Month: June 2008

child welfare reform, foster care abuse, domestic violence, education, foster care, General, government, system failure
Sect Leader’s Daughter Tells Attorney Ad Litem to Step Aside
Legal Ethics
Posted Jun 23, 2008, 07:16 am CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss

The daughter of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs has told her attorney ad litem in an e-mail to step aside. She sent a copy of the missive to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The teen, 16-year-old Teresa Jeffs, told the newspaper in an interview that Texas lawyer Natalie Malonis is restricting her visits with the people who matter most in her life and has barred her from corresponding with her father, who has been jailed since 2006. The disagreement has created a rift with Malonis.

“The most help you will be to me now is for you to step aside and let me get a different lawyer that I feel like can help me,” Teresa Jeffs said in the e-mail.

Malonis has succeeded in getting a temporary order barring Teresa Jeffs from contact with Willie Jessop, a spokesman for the polygamous sect, the newspaper reports. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday.

Malonis told the paper she is trying to keep the girl free of outside influence. “Right now, that’s not happening,” Malonis said. “There is no question I am absolutely looking out for her. … What’s happening is really a shame because people who purport to care about her are really doing her a disservice.”

Texas law requires attorneys ad litem to represent their clients’ position in court, unless the clients are not acting in their own best interest, according to the story. Malonis has said in court papers that police believe Teresa Jeffs was spiritually married to an older man when she was 15.

child welfare reform, foster care abuse, domestic violence, education, foster care, General, government, system failure
Sect Leader’s Daughter Tells Attorney Ad Litem to Step Aside
Legal Ethics
Posted Jun 23, 2008, 07:16 am CDT

By Debra Cassens Weiss

The daughter of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs has told her attorney ad litem in an e-mail to step aside. She sent a copy of the missive to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The teen, 16-year-old Teresa Jeffs, told the newspaper in an interview that Texas lawyer Natalie Malonis is restricting her visits with the people who matter most in her life and has barred her from corresponding with her father, who has been jailed since 2006. The disagreement has created a rift with Malonis.

“The most help you will be to me now is for you to step aside and let me get a different lawyer that I feel like can help me,” Teresa Jeffs said in the e-mail.

Malonis has succeeded in getting a temporary order barring Teresa Jeffs from contact with Willie Jessop, a spokesman for the polygamous sect, the newspaper reports. Another hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday.

Malonis told the paper she is trying to keep the girl free of outside influence. “Right now, that’s not happening,” Malonis said. “There is no question I am absolutely looking out for her. … What’s happening is really a shame because people who purport to care about her are really doing her a disservice.”

Texas law requires attorneys ad litem to represent their clients’ position in court, unless the clients are not acting in their own best interest, according to the story. Malonis has said in court papers that police believe Teresa Jeffs was spiritually married to an older man when she was 15.

cps
That man was (not) my friend–Tuesday’s Grieving: Sort Of



I can’t reconcile this. I just can’t.

THE MAN WHO KILLED THESE CHILDREN WAS NOT MY FRIEND, BUT… HE WAS…. BUT…If I can’t reconcile this, how can anyone?….the couple was going through hard times, … but this? I just can’t reconcile… How can any parent kill their children? How could he?

Well, thats something that only he knows…. and whatever force made him do it.

Almost Tuesday is mourning the two children, Skyler Montgomery and Canyon Montgomery, ages 5 and 21 months…. I remember their birthdays and how a proud papa called me to announce…

If I had said, “Scott, in 5 years you’re going to murder that baby…” he’d have told me I was crazy…. he’d never believe it.

this was not the man I knew

Neither can I now…

I met Scott briefly in 1995 when my girlfriend threw me a baby shower for my son’s upcoming birth. Scott was a neighbor. He came over bearing gifts – simple gifts – a couple bottles & pacifiers for my soon to be newborn son. He was not anyone I knew, but heard about the shower, and thought it’d be the neighborly thing to do.

Later in life, after a mutual friend of ours was brutally and tragically murdered in 1996. We were at the funeral and met again & Scott gave me a ride back from Louisiana to Texas after it was all over. We were friends from then on. In fact, our friendship grew into such a close friendship that we often said we were one soul split apart from each other at the start; our lives emulated each other’s lives a lot, and we worked so well together spiritually, that sometimes we’d seem to think with one brain; communicate from over a distance telepathically, and feel when something’s wrong. We ran into each other at the emergency room one time in Dallas, both of us had loved ones admitted, and so I was able to be there at the exact time to help him through his mother’s passing. After that he sought healing through a spiritual adviser named Margie. He called me one evening and said, ” I felt my mother’s hands, I could say goodbye to her through this lady I met…. you have to go meet her…”

I did, and another friendship was born. The three of us met often, discussing spiritual ideas and practices, and implementing them in our lives.

