Vincent Davis: Good morning, you’re on Blog Talk Radio with Attorney Vincent Davis. And the name of this show is Get Your Kids Back Now, The Secret to Fighting CPS. Today we’re going to be taking some calls and we’re going to be talking about prepping your case for trial. Here’s an opportunity for you to have a trial at several different stages in your juvenile dependency matter. Interestingly enough, the trials — the first trial that you can have is what it’s called a detention hearing and that happens on the first day that you go to court when you have your first detention hearing.
What a lot of people don’t know is that at that hearing you can have a many trial where your attorney can cross-examine the social worker who the report to have your children detained against you. The second trial that you can have is what it’s called the adjudication and the disposition hearing. At that hearing you are allowed to call witnesses, present evidence, cross examine witnesses on the other side and basically present a case as if it were a regular type of trial. The third time that you can have a trial in a juvenile dependency matter is that what it’s called the six-month reviews. Generally, there are at least one, two or three six-month reviews in some cases. At those six-month reviews the social worker has to prove that the child should not be returned to you and you can have a trial just like you had a trial at the adjudication and disposition. You can call witnesses. You can cross-examine witnesses. You can present evidence and the judge has to make a decision. Generally, at each phase of these hearings if the court does not rule in your favor, there’s an appeal process and that generally takes place in the California Court of Appeals system.
Right now, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the trials, but right now I’m going to try to take some calls. We have a lot of people waiting in the queue. So the first call is going to be from area code 971 ending in 36.
Female: Hi, hello.
Vincent Davis: Good morning. How are you?
Female: I’m okay. How are you? I’m a mom of a dependency case, but I’m in Oregon.
Vincent Davis: Oh, is your case in Oregon?
Female: Yes, it is.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, I just have to give you a preference or a warning. I’m a licensed California attorney and although the systems probably are similar I can only give you an advice as if your case were in California.
Female: Okay. That is fine.
Vincent Davis: Having said that, did you want to tell a story or ask a question?
Female: I did want to ask a question.
Vincent Davis: Okay, go ahead.
Female: I’m just wondering how I would go about demanding my children back and having my case dismiss if evidence is my children’s statement but their exams have been within the 24 hours which the doctor stating no signs of abuse or neglect. The evidence is the children is what they’re saying; I haven’t heard those from them.
Vincent Davis: How old are your children or what are they saying?
Female: I have four children. They’re six, three, seven, and my oldest is 14.
Vincent Davis: And is your 14 year old making statements against you?
Female: Yes, that is where it started and then after they’ve had them it’s been following [0:04:18 inaudible] now.
Vincent Davis: When did they first take your children away from you?
Female: Back in March 17th right before my oldest daughter birthday.
Vincent Davis: All right. Are you represented by an attorney in this case in Oregon?
Female: I am. I’m just having trouble getting the information or feeling that I’m being taken care because I have representation, but I don’t want to fire her if that she’s doing all she can. I just don’t know what to do.
Vincent Davis: Is she a court-appointed attorney or privately retained attorney?
Female: She was court-appointed however I couldn’t get around that day so I actually obtained but she is court-appointed as well.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I didn’t follow that. You said she’s court-appointed but you retained her?
Female: Yeah. I found her on the internet and then I found out that she actually was a court-appointed after I obtained her because she wasn’t there on that certain day. They rotate days.
Vincent Davis: I see. They do something similar to that in California and some of these smaller counties.
Vincent Davis: Well, let me tell you this. What you should do is you just first call or email your attorney and tell her that you need to have a meeting with her and, you know, she needs to come up with a strategy for you or you need to discuss a strategy with her that’s going to get you what you want. I assume that in Oregon it’s similar to California that at some point you’re going to have to have a trial or you’ve had a trial, was that correct?
Female: Yeah. I have one coming up.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Now, is this your first trial?
Female: I believe so, yeah, because I’ve had all the others that you’re speaking of where the judges came in and I’ve had a hearing and then they have different hearings up until this newest date. I believe this would be the first trial, yes.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, generally and it kind of matches what out topic is today in what you should do and this probably applies in any jurisdiction but specifically in California what you need to do is you need to have a meeting with your attorney. You both need to develop a strategy. You have to be explained the process and the laws there in Oregon then what you have to do is you have to determine, you have to find out through some type of formal or informal discovery process who were the witnesses that are going to be called against you and generally what they’re going to say. And what you’ve told me, the witness that are probably going to be used against you at the very least. And again, I say at the very least because I don’t know enough about your case. It’s going to be the social workers and then your children because you said that your children are all making a negative statement about you. So they’ll be called as what…
Female: Yes, according to the paperwork. Yes.
