Vincent Davis: Good morning. My name is Vincent Davis. I’m a licensed attorney in California. And welcome to our show. Today we’ll be talking about getting your children back from CPS. I want to take a moment and say a prayer for those folks in Paris, France, undergoing that horrific situation yesterday. And I’m sorry to say that this is the world that we’re living in right now.
Today I’m going to talk about what happens before your child is taken away from CP — by CPS, and what you can do. In a lot of situations, children are taken away without any warning. And that happens when a CPS social worker determines that there is an emergency, and the child just can’t be left with you. But generally, in most cases, a worker does not take the child away, unless they have a court order or a warrant. And in order to do that, they have to do some type of investigation before taking your child away.
My advice to most people, and I want emphasize ‘most’ because I don’t give this in 100% of the situations. I don’t give this advice in 100% of the situations. I think that you probably should not talk to social workers. When they investigate a case, they would come out and take your child from you if they have the evidence that you have abused or are at risk of abusing the child. Now, when they come out, they don’t have that evidence and the first thing that they do is they speak to you and speak to others in your family, your friends, and sometimes they are able to gather that evidence.
I have spoken to many people who have said that, “You know, I talked to the social worker, and what I’ve said was taken out of context.” Or they’ll say, “I talked to the social worker, and they’ve twisted what I’ve said just a little bit.” And I talked to people who have said, “Hey, I talked to the social worker, and when we see the social worker’s report, this is not what I — this is not what I’ve said at all.” And in those situations — it happens a lot more than we would think. So, my advice is, just don’t talk to the social worker or the police authority, because unless you talk to them, they can’t get any evidence against you to take your child.
They can get a court order or a warrant to come out and inspect your home. That does not mean that they can get a court order or warrant to make you talk to them. They can get a court order or a warrant to come out and speak to your children. Or there — in a relatively new law of — I think less than 12 years old, social workers can go out and — to your children’s school and talk to them without your permission. Wasn’t necessarily the law all the time in California, but now that is the situation.
We have a caller on the line right now. His number ends in 1521. They’ve been on hold since before this case — excuse me — before the show started, so I’m going to take their call now.
Hello. You’re on the air with Attorney Vincent Davis, Get Your Kids Back Now! What’s your first name?
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Hello?
Vincent Davis: Yes. You’re on the air. What is your first name?
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Oh. Okay. My name is Rabbi Ariel Patterson. I live in Minnesota. On February 3rd, CPS stormed my house like a SWAT team. I have two autistic children, and a daughter who is not even disabled. They stormed my house, terrorized my kids and took them out under the guise that the PCA that I had hired, and I made the mistake of my life, I found out was downloading pornography to my children or my son. I found out later she had molested my son. I walked in on her, talking extremely filthy things to my children, and when I let her know she — I was one [0:04:48 inaudible] her, she retaliated and made a statement.
Now, our house has been a target of hate crimes for at least eight years. We’re Jewish, and we’re Christian, which really shouldn’t matter, but we have swastikas all over our land. We have “Die, Jew, die,” and like propane tank. They were all — “We will kill you, Jewish” trash on my driveway. I had to put up a six-foot fence, which Social Services actually paid for, to protect my son and keep one of them in and who likes to wander, is more severely autistic and who gives [0:05:24 inaudible] to play in and stuff. And then I put cameras up, you know, to catch these people, and I purchased stun guns to protect my kids.
Well, when the PCA found out that I was going to fire her she went to Child Protective Services and told them that I had stunned my son. Which I had never ever, ever done. And my children had told them all this. They waited two days, after they — no, took my children from the house. They — my son was exhausted. They interrogated them to a degree where my son was so scared he — at 22 — excuse me — he told me that he peed his pants, he was so scared.
My daughter, on the other hand, was not — the least that’s, you know, moved by them. But Isaiah was. And so they’re going on some statements that he said I’m going to view the videos one day with my attorney and see exactly what they did. But there has been multiple, multiple reports sent in to CPS against the PCA, who I found out had actually molested my son twice, not to mention downloading pornography, touching my other son. My son actually saw her use my stun gun, did this, so I went to the drawer, you know, which I give to the kids to go out and lock the gate at night because of this Nazi stuff. I had bought them their own stun guns to protect them and I’m not going say I did not. I surely did.
And the whole thing is that they dropped two of the charges, and now they know — they know that that didn’t happen, but CPS here refuses to do anything, and in this state we do not a law for any crimes. So I really don’t what to do. I have courts for an omnibus on December 11. So, that’s kind of what’s going on with [0:07:18 inaudible] I send them a letter and they told me that they want to get all the information. I couldn’t get it back to them, which I found out was quite unusual, because they don’t really look at too many cases. Do you have any advice for me?
Vincent Davis: Well, let me — let me say this. I’m licensed in California and I’m only — it’s only legal for me to give advice in California. But I can give you some general advice and that is you need to talk to a juvenile dependency lawyer who is experienced, who has been doing this for many years, has done many trials, so that they can help you in your defense.
