Vincent Davis: Good morning. This is Attorney Vincent Davis and you’re on this morning with Get Your Kids Back Now. This is a radio show dedicated to assisting people in their fight against the tyranny of CPS and DCFS social workers. A second purpose of this show is to educate parents and relatives or to at least show them where to get the necessary information for their fight. The final purpose of this show is to remind the 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. I also want to remind our listeners that in California, juvenile dependency judges, otherwise known as superior court judges, are subject to election or re-election, so keep that in mind when it comes time to vote.
This morning, we are going to be talking about a couple of topics. If I have time, I’m going to discuss a couple of cases that I was involved in this past week and I’ve gotten a number of emails where folks want me to talk about suing social workers and counties. Part of our practice is also dedicated to representing people whose civil rights had been violated and suing social workers in federal or state court for violations of those civil rights.
We have a number of cases going against social workers and I have been involved in those types of cases for years. I had stopped doing it for a period of time but I’m now back because I keep saying that the violations of people’s rights are getting — it seems to me getting worse and worse.
But right now, I’m going to jump on the phone. We have a lot of calls on our queue and I’m going to take our first call from area code 805 ending in 07. Good morning.
Vincent Davis: You’re on Attorney Vincent Davis. Hello.
Female: Hi. Hello, good morning.
Vincent Davis: Hi. Did you have a story to share? Good morning. Did you have a story to share or a question?
Female: I sure do. I have a story to share with you.
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Female: Well, I’m involved in a case where I have a bad lawyer. My lawyer has not informed of what to do correctly, therefore I missed my appeal date and I’m wondering what I could do about that.
Vincent Davis: Well, if you want to appeal generally in juvenile dependency cases, if you’re appealing from the jurisdiction and the dispositional hearing, you have 60 days to appeal. If you’re appealing from the termination of your family reunification services either after the disposition or generally after a six-month review hearing, 6, 12 or 18-month review hearing, you have to have a special type of appeal called a writ and you have to file a notice of intent to file a writ within I believe it’s 7 days after the hearing.
Also, if you’re going to be appealing from the termination of your parental rights, you have 60 days to file that notice of appeal. In California, in most juvenile dependency appeals, if you can’t afford an attorney, the State of California will provide you with an appellate attorney at no cost or you can go just as you can in the trial court case, you can hire your own appellate attorney. Do you know which hearing you were trying to appeal from?
Female: Which hearing? It’s the I believe the first hearing that was just to appeal the whole entire case because in my case, it involved somebody who forged a letter and it’s going to end — the problem I think with CPS is that they believe all the accusations. So I actually was trying to appeal the whole entire trial because it was based on forgery, fraud and complete lies. So that’s the first one with 60 days.
Vincent Davis: Yes, that was 60 days from when the judge took jurisdiction, made orders, for example, dispositional orders where the judge may have placed the child in foster care or a relative foster placement if the child weren’t, you know, was not placed with you. How long ago did this hearing take place?
Female: The hearing was in February 16th to be…
Vincent Davis: 2016?
Female: Yes, 2016.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you had until sometime in April 2016 to file the notice of appeal.
Female: Yes and…
Vincent Davis: Did anyone ever mention — did anyone…
Female: No one ever mentioned that to me and I just had a bad attorney who said this is what I would like your listeners to kind of understand is that if somebody is family law, they are not dependency court lawyer. They know nothing about it. It’s completely a different, you know, breathe or whatever you want to say of law. So do not hire a family law attorney for your dependency court case.
Vincent Davis: Oh, I see, that’s what happened to you? You didn’t use the court-appointed attorney and when you went to hire a private attorney, you hired an attorney who was an expert in family law, not in juvenile law?
Female: Correct. And when we got in there and went to — uh-huh, that’s correct, and we went into — we got there and went into trial and he didn’t know what he was doing and it made me look bad. But I didn’t use the court attorney because this case was against me and I don’t know why but it’s seems — I like to call it the 500 children and family services against mothers because I’m sure, I mean, they just don’t really represent you well. And so if there’s any mothers out there who’s having the same problems as me, you have to get an independent dependency court lawyer.
Vincent Davis: You know, you may have a remedy to fix your situation but your six-month review date should be coming up pretty soon. Is it coming up?
Female: Yes, that’s right. It’s coming up in September.