Vincent Davis: And then your attorney and the other attorneys on the case as well as maybe even the judge will have an opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses while they’re under oath. So for example, what has happened when I’ve been involved in cases where a child allegedly says ABC? And I talk to the parent. Parent tells me, “You know, there’s no way that my child said that. My child said XYZ.” Sometimes that becomes crystal clear at the trial but you’ll never know that unless you put that trial on the stand and cross-examine the child. I don’t know under Oregon law what their rules and regulations are with respect to calling children as witnesses. In California and juvenile dependency states you have the right to — constitutional right to call a child witness as a witness and cross-examine or examine that child. Sometimes it’s done out of the presence of the parent. In other words, the child’s testimony is taken in the judge’s chamber. In Los Angeles County you can watch that as a parent on the television and you can hear and see the video live of the child testifying. So I don’t know how they do that, you know. Of course, the court will…
Female: Yes. I believe it’s more.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So in the trial also you’ll probably be able to present decent witnesses or alibi witnesses to exonerate yourself. So I would imagine that you’d be testifying as well and perhaps you have other relatives or friends or doctors or social workers or therapist who might be getting on the stand testifying that the child is not telling the truth. For example, there may be a school teacher that knows something about your 14 year old. There may be a school counselor that knows something about your 14 year old or any of your children. And these are the areas that I think you and your attorney are going to have to explore to make sure that you have a full and fair trial. It’s very easy to do these types of cases without preparing the case for trial and that’s where the problems come in because sometimes an attorney will show up to court, they will not have met with their client. They will not have developed their real strategy. They will not have subpoenaed witnesses that should be there.
And look, if it’s like California, if Oregon is like California, in California you can have one shot at this. So you’re going to make sure the shot that you take at this trial you’re fully prepared and your attorney is fully prepared. Now your attorney may have a whole different strategy than what I’m talking about now because your attorney knows more about the case than I do and she knows about Oregon law. So if she has a different plan than what I’m talking about you need to be informed of that and you need to be on board with that because hopefully she’s going to do what’s best for you in this situation. Do you have — do you communicate with your attorney regularly?
Female: No. I’ve maybe talked to her three times and I met with her one time in her office right after the case and like I said I feel that she doesn’t believe or — I don’t know. I just feel like she’s working more with DHS than myself.
Vincent Davis: Well, that’s not a good sign.
Female: Yeah. So I just miss my kids. And like I said I have four of them in the visitations. I’ve gotten more visitations but still it’s just not enough for four kids.
Vincent Davis: Let me ask you this. Are your children placed with friendly relatives or friendly family friends?
Female: Thank God, yes, they are. Yes, they are with my mother. My mother actually works full time.
Vincent Davis: Okay. And do you get along?
Female: And she became a foster parent immediately after this happened so that they wouldn’t have to go into foster care.
Vincent Davis: Well, that’s a very big plus for you.
Female: Yes, it is.
Vincent Davis: I assume you get along with your mother.
Female: Yes, we do.
Vincent Davis: Now, you’re saying you’re not getting enough patience. It would seem to be and I’m also talking about California law again. In California, when children are placed with friendly relatives, I try to get a court order from the judge that says that, you know, you can visit as much as you and the friendly relative agree to and work out. The social worker — and generally that order is granted as long as you tell or keep the social worker in the loop and inform as to how much and how often and how long your visits are each week. Do you have that type of situation in Oregon?
Female: No. I have to see them at the agency and I get to see them one time on the weekend today with my mom at her home but I don’t know how to change. I’ve requested it multiple times with my attorney and the agency to see about helping my mom out and doing the visits there but they said it’s just not time. They haven’t given me enough information or they haven’t given me visit enough. So you need to have an order to change that?
Vincent Davis: Yeah. You might talk to your attorney about trying to get an order. Again, I don’t know if you can do that in Oregon. If you were in California you could do something like that fairly routinely, but that’s the thing you need to talk to your attorney about and to make sure that everything has been done to help you reunify with these children.
Vincent Davis: Sometimes in California, the social workers don’t want you to visit a lot in the beginning of the case because they think that that may persuade the children to testify a certain way.
Female: Right. Yeah.
Vincent Davis: And either because the children are going to suddenly tell the truth because they’re seeing you more or the children are going to be persuaded to lie because they’re seeing you more or you’re going to convince the child not to testify against you. And social workers, you know, that’s what they’re thinking and that’s they’re trying to win a case. And maybe sometimes I get the feeling at least in California and that’s why they try to minimize your visitation.
Vincent Davis: In my opinion, that’s the worst thing that can be done for the child no matter what you’ve done or allegedly done. In California, the period — I mean in this period of time which would be and it’s called Family Reunification Services and they’re supposed to be providing you if you were in California with counseling, with conjoint counseling with your children, providing you a parenting class, teaching you how to be a better parent, all of these different types of services. If your case was in California, you’d be provided. So I would assume that it’s like that in Oregon but I don’t know, but that’s something…
Female: Yeah, it is. It is. And they have not, they said unless I admit the allegations I cannot — they cannot make a plan or give me any type of services. So it’s been real difficult. We’re at a standstill.