If you Google for your area ‘juvenile dependency attorney’ or ‘juvenile dependency lawyer,’ I’m sure that you’ll come up with several names of people that you can call and get a free consultation with. You can also call your local county bar association, and you can get names of people. Usually, each bar association has a lawyer with [0:08:28 inaudible] service. And you can get the names and — and you can get numbers and probably get a free or no-cost initial consultation. But it really sounds like you have a — probably sophisticated yet complex, yet unfair situation going there — going on there in Minnesota. And I urge you to get competent legal advice in your area. Somebody, you know, who’s an attorney, who’s licensed in your state.
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: My children are juvenile. There’s 22 and 21.
Vincent Davis: Oh, the Social Services is involved because they are — have special needs, correct?
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Well, two of my children do, my daughter does not. But Social Services decided that they want to put her on a waiver, so made her go to a doctor, had the doctor say she had something, you know, to get her on a waiver, to get her on SS. It was — it’s ridiculous what they can do, you know, without even your permission. I — and my daughter is not handicapped.
Vincent Davis: Right. And, you know, I wish I could give you some advice on that, I just don’t know Minnesota law. I normally — you know, familiar and then that’s good in California law. But I urge you to make those calls, do those Google searches, to try to find a lawyer to give you some advice, perhaps free initial consultations so that you can get the information that you need to protect yourself and to protect your family. Thank you for your call today.
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: And then what — What type of attorney did you say — I had trouble hearing you, what type of attorney did you say I should try to look for?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So type in Google ‘Juvenile’ —
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Okay.
Vincent Davis: ‘dependency lawyer’ —
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Okay.
Vincent Davis: or ‘Juvenile dependency attorney.’
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Okay.
Vincent Davis: All right?
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: I can do that. I — that’s —
Vincent Davis: And Google will give you results. Google will give you results for your geographic area.
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Excellent. Okay. Thank you. I appreciate — I can do that. I’m a little computer savvy. I want to thank you for that, though, because I — I’m not — really not what to do, and I know you’re in California, so the laws are different. But I thank you for at least talking with me and helping me try to figure this out.
Vincent Davis: Thank you and good luck to you, sir.
Rabbi Ariel Patterson: Okay. You have a blessed day.
Vincent Davis: Bye-bye.
Well, that was a call from Minnesota. Going back to our topic today, what to do before the social worker takes your child and is performing the investigation. Earlier I said you should probably not talk to the social worker.
Now, I wrote a blog, and I forgot the name of the blog on my website, fightcps or fightchildprotectiveservices.com. Let me see if I can find it. On the website talkradioexperts, there are [0:11:46 inaudible] of several blogs. One of the things that you should also consider is speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible. I get a lot of calls from people whose children are eventually taken away. And they call me in the middle of the investigation or towards the end of the investigation. And what has already happened in most of these situations is the mother and/or the father has already talked to the social worker, and in a lot of these cases has already made damaging admissions or given evidence or given people — given the names of people who have the evidence that can be used against the parents in a subsequent juvenile dependency case. Again, if you don’t talk to the social worker, it’s unlikely that the social worker is going to get that information, or they can use it against you.
So in a lot of cases where people call me before the child is taken away, one of the things that we do at our office is we try to meet with the social worker and their attorney, to try to resolve the situation without having to file a case in juvenile dependency court. Now, it’s very expensive for the counties in Los Angeles — excuse me, in California to file a case in juvenile dependency court, and many times — not all — but in many cases, they want to sit down with you and — or they’re willing to sit down with you, and then in controlled environment with your attorney there, try to work out a solution where a case doesn’t have to be filed. And in my practice, we do that in a lot of situations; we get a lot of calls. As a matter of fact, this coming Monday I have a meeting with a social worker and my client, in the morning, and then in the afternoon at a totally different location, I think that’s even in a different county, I have another meeting with a social worker and their attorney.
And in these situations what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to control the social worker’s access to information, and we’re trying to control the amount of information that is given to the social worker, and also to work out some type of, shall we say, program where kids or the children don’t have to be taken away, and then perhaps the parents can begin some type of remedial course to [0:14:24 inaudible] for the child being taken away. In California, taking away your children is supposed to be a last resort. And in a lot of cases, the social workers are willing to work with you. But you just have to make that you control the information that you give to them.
Let me give you an example of how this sometimes works. A social worker comes out to your home. You’re not there, and leaves a business card that says “Call me.” Now, right there, someone — you should know that someone has reported you, either child abuse or suspected child abuse. And it’s the social worker’s job and duty to try to investigate that. At this point in time, you probably should call around or speak to attorneys who practice in this area. The reason is because a lot of people think, “Well, I can just meet with the social worker and I can talk my way out of it.” And a lot of highly educated people think that they can do that.
The problem is, what they don’t realize is that social workers are trained professionals. They’re trained investigators. And they’re trained to find out if there is abuse or suspected child abuse. So the social worker may talk to you, may be getting information that you probably don’t even realize that you’re giving, and may in the future use that against you.
I recently talked to a husband, father. Apparently, the social worker — the social workers had been called but from the hotline, county hotline that each county has in California, and they — and the mother had been reported for suspected child abuse. And during that investigation, the child abuse was, what we call in the business, inappropriate discipline. Child was about six or seven, and it was a form of discipline, the mother had been spanking the child. Now, that’s not illegal in California but there is, you know, a lot of problems with that. Because most social workers think that you shouldn’t be spanking your child, and if you do, that’s child abuse. That’s a whole different discussion.
