February 20, 2016
Vincent Davis: Good morning. This is Attorney Vincent Davis, and you are on Get Your Kids Back Now! It is a live talk radio show that is actually broadcast nationwide. And we talk to people about their experience with CPS social workers, Child Protective Services social workers, and they’re known as different things, sometimes DCFS social workers. Here in Los Angeles County they’re known as Department of Children and Family Services social workers.
There are a couple of things that I like to start in the show with every week. And the first thing that I want to tell you is that if are involved with a CPS case, either as a parent, a family member, a relative or a person who is a close family member, you want to make sure that you get experienced and expert legal help.
This is a very specialized area of the law in each state, and here in California it is no different. If you are a parent and you have a court-appointed attorney, or you have a private attorney because you have gone out and hired someone to represent you, please work with that attorney. That attorney has the experience and education necessary to represent you in these types of cases. If you feel uncomfortable with your attorney, you can get a second opinion. Give us a call and get a second opinion.
The second thing you have to do is you have to get the necessary information regarding these types of cases because a lot of things that happen in Juvenile Dependency courts are counterintuitive. So one of the ways that you can get educated about this process is you can just go online and you can Google things. Google does know all. You can download my free eBook that I wrote for parents and relatives, at our website. You can go to www.talkradioexperts.com, and you can download a copy of that book.
You can — make sure you have a meeting with your attorney, either the private attorney you hired, or make sure that you have a meeting with your court-appointed attorney before any of the court hearings. You must meet with your attorney before the hearing, not the day of the hearing, not five minutes before the hearing. You can also come to our live seminar that we give every month. This month, I believe, the seminar is on February 27th, which is a Saturday. It goes from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and I think this month we’re doing it in the city of Monrovia, California. You can also listen to our past shows.
The [0:03:08 inaudible] thing that I’ll be talking about at the end of show, hopefully I’ll have time, is the [0:03:12 inaudible] you have to do is you to vote. In California judges are elected or appointed, but they — if they’re appointed, they must face reelection. Vote for judges who are family-friendly. The only thing that you can do is you can vote and you can elect state legislators who can change laws; change laws that affect these Juvenile Dependency cases. You want vote for family-friendly state legislators.
One of the things — rights that some people in other states enjoy is that you have the right to a jury trial in these types of cases. In California we don’t have that right to a jury trial in Juvenile Dependency. So that’s the other thing that you can vote and you can help change and get people to have these cases decided by a jury of their peers, not by a judge who makes decisions by him or herself. We’ll talk about more about that at the end of the radio show.
Right now the board is lighting up, so I’m going to take the first call. It’s area 951, and it ends in 67. Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Vincent Davis: Good morning.
Angeline: Good morning. How are you, Mr. Davis?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine. How are you this morning?
Angeline: I’m fine.
Vincent Davis: It’s clear and about 65 degrees where I am. The weather is beautiful. Did you call today to ask a question or to share a story?
Angeline: To share a story.
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Angeline: Well, my name is Angeline, and I have an 18-month old son, and he was taken from me at three days old and placed with my mother. And I struggled with trying to figure out how to get him back to me. The courts had ordered me to do parenting and counseling and all the other resources that I went through. And every time they told me that “If you did this, we’ll bring you — we’ll give your son back to you.”
I had been going through it for a year and 18 months, and then I had finally — they finally tried to adopt him out, and I didn’t understand why he was trying — they were trying to adopt him out. Because in my eyes I thought I did everything that they asked to the fullest of my ability and I never got resources from the DCFS worker. I never got resources from anybody, and they just made it hard for me to meet the qualifications that they want.
So, I had visitation with him on my — last year in December was the first time I got orders on monitored visits after — in seven months. And I was wondering why would they take me through all these things to reunify me and my son and then but the fact of it is that they’re not trying to reunify me and my son, they’re trying to adopt him out because they don’t think I’m a fit parent. Instead of letting me care for my kid and be as I am because they automatically said I was a bad mother or unfit mother when he was born, when you can’t determine that.
So I was asking — I’m going to — I’m asking you, how will I’d be able to work and get my son back when it’s on a contested case?
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, let me ask you a couple of questions because you indicated initially that they were trying to adopt your child out. Have they terminated your family reunification services?
Angeline: No, they did not.
Vincent Davis: Okay, so you’re still receiving family reunification services from the Department, correct?
Vincent Davis: Okay. And how many — what type of reunification services has the judge ordered you to participate in in order to get your child back?
Angeline: I was disposed — I was supposed to do parenting, get off [0:07:47 inaudible]. I was supposed to get out of my — I was supposed to get out of my mom’s house because she said she wasn’t fit for my son’s visit. They weren’t going to give him back when I went to my mom’s house. So I got out and I got my own apartment. And then they asked me to do individual counselling and medication management, which I did all of those.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you said individual counselling and medication management. Did they ask you to do parenting?