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Female: But I would like to see if I get that…
Vincent Davis: So if the social worker…
Female: I was trying to get that so that she could start school in August but yes, by…
Vincent Davis: Well, there’s a…
Vincent Davis: There’s a couple of things that you can do. Number one, you can make a motion to set aside the jurisdictional and dispositional court findings and orders based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel. In juvenile dependency law, I believe there is supposed to be some type of inquiry made of a private attorney as to whether they have competence in order to practice in the juvenile dependency court. And if they don’t have the competence to practice in juvenile court both experience and educational, a lot of — no, I don’t want to say a lot of counties, some counties like in San Diego sometimes require you to sign a statement saying that you know your attorney is not qualified to practice in juvenile dependency and that you waive that argument in case you ever want to appeal.
Now very rarely, although I have seen it very rarely does that happened in Los Angeles County, but where was your case, what county?
Female: It’s in Los Angeles County.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So one of the things you could do and if that inquiry was not made and if you didn’t sign the waiver and you had an attorney that didn’t know anything about juvenile dependency, you can make a motion to set aside those findings and orders. Now that’s a tough motion to win but you can make it and if it’s denied, you can then appeal that but you have to make sure you appeal that within the 60 days and maybe you can then rope in everything that was done to you at the original adjudication and dispositional hearing plus getting the court of appeals to address an appeal that you had already missed.
The next thing you could do is you could file a 388 petition and by filing the 388 petition, you’re asking for certain orders and orders by the judge to be changed. For example, if the child is not living with you, child is in the foster home or in a relative placement, you can ask the child to be returned to you or at least get more liberalized visitations such as unmonitored, unsupervised and even overnights.
Vincent Davis: The next thing that I would do and I would concentrate on is the six-month review that’s coming up. I would sit down with — well, not this attorney is this attorney is not competent in juvenile dependency law but I would sit down with an attorney who is, I would come up with a strategic plan in order to plan in case the social worker doesn’t recommend the child or children being returned to you at the six-month hearing so that you can set it for a contest and a trial and you would have your witnesses, you would have your documents and exhibits and you would have a strategy whereby you could prove to the judge no matter what the social worker says but the children should be returned home.
The other remedy that you sometimes have in this juvenile dependency cases and I think it takes — there’s a 10-day time limit so you have missed the one for February or, yeah, for February of 2016 but sometimes, if you don’t have a judge in your case and, you know, there are a few people who hear these cases that aren’t judges, they’re either referees or commissioners, you have the right to ask for rehearing. And I just thought of that. You have to file a request for hearing within 10 days.
I just did a case yesterday where it’s in front of a commissioner and act, it was the six-month hearing date and six months previously, she had ruled against me on my client basically being in the home with her child. The child is released to the maternal grandmother but I wanted my client to be able to live in the home while she participated in her counseling and parenting and stuff like that. And the judge — and this particular commissioner ruled against me. We filed a rehearing, it was granted and we actually had a rehearing in front of a superior court judge in the same building and the judge ruled in my favor and let the child go back home and — excuse me, let the mother go back home to live with the grandmother and the child.
And the interesting part about that is that I thought — you know, I knew that I could file and get a new judge but I thought that things will work out and then yesterday, the social worker — we had the six-month review hearing and the social worker recommended that the case be closed and then the commissioner who I had appealed six months ago ruled that she wouldn’t close it unless she was provided certain proof of things that my client was supposed to do which is interesting because the social worker has been recommending the kid be placed with my client and the case just be closed out.
In my opinion, judges are supposed to be deciding disputed issues of law and fact, not jumping and putting in their two cents what they think a case should be done because a lot — the judges don’t go out in the field to this people’s homes and they don’t visit them. They don’t know what’s really going on in the field and at home. It’s only the social worker and the parents. They’re out in the field with the child.
So sometimes judges don’t — and they have that authority in some cases to get involved with the case and now that case had to be set for trial because the social worker wants the case close, we want the case close but the judge wants some proof of something and we plan on presenting that to the judge at the time of the hearing.
But anyway, so those are the three things — or three or four things that you should consider with your case as you move forward. And the most important part, if you can’t afford a private attorney, the court will give you a court-appointed attorney but you should probably call around and you should talk to some private attorneys who do juvenile dependency law. And, you know…
Vincent Davis: …it’s not a lot of attorneys that do that and sometimes they’re hard to find but Google knows all. And I want to thank you for your call. I want to thank you…
Female: Thank you very much for having me today.