But in the investigation, the social worker required the parents to take a drug test. Now, there’s no connection, or there wasn’t any connection between the mother using a belt to discipline a child and drugs. No one had said anything about the parents are using drugs and they can’t take care of their child. Well, the parents spoke that they — well, obligated to take a — it’s a drug test, and then it turned out the father tested positive for marijuana. And in California you just — you didn’t have a — what they call a marijuana card or medical card saying that marijuana was prescribed. The social workers wanted to files a case against him and his wife for the suspected inappropriate physical discipline and the drug use; alleged drug use.
Now, in California, it’s not necessarily a child abuse problem if you tested positive for an illegal substance. However, in many, many cases, in many, many situations, social workers act like it is — if you use drugs, you are, per se, unable to take care of your child. And that’s just not the truth. Then it turned out in this situation that the father was a war vet, a recent war vet who had been discharged from Iran and he was using marijuana, albeit to self-treat, or it can help in his treatment of his post traumatic stress disorder.
In this particular case, since there was no evidence that his drug use tainted his ability to take care of the child, what I did was I — they called me and I met with the social worker and the couple and the social worker’s attorney and I convinced them that perhaps the father could take a drug or a substance abuse class on his own, that he would — might test [0:19:09 inaudible] analysis, periodically for the social worker, and that both parents would take a parenting class.
Luckily, the social worker and/or her attorney decided that that would be sufficient, before filing a case and before taking the child away from the parents. The child in this case, I think, was about five years old and was strongly bonded emotionally, psychologically, and physically to the parents, and removal of this child for such minor — what I call minor things would probably do more harm than good. And in a lot of situations that I sometimes see or hear about, social workers will just take the child and, you know, file a case in court. And then the parents are behind the [0:20:00 inaudible] when it comes to going in court and trying to get this child back.
So, there’s a lot that can be done prior to the case being filed in court and prior to the social worker actually talking to. So, if you get that card in your door and get a telephone call from a social worker, it’s my advice that you not talk to the social worker by yourselves. Generally, you’re not going to talk yourself out of that situation. And since social workers are trained professionals, if you meet with them, your point of base would be out of your reach, and the social worker may be gathering evidence to use against you to take your child. And then when you call me, the child has already been taken and called the attorney and you’re behind the [0:20:46 inaudible]. And it’s going to be more difficult to get the child back or it may take a longer period of time to get the child back.
If your child is taken into custody by the social worker or by the police, the initial hearing in a juvenile dependency court must be held no later than the 15th — excuse me, no later than the next court date. Now, let me say that again. If the child is removed from your custody, the initial hearing in juvenile dependency court must be held no later than the next court date. And that rule is found in the California Rules of Court. I believe it’s Rule 5.670 subdivision 8. Now, in many cases — in many cases, a child is taken away on a Monday, and you don’t go to court until Wednesday or Thursday. And in a lot of situations, and I must admit I have done it myself, enough times like I should, but you can argue that the case be thrown out if the social worker violates that rule. Now, the downside of that is, even if the judge dismisses the case because it’s held or been filed too late, most of the times this department or the county social worker will just refile the case against you. So it turns out that that one day rule may not have an [0:22:39 inaudible].
When a case is filed in juvenile court, the — let me back up a second. In California, there are, as in most states, two judicial systems. One is the federal system and one is the state system. So there are federal courts within California, as in all states, and there are state courts. The juvenile dependency system is run out of the state court system. So each county in California has their own superior court. And I’m in Los Angeles since — so Los Angeles has the Los Angeles Superior Court. The county of Orange has the Orange County Superior Court. The county of Riverside has the Riverside Superior Court. And they are just divided up among, I think it’s 57 or 58 counties within California.
Now, each superior court in each county is divided up further. And they’re divided up into different departments. So you have, for example, the Family Law Department, which handles people getting divorced and child custody and child visitation, and domestic violence between people who live together. We have the criminal court. And in that system you have cases where police authorities, either the local police or the county sheriff’s usually, or the state police have filed a case against someone for committing a crime or for allegedly committing a crime. Those cases are heard in the Criminal Department.
And then you have the Probate Department. And that’s where you’d go with respect to, you know, for example a trust or a will, and they have to split after someone dies. That’s handled in the Probate Department. Then you have the Traffic Department. And on and on and on.
Then you have the Juvenile Department. And most counties have the juvenile court divided up in two different sub-department. One is called Juvenile Delinquency, and that’s if you’re under the age of 18 and you committed a crime. They handle you in a special juvenile delinquency/criminal court process. And the second department, sub-department for the juvenile court is the Juvenile Dependency Court. And cases involving social workers taking away your children through CPS or DCFS, those are handled in the juvenile dependency court system.