Vincent Davis: I would definitely meet with your attorney because that doesn’t seem right. In California, that’s not the law. That’s something where you don’t have to admit anything in order to get services. I don’t know if that’s the law in Oregon but it seemed to me that that might have — if it was the law it might violate some of your federal constitutional rights because I don’t know if you know this but this entire juvenile system is based upon federal laws from the department of health and human services and regulations. And for the last time I look…
Female: I don’t know.
Vincent Davis: The last time I look the national regulation in the law was, you know, no matter what, you have to give family reunification services to the parent. Although, you know, we’re practicing in different counties around California and we just did a case in a — you know, I’m in Southern California, we did a case in Central California and they did something really weird there and they don’t even consider placing a child with a relative until after the disposition hearing. And I was talking to the attorney who was working on the case and I said though, that violates California law and it violates, you know, probably some constitutional rights of both the parent and the children and we are now looking into filing a lawsuit against that county to make them comply with what we believe California law says. And California law in our opinion means that you have to place the children with relatives or close family friends, they called them NREFMs right at the beginning of the case. There’s no way waiting period. In this particular place, it took about three or four months to get to the disposition hearing and then at the disposition hearing and I wasn’t there; another attorney from my office was there but the attorney told me that they use the fact that the children had been in foster care so long as a reason not to place them with relatives and that was just, you know, that’s almost — to me that was crazy.
Female: Yeah, that’s silly.
Vincent Davis: Right. We’re talking about probably bringing a lawsuit against this county to try to force them to place children with the country — excuse me, with relatives at the very beginning of the case.
Female: Good for you.
Vincent Davis: But the attorney told me something like, “Oh, this is the way they do it. This is the way they’ve always done it.” And I was thinking, oh my God, how many people and how many children have been harmed by this policy just because the way they do it. I often told by people…
Female: Right. Yeah. That’s really sad. Very, very sad.
Vincent Davis: I’ve been told by people all around California in many different counties that they can’t get copies of their court file. They can’t the minute orders. They can’t get the reports that are filed with the court by the social worker. In my opinion that’s illegal, that’s wrong but apparently a lot of counties — not a lot, a few that I’ve heard of counties have those procedures or they have procedures that create some sort of stumbling block to getting minute orders or things from your court legal file. In Los Angeles County, I was just told by two attorneys in my office that there’s a new policy. You can’t go to the clerk’s office and get a copy of the — for example, of a minute order. You have to fill out what’s called an 827 petition. It has to be granted or not granted and then they will send you the minute within a week. And I thought, you know, wow, what an inconvenience that is. Maybe that’s going to cut down on the number of people that go to court and ask for copies of minute orders and ask for copies of the report. But I was telling one of the attorneys in the old days because I’ve been many years. There was a statutory law that required the clerk of the court to mail you copies of the minute order if you were the attorney of record and one of the parents. And for years…
Female: That was also nice.
Vincent Davis: Yeah. For years, you know, we will get these minute orders in the mail and it was quite burdensome I have to admit to file all those things in the proper file but you’d get the minute order. You wouldn’t have to wait or go ask for it especially. And then they stop doing that but you could go to the clerk’s office and at any time you can send your client or you yourself could go the clerk’s office and get a copy of the minute order. So it was no big deal. Okay, they stop mailing me. We’re going to save on labor and postage and envelopes and everything like that and no problem, okay, nobody is going to complain but now, now you just can’t show up, you got to show up fill out a form and you got to wait a week before you can get it. And in this particular case it’s very time sensitive and, you know, it was regarding a new client, we can’t wait a week, we had to do something within that week, we had to file something. And if we’re not going to get the minute order for a week, the client is going to be severely handicapped and we were taking over the case from another attorney and the attorney routinely, you know, it’s a court appointed attorney and routinely attorneys don’t have copies of the minute orders because they’re not mailed anymore.
So I was going to do some research this weekend to find out if the law still says that the minute orders have to be mailed to the attorneys of record and to the social workers. They have a system in, I believe at San Bernardino County where if you were a court appointed attorney and there’s a process if you’re a private attorney to get this as well. I think everything that’s filed with the court in that case is automatically emailed to you. They’re using technology out there and things are just to you digitally which is a great thing because if you get the reports digitally, the social worker doesn’t have to mail it to you. If you get the minute orders digitally, you don’t have to go to the clerk’s office and bother them to get it. If you’re the attorney of record, you know that everything that’s emailed to you is confidential.
Female: Right. Yeah, I see and I’m [0:21:56 inaudible] with computers. Yeah, I think that would be awesome. I mean, I haven’t had the opportunity to get those records. I’ve asked for them but they’re private apparently.
Vincent Davis: Yes, but it would seem to me no matter where you are that there’s some type of federal constitutional right that you have a right to get your minute orders. You have a right to get the reports. You have a right to get anything that was filed in your case so that you can review it.
