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Most Frequently Asked Questions:
WHAT TO DO WHEN A SOCIAL WORKER & POLICE ARE YOUR DOOR/INVESTIGATING YOU?
Below are several recommendations & videos on how to handle a social worker or police officer at your door that is investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect.
If at all possible do not even answer the door and never let a social worker, nurse, or other public officials into your house unless they present you with a warrant. If you can not avoid opening your door, here are some things you can do to protect your rights.
1) If possible, document the conversation with a video camera or audio tape recorder. If possible conceal the camera or recorder so that the social worker or police officer is unaware of the taping. This type of recording on your own property is never illegal, no matter what you are told by the social worker or police officer. I personally, myself have just recorded them from the start so they know and are more mindful of their actions! Better to have several recording them.
2) Identify the persons at your door. Write their names down or, if possible, obtain their business cards. In addition to the names of the police officers, obtain their badge number. If possible, ask for the name of the person's immediate supervisor.
3) Ask the social worker or police officer if they have a warrant or court order that authorizes them to enter your home against your will. If the social worker or officer insists that they do not need a warrant under the circumstances, point out the WARNING sign posted near your door, provide them with a copy of your rights and their policy on obtaining a warrant (http://policy.dcfs.lacounty.gov/…/Obtaining_Warrant_and_or.…) and Advise the investigator or officer that you will be glad to cooperate and allow them to enter your home if they possess a warrant or court order signed by a judge or magistrate. Under certain conditions, called "exigent circumstances," such as "hot pursuit" and "emergency," officers are allowed to enter a home without a warrant, but these instances are few and far between. An example of "hot pursuit" would be an officer who observed a robbery and is pursuing the criminal to the front door of his house where he slammed the door. The officer can enter that home without a warrant. An emergency would involve the "immediate need" to rescue someone from serious harm. An officer hearing gunshots and a screaming woman would perceive an "emergency," and would be justified in entering the home without a warrant. A social worker investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect would rarely be exempt from the warrant rule.
4) The same rule applies whenever an officer of the court, be if a social worker, police officer, or deputy sheriff, wants you to do anything against your will. You cannot be made to "report to the office" of the social worker or to "bring your children in for an interview" without being served with a court order. Only a judge or magistrate, presented with evidence that you have committed a crime, can issue an order that you are obligated to obey.
5) Ask the investigators the nature of the complaint against you. Ask them to give you the actual state statute number or local ordinance that you have alleged to have violated. DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY INFORMATION TO USE AGAINST YOU AND DO NOT ADMIT GUILT!
6) Always keep handy a copy of your state laws pertaining to parental rights.
On one occasion, a mother was being questioned at her front door by a police officer ignorant of the child abuse laws. The mother provided the officer with a copy of the law. The officer postponed his plan to arrest the mother, and later apologized for not being aware of the legal right of a parent to spank their children.
7) If the social worker or police officer uses force to enter you home, DO NOT RESIST in any way. Even if the entry into your home is unwarranted, you cannot physically resist the officer. Even passive resistance (remaining seated when told by a police officer to stand) is cause for arrest. Simply advise the social worker or police officer that they do not have your permission to enter, show them the sign shared above, and that if they continue entry into your home without your permission, you will pursue legal action against them.
WHAT TO DO IF your are accused of abuse or neglect:
1). When you attend the Deposition/Jurisdictional Hearing - Ask the judge to send your case to the right court. These accusations are criminal and the criminal court will demand that the accusers provide proof of the alleged abuse and neglect.
If the judge denies you this right, go on record saying that you are innocent of all allegations and demand a trial by your peers. The attorneys and social workers will discourage this action, telling you that parents rarely win. THIS IS A LIE!
2). Inform the court and all parties involved in any family interference, that you do not give up any of your rights, that your revoke any and all contracts you were coerced into signing, and that you invoke your rights as a citizen and a parent. Keep saying this and writing letters to all parties. Have it notarized and filed with the court.