Now, in Los Angeles County, they have a building devoted to nothing but juvenile dependency cases, and it’s in Monterey Park. San Diego County has several juvenile dependency courthouses. One is in Meadow Lark, one is downtown and one is in El Cajon. Then there is a — one court of juvenile dependency in the south county. Riverside has several juvenile dependency courts. They have the main juvenile dependency court, which is on County Farm Road in Riverside itself. Then they have a courthouse in Murrieta — excuse me, a courtroom in Murrieta, in the Murrieta courthouse. And they have a location — a juvenile court out in Indio near Palm Springs. So, there are — each county handles a different one. And now there are — the number, don’t forget. L.A. has another location in Lancaster, where they have two juvenile dependency courtrooms, and I hear that in 2016 there’ll be a third one, because, I don’t know, business must be booming for the — for DCFS and CPS out in the [0:26:31 inaudible].
So, that’s how — or that is the court you go to. And juvenile dependency courts are governed by not only federal — a federal constitution but the state constitution. But primarily run by the laws of the Welfare and Institutions Code in California, and by the Evidence Code, and somewhat by the Code of Civil Procedure, although a lot of people argue that the Code of Civil Procedure does not apply in juvenile dependency court. That whole discussion can get complicated, and we’ll probably cover that at a later show.
So if a case is filed against you, you’re going to the Los Angeles — excuse me — you want to go to California Superior Court system, within your county and with the — where your location is. And if it’s in a —- which is at the intersection of the 10 and the 17th freeways. It’s different for every county where you’re going to be.
I think we have a couple more calls. I’m going to pause in my discussion about the beginning of a juvenile dependency case, and I’m going to take a call. I think it is from San Diego, ending in the numbers 5397.
Hello. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis on Talk Radio Experts. How can I help you?
Okay, they hang up, so I’m going to the next caller, ending in 3528.
Hello. You’re on Talk Radio Experts with Attorney Vincent Davis. Hello? Hello?
I can’t hear this person.
If you can call back in, please do.
So going back to the topic of them taking away your children. Once you appear in court, there are several things that’s going to happen and each county handles it differently. So I’m going to talk briefly about Los Angeles County. Generally, they tell you to be in court for your first appearance about 9:30 on your first court date. At that time, you’ll be given a package of information which determines or which will show you the allegations by the social worker. Notice, what they call legal notice, must be given to the mother and all who do or alleged father, or legal guardians, must be given to the child itself, to adult siblings, and to siblings subject to the jurisdictions. And if the child is an Indian child, an American Indian child, notice must be given to the Indian tribe, and to the probate department, and to the district attorney. Because a lot of child abuse allegations might have criminal implications. The Welfare and Institutions Code section 290.1 through 297 says that these allegations that are being filed should be horded to the district attorney for investigation.
Now, before I continue, I’m going to take a call right now. And it looks like it’s from the Los Angeles area, and a number ending in 3722.
Nicole Davis: Hi, good morning.
Vincent Davis: Hello. Good morning. You’re on the air with Attorney Vincent Davis at talkradioexperts.com. How can I help you?
Nicole Davis: Yeah. My name is Nicole Davis, and I experienced an encounter with Los Angeles County Child Protective Services about 15 months ago. And they still have my children and I’m just listening here and trying to get some information on how I could speed the process up to get them back home.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, let me ask you this, Nicole. Are your children in a foster home or with relatives?
Nicole Davis: Well, it’s a tricky situation. One of the children — they have different fathers — one is 15, one is six. The six-year-old, about four months ago they placed him with his dad, finally. So he’s with his dad in Los Angeles.
The 15-year-old, however, there’s a lot going on with it because she won’t stay in their group home; she keeps leaving. She doesn’t want to be there. And the case is involving her, alleging that I hit her. We had a trial. We asked for a trial in the beginning, a speedy trial, but that — we didn’t get a trial until last month. So the trial is [0:32:03 inaudible], and we go back to court. And I’m — I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m just hoping that this can all be over.
Vincent Davis: Okay, well, let me ask you this, Nicole. Did you say you’ve been enrolled in the court system for 15 months and you’re just having your trial?
Nicole Davis: Yes.
Vincent Davis: Okay, because there are laws that say, and there is cases that have been decided that your disposition hearing can’t occur more than 60 days after the detention hearing. So basically within two months you should have had a trial. So how do you — what happened that the case was extended 15 months without having a trial?
Nicole Davis: The court just kept forgetting — in the beginning, my daughter was and is still — she was in this — she was placed with family for like six months or eight months out in Pasadena. The court kept forgetting to send the bus to pick her up. The court transportation was ordered to pick her up on six of the court dates for the adjudication hearing, they never got her. So when we went to back to court, the judge apologized. “Sorry. Transportation forgot to pick your daughter up.” So that happened —
Vincent Davis: Well, did your — Did your attorney object to these discontinuances?
Nicole Davis: Never. I did all of the time because my thing was I just wanted you guys — the department to do their job and investigate so the kids can come home faster instead of having to wait.
Vincent Davis: You know, did you object on the record in the courtroom and tell the judge you didn’t want these continuances?
Nicole Davis: That — I didn’t want anymore? I did. And she said that they had a right to continue it for good cause.
Vincent Davis: You know, in a lot of cases, when someone doesn’t show up in court, the judge has the ability to order that the department or the Sheriff’s Department go and pick that urchin up and bring them to court. Was that ever talked about in your case?