Vincent Davis: All right, good luck then.
Female: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: All right. I’m going to go to our next call. It’s area code 626 ending in 65. I am having some technical difficulty. I’m not able to go to that call for some reason. Let me try another one. Area code 909 ending in 94. Good morning.
Male: Can you hear me?
Vincent Davis: You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. I can hear you loud and clear.
Male: Good morning. Wonderful. I have a couple issues and I’m just going to say a few of them, you know, and [0:15:19 inaudible] I can, you can stop me whenever you think it’s most appropriate. So I have an ongoing CPS case that’s been opened for about one year now. I had my six-month review yesterday. When I first received this case, it had nothing to do with me. The mother was addicted to methamphetamine. She had a mental illness. She was sent then to a mental ward, CPS called, she got a case with CPS. I have a history of conviction and providing little support for the child since the time I was incarcerated. I received note services from CPS but I was given visitation rights once a week for two hours once I got out of incarceration.
I’ve been attending those visits regularly and the custody was temporarily suspended or whatever it is for me and myself and given to the guardianship of the grandmother which is the mother’s mother. So wrap all that up now, I went to my six-month review yesterday. And the first issue is that I have no idea about any of this but I’m going to file reunification with my daughter coming in the next six to eight weeks when we get that started from yesterdays’ date. Can you give me any advice or information that would be of a positive effect on my unclaimed CPS case or what may take place in the next three months? That’s the first question.
Vincent Davis: Well, let me ask — okay, so I’m a little bit confused about the story but let me see if I understand. The mother got in trouble with drugs while you were incarcerated. They took the child away from the mother and away from you and now they gave the child to the grandmother and you just had your first six-month hearing, is that correct?
Male: Okay, yes, yes, that’s correct, yesterday. So the mother was placed into a drug treatment. She completed it. She went into a sober living. As of yesterday, she was put on family maintenance. She’s allowed back into her mother’s house. The custody has been given back to the mother and she’s still in dependency court. The accusations against me are, you know, that I have extensive criminal history and that I provided little support for my daughter. So that’s the accusations against me. Does that help at all?
Vincent Davis: Yes. Now…
Vincent Davis: What would you like to do? Would you like to get custody? Would you like to get more or better visitation? What would you like to do?
Male: I just want get visitation rights. She’s in a much better place in their care. I believe she could have a much better life. But eventually, once I get my — I’m still a little far away from the desired goals that I have for my life but I’m doing well and if I continue doing what I’m doing and I can have a very successful life, I want to be able to take my child, take her ice cream, pick her up from school, have [0:18:43 inaudible], throw a party, do all that good stuff.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So what you should do is you should file a request with the judge through your attorney to request that type of visitation. And I don’t know what type of visitation you have now but you can use a form called a JV-180 and you can just Google that and you can see the form. But you should talk to your attorney about that filling that form out properly, providing perhaps some legal points and authorities and then filing that with the court. The court supposed to within — I think it’s 20 or 21 days decide whether you should have a hearing. And if you do get a hearing, you can prove — you’ll have to prove to the court that it’s in the child’s best interest to have that type of visitation with you.
You know, I don’t know all of the details about your case but the fact that you were incarcerated doesn’t mean that the child could have been taken away from you at the very beginning of the case. You had the right to be noticed. You had the right to come forward, you know, bring yourself into juvenile court through the sheriff’s department and the department of corrections and you could have made a plan to have that child placed with a family friend or a family relative. But now that that’s all gone by, you may have waived that and now you’re just subject to getting the child for visitation that you want. Are you currently having monitored visitation with the child?
Male: I am. Yesterday, they tried to limit my visits. For the last six months, I have been getting weekly visits with my daughter for two hours each week and yesterday, when I went to court, the social worker’s recommendation was actually to limit my visits to one time per month for one hour. There was no grounds for that within the paperwork but just for stated facts that’s what she wanted, so the judge relied upon the information as, you know, not to get cause or whatever and he remained — he gave the visits as they are and if there’s an issue, it could be brought up in some type of paperwork. The social worker can file a [0:21:08 inaudible] future. My personal opinion is is that he put it there to make it an issue so next time, if they want to make it an issue, it’s already documented. That’s my personal opinion.