Angeline: Yes, and I completed it.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So just three things. Now, you said you are going to shave a contest, so I assume there’s going to be a trial to — in order to get your child back. So what you want to make sure that you do at this point is that you bring in the social worker. You put the social worker on the stand, and you have your attorney cross-examine the social worker.
The next thing that you want to do is you want to bring in all of your service providers. So in your case that would a parenting instructor, your individual counsellor, and your psychiatrist or psychologist, whoever was managing your medication so that they can come in and explain to the court how you completed the services, how you’ve done very well in the services, and not be a risk to your child. So that’s the way that you want to win your case and get your child back. When is your next court date?
Angeline: It’s in April 6.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you have plenty of time to get that together. Are you currently having visitation with your child?
Angeline: Yes, I am. I have visitation on Mondays and Fridays and Wednesday unmonitored for three hours.
Vincent Davis: Oh, you have unmonitored visits?
Angeline: Yeah — huh?
Vincent Davis: You have unmonitored visits?
Angeline: Yeah, I have unmonitored visits on Wednesday, and I have Monday and Friday monitored.
Vincent Davis: Well, when you have unmonitored visits, that’s one of the first steps for returning the child to you. So that is a very good thing. I want to thank you —
Angeline: I —
Vincent Davis: for calling in this — I want to thank you for calling in this morning and sharing your story with us.
Angeline: Thank you — you’re welcome.
Vincent Davis: Okay. That caller seemed to have a lot of background noise and I was getting messages from my technical person that we’re having a lot of static and background noise. If you are listening to us and we take your call, please make sure that you don’t have any noise in the background or you’re not listening to your cell phone or radio because there is a delay, and we hear through our system.
Okay, I’m going to take another caller, area code 562, ending in 48. Good morning. You’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis. I’m sorry, area code 619, ending in 44. Good morning. You’re on with —
Male: Good morning, Attorney Davis.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Male: I’m doing okay.
Vincent Davis: Did you call this morning to share a story or to ask us a question?
Male: To share a story.
Vincent Davis: Go ahead and tell us.
Male: All right. Just to — a quick rundown on how CPS got involved with my son. My son was taken away from my home by my mother, who was temporarily staying with us, on February 12, just this year, while I was admitted in a hospital. She didn’t drop off my son to his brother house, which is — lives a couple miles away from my house, and she went home with her live-in boyfriend, who lives — they live about an hour and a half away from us. At this time I did not know that my mother dropped him off at my uncle’s house. When I was released at the hospital the following day at five AM, I thought my mother brought my son with her, and I did call her and asked him to bring him back because he needs to go to school the following week. Then she went ahead and let me know that my son is with my uncle, but try not to pick him up and let everybody calm down first.
This time I was very confused why everybody needs to calm down. My uncle requested my wife to have a face-to-face meeting with them, my other aunt and my son, to try to figure out the entire situation. After my wife came back meeting with them, my wife told me that my son, my 14-year-old son, is claiming that I have been physically abusing him and my mother is telling him that it’s not safe for him to live with me.
And at this time I found out that she’d been talking to his biological mother and she is willing to take him in. Just a quick story about that, I was awarded by the court full legal and physical custody back in 2008, with my ex-wife having supervised visitation for two hours every Sunday. That lasted for two years, until she stopped coming to the visitation and we just completely lost contact with her.
My uncle told me to come over the following Monday to try to convince my son to come home. So I went there Monday afternoon and I spoke to my son and he keeps repeating that he does not feel safe to come home at the house, and my mother — and now my sister is telling him that it’s not safe for him to stay with us at my house. So, later that afternoon I spoke to my wife and we kind of have to make the hard decision of maybe it — we should let my son visit his biological mother and for him to kind of stop acting up all this stuff with the constant lying, making up stories and failing at school.
At that time I received a phone call from my sister, she’s being hysterical, saying that the police drop off my son and released custody to them. And the CPS is now involved because of my son claiming that I am physically abusing him. They also told us that per the CPS and police instruction to take my wife’s name and my name off the school pick up list and to not have any contact with my son.
I told my uncle to find out what happened because I was just speaking to my son a couple of hours before my sister called me. And my uncle told me that he told my son that he needs to come home, and he cannot have him stay at his house. So, he needs to call his grandmother and figure out what she wants to do. And he told me that my sister picked up my son, not the police, at his house.
At that time I — we started looking for lawyers that specialize on child dependency, and that’s when I actually come across at your — at your firm. So — actually I spoke to somebody at your firm and we did sign the paperworks retaining your law firm to represent us. After I spoke with the person on your firm, I — we received a visit from Protective Service worker on Wednesday of last week. And we told her that we would not say anything unless we consult with a lawyer, and at this time I — she asked if we have any concern, and I told her that I’m just concerned that my son is not taking his ADHD medication, and if she can take the medication to him and — at that time she declined because she told us that she can’t handle any medication and she’d contact my sister in regard of getting my kid’s medication to him.