Nicole Davis: Never. It — everytime when they didn’t pick her up, they just rescheduled a whole 30 days later.
Vincent Davis: Hmm. Very unusual. Very unusual. Do you have —
Nicole Davis: Well, I’m working —
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Nicole Davis: I’m working with an attorney on the side. It’s a civil attorney. However, I went through, like, three private attorneys. They weren’t very knowledgeable. I think the first one I hired didn’t even specialize in CPS. It was like the law offices of Claery & Green. They specialize, like, in divorces, visitations. So, I think that just not having the right knowledgeable attorney kind of also made this go longer.
Vincent Davis: Yes, that is a strong possibility. I tell people all the time that if you’re going to hire a private attorney, you’re just going to have to make sure that they are experts in this field, because juvenile dependency, unfortunately, is a very specialized area of the law, very specialized area — procedure. So, if you’re going to hire someone, you got to make sure that they have the experience.
Someone once asked me, “What is the — what is — what would you call expert in this field?” And I said, “Probably someone that’s been doing this more than 10 years, you know, on a full-time or a semi full-time basis.” Because there is just so much to know, so much power to so much procedure, so much law, so much basis, so much politics that a person’s going to have to have that type of experience. No, I’m saying that — I’m not saying you shouldn’t hire a private attorney. But in opinion, you know, a private attorney may not have a sufficient amount of experience to do — to do these types of cases. I don’t know, it’s on a case-by-case basis.
Nicole Davis: No, I think that the first one didn’t and the second one she kind of did. She used to be a — one of the free attorneys that they give you if you go into the courthouse and you don’t have an attorney, she used to do that. Then she opened her own office, I hired her next. And then she even had complications with my case, because she had even said that she felt like because they didn’t like me in the courthouse, that I’m not getting treated fairly.
I have a bachelor’s in criminal justice, I’m a paralegal and I’m a real estate agent. But I don’t know a lot about this law, but I just only was swinging whatever I could to try to fight and get my kids home. And then also I have a cousin who’s a social worker, and most people were saying, “Oh, well, because you’re fighting them, they’re going to make it harder for you.”
Vincent Davis: You know, I’ve heard that said many, many times. I’ve had that, you know, personal experience with that, it’s my opinion as well. But, you know, never to give up, never give up the fight. You know, I have a lot of callers calling in. I’m going to give you a telephone number and I want you to call me later today or later tomorrow, on Sunday, and we’ll personally talk about your case. Okay? Are you ready to take the phone number down?
Nicole Davis: Yes, I’m ready.
Vincent Davis: Okay, it’s 888 —
Nicole Davis: Okay.
Vincent Davis: 888-6582. So it’s 888-888-6582. And when you call that number, make sure you tell them you want to speak to Vince, personally.
Nicole Davis: Okay. And you want me to call you on Monday?
Vincent Davis: Monday is fine. When you call me, I want to give you — so I want to talk in detail about your case, and maybe give you some helpful hints that will help you prevail and get your children back, okay?
Nicole Davis: Okay. Thank you so much, Mr. Davis.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for the call.
The calls are backing up, so I’m going to take another call right now.
Hello, you’re on with Attorney Vince Davis. Get Your Kids Back Now! Talkradioexperts.com. Tell me what your first name is.
I’m talking to a person with — whose telephone number ends in 6576.
Marina: Oh, hi, Mr. Davis. This is Marina. Can you hear me?
Vincent Davis: Oh, yes, I can, Marina. How are you? You’re on the air with —
Marina: I’m fine. I’m fine. Thank you. I just wanted to call in and tell you how much I appreciate the free seminars that you do.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you very much, Marina. I appreciate that. I am — I give free seminars every other month at different locations around Southern California. And the next time I’m giving a seminar is December 5th. I believe that’s in the South Bay. Unfortunately, I think that may have sold out. And then I’m giving a seminar December 12th in Orange County.
Marina: Right. Right. I just wanted to let you know that those seminars, December 5th and December 12th are all sold out. But I got your email saying that you’re going to be scheduling free seminars in the future. So, people look out for those.
Vincent Davis: Okay, very well, and thank you for your call.
Calls are backing up, so I’m going to take another call, with a person who has a telephone number ending in 3783. Hello.
Celina: Hi, good morning. This is Celina.
Vincent Davis: Hi, Celina. How are you?
Celina: Good. How are you?
Vincent Davis: Good. How can I help you this morning?
Celina: I just had a general question. I just barely started. I just had my daughter removed in October And my question was, as long as she keeps refusing to try to see me, they’re just going to keep the case open until she decide that she wants to either come back or that she wants to see me?
Vincent Davis: How old is your daughter?
Vincent Davis: And she doesn’t want to live with you?
Celina: She’s currently just stating right now that she does not want to talk to me, she does not want to see me or, you know, even the intent to come back home.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So it’s my opinion that the tail does not wag the dog, and 15-year-olds don’t necessarily get to determine where they should live or what they should do. I know there are a lot of cases where — that I’ve — had seen over the years where children make statements about abuse or alleged abuse because they don’t want to be returned to their parents’ home where there are rules and regulations. What’s your situation?