Vincent Davis: Oh, no, you’re absolutely right about that. So what you should do is you should talk to your attorney to file what’s called the JV-180, it’s a 388 petition and you should ask for more visitation with the child including weekends and overnights because once a week for two hours is not very much visitation. How old is the child?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So the child gets to need to know you and, you know, if left to the devices of the social worker and/or the maternal side of the family, they may be trying to cut you out of the picture. So what I would do is go on a little offensive, you know, go on a little offensive and fight for your visitation. There’s no reason, from what you’ve told me so far, that you should have two hours a week visitation once a week. You should be having the child every other weekend at your house and on those odd weeks when you don’t have a visit on the weekend, you should have a weekend — excuse me, an overnight for a day or so with the child.
So the minimum type of visitation that I always fight for my clients is alternating weekends and in the week that they don’t have a weekend visit, a mid-week visit where they spend the night from Wednesday night to Thursday and then they split all the holidays and all the summer vacation.
Now, you’re child is only two years old so there’s no, you know, school vacations and stuff but you got to work those holidays and summers into your plans so you can have a lot of contact with this child so you can act and be a father.
Male: My next question of importance that I found out yesterday is that the social worker, when my [0:23:13 inaudible] — let’s say she has to see a psychiatrist or she’s going to do some type of therapy, I was informed that it’s not the caretaker’s responsibility to inform me of this stuff but it’s the social worker. And am I the one who’s supposed to come to the social worker and recollect this information or should the social — should I just be making the social worker aware that I got this information and then she has to provide it for me when it happens?
Vincent Davis: You can do — she’s supposed to tell you, your attorney is supposed to tell you and if you’re not getting that information, I would email the social worker, that’s documented, you can store it and save it and I would email the social worker the request that you want that you have the right to know what’s going on with your child.
Male: Very good.
Vincent Davis: Whether it’s school, medical or otherwise.
Male: Very good advice, because I just found out yesterday that I actually have the right to be present in the room when she’s examined by this doctor.
Vincent Davis: Of course, of course you do.
Vincent Davis: You know, you’re the father, you have substantial rights in California.
Male: Okay. And here’s the hardest question of them all, you know, I suffered from mental illness and I have transgender issues and my daughter is two and because of that and this open CPS case, I don’t know if there’s some kind of — I don’t know [0:24:48 inaudible] like a legality or whatever it is that can affect my daughter in a negative way. Now that I have an open case that’s going to be opened with reunification and I suffered from mental illnesses, not that it’s going to be detrimental to her but that it’s may be hard for her to understand to some other issues that I’m going through. Is there any advice that you can give me in the most appropriate way to approach this so my daughter can understand these issues that I’m facing, that I’m going through, that I’m probably going to be walking through and said no, there’s no problem if [0:25:28 inaudible] that I’m going to be walking through in the near future at this early stage of dealing with CPS?
Vincent Davis: Well, that’s a very difficult question.
Male: I know it is. I know it is.
Vincent Davis: I think that that will best be answered by a counselor or a therapist because, you know, I’m a lawyer. I don’t pretend to know anything about issues like that and I think you [0:25:59 inaudible] you know.
Male: I agree with you but now the problem is that if there is some issue with this in the child, I want to know legally, can they bring anything up in court against me that what I am going through in my life is mentally or physically detrimental to my child and that she should not be subject to this type of something. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Vincent Davis: I do and in my opinion, no, I don’t think it can be used against you.
Male: Okay. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time and thank you for answering all my questions. You have a good day.
Vincent Davis: Thank you for calling, sir.
Male: All right. Bye-bye.
Vincent Davis: Bye-bye. Okay. I’m going to take another call right now, I’m going to try that call again from area code 626 ending in 65. Okay, that’s still for some — oh, there it goes. Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. Good morning. Okay. No one is saying anything so I’ll go to the next call. Area code 808 ending in 38.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. You’re on with Attorney — hello, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Vincent Davis: Did you have a…
Male: Hello, good morning.
Vincent Davis: Did you have a story to share, questions to ask or both?