She gave us her card and told us to contact her after we consult with a lawyer. Actually we have a conference with you yesterday, talking to you and the social worker’s supervisor. I believe it — it was yesterday afternoon. And the supervisor told us that they’re still investigating my case and there’s no current court date. So, you actually advised me to pick up my son and try to bring the — to bring the police with me when I pick him up.
After I hang up with you, I contact my sister. They just moved to another place, so I was trying to figure out where their address is. After speaking to her husband, she — he told me not to come because they just received a phone call from CPS saying not to give my son to me and call the police if I try to get my child back, that the CPS worker is on her way at their place.
I asked him what’s happening, and he said he doesn’t know and he was actually told by the CPS worker that me and my lawyer, that Attorney Davis got nasty with the CPS supervisor over the phone. He also told that — me that the CPS is taking my son to a foster home if I do not give my consent for my son to stay with them.
At this time I was thinking — because my son is using my sister and my mother, saying that he’s not safe to stay with me, so this time I decided that it’s not good for him to stay at that environment. So I spoke to the social worker, and — the CPS worker, and the CPS worker told me that they’re taking my son to a foster home.
Attorney Davis advised me to ask the social worker of the — if there’s any court date, and the CPS worker just keeps saying that they’re still trying to figure out where to put my son, she still has to follow up the paperwork and there’s no court date. And I told this to Attorney Davis and I got a call from the social worker again telling us that they finally put my son on a foster home. She gave us the foster home number so we can call. She won’t be able to file the paperwork until next Monday and — but to try to keep my Wednesday morning open because that’s about the time that we’re going to get our trial hearing or the first court date. So everything is just a big mess. I will try to figure out and now I guess it was on the waiting game right now.
Vincent Davis: Why don’t you tell our listeners of what county you live in in California?
Male: We live in San Diego County, towards South Bay. So South Bay, San Diego area.
Vincent Davis: You know what I found very interesting about your case is that they have detained your son for several days, and they don’t have a court order, they don’t have a warrant. And in my opinion they didn’t have that legitimate circumstances. So in my opinion they may have illegally detained your son, which is a civil rights violation.
But not withstanding that, your case is not uncommon. It’s seems as though one of the parents in this case the mother, has been out of the picture for a very long time. She has come into the picture and has been talking to your son, probably convincing him that he should come live with her. Now, you guys had a court case, I believe a family wealth court case in San Diego, which I wasn’t involved in, but you won —
Male: Yes, sir.
Vincent Davis: full custody of your child. And now this is a — this may be a way for the mother to try to change all of that by taking you or putting this case in the Juvenile Dependency Court, having your son, who I believe is 14 years old —
Male: Yes, sir.
Vincent Davis: make allegations against you, but there’s no physical evidence. And I think this is just a situation where we’re going to have to go to the Juvenile Court and to show the judge, you know, exactly what is happening and that you have done nothing to her through your son and that this is basically the mother, who lives out-of-state, right?
Male: Yeah — she’s — she currently lives in Virginia.
Vincent Davis: Uh-huh. Yeah, that’s simply a mother out-of-state trying to get custody of the child. Now, I don’t know if your relatives are working — it sounds like your relatives are working in conjunction with the mother. I don’t know if they know that your son is going — you know, that there’s a chance that he could be sent back to Virginia, and I don’t know how they feel about that. But we’ll see how that plays out next week in court, when we go and see the judge for the first time at your detention hearing.
I want to thank you for calling and sharing your story. We really appreciate it.
Male: Thank you, Attorney Davis.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Okay, I’m going to take another call right now. Area code 562, ending in 48. Good morning, you’re on with the —
Daniel: Good morning.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. Who am I speaking to?
Daniel: This is Daniel. How are you doing today, Mr. Davis?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine, Daniel. How are you?
Daniel: I’m doing pretty good, and I want to thank you for helping me get my daughter back. Monday is her birthday. She’ll be two years old. She was born February 22nd of 2014. And actually on March the 8th of 2014 she was taken away from me and sent out for adoption.
So, I didn’t know the rules and regulations. I wish I would have known you back then, but I did my homework and it — what I had to to get her back in custody. I did up a lot of mandates for the courts and, you know, and just — the attorney that I had I don’t think that he used the proper information, like yourself. This is something that DCSF [0:22:39 inaudible] need specialist, like yourself, to go on in there and really set things up.
After 13 months, she was at a caregiver. I was looking on your site and saw the Child Welfare Act, section 309 said that the social worker is supposed to do due diligence and face — to place the child with friendly family members. My mother and my sister both went and did live scan, did everything that was available for them to get my child into your custody until I get through the courts.