Celina: She alleged that I hit her. Which I did hit her before, but the bruising that she has did not come from me, but she said that it did. So now we’re going through the system and they’re asking her, “Do you want to see her? Do you want to talk? Do you want to text?” and she keeps refusing.
Vincent Davis: And where is she living now?
Celina: She is placed with my brother, that at that time I thought it was suitable for her, but now I don’t think so.
Vincent Davis: Does your brother have less rules and restrictions for her?
Vincent Davis: Does he allow her to go out on dates where you wouldn’t?
Vincent Davis: You know, it’s a — I see this a lot, you know, in cases where the child makes some type of allegation and then, you know, is taken away so that — and given to a better — what they believe to be a better situation.
Vincent Davis: It reminds of the case that I did years and years ago where a guy had married a woman and had a child. But she had already had an older daughter, and the daughter was about 15 or 16, and this gentleman was acting as the stepfather who was, you know, kind of strict and didn’t let her date and didn’t let her go out and didn’t let her, you know, get on — or didn’t have social media, but didn’t get on the Internet at that time. And she made an allegation against him that he had sexually abused her.
Celina: Oh, wow.
Vincent Davis: And we went to trial, and unfortunately we lost. She got on the stand and she seemed very credible to the judge and told the judge in detail what he had done to her. And unfortunately for him, it didn’t stop there because the police picked up the case, prosecuted him, and put him in jail for a few years. And when he got released he was deported. Because he was here on a green card —
Vincent Davis: here on a green card. And he was deported. Now, he was married to, you know, this teenager’s mother. And they had a new child together, a little boy. So, years go by and I was — happened to be in an office building at that time that had on the floor many, many attorneys and we all shared a conference room. In the old days they used to call it the s[0:43:43 inaudible]. And we shared a library.
Well, one day I walked into the library and I saw this young lady sitting there. And she was obviously doing some type of work for an attorney on one of the floors. She saw me, I didn’t say anything to her and I just left the library. I was kind of, you know, shocked and blown away that I would see her. Well, as the weeks went on, I saw her again in the library on several occasions, and one day she came over to me. And she said, “I bet you don’t remember me.” I looked at her, I said, “No, I remember you.” And she says, “Well, I just wanted to tell you something,” you know, and I was, you know, thinking what she’s going to say. And she said, “I wanted to tell you it wasn’t true.”
Vincent Davis: I said — I said, “What wasn’t true?” I said — she said her stepdad’s name and said, “He never did that to me. I made it all up because he was too strict.” But here’s the real ticker, you know, because it’s — you know, maybe five, six years have gone by, she says to me, “I’m distraught and depressed because my brother had to grow up without a father, and my mother never dated again.” And we never were able to locate, you know, this gentleman, who was my client. I guess he had been deported and went back to Mexico, and nobody ever heard from him again. So these types of situations happen, you know, and your daughter is not going to realize what she’s doing until she’s much older.
Vincent Davis: You know, it — you know, it’s just, you know, what teenagers do, and sometimes teenagers learn from school and learn from their friends. “Hey, if I make allegations, I can get taken out of the home, and go some place where I can have an easier and a better life.” And, you know — and fortunately for her but unfortunate for you, she had a family relative that was sympathetic to her plight, and got placed in his home.
Vincent Davis: Are you in counseling or conjoint counseling with her at all?
Celina: No. Right now there’s nothing between me and her because she’s refusing to have any, any type of contact with me. But I am going through my own individual and parenting classes on my own.
Vincent Davis: Uh-hmm. Is she your only child?
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, it’s a very tough situation. You know, some people would tell you, “Hey, do the parenting, do the counseling, try to get back with your daughter.” I’ve had some counselor tell —
Vincent Davis: me, “You know, what if she’s going to act like this or he’s going to act like this? I don’t want to even be — I don’t want her back.”
Celina: Yeah, that was my initial response at the beginning.
Vincent Davis: So — I mean, it’s a — it’s a — something that you should definitely speak with the counselor about, perhaps your religious leader as well, and try to determine what would be best for you.
Celina: Well, my question was, she’s kind — just keep refusing, refusing, refusing, and then, you know, six months, eight months past until she wants to?
Vincent Davis: You know, I don’t think that she can. Unfortunately, in a lot of the cases, and if she continues to do it, you may lose permanent custody of her. But I — I think a lot of the judges — is your case in Monterey Park in Los Angeles?
Vincent Davis: A lot of the — a lot of the judges there at some point in time are going to get a sense that, “Hey, we have the tail wagging the dog,” and make her or require her to go to conjoint counseling with you, to see what the problem is, you know.
Vincent Davis: And, you know, unfortunately, there is a problem. It may be all her fault, it may be all your fault, it may be a little of both, who knows? But there is a problem that —
Vincent Davis: somebody should get to the bottom of and discuss so that you guys can get back together.
Vincent Davis: Because I can tell you now, you know, five years from now, she’s going to regret what she’s doing, but it’s going to be too late.
Vincent Davis: Her life will be altered. Your brother’s life will be altered. Your life will be altered. And I bet this probably cause a schism or a divide within your family. You know, a year from now —
Vincent Davis: your brother’s — your parents, your brothers and sisters —
Celina: More so — more so with my husband. Now he doesn’t — you know, he’s afraid. He’s afraid that if she comes back she might say something about him. So, my marriage is over because of this.