Male: Yes, I do. Well, I’ll start with the story. You know, I heard the lady — two people ago, not the man that was just down but the lady before him. And, you know, her statement was that the CPS believed all the allegations or the social worker believed all the allegations but it seems like the social workers make most of the allegations. And it seems to me like they are not really focused on reunification like they say if they have a previous, you know, something previous with family, their prejudice takes over and you’re lost, you’re lost.
You know, once CPS thinks that you don’t deserve anything, they will — they don’t care if it’s based on fact or anything. They will just rip you apart and rip your family apart.
Vincent Davis: Uh-hmm.
Male: It does seem — well, it’s — I’m going through a case with my son right now and because of previous things, the prejudice packed up against them is so inappropriate and they withhold health, I think they called warrants to get health and to get in the classes and stuff, he never come, he never come. And my son has been punished for pending a class in anger management and domestic violence class in which he never got charged for anything frankly but just because they couldn’t get enough people in the class, he and his girlfriend were already signed up but they couldn’t get a third person because it’s in a small town and so that was held against them when he went to court. And his visitation was cut down from the previous couple hours a week to one hour a month just like the previous gentleman for no reason, just because CPS said there was a reason. I’m kind of disjointed but that’s reality of it, it’s CPS beginning to make it difficult for the parents.
Vincent Davis: It does seem that way. Can you tell us a little bit — without mentioning names, a little bit more about your son’s case of what happened?
Male: Well, it’s off of the previous case and he wasn’t — his son was born and went home and there’s been some previous drug use with the mom but when my son — when my grandson was born, he was clean and the mom was clean and they — my son was in Hawaii with me, trying to — he had a job and he was getting ready to have his family move there. And I had spoken to the mom all through the pregnancy and helped her through it and I really believed in her. And the next day, she kept the baby home, signed off at the hospital and the next day, CPS came up and said that the child was in danger and the child was sick and altitude sickness and couldn’t be up at that high altitude and they took the baby away with no positive drug test or anything, nothing that said, oh this couple shouldn’t have the baby.
And then on top of that, my son wasn’t even in the state in California and he was charged with child endangerment when he wasn’t even here. And of course, that was held against him. So it’s — yeah, they just go out of their way to — they came to make up their mind before anything is decided frankly before they even have information, they’ve made up their mind. And it’s really heartbreaking.
Vincent Davis: Did your son have an attorney that help them when the case was brought against him?
Male: No, no, no. He had a public attorney who signed off on everything, wouldn’t answer questions, wouldn’t speak up, basically wouldn’t do anything and my son was just in the wind. I mean, there was somebody standing there getting paid but my son was in the wind, no help whatsoever. There was never any advice, never any well if you do this, you can do this, do this. There was nothing like that. It’s just like, okay, you have a hearing, show up. And that’s about it.
Vincent Davis: Did your son ever have a trial to fight this?
Male: There’s one coming up where they’re trying to take the — they’re trying to take away parental rights even though my son has never been convicted for anything, he’s never been accused of anything, nothing. You know, he’s never tested positive for drugs. So that’s where it is.
Vincent Davis: But did your son ever have a trial before the trial that’s coming up to take his rights away?
Male: He had a hearing from what I understand. I just moved back into the state because I was in a different state with my mom who was very, very sick who just passed away. So I’ve only been here for about two months right now. So I was…
Vincent Davis: Had the social worker ever…
Male: Go ahead.
Vincent Davis: Had the social workers ever contacted you to take custody of your son’s children?
Male: No, no, not at all, no one has ever contacted me.
Vincent Davis: Would you have taken custody of your grandchild?
Male: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. If I had to move back here to do it, I would do it. At that time, like I say, I was taking care of a sick mom in a different state but, of course, I would have taken. You know, there’s no doubt about it I would have taken.
Vincent Davis: So the law requires within 30 days of them filing a case to search and do due diligence to find all relatives and to contact them regarding placement of the child, you know, and that’s rarely done in my opinion. And a lot of the excuses that I get are, well, that the parent didn’t tell me about any relatives. And as I read the law and not everybody agrees with me, but as I read the law, the social worker is supposed to go out and try to find the relatives and try to talk to them independent of the parents. Because what happens a lot of times is the child is placed with a foster home. Relatives aren’t really searched for and then the child ends up being adopted by the foster home outside of the family.
Vincent Davis: But had the social worker try to find the relative, the relative could have been contacted and would have said, yes, I’ll take the child.
Male: Oh, absolutely, they could have just asked me.
