28th January 16:14
Insisting on Warrant is UNIVERSAL advice (diabetes divorce cancer seizure)
As hinted at in the HSLDA story I posted awhile back, when a Child
caseworker is at your door trying to CON their way into a home and the
FAMILY insists on a signed search warrant, usually the agency does
not have enough to get a WARRANT and they KNOW it.
Apparently the HSLDA attorney supports asking for a warrant up front.
Ask Dan and Kane what they think of the professional advise
that comes out of HSLDA.
The simple fact is that insisting on a warrant WORKS.
An anonymous report is NOT enough to obtain a Search Warrant.
Beware the unsigned Search Warrant.
Yes, caseworkers have tried that!
If they DO get a Search Warrant, even if they cloak it
in some other terms like a "Court Order for Home Inspection"
it has to comply fully with the 4th Amendment in the
US Constitution. That means it has to be very specific about
exactly what they are looking for. Iowa, for example is
terrified that any STANDARDS would be promulgated for
a Home Inspection because they actually INTEND that
such searches be an open ended "fishing expedition".
If a warrant doesn't specify exactly what they are looking for,
the warrant itself is actually illegal for lack of specifics.
If the agency uses the least little thing that was not
specified on the search warrant, EVERYTHING they found
must be thrown out of court.
Anybody can look up the 4th Amendment prohibitions
against unreasonable search and seizure.
Anybody can look up the principle that a search warrant
lacking specifics is unreasonable and therefore illegal.
Any search warrant that is a "fishing expedition" as
the Judges refer to them is a big no-no.
If they GET a search warrant, it is usually so limiting that
the agency does not even want to do it.
But all of this backup information is almost never needed
since as I said earlier, the report the agency got almost
never rises to the level that justifies a search warrant.
I am not a lawyer and this is all general information that
should be taught to every high school civics student.
I am telling you that Family Rights groups have had
considerable success with the advice to insist on a warrant.
Family Rights groups have the Child Protection INDUSTRY terrified.
It won't take long now.
SATURDAY October 18, 2003
Utah is a showdown state in an activist movement to restore control of
children's welfare to
By Brooke Adams The Salt Lake Tribune
to undo laws and policies they believe unfairly allow child protection
agencies to break up
Utah is one of the showdown states -- and the activism began long
before Parker Jensen
became a household name.
Parents' rights activists have, among other things, successfully pushed
warrants before children can be removed from homes, prohibited parental
rights from being
terminated when a parent fails to complete a treatment plan and opened
proceedings in a pilot project.
Their success has not gone unnoticed.
Last year, Utah Children, a nonprofit advocacy group, identified
attempts by parents'
rights groups to "weaken child protection programs" as one of its three
It also sought help from a national organization, Voices for America's
Children, for advice
on how to counter parents' rights groups.
"Utah is the only state I've heard of where they are getting
significant attention and
leverage," said Deborah Stein, policy director for the organization,
which represents groups
like Utah Children across the nation. "These groups might be active
elsewhere, but [they
aren't] having that level of impact."
That is likely to change.
One example: Two Michigan groups, formed in the past year, Citizens for
Rights and the state chapter of the National Alliance for Parents and
Families, met with
congressional representatives last week. They are seeking national
reforms that include
disclosing the identities of those making child abuse allegations and
using more funds
on fixing families than foster care. Nancy Luckhurst of Sheridan,
Mich., and secretary
for the National Alliance, is busy starting branches across the country
via the Internet.
"We are becoming quite well received," Luckhurst said in a telephone
Groups unite: In Utah, Daren and Barbara Jensen and their son Parker
became the poster
family for the parents' rights movement this summer as they battled the
state over the boy's
cancer diagnosis and treatment.
"The Jensen case is a flashpoint in bringing it back to the surface in
a very visible way,"
said Karen Crompton, executive director of Utah Children.
Grass-roots efforts to limit state involvement in family affairs have
well-received here. The Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group
led by ***le Ruzicka,
has been at it for more than a decade. "We work hard at it and when you
tell the truth, people
will listen," said Ruzicka. "We've hung in there over and over and
continually come back."
Other Utah groups feed into the parents' rights movement. They include
proponents to Accountability Utah, a government watchdog group, JEDI
For Women (Justice,
Economic Dignity and Independence), which advocates for low-income
women, and Citizens
Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology group opposed to use of
psychotropic drugs, such as
In the 1980s, fathers who believed they were getting a raw deal in
divorce settlements began
flexing political clout through Utah Parents for Children's Rights and
Utah Fathers and
Children Together. FOCUS, the successor of those groups, had eight
bills before the Legislature
this year alone. All failed.
But the newest cause celebre in Utah and nationwide is the belief that
an overzealous child
welfare system is destroying families -- often, critics say, by
confusing poverty with neglect.
"Certainly we need to do something in this country to protect abused
children," said Doug
Quirmbach, public relations director of CPS Watch, a Missouri-based
national group founded in
1995 as a policy and data clearinghouse for child welfare issues. But,
"If a child is removed
unnecessarily, the state is abusing that child."