-IF THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY: DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
1) FIRST DAY AT COURT ASK if you have been charged with a crime. If this is the case then you ask for the case to be tried in the criminal court with a jury.
IF THAT DOES NOT WORK ASK FOR A CONTINUANCE! This will allow time to correct the report & process what is happening they generally only give one day however its a weekend better for you! I would personally do a declaration and demand that it is filed and NEVER incriminate yourself! Keep in mind the court appointed are not there for you many do not represent you so you must force them to work for you! Do your corrections on a legal declaration page if your state has one if not get it typed out make sure courts stamp it and have FILED on it not just received also make sure you make plenty copies of everything in some states you must do your own so at least 8 copies one for everyone including your copy which also must be stamped!
2.) Get all school records as well as Medical records immediately. If allegations of physical abuse take child immediately to their doctor for physical also make sure to get all medical records because once they remove your child you won't be able to get any records pertaining to the child!
3.) If a social worker requests to get your medical records or child's medical records DO NOT HIPPA laws protect you because they will use against you! http://www.hhs.gov/…/fo…/privacy/laws-regulations/index.html
4.) RECORD EVERYTHING even your attorneys you want to hold them accountable in the end if they are not doing their jobs and if they are not you can ask for a Marsden Hearing. http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/marsden-motion/
5) PAPER TRAIL make sure you start a paper trail get the attorneys, social workers and supervisors numbers and emails.
6) Keep a log of all classes completed and If you are given a case plan ask up front from the Judge you would like the list all at once of classes you are to take as social workers drag it out so they will wait until the end remember they are going for the federal funding!
7) Start a journal log right away. They are great for your attorney as well and never incriminate yourself. You should also keep the log short and sweet and factual. The judge does not like reading books nor has the time! I would also remind you to keep a daily journal:
8) ALWAYS be polite (PUKE) I call it playcate them! They may be a great social worker but until this system is overhauled you can not trust it! They have supervisors and others behind the scenes calling the shots!
9) NEVER admit guilt no matter how kind & helpful they seem to be they always assume they are there to remove and or keep your child!
10) GIVE A LIST of names of family/friends willing to take children (make sure you trust they won't talk crap about you because the social worker will be drilling them for any negative information). Also they have ICPC. This is for placement of the child in another state http://icpcstatepages.org/
It's important to have family placement!
WHAT DO I DO IF MY PARENTAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED?
If your parental rights are Terminated you must appeal right away!
You also need to file a TORT Claim: This is a Damages Complaint and must be filed within two years of the injury/loss of property or life. To learn more and use the right claim here.
1) CORRECT anything wrong in the reports. This is important, or it remains as the truth on record and if your rights are ever terminated you can not submit new evidence! What I suggest IS YOU go through and highlight anything wrong in the court report then write in declaration what the truth is such as you can say page 1 lines 3-10 social workers report state:_____ however this is what happened______ then if you have proof attach as an exhibit see exhibit A.
Civil suit filing video:
Nuts and bolts filing a civil suit link Shawn Mcmillan
Attorney Vincent Davis has good advice some parents have come forward saying he did nothing for them! Know that it's a corrupt system so they can't win them all but hold your attorneys accountable if they are not filing or fighting or not returning your calls then fire them and file a complaint with the bar also I suggest recording all conversations while in this battle! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmFKJZzZWgM
MORE ATTORNEYS LISTED UNDER FILES TAB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/232507977084901/files/
PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY: Click to print out this sign. Place this sign in the front window, hallway, or door of your home and be sure to point it out to any government employee who would violate your rights.
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Legal Disclaimer: This Website provides educational information and resources to those who is seeking to educate themselves on the family/juvenile court process. Any information provided may not be construed as the giving of legal advice to any person about a particular legal matter and should not be relied upon as the basis for taking a particular action or refraining from taking a particular action in any legal matter. If you want or need legal advice about a particular legal matter, you should consult a lawyer.
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