After losing a friend to murder, sorrow had the best of us, and we all had the strong desire to start over. Scott & his new girlfriend headed to the mountains in Colorado and I took off for the beaches of Florida. He and his bride-to-be flew to Florida to attend my wedding, and I went to Colorado to theirs. We went camping in Santa Fe New Mexico , listened to countless hours of music & loving certain lyrics that grabbed our hearts.

Our favorite songs together were What’s Up by 4-Non blond, Tomorrow Wendy and Caroline by Concrete Blonde and I Wanna Be There by Blessed Union Of Souls.

Every Thursday night we’d call each other after watching Survivor. Scott was always trying to get me to tell him who won before the show aired there, in Colorado, where the time zone was several hours difference.

I never told.

I saw his amazement when he learned of his daughter, and we all went for a day at the zoo. I saw the love in his eyes for Kari. I saw a future open wide for them, the beautiful redheaded couple…

I didn’t see this coming though….

TheDenverChannel.com

Man Shot; Deputies Find 2 Dead Children Inside Home

Their father was identified as 37-year-old Scott Montgomery. Read the whole story here.

El Paso County Deputies Shoot, Kill Man Believed To Be Father

POSTED: 7:39 pm MDT June 22, 2008 UPDATED: 7:50 pm MDT June 23, 2008

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man suspected of killing his two young sons in his home before deputies arrived Sunday.

El Paso County sheriff’s deputies were checking the man’s home around 4:45 p.m. after the children’s mother told authorities she was worried he might hurt their children, ages 2 and 5, sheriff’s Lt. Lari Sevene said.

Deputies who arrived in the gated mountain community got no answer at the door and looked through a window to see two boys laying on the bed with a “significant of blood on or around them,” Sevene said.

Related To Story


She could not confirm what injuries they had or how they might have been injured but the sight of so much blood in the bedroom forced deputies to act quickly.

Deputies burst into the home and were confronted by the father, who was wielding a knife, so they opened fire, Sevene said. She said a deputy shot the man, who died.

The children did not survive either.

I remember Scott calling me the morning after his birth. “He’s perfect….just perfect…” is what he told me about Skyler. He was perfect, and a gift…. now and his brother’s are angels…

My friend Scott would not have done this, so the man who he became that day, or in the months or year prior, is a stranger to me. Scott stood up for domestic violence victims in the past when I knew him, namely myself, after many incidents I had gone through with my exhusband. Scott never indicated to me that he was a danger to any children, much less his own…. but then again, he wasn’t in the same set of circumstances at the time I was around. Losing everything can lead to desperation. I don’t know what the situation was with his marriage falling apart or domestic violence, I wasn’t there. He hadn’t called or talked to me much over the last few years, and I wish he had. Maybe it would’ve helped.

Maybe nothing could’ve helped and it was inevitable. Maybe he reached a breaking point of some kind for whatever reason, I don’t know…. but it wasn’t something that the Scott I knew would have done without something catastrophic…

Now, my heart goes out to Kari, wherever you are, girl, i love you and so does all the folks from D-Town and we’re all praying for you and keeping you close in our thoughts. Get in touch if you need anything … email me at itsalmosttuesday@gmail.com … and don’t listen to the haters. They don’t understand or know you. Nobody can judge another without having been in their shoes, even Scott. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION for hurting those babies, but there is much strength in your willingness to come forth with forgiveness, that is an act of great strength… forgiveness is not about the person who did the harm, it is about your own healing.

How do I reconcile my grief for my friend with the shock of the acts he committed against his babies?!

How? Its difficult.

I pray for his soul.

I pray for the families and for Kari.

I wish I’d had more time to know Skyler and Canyon.

I grieve:

sort of….

cps
That man was (not) my friend–Tuesday’s Grieving: Sort Of



I can’t reconcile this. I just can’t.