That belief has given rise to new groups in Utah: Citizens for Child
Family Rights of Utah, Utah Families Association and, in the wake of
the Jensen case, My Child,
Almost all were founded by people who had a personal run-in with the
Utah Division of Child
and Family Services. Several groups have little more than a name behind
them; others got a
jump-start with help of conservative-values champions like Ruzicka.
National organizations also have aided Utah groups such as Oregon-based
Rights Association, which provided content used in fliers at pro-Jensen
Key issues: Roz McGee, former director of Utah Children and a current
says the parents' rights movement is in part an ironic result of
raising public awareness of
what constitutes abuse.
"Once all professionals became aware of the need to report suspected
child abuse, there
became more reports and more consistent investigations," McGee said.
"In response to this, some
people who believed they were wrongly investigated began to get vocal."
Other observers say new laws and policies adopted in the past decade
set the stage for the
movement. They include federal welfare reform, the Adoption and Safe
Families Act of 1997 and,
in Utah, the 1994 overhaul of Utah's child welfare system as part of
settlement, and a 1997 state law that made witnessing domestic violence
a form of child abuse.
"What we're seeing is more children being removed who've not been
neglected or abused at
all, but [who caseworkers say] meet a profile where a parent may be
likely in the future to be
a danger to the child," said Quirmbach.
Take what happened to Lisa Bierly of Salt Lake City. In 2000, DCFS
then-7-year-old son after alleging his diabetes was not being properly
also decided her then-2-year-old daughter was a "sibling at-risk" and
took her from Bierly's
She subsequently lost custody of both children despite completing
several treatment plans.
Bierly is appealing that decision, but odds are slim that her children
will be returned to her.
Meanwhile, two attempts to place her son Jordan with adoptive parents
have failed. Her
daughter has lived in eight foster homes and was rejected by two
adoptive families; she
recently was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, a failure to
bond with a caregiver.
Quirmbach and Bonnie Macri, director of Utah's JEDI Women, also see
poverty as a common
denominator in many removal cases.
"JEDI started in 1999 getting bombarded with low-income women who'd
lost their children,"
Macri said. "Low-income women were being sent back to work and they
didn't have enough
money to pay child care and their children were being taken out of
Rallying cry: The parental rights cause resonates in Utah where there
is widespread support
for limited government and an "abiding reverence" for family.
"When you put those organizations on top of that deeply held, cherished
belief, it becomes
a very powerful force in state politics," said Kelly Patterson, an
associate professor of
political science at Brigham Young University. "Across other states you
would see pockets of
strength, but in few states [are they] as powerful on a statewide
Richard Wexler, director of the National Coalition for Child Protection
that Utah groups have had any measurable success. His yardstick: fewer
children being removed
from their homes, and that hasn't happened. DCFS removed nearly 1,900
children from their
parents for substantiated allegations of abuse, neglect, maltreatment
or juvenile delinquency
for the 12-month period that ended July 1, according to state figures.
"If there is supposedly some all-powerful parental rights movement
tying the hands of
caseworkers, the rate of removal in Utah doesn't show that," said
Showdown looms: Making it more difficult for DCFS to intercede will be
a prime objective of
parents' rights groups in the 2004 legislative session.
Already, Richard Anderson, DCFS director, said he has seen drafts of
several bills and
talked with legislators about others. Among the early ideas being
floated by the pols: restrict
the state from intervening in medical treatment decisions if parents
are judged competent;
change mandatory reporting requirements for physicians; redefine what
constitutes abuse and
neglect; and require jury trials any time the state wants to terminate
"Before the Jensen case happened, we were already looking at multiple
bills," Ruzicka said.
Now, "every legislator wants to carry something."
Anderson adopts a conciliatory pose when talking about the factions
vying to direct his
"There is a healthy tension that needs to exist in child welfare,"
Anderson said. "We need
to make sure there is a group protecting parents' rights and a group
welfare. I wish they would come together."
The dilemma for Crompton is how to provide balance to the parents'
rights groups that so
easily capture media attention with their crowds and catchy phrases.
"They've got the rallying cry 'My Child, My Choice.' Those kind of
sound bites are always
easy, like 'No More Taxes.' They resonant. But to look at the issues
is more than a sound bite." Confidentiality requirements often work
in favor of the
parent's rights activists, according to Crompton.
"You don't know the whole story on either side because it is protected
children aren't just snatched from their homes," she said.
"The bottom line has to be the safety of a child and the state does
have an obligation to
provide that safety net if a family can't or won't."
Brooke Adams was awarded a 2003 Journalism Fellowship in Child and
which supported research for this report. The program is based at the
University of Maryland.
28th January 16:14
Insisting on Warrant is UNIVERSAL advice
CPS's warrant said they were to check to see if I had enough food - then
she wrote us up for 'clutter'.
I'd like to have EVERYTHING they found thrown out. Please advise.
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