However, the social worker ignored this for over a year. When I found this on your site, I downloaded the information, I went over and I handed it to him. Within five days my daughter was moved out of a home in Sylmar to my mother’s home. By that time I was getting five days overnight — actually six days and five overnights. So, she was only with my mom one day a week.
So, I didn’t know what was going on with everything as far as — you know, again, there’s the laws and the rules and all that. One question I had — you know, I’m not the offending parent, could I have filed the 388 petition to bring my daughter home in the very beginning of all this?
Vincent Davis: At the very beginning, probably not, but during the process you could have filed that 388 petition. But why don’t you tell our listeners how long it took you to get your child back?
Daniel: Twenty-four months. It took 24 months. And at some point you’re wondering — you’re going along cooperating with everybody, and you don’t know if they’re taking advantage. Again, I’m just an individual, I don’t know all the rules and regulations. I had finished all my mandates and they kept throwing more mandates at me, and I said, “That’s fine. I’ll do it.” I made 178 visits to Sylmar during traffic time, which is two hours one way for me, to visit my daughter. And it was quite a trying thing.
I’ve learned a lot about it. I appreciate everything that you’ve done. Again, being on — Monday is her birthday, she’ll be two years old. She has been in my household basically for nine months now. I go to court on the 17th of June, and they’re telling me they’re going to close the case.
So, it’s hard to trust them because they were going to close the case April 2015 and they have found excuse after excuse to continue the case. Everything has calmed down a lot now. I’m a part of Project Fatherhood that essentially did help out with everything. So I’m just a dad trying to take care of my daughter. I had to constantly remind them it’s not about me, it — this is about my daughter. And by the way, I have her in Preschool Without Walls now and it’s really helping her with her education.
Vincent Davis: Well, Daniel, I’m so happy that you have your child. How many months was it after you contacted us that we did get back to you?
Daniel: Oh, right away. Within three weeks you got to write your name. My next court date they actually — after I had done all this, DCSF was not recommending reunification with my daughter and I. I have no idea why. You know, are you saying you stopped the work that you asked me to do or — you know what I mean? I’m not sure.
However, I really appreciate it. Yeah. She came home right away. And if it wasn’t for you guys, I don’t know who — I think the thing would have dragged out longer or I don’t if they would have — what they would have done. Because they’re so unpredictable, they recommended my daughter coming home in April of 2015, and then they changed their mind. By the time that I went to last court date, if you guys weren’t there I don’t know what would have happened. The whole thing got turned around and she’s home with me, and I really appreciate your help.
Vincent Davis: Daniel, I appreciate you as a client. Why don’t you tell our listeners, after the child was sent home with you, the social workers called you and what did they tell you?
Daniel: They are demanding basically that my daughter got us — visits with two grandmothers that are on the mom side. The mother had gone to prison for four years, and so they’re demanding my daughter do these visits with these grandmothers every Tuesday.
So, the two social workers, the social worker and his supervisor had called me and congratulated me for bringing my daughter home. They said that, you know, I’ve done everything that I’m supposed to do, everything was real good. It seems like they’re up and down with their statements. I was really happy about all that, you know, and had the grandmother on the other side, the ones that are [0:27:37 inaudible], call in and report child abuse with my daughter who was with me at my mom’s house, Christmas time. She said she was an eyewitness. She does not know my mom or my family.
So, they came up to do another investigation, and there was nothing wrong. Everything that the lady had claimed was false. And the lady saw that — the social worker came up, saw that, so they closed that little thing. However, she did tell me, “This — we know what’s going on here,” because her grandmother was trying to get my daughter and she didn’t. I won in court. So what — they’re trying — they — what she actually told me is — herself or another guy named Manuel, “If this lady calls back again, every time they have to come and investigate.” And I said, “That’s fine with me. I don’t care. You come into my house anytime. I have nothing to hide.”
It’s kind of a nuisance. That has not happened. But just knowing that they could do it again, and there’s no — nobody’s doing anything about this lady calling and making false reports. And I do know that it’s her because she mentioned her other two kids were at the same, which they were not. They don’t go to my family’s house. In July 8 of 2014, she tried to file with Judge Richards, saying a bunch of false allegations, figuring — she thinks if she makes me look bad the court’s going to hand my daughter over to her, and the judge said, “I’m for your parents.”
So what happened is they went ahead and denied that. So she’s come up with all kinds of [0:29:18 inaudible]. Fortunately, I ignore and I just know of — you know, things are going to work out in my favour. I’m just trying to make sure my daughter has a good childhood. But had — it’s just unnerving to have that kind of stuff going on in your life. The DCSF, they listen. Someone’s got to report, they listen.
So anyway, that’s where I am right now. I don’t want to be negative. Everything is going real good, and I thank so much. I’m so grateful for you, Mr. Davis, and so is my daughter. We’re happy over here.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you, Daniel. I appreciate you as a client, and thank you for calling in today.