THE MAN WHO KILLED THESE CHILDREN WAS NOT MY FRIEND, BUT… HE WAS…. BUT…If I can’t reconcile this, how can anyone?….the couple was going through hard times, … but this? I just can’t reconcile… How can any parent kill their children? How could he?

Well, thats something that only he knows…. and whatever force made him do it.

Almost Tuesday is mourning the two children, Skyler Montgomery and Canyon Montgomery, ages 5 and 21 months…. I remember their birthdays and how a proud papa called me to announce…

If I had said, “Scott, in 5 years you’re going to murder that baby…” he’d have told me I was crazy…. he’d never believe it.

this was not the man I knew

Neither can I now…

I met Scott briefly in 1995 when my girlfriend threw me a baby shower for my son’s upcoming birth. Scott was a neighbor. He came over bearing gifts – simple gifts – a couple bottles & pacifiers for my soon to be newborn son. He was not anyone I knew, but heard about the shower, and thought it’d be the neighborly thing to do.

Later in life, after a mutual friend of ours was brutally and tragically murdered in 1996. We were at the funeral and met again & Scott gave me a ride back from Louisiana to Texas after it was all over. We were friends from then on. In fact, our friendship grew into such a close friendship that we often said we were one soul split apart from each other at the start; our lives emulated each other’s lives a lot, and we worked so well together spiritually, that sometimes we’d seem to think with one brain; communicate from over a distance telepathically, and feel when something’s wrong. We ran into each other at the emergency room one time in Dallas, both of us had loved ones admitted, and so I was able to be there at the exact time to help him through his mother’s passing. After that he sought healing through a spiritual adviser named Margie. He called me one evening and said, ” I felt my mother’s hands, I could say goodbye to her through this lady I met…. you have to go meet her…”

I did, and another friendship was born. The three of us met often, discussing spiritual ideas and practices, and implementing them in our lives.

After losing a friend to murder, sorrow had the best of us, and we all had the strong desire to start over. Scott & his new girlfriend headed to the mountains in Colorado and I took off for the beaches of Florida. He and his bride-to-be flew to Florida to attend my wedding, and I went to Colorado to theirs. We went camping in Santa Fe New Mexico , listened to countless hours of music & loving certain lyrics that grabbed our hearts.

Our favorite songs together were What’s Up by 4-Non blond, Tomorrow Wendy and Caroline by Concrete Blonde and I Wanna Be There by Blessed Union Of Souls.

Every Thursday night we’d call each other after watching Survivor. Scott was always trying to get me to tell him who won before the show aired there, in Colorado, where the time zone was several hours difference.

I never told.

I saw his amazement when he learned of his daughter, and we all went for a day at the zoo. I saw the love in his eyes for Kari. I saw a future open wide for them, the beautiful redheaded couple…

I didn’t see this coming though….

TheDenverChannel.com

Man Shot; Deputies Find 2 Dead Children Inside Home

Their father was identified as 37-year-old Scott Montgomery. Read the whole story here.

El Paso County Deputies Shoot, Kill Man Believed To Be Father

POSTED: 7:39 pm MDT June 22, 2008 UPDATED: 7:50 pm MDT June 23, 2008

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man suspected of killing his two young sons in his home before deputies arrived Sunday.

El Paso County sheriff’s deputies were checking the man’s home around 4:45 p.m. after the children’s mother told authorities she was worried he might hurt their children, ages 2 and 5, sheriff’s Lt. Lari Sevene said.

Deputies who arrived in the gated mountain community got no answer at the door and looked through a window to see two boys laying on the bed with a “significant of blood on or around them,” Sevene said.

Related To Story


She could not confirm what injuries they had or how they might have been injured but the sight of so much blood in the bedroom forced deputies to act quickly.

Deputies burst into the home and were confronted by the father, who was wielding a knife, so they opened fire, Sevene said. She said a deputy shot the man, who died.

The children did not survive either.

I remember Scott calling me the morning after his birth. “He’s perfect….just perfect…” is what he told me about Skyler. He was perfect, and a gift…. now and his brother’s are angels…

My friend Scott would not have done this, so the man who he became that day, or in the months or year prior, is a stranger to me. Scott stood up for domestic violence victims in the past when I knew him, namely myself, after many incidents I had gone through with my exhusband. Scott never indicated to me that he was a danger to any children, much less his own…. but then again, he wasn’t in the same set of circumstances at the time I was around. Losing everything can lead to desperation. I don’t know what the situation was with his marriage falling apart or domestic violence, I wasn’t there. He hadn’t called or talked to me much over the last few years, and I wish he had. Maybe it would’ve helped.