Female: I think that will be the next things that I [0:22:25 inaudible] because I’ve done so much research for Oregon and federal law. I feel like I could be an attorney myself. I fairly poured my heart into this.
Vincent Davis: Well, ma’am, I wish you luck.
Female: Thank you.
Vincent Davis: And I think your key to success is getting with your attorney who apparently is experienced and has now Oregon juvenile dependency law sitting down with her making up plan and implementing that plan.
Female: Yes, I will do that. Thank you so much, Vincent.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. I have one last question for you. You’re in Oregon, how did you hear about our show?
Female: I have an advocate that I’ve been speaking with. She’s actually a divorce coach. Her name is Kathryn and she recommended that I…
Vincent Davis: Oh, yes.
Female: Yeah. She recommended that I look up your talk show and see if any of you were able to represent me in Oregon but I called and you were not. But I still wanted to call in.
Vincent Davis: Well, let me tell you something. Kathryn has been a guest on my radio show on Wednesday evening. On Wednesday evenings, we have a radio show from 7:00 to 8:00 PM called Divorce and Family Law Talk Radio where we take calls, answer questions, talk about things in the news. This past Wednesday we focused the entire show on the divorce between Johnny Depp and his strange wife and everything that was going on there. But Kathryn was a guest on that show and she’s going to be a guest I think later on this month on that show. So if you’re interested, please listen in on Wednesday night. It’s the same, you know, talkradioexperts.com and you can call in on the same number. But one thing I wanted to mention to you, although I’m licensed in California and that’s the only place I’m licensed — some attorneys are licensed in more than one state but not a lot but I’m only licensed in California, but I have done cases outside of the state of California. Attorneys are sometimes allowed to practice in another state on a limited basis through something pro hac vice. And what happens in if you a pure pro hack vice…
Female: I’ve seen that.
Vincent Davis: …what you do is you ask permission of the court if you can practice there and there’s some type of application process and you team up usually with their local attorney who’s licensed in the state. For example, a few years ago I represented someone in a criminal matter in Chicago, Illinois. And I had to apply there formally to be allowed to do that case and I was granted a permission to represent that person in Chicago in their case. And maybe a couple of years ago also I did this for a case in Las Vegas, Nevada. So although I’m not licensed to practice in Oregon, you know, and of course it’s expensive for me to do that if I was going to go to Oregon to represent you, it would be expensive, but I could represent you just through something called pro hac vice if the court there were so inclined to allow me to practice. There’s kind of a complex application process but if I adapt the process I would be able to represent you.
Female: Oh, okay. Well, maybe I can call your office on Monday and ask them for more information about that if that would be something I would charge that — how I would start about doing that.
Vincent Davis: Do you have a pen? I’m going to give you a telephone number to call.
Female: Sure. Yes, go ahead.
Vincent Davis: You can actually call today my office. I have a skeleton crew there on the weekends. Hold on a second.
Female: Oh, okay.
Vincent Davis: So you can call area code 888-888-6582. Call that number, tell them that you want to make a phone appointment with me for next Monday or Tuesday and then we can talk about more of the details of representing you pro hac vice or the possibility of doing it at a later time.
Female: Okay. What is the area code again? What did you say the area code was again?
Vincent Davis: 888.
Female: Oh, 888. Okay.
Vincent Davis: Yes. So it’s 888-888-6582.
Female: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Vincent Davis: Thank you and good luck to you, ma’am.
Female: All right. Thank you.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I’m going to take another call right now. It’s area code 909 ending in 20. Good morning, you’re on with Attorney Vince Davis.
Female: Good morning. Thank you for taking my call.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Did you have a story or did you have questions or both?
Female: Kind of both. Let’s go ahead and let me start with my…
Vincent Davis: Okay, go ahead.
Female: Let me start with my first most important issue at the moment which would be a substitution of attorney that was sent over to me. The email that was sent, the attorney is claiming he wants to withdraw but the substitution of attorney states that I am requesting to go [0:28:28 inaudible]. So there’s a conflict right there and I’m not really sure what to do.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Let me ask you this first. Where is your case, what county?
Female: San Bernardino County.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you’re over there on Gilbert Street?
Female: Actually, we are off of Arrowhead in the family court services of family law building.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you’re in the family law case. This is not a juvenile case.
Female: It’s kind of both actually. The orders that were stipulated to you via my attorney and apposing council last Friday which actually had my daughter removed from my custody and place into full custody of my soon to be ex-husband were based on a CPS worker, social worker’s report or statement to the CCRC. CPS investigation that has directly contributed to my daughter being removed and giving me supervised visitation after having, you know, have my custody — custodial parent custody with no evidence.
Vincent Davis: Okay. All right. So how many children are we talking about?