Daniel: Have a good day, sir. Thanks for your help.
Vincent Davis: All right. I want to right now bring on the show an attorney that works with me. Her name is Attorney Jackie — Jackielyn Abellada. Jackie, are you there?
Jackie: Yes, I’m here.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Jackie: I’m good. How are you?
Vincent Davis: Good. Thank you for calling in this morning.
Jackie: Of course.
Vincent Davis: Jackie, I wanted to talk to us this morning about the visitation when there is a Juvenile Dependency case. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Jackie: Of course. When they — when they open a Juvenile Dependency case and that — and if the child is 15, the court is supposed to order visitation, accordingly with — which is Welfare Institutions Code Section 362.1 it says that “Visitation between the parent and the child shall be as frequent as possible, consistent with the wellbeing of the child.”
So in L.A. the — in L.A. County the courts there they usually do a minimum visitation of three times a week for three hours each time. In other counties, though, it’s like two times a week for an hour each time. Now, when we know how that [0:31:22 inaudible] with the statute because it says that should be as frequent as possible, which I assume is more than two or three times a week.
But — so that’s what they do. Sometimes, though, if it’s — the court can order no visitation between a parent and a child. But the court has to make a definite finding. And that’s a pretty high burden. It usually takes a child therapist or a psychologist saying that the visits would be very harmful to the child. And sometimes —
Vincent Davis: You know —
Jackie: Go ahead.
Vincent Davis: A lot of times when we represent parents, we go to the first hearing and in some counties the judge says minimum of one time per week for one hour.
Vincent Davis: Or a minimum of two times a week for, you know, one hour each, or a minimum three times per week — excuse me — for, you know, one to two hours. Some judges are a little bit more [0:32:29 inaudible] they give more visitation.
Vincent Davis: But it always kind of rubs me the wrong way. Because the cases and the statutes that I’ve read about visitation say that the visitation should be as frequent as possible, some words to that effect.
Vincent Davis: And when I — when I ask judges to make a visitation order, for example, every day —
Vincent Davis: they usually are inclined not to do it.
Vincent Davis: And they — I feel that they’re getting around the spirit of the law by ordering, you know, a minimum of twice a week. And then that seems to imply that the visitation can be more than twice a week. But time after time when we live cordially, my clients — and our clients talks to a social worker, the social worker limits the visitation to the two or three times a week or the onetime per week. And it just seems so unfair for not only the parents but for the child as well.
Imagine being taken out of your home away from your parents, placed in a foster home sometimes, and not being able to see your parents can —
Vincent Davis: be a devastating thing. And I don’t see how — I don’t see how the court system — you know, when they order a minimum of once per week and the social worker complies with just once — one time per week because now she’s theoretically complying with the court order, but that’s not doing the child any good. You know —
Vincent Davis: Jackie, a long time ago when I first started doing Juvenile Dependency cases in the late ’80s, visitation was never a problem. I mean, there was always —
Vincent Davis: visitation, you know, that was frequent and, you know, as three, four, five times a week, and — especially when a child was with a friendly relative, and, you know, the visitation will go on for several hours. And then things begin to change because the social workers became more responsible for providing that monitor, sometimes that comes out of the county budget. Or they have to go down to the office to have visitation and there’s not enough, you know, people, with not enough rooms to have visitation all day every day for all of the cases that they have. And so you get these orders, of, you know, visitation minimum one time per week with one hour.
I hear some — especially for some reason I hear that — hear a lot out of Riverside County, and I’m thinking of one particular court in Riverside County where I get that one week — minimum one week, and one time per week and one hour per week, and it’s just — you know, that kind of rubs me the wrong way. Is there anything parents or attorneys or relatives can do to get increased visitation with their child?
Jackie: Of course — yes, and usually sometimes the — this — the county — the reason why they limit it, as we said, is because they have a limited amount of monitor, so I tell my clients to have relatives be assessed as monitors. And then that could increase their visit.
In one case, it was in L.A., they had a three times a week for three hours. But my client was only getting one time a week for three hours because of the limits in the — their ability to provide monitor. So eventually I — now her — the social worker’s attorney and said, “Hey, look, the minimum order was once — three times a week for three hours,” and then fairly after that she started one time a week for nine hours.
So, they still met the minimum. So it’s little stuff like that that could be very helpful. Sometimes clients should contact their attorneys to try to push that because the social workers may not be inclined to assess that many relatives as one — or, yeah, assess relatives and family friends as monitors, and you just have to push them by contacting their attorney.