Maybe nothing could’ve helped and it was inevitable. Maybe he reached a breaking point of some kind for whatever reason, I don’t know…. but it wasn’t something that the Scott I knew would have done without something catastrophic…

Now, my heart goes out to Kari, wherever you are, girl, i love you and so does all the folks from D-Town and we’re all praying for you and keeping you close in our thoughts. Get in touch if you need anything … email me at itsalmosttuesday@gmail.com … and don’t listen to the haters. They don’t understand or know you. Nobody can judge another without having been in their shoes, even Scott. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION for hurting those babies, but there is much strength in your willingness to come forth with forgiveness, that is an act of great strength… forgiveness is not about the person who did the harm, it is about your own healing.

How do I reconcile my grief for my friend with the shock of the acts he committed against his babies?!

How? Its difficult.

I pray for his soul.

I pray for the families and for Kari.

I wish I’d had more time to know Skyler and Canyon.

I grieve:

sort of….

cps
That man was (not) my friend–Tuesday’s Grieving: Sort Of



I can’t reconcile this. I just can’t.

THE MAN WHO KILLED THESE CHILDREN WAS NOT MY FRIEND, BUT… HE WAS…. BUT…If I can’t reconcile this, how can anyone?….the couple was going through hard times, … but this? I just can’t reconcile… How can any parent kill their children? How could he?

Well, thats something that only he knows…. and whatever force made him do it.

Almost Tuesday is mourning the two children, Skyler Montgomery and Canyon Montgomery, ages 5 and 21 months…. I remember their birthdays and how a proud papa called me to announce…

If I had said, “Scott, in 5 years you’re going to murder that baby…” he’d have told me I was crazy…. he’d never believe it.

this was not the man I knew

Neither can I now…

I met Scott briefly in 1995 when my girlfriend threw me a baby shower for my son’s upcoming birth. Scott was a neighbor. He came over bearing gifts – simple gifts – a couple bottles & pacifiers for my soon to be newborn son. He was not anyone I knew, but heard about the shower, and thought it’d be the neighborly thing to do.

Later in life, after a mutual friend of ours was brutally and tragically murdered in 1996. We were at the funeral and met again & Scott gave me a ride back from Louisiana to Texas after it was all over. We were friends from then on. In fact, our friendship grew into such a close friendship that we often said we were one soul split apart from each other at the start; our lives emulated each other’s lives a lot, and we worked so well together spiritually, that sometimes we’d seem to think with one brain; communicate from over a distance telepathically, and feel when something’s wrong. We ran into each other at the emergency room one time in Dallas, both of us had loved ones admitted, and so I was able to be there at the exact time to help him through his mother’s passing. After that he sought healing through a spiritual adviser named Margie. He called me one evening and said, ” I felt my mother’s hands, I could say goodbye to her through this lady I met…. you have to go meet her…”

I did, and another friendship was born. The three of us met often, discussing spiritual ideas and practices, and implementing them in our lives.

After losing a friend to murder, sorrow had the best of us, and we all had the strong desire to start over. Scott & his new girlfriend headed to the mountains in Colorado and I took off for the beaches of Florida. He and his bride-to-be flew to Florida to attend my wedding, and I went to Colorado to theirs. We went camping in Santa Fe New Mexico , listened to countless hours of music & loving certain lyrics that grabbed our hearts.

Our favorite songs together were What’s Up by 4-Non blond, Tomorrow Wendy and Caroline by Concrete Blonde and I Wanna Be There by Blessed Union Of Souls.

Every Thursday night we’d call each other after watching Survivor. Scott was always trying to get me to tell him who won before the show aired there, in Colorado, where the time zone was several hours difference.

I never told.

I saw his amazement when he learned of his daughter, and we all went for a day at the zoo. I saw the love in his eyes for Kari. I saw a future open wide for them, the beautiful redheaded couple…

I didn’t see this coming though….

TheDenverChannel.com

Man Shot; Deputies Find 2 Dead Children Inside Home

Their father was identified as 37-year-old Scott Montgomery. Read the whole story here.

El Paso County Deputies Shoot, Kill Man Believed To Be Father

POSTED: 7:39 pm MDT June 22, 2008 UPDATED: 7:50 pm MDT June 23, 2008

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man suspected of killing his two young sons in his home before deputies arrived Sunday.