Female: One daughter.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Now, if your attorney sent you a substitution of attorney form, you have the choice of either signing it or not signing it.
Female: Right. That’s what I thought.
Vincent Davis: If you don’t sign it, your attorney has to continue representing you until and unless he goes to court and gets a court order taking him off the case.
Female: Okay. And I guess the obvious question would be why would I want to keep an attorney that doesn’t want to keep me?
Vincent Davis: That’s exactly what I’ve been telling you. Attorneys are human beings. If an attorney doesn’t want to represent you, I’ve always wondered how that works out with client and the attorney. How long have [0:31:01 inaudible]
Female: I can always take my best educating — it was literally 14 days yesterday. He is in one hearing…
Vincent Davis: And he wants to get another case right now?
Female: Yes, sir.
Vincent Davis: You know, sometimes there are problems with attorneys. Sometimes there are problems with clients has something a reason between you and him that would necessitate him not wanting to represent you.
Female: One thing is that I haven’t received any explanation or reasoning as to why he would like to withdraw. I can only go based on what happens last week, last Friday, seven days ago — eight days ago now in court. The first day he showed up an hour late without notifying me apologizing or giving me a reason. And then kind of threw under the bus, didn’t have my response filed. And like I said my daughter is now in a temporary custody of my ex-husband under a parental alienation case.
Vincent Davis: When is your next court hearing in family court?
Female: July 28th.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So that’s going to be what’s called the request for order hearing and you’re going to have to be prepared to do that hearing because it’s going to be — it can be like a many trial and it sounds…
Vincent Davis: You can do the case by just and arguing but I don’t usually recommend that to my clients. You should be there with an attorney who’s going to put on a case for you to show that the child should be returning to you. Now, I’m surprised that an attorney, and I don’t know of the facts and situations here but I’m surprised that an attorney at an initial hearing which probably was an ex parte hearing this last Friday, why the attorney would agree to you giving up the child unless the child have been physically or sexually injured because there’s a law in…
Female: That was — go ahead.
Vincent Davis: There’s a law in California that a judge in family law court cannot change custody of a child at an ex parte hearing like that unless there’s, you know, basically graved, danger physical and emotional health of the child.
Female: The ex parte motion was actually brought before the court on 4/22 originally and everything, the declaration and then the motion was throwing out on hearsay. The orders were denied and we were sent back at family court services permeation in between 4/22 and approximately 5/22. CPS became involved. Both allegations were made and you know how it goes. But there was no evidence to back it up and there was no evidence. The problem is that my responses have never been filed. So the judge’s affirmation on the case can only bewitched in front of us.
Vincent Davis: What was your response about it?
Female: Originally, I actually said that my original attorney of record up until 4/21, they sent them that morning. I couldn’t afford them anymore. And I thought as of 1:25 when we got our interim orders that we were done and that all I had to be with him might be false judgment. Little did I know that my ex-husband [0:34:52 inaudible] and then brought me in on the ex parte motion on 4/22. My attorney was attorney was getting his record; should have been there. The hearing should have been continued but the commissioner didn’t do that and she went forward with the hearing.
Vincent Davis: Oh, that’s not good.
Female: And that’s this attorney was going to remedy. In his confrontation with me he had a strategy to get that. The original hearing dismissed or at least reheard. I didn’t know what I was supposed to respond to; I was unprepared. I didn’t know what I was doing. And so I even made it up and sent the letter to opposing council asking for an extension because I was trying to get an advice from legal aid, whoever I could, the family law facilitator on what I was supposed to respond to and how to respond and they denied my request. So when I went back on 5/16 I did not have a response filed. The judge [0:35:52 inaudible] me and said to have one file by 5/20. I retained council, he showed up and didn’t have it filed. And he said, “My client has some severe issues that I need to address and investigate. I’d like 30 days to file a response.”
Vincent Davis: Oh, my goodness. He threw you under the bus.
Female: Yeah, he threw me under the bus. Yeah. And actually all the allegations are false and now here saying, “I was there. I allowed CPS into my home. I had nothing to hide. I tested twice for them. The allegation was drug use, but I don’t use drugs. And I tested twice for CPS which I found out subsequently, it’s not admissible in court.
Vincent Davis: That’s not true. It is admissible. Who told you that?
Female: Actually the CPS worker.
Vincent Davis: That’s false.
Female: Because I don’t have a court order. She said I don’t have a court order from the judge and I was just doing it for them as an independent investigation. For the mediator…
Vincent Davis: Okay. The CPS worker…
Female: Go ahead. Sorry.
Vincent Davis: The CPS worker gave you bad information. She either did that by mistake because she’s not a lawyer. She can’t tell you what’s admissible and what’s not admissible or she did it on purpose. But either way it’s…
Female: Her licensure is under investigation too. I’m not sure she’s even licensed. That’s another story. When she talked to the mediator, she said that she requested a saliva test that I received but I was never asked for saliva. I gave the urine.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Well, you know, there’s a lot that can be done to try to regain custody of your child. How old is your child by the way?