Vincent Davis: You know, while you were talking I just thought of something that I hadn’t thought about in a couple of years. Another attorney that works with us, Attorney Stephanie Davis —
Vincent Davis: wrote a motion, and she — and we have — actually have a template that you can file a motion for extended visitation in terms of frequency per week and in terms of duration, how long each visit is going to last. You know, I’m — when we go back to the office on Monday I’m going to call Stephanie or email her perhaps this weekend and ask her to send me a copy, a template of the — of that motion. And what I’d like to do is that I’d like to share it with our listeners by posting it at talkradioexperts.com where they can download that motion. We will of course have to red dot the names and the case number and the child’s name, the parents’ name and all that kind of stuff. But at least it’s a template that our listeners can read and share with their attorney to see if it’s appropriate to be filed in their case.
Jackie: Yeah. I mean, that’s a great idea.
Vincent Davis: Jackie, thank you for calling —
Vincent Davis: in today and sharing those — with some tips about visitation in the Juvenile Dependency process.
Jackie: Of course.
Vincent Davis: I’m going to take some homes — I’m going to take some calls right now, kind of backing up on this board. So, thank you very much.
Jackie: You’re welcome. Bye.
Vincent Davis: Okay, I’m going to take another call right now. It’s area code 310. Oh, my correction. No, that’s not the next call on line. The next on line is area code 713, and it — number ends in 88. Good morning. You’re on Attorney Vince Davis’ Get Your Kids Back Now!
Jessica: Hi. Good morning. My name is Jessica. How are you doing, Attorney Davis?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine. How are you?
Jessica: I’m doing good. I have a question and a story in regards with my situation.
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Jessica: Okay. So, my daughter was taken at six months last year in February 2015. And I was on orders visitation essentially for two hours. I got my daughter back in October of 2015. And currently right now I have her in my care, but she’s still under the court. And I have a court date coming on this Tuesday, the 23rd.
But — my question is, this — the social worker said she would provide a packet to the court to have the case closed early because it was supposed to be closed — we were supposed to be closed in April. But she put it in twice. The first time, I assumed, it wasn’t closed because of the holidays, it was around Christmas time. And she put it in again for January, and she called me just last week and told me that it was rejected by the court, I guess by the judge, and I now I have a court date on the 23rd.
But I don’t know what to expect and I tried contacting my attorney, he’s never available because I guess he’s always in the courts. And I just wanted to know — like, would you possibly know how I can go about getting it. I said I didn’t [0:40:55 inaudible] closed out or, you know, the social worker informed me as well. She said we’re going to probably have a visitation from the child’s lawyer. She goes, “I’ve also heard from my co-workers as well that they say you can — your case can be closed.” But I told her I don’t want to get my hopes because I’ve had multiple times when they tell me one thing and it’s another.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So I can answer that. Question is currently easy and straightforward. The implementation might be a little difficult, but it’s a straightforward concept. Are you in California?
Jessica: Yes, sir. I’m in the military. So I’m currently in Fort Irwin. My — everything that’s going on is [0:41:37 inaudible]. And I have no family here —
Vincent Davis: Okay.
Jessica: so, I had to, you know, kind of do it on my own. Because I tried to get it — I tried to do ICTC, or whatever it’s called, with my mother but she currently [0:41:49 inaudible] in Texas. So they told me that that was — actually delay the process and make it longer. So, I kind of do —
Vincent Davis: Okay. So let me —
Jessica: the counselling and this family care plan.
Vincent Davis: Okay, let me tell you what you should do, okay? You should try to speak to your attorney and meet with your attorney before the court hearing. The best thing if you called him and that — and he is not responding, send him an email. And he — I’m sure he will respond to you. Now, you’re going to be having what’s called a six-month review date, on Tuesday. And —
Vincent Davis: at that time the social worker making recommendations [0:42:35 inaudible] report. The recommendation will say continue for another six months or to terminate the case. They call JT the case, Jurisdiction Terminated. If the —
Vincent Davis: If the recommendation by the social worker is one you do not like, you have the right to set it for what’s called a contested hearing.
Vincent Davis: Please write that down. A contested hearing to prove to —
Vincent Davis: the judge that the case should be closed. Now, on the flipside, the other attorneys, father’s attorney if he’s involved, or the children’s attorney, all right, have the right to also contest recommendation by the social worker. So in a worst case scenario, if the social worker said, “Hey, I want the case closed,” and the minor’s attorney says, “I don’t want the case closed,” then that minor’s attorney has the right to set a court trial.
So what I’m telling you —
Vincent Davis: is if they don’t recommend this case to be closed, you have the right, the statutory and constitutional right to have a trial and to bring in witnesses to prove why your case could be closed. You know, a lot of people tell me, “Well, I wanted to have a trial but my attorney talked me out of it.” You know, I’m not saying, “Don’t follow your attorney’s advice,” but, you know, you need — I’m just telling you what rights you have. So make sure that you talk to your attorney before you go to court.
Let me ask you —
Vincent Davis: since your case is at San Bernardino County, do you know who your judge is?
Jessica: Actually, I do not.
Vincent Davis: What —
Jessica: I think I have the — remember the name but I forgot it.