El Paso County sheriff’s deputies were checking the man’s home around 4:45 p.m. after the children’s mother told authorities she was worried he might hurt their children, ages 2 and 5, sheriff’s Lt. Lari Sevene said.

Deputies who arrived in the gated mountain community got no answer at the door and looked through a window to see two boys laying on the bed with a “significant of blood on or around them,” Sevene said.

Related To Story


She could not confirm what injuries they had or how they might have been injured but the sight of so much blood in the bedroom forced deputies to act quickly.

Deputies burst into the home and were confronted by the father, who was wielding a knife, so they opened fire, Sevene said. She said a deputy shot the man, who died.

The children did not survive either.

I remember Scott calling me the morning after his birth. “He’s perfect….just perfect…” is what he told me about Skyler. He was perfect, and a gift…. now and his brother’s are angels…

My friend Scott would not have done this, so the man who he became that day, or in the months or year prior, is a stranger to me. Scott stood up for domestic violence victims in the past when I knew him, namely myself, after many incidents I had gone through with my exhusband. Scott never indicated to me that he was a danger to any children, much less his own…. but then again, he wasn’t in the same set of circumstances at the time I was around. Losing everything can lead to desperation. I don’t know what the situation was with his marriage falling apart or domestic violence, I wasn’t there. He hadn’t called or talked to me much over the last few years, and I wish he had. Maybe it would’ve helped.

Maybe nothing could’ve helped and it was inevitable. Maybe he reached a breaking point of some kind for whatever reason, I don’t know…. but it wasn’t something that the Scott I knew would have done without something catastrophic…

Now, my heart goes out to Kari, wherever you are, girl, i love you and so does all the folks from D-Town and we’re all praying for you and keeping you close in our thoughts. Get in touch if you need anything … email me at itsalmosttuesday@gmail.com … and don’t listen to the haters. They don’t understand or know you. Nobody can judge another without having been in their shoes, even Scott. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION for hurting those babies, but there is much strength in your willingness to come forth with forgiveness, that is an act of great strength… forgiveness is not about the person who did the harm, it is about your own healing.

How do I reconcile my grief for my friend with the shock of the acts he committed against his babies?!

How? Its difficult.

I pray for his soul.

I pray for the families and for Kari.

I wish I’d had more time to know Skyler and Canyon.

I grieve:

sort of….

cps
THE CONSTITUTION AS THE FUNDAMENTAL & PARAMOUNT LAW OF THE NATION

U.S. Supreme Court COOPER v. AARON, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) 358

U.S. 1 COOPER ET AL., MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.

v. AARON ET AL.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT. Fn No. 1.

Argued September 11, 1958. Decided September 12, 1958.

Opinion announced September 29, 1958.

…Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the “supreme Law of the Land.” In 1803, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for a unanimous Court, referring to the Constitution as “the fundamental and paramount law of the nation,” declared in the notable case of Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177, that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” This decision declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system. It follows that the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment enunciated by this Court in the Brown case is the supreme law of the land, and Art. VI of the Constitution makes it of binding effect on the States “any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Every state legislator and executive and judicial officer is solemnly committed by oath taken pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3, “to support this Constitution.” Chief Justice Taney, speaking for a unanimous Court in 1859, said that this requirement reflected the framers’ “anxiety to preserve it [the Constitution] in full force, in all its powers, and to guard against resistance to or evasion of its authority, on the part of a State . . . .”

Ableman v. Booth, 21 How. 506, 524.

No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it. Chief Justice Marshall spoke for a unanimous Court in saying that: “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery . . . .” United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch 115, 136.

A Governor who asserts a [358 U.S. 1, 19] power to nullify a federal court order is similarly restrained. If he had such power, said Chief Justice Hughes, in 1932, also for a unanimous Court, “it is manifest that the fiat of a state Governor, and not the Constitution of the United States, would be the supreme law of the land; that the restrictions of the Federal Constitution upon the exercise of state power would be but impotent phrases . . . .” Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 397-398….