Female: He’s six.
Vincent Davis: Six?
Vincent Davis: And do you have visitation with him?
Female: I have supervised visitation. I don’t have a schedule or an allotted time. No idea.
Vincent Davis: Well, that’s not good. You need to schedule, you know, frequency, how many times per week and then duration, how many hours or minutes are you allowed each visit.
Female: And when I started to ask him questions like that, you know, what’s going on, what’s happening with the plan, I guess he just decided to not deal with it anymore; he didn’t answer my question.
Vincent Davis: Well, I have to say it but maybe you’re — yeah, I mean if everything that you say is correct and I realize there’s two sides of each story, but if everything that you’re saying is correct you might be better served by giving another attorney.
Female: Oh, absolutely, and I definitely cannot walk into that courtroom representing myself again because I tried that once and I offended the judge or the commissioner — the commissioner does not like [0:38:55 inaudible] people in the courtroom and it didn’t go very well. So not that, you know, not that I’m the most factual person especially when I’m passionate about my daughter but I had educating myself alone and she asked the remark thing and it’s obviously done your homework but she wasn’t happy being challenged. So I can’t do that again, I can’t risk my daughter again like that.
Vincent Davis: Right. Well, you know what, what I would call for you, we can’t do it here on show. By the way, number one, we have a separate talk radio show on Wednesday nights from 7:00 to 8:00 called Divorce and Family Law. I do that show with one of my associates, a very experienced family law, Attorney Raj Matani and I would advise you to call…
Female: I met him. He’s wonderful.
Vincent Davis: Oh, you did.
Female: Yeah. I actually came into your office last week.
Vincent Davis: Oh. Well, I would invite you to call back today, make an appointment to either speak to me in person or over the phone or via Skype and we can get into more…
Female: We do have at 4:00.
Vincent Davis: Oh, we have a 4:00 appointment today?
Female: I believe we do. Yes, we do. But my main concern today was getting it out there about, you know, CPS and how the false reported to the mediator. And honestly, I’m not really sure of having my daughter back on Friday if I had kept her in my custody. I’m not sure that they wouldn’t have come and taken her anyway. And that’s the scary part.
Vincent Davis: Oh, I see.
Female: You know, as soon they close my case I really do need a juvenile dependency side along with the family court side because, you know, had I kept her and an investigation kept going, it’s been taken.
Vincent Davis: Well, we can definitely help you and I look forward to speaking you today at 4:00. So thank you for calling today.
Female: Thank you very much for all of your help.
Vincent Davis: Bye-bye.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I’m going to take another call, area code 720 ending in 38. Good morning, you’re on with attorney…
Vincent Davis: Hello? How are you?
Female: Good. How are you?
Vincent Davis: Good. You’re on live. Did you have a story, a question or both?
Vincent Davis: Go ahead.
Female: So basically in 2013, December of 2013, my sister who is a resident in California, Riverside County was arrested and she was sentenced to 15 years, going seven and a half time, so half time. Her son at that time was being raised by herself and the father of the child and my mother, so my sister — the grandparent. After the accident my sister had a verbal agreement to leave the child with the father and my mother to take care of him while she was in custody, the rest of her sentence. Somebody called CPS on the father for drug abuse and not taking care of his son. The CPS came in, drug tested him and he was asked to leave his residence. And at that time my mom took care of the child. The paternal side, the paternal grandmother decided to go enlighten my mom and say that she was going to pick up the child and take him to a pizza party and she bring him back. But the plan actually was to take him to make it look like she hasn’t taking care of him this whole time and asked CPS if she could just be the foster parent, so basically lied.
So CPS left, came in her care. Well, it’s been two years now almost in July and she’s in — he’s awarded to the state and this whole time she — we have no voice in the story. And the judge has been very, very fair and every time my mom has stood up in court and said, you know, the paternal grandmother has not given me visitation, she’s threatening me, this and that. The judge had said, you know, this is unacceptable. The maternal side, we used to have time with him but it was never court order. So therefore the paternal grandmother is not following the rules. My question is now we’re going to court in June. She’s been in custody or been awarded to [0:43:51 inaudible] for two years now. They’re wanting to adopt him now. My question is why does my sister need to lose her right? I understand the father is losing his right because he had chance after chance after chance with the judge. So it’s like where’s [0:44:09 inaudible] and where is our justice?
Vincent Davis: At the very beginning of the case, the case — your sister should have, through her attorney, presented evidence that she had a plan for the child and that plan was to leave the child with her mother. Had that been presented at court at the very beginning the case may have been even dismissed or the child could have been placed with your mother. Also I want to tell the listeners, if there were a dispute of where the child should be placed with the paternal grandmother or the maternal grandmother or dispute between any relatives, you’re entitled to have a trial about that at the disposition hearing and at each six-month hearing. I get the impression a lot of judges don’t like to do that. They just leave it up to the social worker but the social workers make mistakes. Social workers just sometimes lied to.