Vincent Davis: What department are you in?
Jessica: What court?
Vincent Davis: Yeah, what department? In San Bernardino County when we walk down the hallway there, there’s Department 4, Department 5, Department 6, Department 7.
Jessica: I’m not sure I can [0:44:34 inaudible].
Vincent Davis: I’m sorry?
Jessica: I’m not sure [0:44:38 inaudible] like what department it is.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So I hope I answered that question for you of what you can do. Make sure you get your advice from your attorney and make sure that you talk to your attorney about having the trial if the case is not going to be closed.
If the case is going to remain open and you want your child live with your mother in Texas, there is something called an expedited ICPC, which can be completed in 30 days. But I am on the opinion from the strict reading of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which is found in the California Family Code, that in your situation if you wanted to send the child back to Texas, ICPC wouldn’t even apply. So you could just do —
Jessica: At that time — at that time I wanted her to have her ICPC done because they were putting her in a foster home. But the social worker I had previously had pointed that it would take too long, it would prolong the process, it would make the process longer, you wouldn’t be able to clear that. [0:45:55 inaudible] —
Vincent Davis: Yes.
Jessica: foster home that can do it.
Vincent Davis: Now, I don’t know the exact facts of your case, but generally what the social worker told you is not true.
Vincent Davis: And — so now you should talk to your attorney if the case is going to be left open about possibly sending your child back to Texas because I don’t think the ICPC even applies when a parent sends a child out-of-state. Or if does apply and the judge in your case says that it does apply, you can ask for extradited ICPC.
Vincent Davis: Ma’am, I want thank you — I want to thank you for calling and sharing your question and your story. Please listen to us next week —
Jessica: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: on Get Your Kids Back Now! Thank you. Okay, I’m going to try to take a couple more calls or — we’re running out of time. The next caller is area code of 33 — excuse me — area code 337, ending in 63. Good morning, you’re on with Attorney Davis.
Male: Good morning, Mr. Davis. How are you doing today?
Vincent Davis: I’m doing fine. Did you call in today to ask us a question or share a story?
Male: Sharing a story, sir.
Vincent Davis: Okay, go ahead.
Male: I’m a combat veteran. I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’m basically calling and letting everybody know that can hear this that there is a way that you can get your children back.
I had been going through all the therapies since I’ve been diagnosed, been medication compliant. I have had no flashbacks or anger issues or anything since 2003 when I was in Iraq. But going through divorce with my wife, she claimed custody of my child. And recently I live in Louisiana and recently I had been called by Child Protective Services here in California that my wife was involved in a DWI, and they were doing an investigation. Later on they called and said they finished their investigation. They were going to remove the child from my wife’s custody, and they had me fly over here to take custody of our — of our child.
I’m just calling to thank the Child Protective Services for helping my daughter, for keeping her safe. I wish to thank the officers who arrested my wife during the DUI and didn’t allow her to continue to drive with my daughter in the car. I want to thank even my attorneys here, you yourself and your fellow workers for getting my daughter back to me through — all of the other attorneys from my wife — I mean, they’re trying to drag it on and on and on, but the evidence is clear.
I have a judge in Louisiana that agrees the child should be in my custody. The judge here in California agrees the child should be in my custody. My child’s attorney, my — the social worker in the court all agree the child should be in my custody. And now, apparently, we’re going up against her lawyer saying she’s going to go to a higher court. But I’m not worried about it because I have good representation. I have all my paperwork in order. It’s all dated, signed, and I’m just sitting here waiting to end it all. But even if we have problems like PTSD or other things like that, we can still work it out if we have the right information. And I just want to thank you guys for all — all of you guys for taking care of my daughter and her best interest is — interests. And that’s really what I want to say this morning.
Vincent Davis: Well, thank you for calling and sharing that with us. Thank you — I don’t think I’ve ever told this before, but thank you for serving the [0:50:10 inaudible] in the Armed — in the Armed Services.
Just to let our listeners know, you are in the middle of a big custody fight in the Juvenile Court. Your wife and her family are trying everything possible to — where they were trying to keep the child away from you, we fixed that and got you the child released just this past week, and now they’re trying to prove that you and the child are moving back home — going back to Louisiana.
You’re just here temporarily. You came out here to try to get your daughter. Now that you have her, you’re going back home where you have a home and a job, and the mother and her attorneys and her family are trying to stop you from doing that. So the battle is not over. I do see the light. I do see you hopefully going back home to Louisiana within the next week and — where you can move on with your life and with your child’s life.
So, again, thank you for calling in.
Male: No, sir, thank you very much.
Vincent Davis: Alrighty. Bye-bye.
Vincent Davis: Yes, that was a — that’s a very interesting case; a lot of issues, legal issues that came up in that case. And one of the issues was whether California had jurisdiction or Louisiana had jurisdiction. And those are special, you know, big legal arguments. But in this case — you know, in the end it really did matter because both judges thought the child should be with the father.