We have forwarded these excerpts from Sup. Ct. decisions to our big list for your information. The American Coalition for Fathers and Children For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS, or see ACFC’s homepage at: http://www.acfc.org American Fathers Coalition – 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Ste. 148 Washington, D.C. 20006 1-800-978-DADS (3237) afc@capaccess.org http://www.erols.com/afc Subject: On Fundamental Rights & Mocking The Constitution

In condensing the collection of decisions, it came to me that we are obsessed with the rights of the individual, while at the same time forgetting that one person’s rights become another person’s burden. Yet, all of the intelligent and clever legal and constitutional arguments that are being made have one underlying concern. They are made to demonstrate the presence or absence of the validity that one’s right’s can be made to be inferior to another one’s. At the base of all of this is that no-one exists in isolation. We all are parts (or at least should be) of systems that themselves are parts of levels in a hierarchy of systems comprising civilization.

The very foundation of the whole hierarchy of civilization is the group of social systems made up by these systems: husband-wife; parent-child; sibling-sibling; the family comprised of all of them; and, last but not least, the system of the extended family. Some have recognized that and the one very profound truth arising out that fact: any system is greater than the sum of its parts, but only then if all of the parts interleave, communicate, mesh and function well with one another. All of these clever arguments ignore one important aspect. That is the obligations of an individual to the social systems of which he is a member.

Thereby we ignore the needs and rights of all systems within society, because to demand one’s rights requires that someone else is obliged to grant them. By ignoring obligations, each entity will feel entitled to enforce its rights, if necessary, to the extent that it will rob others of theirs. What we have then is not a well-functioning society anymore that is better than the sum of its parts, but rather a conglomerate of entities, or better yet, a mob – at worst, the end of civilization as we know it. It appears that the best legal minds have not come to terms with that truth, or else they would not be so terribly confused as appears to be the case in the bewildering array of judgments relating to the basic social system of society: the family. Would it be totally unrealistic to ask our legal minds to consider not only whether the state might have rights that are superior to those of the individual, but to think of the family unit in terms of a legal entity that has rights as well – with obligations and rights in relation to both, all of its members and the state?

Would it be totally strange to ask our legislators to consider addressing the rights and liberties of the family and, in connection with that, the obligations that an individual has toward the family and the state? Consider what would happen if we were to build the only one of the Ten Commandments that contains a promise as a constraint into constitutional rights: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Why are we surprised and dismayed that we can’t do well without it? Are we truly that smart that we can afford to ignore the wisdom that civilization lived by for thousands of years? -WHS

Additional reading:

The Charter Revolution & The Court Party Seizing children — a tactic for the destruction of the family and to attain state-control of the population Throughout history, rampant child apprehensions and state-ownership of children went hand-in-hand with totalitarian regimes and tyrannies.

Antiquity

— The apprehension of children – boys – in antiquity 20th Century — Evolution of the Hitler Youth …in a series of coldly and shrewdly calculated moves, radical extremists usurped the youth movement that was very much splintered along political and religious ideological lines and consolidated it into a unified and rigorously controlled sector of the German population. The slogan that motivated the Nazi leaders was an adaptation of a slogan attributed to Napoleon “Who controls the youths controls the future!” (Wer die Jugend hat, hat die Zukunft), although its origins go back to Socrates (whom Plato, in Republic, has offer this advice to philosopher kings: “Take all the children from their parents and rid the city of adults.”), and, as the history of Ancient Greece shows with respect to Sparta, even farther back in antiquity.

cps
THE CONSTITUTION AS THE FUNDAMENTAL & PARAMOUNT LAW OF THE NATION

U.S. Supreme Court COOPER v. AARON, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) 358

U.S. 1 COOPER ET AL., MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.

v. AARON ET AL.

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT. Fn No. 1.

Argued September 11, 1958. Decided September 12, 1958.

Opinion announced September 29, 1958.

…Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the “supreme Law of the Land.” In 1803, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for a unanimous Court, referring to the Constitution as “the fundamental and paramount law of the nation,” declared in the notable case of Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177, that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” This decision declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system. It follows that the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment enunciated by this Court in the Brown case is the supreme law of the land, and Art. VI of the Constitution makes it of binding effect on the States “any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Every state legislator and executive and judicial officer is solemnly committed by oath taken pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3, “to support this Constitution.” Chief Justice Taney, speaking for a unanimous Court in 1859, said that this requirement reflected the framers’ “anxiety to preserve it [the Constitution] in full force, in all its powers, and to guard against resistance to or evasion of its authority, on the part of a State . . . .”

Ableman v. Booth, 21 How. 506, 524.

No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it. Chief Justice Marshall spoke for a unanimous Court in saying that: “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery . . . .” United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch 115, 136.