I’m on a case right now where the child is — the social worker was about to move the child to a woman who claimed that she was relative of the mother’s. And first she was the first cousin. Then when we prove that that was incorrect, she said no, she was a second or third cousin. We had to hire a private investigator to look at, you know, birth records and marriage records and everything, turns out this lady who just stepped forward and said she was relative isn’t a relative at all. Now she happens to be a family friend. She happens to be a family friend but she’s not a relative. And just because of that, you know, the lady lying to the social worker, the social worker decided, “Well, I’m not going to push the child with you because you haven’t been honest about the whole thing.” So they’re leaving the child with the relative who really is a relative to begin with.
But what happens in the CPS cases is that if the child is with the relative or a foster parent for a long period of time and the child doesn’t reunify with the parent, in this case, the father or the mother, both of the parents can lose their rights. So this is a battle that the mother should have fought very early on. Was she even — did she come to court or was she represented by an attorney or anything?
Female: She had, I guess it’s a public defender.
Vincent Davis: Do you know if the public defender explained to her that she could get custody even though she was in jail and place the child with another relative?
Female: I don’t think so. I just know that my sister complained over and over again. I keep calling my mom and my mom is complaining that she’s not getting visitation. So then every time we would go to court, her public defender would say, “Your Honor, the maternal is not getting — maternal side is not getting what they were promised.” So then the judge had been very fair and said no, that’s not acceptable. And the judge is basically taking my sister’s side and saying, you know, why — he was away from my mom for two years. Nobody took him — the foster parent never took him to go see his mom. She doesn’t answer the jail phone calls, doesn’t let him right to his mom, nothing, like he was taken away from his mom. And we as the aunt has drove him up to prison several times to see his mother because that’s not right. And the judge doesn’t want him to sort of have, you know, a part of his life.
Vincent Davis: What state or county is your case in?
Vincent Davis: Okay. So Riverside has three juvenile courts; Indio, Murrieta, and Riverside in the city of Riverside, which one do you go to?
Female: The one in Riverside.
Female: County Road.
Female: On County Road.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So, on County Farm Road, in that juvenile court building, there are two juvenile dependency judges; one in J1, one in J4. So when you walk in the building, do you go to your left or your right?
Female: Right. To the right.
Female: To the right.
Vincent Davis: Okay. So you’re in J1 and I believe the lady’s name is Judge Jackson.
Female: Very nice lady.
Vincent Davis: Very nice, very fair, and she’s very family-oriented.
Vincent Davis: Even if you didn’t have that judge but especially since you have that judge, what the mother should do or what the grandmother should do on the mother’s side is you guys or both, you guys should talk to someone about filing what’s called a 388 petition to have the child moved to the maternal side of the family because the actions that the paternal grandmother is taking especially the action that she lied at the very beginning of the case should be brought to the judge’s attention and I think that you can prove, you can, you know, you have a good shot. It’s not guaranteed but you have a good shot of placing that child back with the maternal side of the family in this particular instance because under these particular facts.
Female: Okay. Do I have a chance for him being placed with me even though I’m just a maternal aunt because I’ve talked to many attorneys where they’re like, “You don’t have a chance of getting him because you’re the aunt.”
Vincent Davis: That’s not true. As a matter fact you are…
Female: Because the only reason I have asked that is because my mother does have a criminal background. It’s not anything with child or abuse or anything like that, just drug issues and stuff. So if I take him, they’re like, “No, there’s no way you could take him.” They’re like, “You’re the aunt.”
Vincent Davis: Okay. So whoever told you that told you incorrectly. So under juvenile law in the Welfare and Institutions Code, there is a section that defines what a relative is and there’s another section that defines the relatives who have preference for placement. And here are all the people that have preference replacement; the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, and adult siblings. So if you’re an aunt, you are on the same level as a grandparent.
Female: Oh, wow. Okay.
Vincent Davis: So you could get the child. So your question was, do I have a chance? The answer is yes. Now, if you were to ask me a different question, is it probable that I can get the child? That I don’t know. I would have to look into the case, look at the reports, interview you more, interview your mother more, interview the mother on the case more to tell you whether it’s going to be probable or not but you definitely have a chance. Now, the other thing that you might want to consider and talk to a lawyer about is adoption may not be the best for this child given the fact that the mother’s only, you know, since that she’s in jail, she’s getting out of jail, she’s not on a life sentence. And number two, all of the maternal relatives are going to be cut off from this child if the paternal grandmother — she’s already shown us what she feels and thinks about you guys and it could be argued and proven in court that this would not be in the best interest of the child. So although there’s a big preference and a financial preference to the county to adopt these children out, in this particular case you might be able to stop the adoption or change the adoption for this very reason. And if that were the case, the judge could order, I mean just outright order that you have certain visitations frequency during the week; two, three, four times a week in different durations anywhere from two, three, four, eight hours, sometimes overnight with the child because in my opinion when the child is around the entire family, both sides of the family that’s best for the child.