Vincent Davis: I’m sorry to hear that.
Celina: Yeah, it’s very hard. It’s very hard. But if she keeps denying to try to see me to fix anything with me, then, you know, I guess I’m — I don’t know, that last lady she said 15 months. But that’s very surprising to me.
Vincent Davis: Yeah, that’s a very unusual case. And that’s why I told her to call me at my office. But —
Vincent Davis: Your case, wow, I — let me ask you this. Do you want to get your child back in your home?
Vincent Davis: Okay. And you’re going to have to focus on the counseling part, your individual counseling and that conjoint counseling. So whoever your lawyer is —
Vincent Davis: you need to tell them, “I want you to do everything possible to get the conjoint counseling done.” Now, one of the things —-
Celina: [0:49:06 inaudible]
Vincent Davis: Conjoint. That means —
Celina: Conjoint. Okay.
Vincent Davis: and the child together. Yeah. You and the child together.
Vincent Davis: Now, one of the things you should also ask your attorney to do is you should ask the attorney to have the judge order what’s called a 730 evaluation. 730 refers to 7 — section 730 of the Evidence Code. And in a lot of cases, both family law, criminal, juvenile, there’s a list of 730 experts who do psychological evaluations of people for court purposes. And in this particular case, there — this must be a good idea — you need to talk of — with your attorney about it — this might be a good idea to have the child and you undergo a 730 evaluation so that some expert can get to the bottom of what the problem is. And —
Vincent Davis: you know, 730 evaluators can be found on the Los Angeles Superior Court website. I can give you the exact link. But if you Google it, because Google knows all, right, you can —
Vincent Davis: just Google ‘730 evaluators Los Angeles Superior Court,’ and you’ll probably come up with the link. There’s a list of 730 evaluators. The juvenile dependency court in Los Angeles has its own list of evaluators as well. They’re usually people that are used, in addition to the evaluators, listed down in the superior court website. And it — that report can be ordered. Let me tell you what the 730 evaluation is.
Vincent Davis: What the evaluation usually entails is that everybody that’s involved in the evaluation goes and see the psychiatrist or psychologist and take psychological testing, and then undergoes a — you know, a series of interviews. And sometimes in this particular situation, your daughter will take the test and you will take the testing. Your daughter will go for one or two interviews with the evaluator, by herself. You’ll go for one or two interviews by yourself. And then some evaluators will possibly bring both of you together where you’ll have an interview together. And the evaluator will get to see the interaction based upon what he knows about the history of the family, the history of each individual, the allegations made. And a lot of the 730 evaluators are truly experts. They’re truly good in what they do.
I always find it amazing what they do when they’re publishing their report, the evaluation they have to do and all of this testing and interviewing. And then the evaluator will talk to what’s called collateral witnesses. You know, you might want the evaluator to talk to your husband or to talk to your coworker or talk to a family friend or that first cousin of your child who knows her very well. And so the evaluator can get information from all different sources, and then the evaluator, he or she writes a report. I — you know, it’s progressed where a lot of evaluators now — not a lot, some — are now becoming trained and accustomed to that particular ethnic background and, you know, the ways ethnic groups, you know, interact with each other.
Vincent Davis: So I’ve seen a couple of 730 evaluators that have been, you know, experts in African-American families, experts in Latino families from Central or, you know, South America. So, you know, depending on ethnicity, there may be issues going on that this — the psychological evaluator can get to and explain to the judge, “Hey, the reason why this is going on, because in this ethnic culture this is — you know, things that are valued and taken — or looked down upon.” And that evaluator can write a report that can help the judge understand what’s going on so the judge can make appropriate orders, you know. And one of the appropriate orders might be, “Hey, the child, the 15-year-old child and the mother must go to counseling together, must talk with the counselor so they can talk through their problems.”
And then hopefully she can come back or, you know, maybe she will realize what she’s done. You know, this —
Vincent Davis: it’s just not, “Hey, I got to go live with my uncle,” and — you know, that — now everything is over. No, the judge isn’t going to let that happen. The judge is going to make orders to hopefully get the two of you back together, because that’s the goal of the juvenile dependency system. If your child is taken away from you, the goal is for that judge to put you back together.
So that might be helpful to ask your attorney about the 730 evaluation and the conjoint counseling.
Vincent Davis: I hope that helps you.
Celina: Yeah, very much. That’s very, very, very, very helpful information because now I know what to tell my attorney because I feel like they’re just — you know, they already go through the cases and they are already doing whatever they think they know, but we never get to say, “Can you do this?”
Vincent Davis: What — but — and, you know, you —
Celina: I really appreciate that.
Vincent Davis: Your attorney probably is a very good attorney. His or her only problem probably is they have too many cases.
Celina: Yeah. I agree.
Vincent Davis: But if you want to talk to me in the future offline, if you want to write down that telephone number, you can call us, speak to me at my office anytime. That’s 888 —
Celina: Okay. Perfect. Uh-hmm.