All right, I’m going to take — try to take one more call, area code 310, ending in 40. Good morning. You’re on with Vincent Davis, Get Your Kids Back Now!
Female: Hi, Mr. Davis.
Vincent Davis: Hi. How are you?
Female: Okay. Pretty good, thank you. How about you?
Vincent Davis: Very good. Did you call in to share a story or ask a question?
Female: Share a story.
Vincent Davis: Go right ahead.
Female: Well, back in September, September the fourth, a very close girl friend of mine’s children were, pretty close to that date, taken away from her, two little boys. She was living at a hotel, a very first class hotel provided by her father. And out of the blue the Department of Children and Family Services showed up, with no court order, no search warrant, nothing and demanded to see her children. Things escalated from there, I’m not sure why. She let them in the room or just talked to her or either one. But in any event, things seemed to escalate very quickly from there, and they’re very — the — they had opened the case, Department of Children and Family Services. They asked her to do a drug test, and — one or two days later, and unfortunately that drug test was not clean for her.
However, I should note that it was her only dirty drug test since 2009. And this is 2015, so six years. But also during that time, her case was closed with DCFS. But back in — since — in 2009, of course, all her tests were clean. So in any event, then she asked me to be a monitor for her when the time came to select monitors or to ask if DCFS to approve monitors, and I went and have a live scan and an interview with the Department of Children and Family Services social worker. And from day one — during that meeting, I must say one of the things I found so compelling about the social worker was she never asked me anything about my relationship with the children. Meaning, how well do I know the children, what did I — what interactions and activities did I do with the children, volunteering at their school for the first grade, for the one little boy who is seven years old, weekly, several times a week, picking them up at school, taking them to parks, McDonald’s, movies, ice cream parlours pretty much all over the city, without their mother or their father, who are both friends of mine, incidentally. None of those questions were ever asked. How long I knew the children, nothing, how well I know her parents, the grandparents, nothing, absolutely nothing.
But during that meeting, for some reason, she had heard the false rumour about me supposedly having had an affair with the father some — many years ago. Of course, I asked who told her this, and she said, oh, she couldn’t tell me that. I, of course, informed her that that was inaccurate information, that I live with a well-known film producer for over 15 years, and that I was really not there to talk about these kinds of ridiculous allegations, but really rather to talk about the mother who is a fantastic mother and a good friend of mine, or she was a good friend of mine. And then the day or two later she called to tell me that I was approved. But when she approved me, by the way, she made a comment I found to be very inappropriate; that she approved me, but she could only approve me because I didn’t have this affair with the father.
So, I think what’s really appalling is the they — Department of Children and Family Services would waste the world’s time and California residents asking such questions of monitors and friends of the mother and the father and who interrogate people without any evidence or any investigation, just hearsay and false premises, and it shocks — shocking to me that they have the right to ask ridiculous questions, to make these accusations.
And then during that same meeting she went on to tell — ask me in a very kind of ruthless manner, without any ethics whatsoever, do I have any children, and I said, “No, I don’t.” And I said, “Why do you ask?” She said, “Because if you do, you do not want — you do not want a Department of Children and Family Services case opened against you.” So, that was a threat, which I did not appreciate at all and I felt very uncomfortable with, and when I got home I started crying and told my boyfriend I just couldn’t believe the overall character or lack thereof of the social worker and how overreaching and unethical she is to this day.
So, eventually, things were okay. It was very difficult for the children, especially with the older boy with — in the backseat of my crying, wanting to be with his mother and his father, and questioning why he wasn’t. So, of course, I, like a good friend would do, was trying to help the mother when certain things would come with DCFS weekly, where they were withholding test results from her, not calling her back, doing whatever they do. Being uncooperative is the way I see it. And — so at one point, a drug dependency lawyer — I mean, pardon me — a drug dependency investigator, I was told from the mother, was exaggerating her one dirty drug test, September the fourth. And she’s trying to build —
Vincent Davis: Excuse me.
Female: a case against her. Doing —
Vincent Davis: Can I interrupt you for a second?
Female: Of course.
Vincent Davis: You know, I’m — I apologize, but this show, unfortunately, is going go off the air in about 45 seconds. Would you do me —
Female: Oh, wow.
Vincent Davis: a favour and call in next week so that we can continue with your story because I really want to hear about it?
Female: Okay. I’m happy to do that.
Vincent Davis: Great. Please call in, and I have your number here, so I’ll take you as one of the first callers next week. Okay?
Female: Not a problem.
Vincent Davis: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: So we’re running out of time, and in the last few minutes I want to tell you, please join us next week at eight AM on Talk Radio. We will — we will be talking about Getting Your Kids Back Now! Thank you for listening today, and we’ll see you on the radio next week.
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