Vincent Davis: And we see this all the time in juvenile cases and family law cases. Grandparent gets scared that they’re going to lose this child so they maybe twist and turn and bend the rules a little bit because they want to make sure that they raise this child. I’ll tell you a personal story that was the case when I was a child. My grandmother raised me and I loved her to death; she’s deceased now, but my grandmother raised me from the age of three years old. I didn’t see my mother until I was 19 years old again. And one of the reasons was because my grandmother, my paternal grandmother was a very controlling woman. I mean, I loved her. I think she did a great job but I grew up without my mom. There’s a whole lot of issues surrounding that as you might imagine but I see this all the time in cases with different relatives especially grandmothers. There’s issues about their relationship with the parent. So it’s really complicated socially and psychology and emotionally. But those are the things that you can do.
If you would like to talk to me further about this, you can call me. If you have a pen, I’ll give you the telephone number to call me and call today after 9:00 and you can make an appointment to talk to me. I think they made some several appointments for me to talk to people today and several appointments to talk to people on Monday and Tuesday, so you can make an appointment to talk to me. If you have a pen, my telephone number at the office is 888-888-6582. So that’s 888-888-6582. Now, one of the things I do want to tell you though is there’s a clock ticking away and the longer you wait to do of this, the less likely chance you have at succeeding.
Female: Yeah. We’re going to court in June 21st and that’s when they suppose to terminate parent’s right.
Vincent Davis: Okay. Once that happens, once the parental rights were terminated, you have no rights to the child. You’re not related to the child anymore.
Vincent Davis: So you need to file something in front of Judge Jackson like immediately.
Female: Yeah. So I need to file the 388?
Vincent Davis: Correct, but you need to put the right…
Female: Is that my first…
Vincent Davis: Yeah, but you need to put the right things in the 388. Most people…
Female: Okay. So do I have to file that with you?
Vincent Davis: Oh, yeah, but we will prepare it.
Female: Okay, perfect.
Vincent Davis: Okay. I just got the 388 the other day emailed to me from an attorney who really doesn’t practice in juvenile law. And I read the 388, and it was a fairly good 388 but it was missing a lot of things that she needed to add. She’s been an attorney almost 18 years and in order to have a really good 388 she was still missing stuff and she didn’t know, you know, she didn’t know. So I wouldn’t suggest you try to file a 388 on your own. But give me a call, give us a call and we’ll talk to you, okay?
Female: So I can give you a call today?
Vincent Davis: After 9:00 you can call my office, make an appointment to talk to me. I don’t know what appointment they’re going to give you. I’m not at the office right now. They could give you something today, tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday.
Vincent Davis: All right?
Female: I’ll go ahead and do that. Thank you so much.
Vincent Davis: Thank you very much for calling.
Vincent Davis: Okay. We have only about two minutes left in the show. I’m going to take one more call and hopefully it’s going to be a quick call, area code 808 ending in 42. Good morning, you’re on with Attorney Vincent Davis.
Female: Aloha. Good morning. Good morning. Well, I don’t know what to say very quickly but I used to have my attorney call you because they are just utterly torturing my family and there has to be some kind of recourse that I can take. I mean I’m getting to the point where I think that there has to be some way of filing criminal charges against these people for just completely violating the family’s rights and…
Vincent Davis: Well, this is what I’d like you to do. You said aloha when you answered and I know 808 is in Hawaii, is that where you are?
Female: Yes. Yes, and I’ve talked with you a few times but I don’t know how well you know Hawaii law but my attorney is — that I just got him, is probably one of the best CPS attorneys in the state and she’s absolutely flabbergasted as to what to do with my case either. I know that at some…
Vincent Davis: Well, do me a favor. Do me a favor because we’re running out of time this morning. I want you to take down this number and I want you to give it to your attorney and I want your attorney to call me. There may be issues of federal civil rights violations. Part of our practice is we sue social workers first and counties for civil rights violations. So that might be a possibility that I can work with your attorney in Hawaii. If you’re ready I’ll give you the telephone number. It’s 888-888-6582. 888-888-6582. Have or give me a call and if you still have questions for me give me a call next Saturday at 8:00 AM, okay?
Female: Okay. Thank you very much.
Vincent Davis: Thank you. Well, that’s the end of our show today. I want to remind everyone that elections are coming up in California and I want everyone to make sure they’re registered. I believe you can register online and go out and vote. And you want to make sure that when you’re voting for the judges that you’re voting for family friendly judges who fight to help keep children and our families together. Thank you very much. I’ll see you next week on the radio.
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