Vincent Davis: 888-6582. But make sure you ask for me because there’s a lot of people that work in my office, and you may get — be sent to somebody else.
Celina: Vincent, right?
Vincent Davis: Okay?
Celina: Yes. Thank you.
Vincent Davis: All righty. Good luck to you, ma’am.
Celina: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: All right. Okay, so we only have about four and a half minutes left in the show. So I want to go over a couple of things that I wanted to cover today. The last we were talking about, we were talking about who is supposed to get notice, and I mentioned to you that the district attorney is supposed to get notice.
So if you are ever involved in a child abuse case or suspected child abuse case with the Department of Children and Family Services or with Child Protective Services, please know that there could be criminal implications. Hence, the further advice, don’t talk to social workers because that information can be used against you in the juvenile dependency court, it also can be used against you in a criminal court proceeding. So don’t talk to social workers. And don’t talk to police.
They are also supposed to give you notice of the dependency — excuse me — of the detention hearing. Well, the detention hearing is that first hearing. And they’re supposed to give you notice of that hearing. And they’re supposed to give you personal service or certified mail notice of the hearing. Many times you get notice of the hearing just by telephone or by telegraph, in the old days. You know, I’m getting messages that there are several other people on the call waiting to be heard. Let me try to see if I can take a couple of calls before we wrap this up.
That’s okay. That one was a — it was a bad connection.
Hello? I’m talking to the person with the phone number ending 9301. This is Attorney Vincent Davis. You’re on the air with talkradioexperts.com.
Sarah: Hi. Thank you for taking my call.
Vincent Davis: Sure. What’s your first name?
Sarah: I was just listening to — Sarah.
Vincent Davis: Sarah, how can I help you?
Sarah: In listening to, for example the last woman that was on the air, I have a friend that has a similar situation, but there was no abuse. And the DCFS social worker knowingly went after the parent, knowing the parent was innocent. And another DCFS social worker that was under that supervisor was not allowed to dismiss the case. And there were a half a dozen families that he wrote a letter for on city stationery saying that and telling the attorneys, the defense attorneys to call in as witnesses, but they didn’t because they didn’t want the judge to see the letter. And he since left social workers — DCFS, and is willing to go public with this information but not sure really how to do that. Do you have any suggestions for those families?
Vincent Davis: Okay, so let me get this clear. The families who didn’t have a case they were going to be witnesses in the case?
Sarah: I’m sorry, say that again?
Vincent Davis: Okay, you asked me to give you advice for the families. Now, were the families part of the case or just witnesses in the case?
Sarah: No. This was — these are families that pleadings are open, so they were in dependency court. And the one — and the one supervisor knew that these families were innocent and continue to pursue. And they — it — for all of these families, it’s caused separation with the child who originally made the false accusation. And it was — the case has just kind of ended up a year — two years later being dismissed for lack of evidence, but it destroyed the families.
And the CSW underneath the supervisor, all during those cases, kept telling the department that this family — these parents were innocent. There was no abuse. And in then through the families they knew that the place where they have placed the child was an abusive environment. So, it really was very conscious and intentional.
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Sarah: And that CSW left the department.
Vincent Davis: Is the CSW that left the department willing to testify against the department?
Sarah: Yes. Yes.
Vincent Davis: Okay. All right, so this is what I want you to do because we ran out of time for today. But I want you to take this number down and I want you to have the family call me so that I can speak to them. And my number is — are you ready?
Vincent Davis: 888-888-6582. That’s 888-888-6582. Make sure when they call that they ask for me personally. Okay? Because there’s, you know —
Vincent Davis: There’s a lot of people that work in my office and I’ll — you know, they won’t know what — we had this conversation.
Sarah: All right.
Vincent Davis: And there’s a lot that can be done with respect to going public with it, there’s a lot that can be done making official complaints about it to the state of California and perhaps the federal government, and there’s a lot that can be done with respect to perhaps bringing some type of claim or lawsuit with respect to civil rights violations. What you’re telling me right now, if true, is very, very serious.
Sarah: Yes. I know.
Vincent Davis: Do you understand me?
Sarah: I know.
Vincent Davis: Basically what you’re telling me is crimes had been committed. That’s what you’re telling me.
Sarah: Yes. This is more —
Vincent Davis: This is just —
Sarah: than just — right. I mean, there is falsification of records. It’s more than that.
Vincent Davis: Let me ask you —
Sarah: I mean, we had special need child who — two special need children who were severely damaged emotionally for the rest of their life because of the problems it created.
Vincent Davis: Let me ask you this. Let me ask you this. When did this case end? How long ago?
Sarah: In the end of 2013, I believe, or middle ’14. I know when these —
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Sarah: families had pursued several personal injury attorneys, but couldn’t get through like to you. You know, got through the other people.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, have them call me on Monday. All right?
Sarah: Okay. Great.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for your call.
Sarah: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: Thank you.
Okay, folks, we’ve run out of time. I have to sign off. I am told that this show will be replayed today at talkradioexperts.com, today I think at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. I will have another live show next Saturday at 8:00 AM. And I’m getting a lot of requests to do the live show more often, so maybe I’ll be doing it more often. But until we talk again, good luck and take care.
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