Vincent Davis: In my opinion…
Male: Yeah, yeah.
Vincent Davis: In my opinion, a lot of this is money-driven and it’s just ashamed that so many kids end up adopted outside of the family because the relatives weren’t considered. You know, there was — I think there was a lawsuit some time ago and the county of San Francisco actually does the search and they used an outside service where they contact relatives and ask them is they’re interested in placing the children — having the children placed with them no matter where they are in the country or in the world. But still, you know, there’s a little I think hanky-panky going on with that. I spoke to a relative buddy a year ago who was indeed contacted at the beginning of the case but the relative informed me that the person that was calling them was calling them to notify them and basically to talk them out of taking the child into their custody.
Because when you’re a relative and you take a child into your custody, you’re entitled medical insurance, you’re entitled [0:37:24 inaudible] state, you’re entitled to receive payment to take the child, to take care of the child. And in this particular case, the relative reported to me that the person who called them said, “Oh, the child has lot of medical issues, you’d have to pay for that and you wouldn’t get any support for the child so you really probably don’t want to take the child.” And the relative at that time said, “Well, if that’s the case, I don’t want to take the child.”
It was reported back to the juvenile judge, “Talk to relative so and so, she doesn’t want the kid.” But that wasn’t the whole…
Male: Well, something similar happened to me is that the social worker told me that the court wouldn’t adopt the child out to a grandparent because a grandparent would probably just give it back to the parent, they had been irresponsible. So I was…
Vincent Davis: Yeah, that’s a lie.
Male: I was told that — I know. Well, I now know that they’re playing me. You know, they have made up their mind and they told me…
Vincent Davis: When was that?
Male: That was at the beginning of my son’s first case. This is a long term thing with CPS. This is a long term thing with CPS and there’s never been any charges against my son for anything, no accusations, nothing and they’re doing their hardest to keep my grandson out of our family.
Vincent Davis: You know, I would like you to call my office, make an appointment to talk to me because, you know, I said we were going to talk about suing social workers and stuff. If a social worker told you that, you might have a pretty good case against the social worker because what she told you was a lie to keep the child away from you. Would you be interested in pursuing that case?
Male: Right, absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely.
Vincent Davis: Okay. If you have…
Male: I was — yeah — go ahead.
Vincent Davis: If you have a pencil, I’d like to give you a — and a piece of paper, I’d like to give you a number to call today to make an appointment and you don’t have to come in to the office, we can do this over the phone, if you write this telephone number down. It’s 888-888-6582, 888-888-6582.
Vincent Davis: Sir, I want to thank you for calling in and I hope to [0:40:16 inaudible] soon.
Male: I appreciate your help. You will be. Thank you.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Good bye.
Male: Good bye.
Vincent Davis: So I really haven’t had the chance — you know, we have a lot of calls, I really haven’t had the chance to talk about suing social workers and counties but if the listeners, if you have an experience that you believe your rights were violated, please contact me so that we can talk about pursuing a case in the federal court or in the state court for violation of civil rights. Let me tell you the folks — about a case that I just got because it mainly covers all of the areas.
Most lawsuits against social workers center around three major areas. These aren’t exclusive but they’re three major areas. The first major area is what I call fourth amendment violations where they illegally detain your child. So what happens, they come out and take your child when they don’t have any probable cause or they come out and take your child when they have a court order but when you look at the application for the court order, it contains numerous untruths. I’ll give you an example. I was involved in a case, social worker took the child away from the mother, wrote in the report, the counselor for the child says that the mother is emotionally abusing this child.
In preparation for the trial, I called this therapist, this counselor, said, “Hey, did you tell the social worker that?” She said, “No, I never said any such thing.” And I said, “Well, in the report and in the declaration, it says that you reported to the therapist, that’s what she said.” She said, “Well, that’s not true.” That would be the type of violation that I’m talking about, the fourth amendment violation or them just taking your child without a warrant.
Now, the interesting thing is when they first started doing the warrant system which was required by the federal courts here in California, they would give you a copy of the warrant, the actual court order, and they would give you a copy of the application for the warrant which is a form and they would give you the most important thing, the declaration of the social worker which is a couple pages, maybe three or four pages of facts by the social worker being presented to the judge so that they can get that order to detain your child.
