I feel more comfortable with the children staying at home with their dad —- versus having them [0:50:27 inaudible] or placed in isolation foster care. Though — to a certain extent, I’m more comfortable with the children being at home with their father.
But I had been fighting for two years, nine months already to get custody of my children. So it’s an ongoing cycle. We start the therapy but it gets interrupted. We do at least 16 therapy sessions at each location. Actually, [0:51:02 inaudible] we did 29 sessions. But they’re all interrupted and the social worker’s recommendation is always “No. Your mother needs more therapies. No. The children and the — the mother is not complying with the therapy.” I’m a month and a half away from court. And her recommendation is not to return the children to me because we’re not — I’m not complying with therapy. We just stopped going to therapy March 7.
Vincent Davis: Well, let me ask you something. Have you ever had a trial in the Juvenile Court?
Vincent Davis: Did you have a private or public attorney?
Vincent Davis: Okay, so I would recommend you meeting with your attorney to talk to him or her about the alternatives you have when you get the social worker’s recommendation that you don’t agree with. Like I was telling an earlier caller, whenever the social worker writes a report, if you don’t agree with it, you have the right to have a trial. That means you have the right to call witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses, to present documentary evidence, you know, to present your own witnesses to show what the social worker is saying is either false, or even if it’s saying — even if what she’s saying is true, you should still get your children back.
From what you’ve told me, you’ve done an awful a lot of counseling. And that should be worth something. You know, maybe you can bring your counselors to court to testify. Maybe you can put on the social worker on the stand and have your attorney cross-examine that social worker to show what she’s saying is not necessarily correct.
I finished a couple of weeks a trial in San Diego where I got the impression before the trial, nobody wanted to — me to do this trial because the social worker’s report was so thorough and it made, you know, allegations against my client. But when I finished cross-examining the social worker on her report and showing the judge where the inconsistencies were or somehow there was flat out lies, the judge rules in my client’s favor and gave my client the children back. So you got to — no matter what the social worker’s report says, sometimes you have to take that social worker to trial and put that social worker on the witness stand to cross-examine her. Does that make sense to you?
Female: Yes, it does. How do I process that?
Vincent Davis: Well, the first thing you do is you send your — you send your attorney an email and say, “Hey, we got to meet,” you know. And if your — do you have the case in Los Angeles County? So, what you — you might want to tell the court-appointed attorney, “Look, I’ll meet you for lunch. I’ll come up to the courthouse and we can meet.” There’s a cafeteria downstairs, you know, in the building, and you can meet with him for maybe a half hour to an hour to talk about your case. Because it’s important, you want to get your children back.
So you —
Vincent Davis: want to discuss with your attorney the alternatives that you have. You want to discuss your — with your attorney legal strategies that you have. You want to discuss with your attorney — you want to tell the attorney everything that you’ve been doing. Just because you’ve been doing counseling and it stopped for some reason, like the kids got sense of the father, that doesn’t mean you’re wiped out, you know. You get credit for all of that counseling. Okay? So you —
Vincent Davis: should take — you should take that credit, you should use it in the court, and you should fight for your children to come back to you. And the most important way to do that is to, you know, talk to your attorney and make sure that he or she is on board. Make sure he or she is, you know, kind of paying attention to your case.
Now, one of the problems with court-appointed attorneys — most of the court-appointed attorneys that I meet are very, very good attorneys. Their problem is that they have too many cases. And, you know, there’s only so much a person can do when you have a large case load. So, you know, talk to your attorney and — you know, my grandmother used to tell me the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So you got to be that squeaky wheel. You got to call your attorney, you got to send him emails and say, “Hey, you got to talk to me. You would — you have to meet with me.”
And that’s part —
Vincent Davis: of their responsibility. And if you make it easy for them by saying, “Hey, I’ll come up to court. I’ll meet you during the lunch break, you know, for 30 minutes or 45 minutes or an hour.” You know, in that way you can make it easy for your court-appointed attorney to meet with you. When you go, though, I would suggest you have the list of everything that you’ve done. You have the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all your service providers. You have progress reports and you have certificates that you receive for completing parenting or counseling. And that you present those to your attorney. Because sometimes when the attorney sees that, they think, “Oh, my God, she’s done a bunch of stuff. I can do something for her at the next court hearing. I can do something for her and, you know, if we have that file, you know, possibly she can get unmonitored visits. Possibly she can get weekend overnight. Possibly she can get the children back.” It sounds like you’ve done a lot of stuff —
Female: And another thing that I’m having trouble with is getting a progress letter. Most of the letters that I get from [0:56:50 inaudible] or McKinley’s, even at Pasadena and Children’s [0:56:54 inaudible], they’re all letters of attendance. They don’t give me anything that shows progress. And the reason is that — this is the excuse that they give me after speaking to the social worker — they tell me that they cannot give me a progress letter. They — they’re limited to what their — they can write on the letter because of the fact that they have to quote confidentiality. So they’re only allowed to give me the dates of attendance. That really doesn’t do any good. One — my attorney was saying that she doesn’t need an attendance letter. She needs an actual progress letter.
Vincent Davis: Okay, so this is what you do.
Female: And that’s what I’ve been having —
Vincent Davis: This is — let me —
Female: very difficult time, conveying that to the therapist.
Vincent Davis: Oh, because —
Female: And I’m —
Vincent Davis: Hold on. Hold on.
Female: [0:57:41 inaudible] I do feel that —
Vincent Davis: Hold on. Ma’am.
Female: the lady at McKinley’s was doing her best to try to help us, my family. But she was restricted — for some reason, I feel that she was threatened. And it just — it didn’t feel right —
Vincent Davis: Okay. I’m going to have — ma’am, I’m going to have to interrupt you.
Female: the way that she was communicating at the end. Because our conversations were very clear, but —-
Vincent Davis: So, ma’am, what I’m going to tell you is when a — when a therapist doesn’t give you a progress letter, the only thing that you can do is you can subpoena them to come in to court and to testify about what you have done and the progress you have made. Thank you very much for your call.
You know, we have a few moments left in the show, and I want to go over my usual [0:58:36 inaudible] about what I hope everyone is doing in their case. Number one, if you have a Juvenile Dependency court case, you must get experience legal help. Number two, you must get information. Try to educate yourself. You can try to educate yourself by talking to your attorney, be it a private attorney or court-appointed attorney. You can also educate yourself by going on Google. Google knows all.
There’s something online that our website, talkradioexperts, call the Dog Book. It’s an outline of the basic strategies and laws. It can be used in defending a case in the Juvenile Dependency court. You can talk to your attorney, as I said. You should also meet with your attorney, strategize before the court hearing, decide what [0:59:25 inaudible] are going to — be subpoenaed for any trials that you have coming up. Finally, you have to vote. You have to register to vote. In our country, the power is in the vote. So let’s vote in judges and legislature — legislators that support keeping families together.
Okay, I have to sign off. We’ll see you next week on the radio.
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