What I noticed in most, if not all, counties is they never give you that anymore and in the case that we’re about to bring against San Bernardino County, I had the client go down to the clerk’s office get a copy of her file and that piece of paper, that declaration strangely enough isn’t in the file. And the only reason why I think, you know, I’m a conspiracy theory guy, the only reason why I think is because nobody at the social services department wants to know — wants anybody to know what happened.
The second type of case that usually happens is where they take your child, put your child in a foster home and the child gets abused by the foster parent or by someone in the foster parent’s home and that happens frequently. The counties don’t like the public to know that that happens and I know that happens frequently because part of my practice also is we represent foster parents who get in trouble for their licenses and when they get in trouble for their licenses, the state files a case against them, not the county, the state files a case against them and that court hearing is heard in a totally different building by totally different administrative law judges.
So judges in juvenile court thinking that they’re detaining these children from “dangerous or risky parents” placing these children in foster home, I don’t know if they have an idea that a lot of these foster homes are perpetrating abuse against children.
We have a case right now where the children were taken away from the parents placed in a foster home and they were sexually abused by another child in the foster home, an older child. I think the kids in this case were about four and five and then there was a 12- or 13-year old child who apparently had a history of such [0:44:54 inaudible]. We haven’t gotten all the details yet but that child was abusing the four- and five-year old.
The third type of claim that you can have against the social worker is where the social worker writes things that are untrue in a report and submits that report to a judge. Now currently, I think there are four or five, I forget the number, of social workers who are being criminally prosecuted by the district attorney of Los Angeles County and part of the prosecution is that they lied in reports to the juvenile judge. Now juvenile judges, you know, a lot of times, believe that social workers are telling them the truth. But here we got four or five social workers and supervisors who are not telling the truth and they are being criminally prosecuted for.
I was just enrolled in a case where a social worker admitted in a video tape deposition, we were suing her for civil rights violations, that the declaration she signed under penalty of perjury in the civil rights case contained things that she knew were false. So she knowingly lied to a federal judge. She also admitted that [0:46:22 inaudible] that she presented to this federal judge were frauds — were fraudulent documents and she knew that they were fraudulent when she submitted them to the federal judge through her attorney.
My client did file a complaint about that. I think that she was interviewed by the FBI or the federal authorities but nothing has happened about that so far. And here’s a lady, you know, she’s a supervisor right now with the Department of Children and Family Services and I asked her in the deposition, I asked her, I said, “Hey, did you create these false documents?” And she said, “No,” I said, “Well, who created them?” Her answer was, “I don’t know. I just found them in the file.” And I follow that questioning up with, “Well, my client didn’t create those false documents. It had to be someone in your department because that’s the only people that have access to that file.” She agreed that it had to be someone in her department at the Department of Children and Family Services filling out false paperwork case right now against the social worker who allegedly forge our client’s signature on documents to get information to try to use against her client to take her child away.
So those are the three major areas of lawsuits, there are others, but those are the three majors. So if you or anyone that you know has any of these things happening to them or happened to them, please have them give me a call, 888-888-6582, make an appointment to talk to me. Make sure that when you call the office that you request to talk to me personally. We have a number of people in our office and sometimes people get afforded or sidetracked to someone else in the office who may not be as up to speed as I am on these issues and they may get some bad advice or wrong information or their case may be turned down. So when you call, please ask to speak to me.
We’re running out of time, I’m going to try to take one last call at area code 626 ending in 12. Good morning, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Vincent Davis: Hello, how are you?
Female: I’m okay.
Vincent Davis: How are you? Did you have a story to tell or questions to ask or both?
Female: I have a story. My 17-year old daughter —–
Vincent Davis: Ma’am, I’m having difficulty hearing you. You’re going in and out.
Vincent Davis: Do you have good signal where you are? Yes, I’m here.
Female: No, no —– hello?
Vincent Davis: Do you have — yes, I can — you keep going in and out like there’s a problem with the connection. Do you have good signal where you are?
Female: No, I do not.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Start over. You said something about a 17-year old.
Female: Yeah, my 17-year old daughter, I had caught her drinking at her graduation party and — hello?
Vincent Davis: Yes, I’m here.
Female: Okay, I’m sorry. She made false allegations against me. She called the police. I was put in jail. CPS now is —- I’m sorry…
Vincent Davis: Ma’am, I can hear you.
Female: Hello? Yeah, I’m sorry.
Vincent Davis: Yes, I can hear you.
Female: I hearing beeping, I’m sorry, my side I keep hearing a lot of beeping. CPS has called. She gave — she put me in jail, she made a false statement against me. She tried to take it back that same day. They told her to come back. She took the —– she took the statement back. The next day, my husband took her. CPS gave my daughter to him. The —–
Vincent Davis: We are having technical difficulties hearing you. It may be a problem with your signal. If you can get to another phone and if you can hear me, please call us back. So listeners, that’s the problem sometimes with technology, sometimes technology just doesn’t work.
So we were talking about the topic of suing social workers. I told you the three areas where social workers are generally sued. They take your children wrongfully. Your child gets injured in foster care and then the third one is where the social worker may present to the court things that are intentionally false.
I also wanted to talk today about a case that I’m involved in and it involves what’s called a 366.26 hearing. At the 366.26 hearing, the social worker is usually trying to terminate your parental rights so the child can be freed to be adopted generally by the foster parent. I’m currently handling a case in Orange County where this is happening. Prior to my involvement, the mother was represented by a court-appointed attorney. The mother was not satisfied, so she hired our firm to do it and I’m working on the case.
The first thing that I like to do in doing a defense of a termination case is I like to file a 388, a JV-180 form. In that form, I explain to the court why my client should either get the child back or be offered additional family reunification services. So I want you all listeners to know that even though your reunification services may have been terminated 120 days prior, you still can ask the judge and prove to the judge that you should be given more reunification services. So that’s the number one defense for stopping the termination of your parental rights is to file and get a hearing on a 388 petition.
The number two defense is to ask the judge for a bonding study. Now one of the primary defenses in a 26 hearing to fight off and to stop the termination of your parental rights is to prove to the judge that you have a relationship with the child such that terminating your rights would detrimental to the child. So a bonding study is usually done by a psychologist or a psychiatrist and they look at your relationship with your child to see if you have that significant bond that should stop the termination of your parental rights.
The third thing that I do in preparing for a termination hearing is that I try to get witnesses from my client who can come in and testify about the bonding or the relationship between the parent and the child. Now, this may be people who have monitored visitation, for example, your family or friends, it may be the foster parent his or herself, anyone that might have knowledge because the defense of a 26 is very, very narrow.
So the case I’m involved in, we got the bonding study back, so we filed the 388 and judge has set the 388 hearing to occur on the same day as the 26 hearing, so presumably, the 388 hearing will go first, if we win, case will be stopped, client will get the child back or further family reunification services. If we lose, we go straight into the 26 hearing where the bonding study comes up.
Now on this particular case, the person who did the bonding study said that the relationship, that there was a very strong relationship between the mother and the child. And I think the bonding study also said words to the effect that the mother’s rights should not be terminated. But it also said that there was a close relationship between the foster mother and the child and that the child should not be removed from the foster mother.
The social worker having read that and her attorney are still going forward with trying to terminate the mother’s rights. In my mind, you know, and everyone doesn’t agree with me, but in my mind, there’s evidence now that if the judge believes the bonding study and it’s a person who I’m told appears a lot in that courthouse doing these bonding studies, the judge should not terminate the parental rights but instead should perhaps leave the child with the guardian — excuse me, leave the child with the foster parent through what’s called long-term foster care or legal guardianship. And in either of those events, the parent can come back in the future and file a 388 or get the child custody.
So those are the three things —– a 366.26 hearing. You want to file a 388 petition. You want to ask and try to get the bonding study and you want to make sure you get the witnesses who can testify with respect to the relationship between the parent and the child.
We’re running out of time this morning. I won’t be able to take any more calls but I want to remind people that we are on the air with this show every Saturday morning live 8:00 to 9:00 AM. I also want to remind folks that the shows are all taped and they’re recorded and there is a transcript of all the shows. You can get that and you can listen to these shows and over and over again at any time, 24/7, 365 days a year at www.talkradioexperts.com.
Next week, I’m going to be talking about the detention hearing and what to do before the social worker files a case against you. There are significant things and substantial things you can do to try to convince the social worker not to file cases against you in the juvenile court.
Until next Saturday. I want to thank everybody for listening to the show and remember vote, vote for family friendly judges.
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