A Governor who asserts a [358 U.S. 1, 19] power to nullify a federal court order is similarly restrained. If he had such power, said Chief Justice Hughes, in 1932, also for a unanimous Court, “it is manifest that the fiat of a state Governor, and not the Constitution of the United States, would be the supreme law of the land; that the restrictions of the Federal Constitution upon the exercise of state power would be but impotent phrases . . . .” Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 397-398….

We have forwarded these excerpts from Sup. Ct. decisions to our big list for your information. The American Coalition for Fathers and Children For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS, or see ACFC’s homepage at: http://www.acfc.org American Fathers Coalition – 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Ste. 148 Washington, D.C. 20006 1-800-978-DADS (3237) afc@capaccess.org http://www.erols.com/afc Subject: On Fundamental Rights & Mocking The Constitution

In condensing the collection of decisions, it came to me that we are obsessed with the rights of the individual, while at the same time forgetting that one person’s rights become another person’s burden. Yet, all of the intelligent and clever legal and constitutional arguments that are being made have one underlying concern. They are made to demonstrate the presence or absence of the validity that one’s right’s can be made to be inferior to another one’s. At the base of all of this is that no-one exists in isolation. We all are parts (or at least should be) of systems that themselves are parts of levels in a hierarchy of systems comprising civilization.

The very foundation of the whole hierarchy of civilization is the group of social systems made up by these systems: husband-wife; parent-child; sibling-sibling; the family comprised of all of them; and, last but not least, the system of the extended family. Some have recognized that and the one very profound truth arising out that fact: any system is greater than the sum of its parts, but only then if all of the parts interleave, communicate, mesh and function well with one another. All of these clever arguments ignore one important aspect. That is the obligations of an individual to the social systems of which he is a member.

Thereby we ignore the needs and rights of all systems within society, because to demand one’s rights requires that someone else is obliged to grant them. By ignoring obligations, each entity will feel entitled to enforce its rights, if necessary, to the extent that it will rob others of theirs. What we have then is not a well-functioning society anymore that is better than the sum of its parts, but rather a conglomerate of entities, or better yet, a mob – at worst, the end of civilization as we know it. It appears that the best legal minds have not come to terms with that truth, or else they would not be so terribly confused as appears to be the case in the bewildering array of judgments relating to the basic social system of society: the family. Would it be totally unrealistic to ask our legal minds to consider not only whether the state might have rights that are superior to those of the individual, but to think of the family unit in terms of a legal entity that has rights as well – with obligations and rights in relation to both, all of its members and the state?

Would it be totally strange to ask our legislators to consider addressing the rights and liberties of the family and, in connection with that, the obligations that an individual has toward the family and the state? Consider what would happen if we were to build the only one of the Ten Commandments that contains a promise as a constraint into constitutional rights: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Why are we surprised and dismayed that we can’t do well without it? Are we truly that smart that we can afford to ignore the wisdom that civilization lived by for thousands of years? -WHS

Additional reading:

The Charter Revolution & The Court Party Seizing children — a tactic for the destruction of the family and to attain state-control of the population Throughout history, rampant child apprehensions and state-ownership of children went hand-in-hand with totalitarian regimes and tyrannies.

Antiquity

— The apprehension of children – boys – in antiquity 20th Century — Evolution of the Hitler Youth …in a series of coldly and shrewdly calculated moves, radical extremists usurped the youth movement that was very much splintered along political and religious ideological lines and consolidated it into a unified and rigorously controlled sector of the German population. The slogan that motivated the Nazi leaders was an adaptation of a slogan attributed to Napoleon “Who controls the youths controls the future!” (Wer die Jugend hat, hat die Zukunft), although its origins go back to Socrates (whom Plato, in Republic, has offer this advice to philosopher kings: “Take all the children from their parents and rid the city of adults.”), and, as the history of Ancient Greece shows with respect to Sparta, even farther back in antiquity.

cps
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE A PARENT
(from an article published in The Liberator)  From Dave Usher usher@mo.net Thanks to Murray Steinberg for sharing these with us.

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

Our legal minds will put the cites below to good use.

Please feel free to share them with your attorney. For future reference, these are being added to the ACFC legal cites page. – ACFC Loss of First Amendment Freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.

Though First Amendment rights are not absolute, they may be curtailed only by interests of vital importance, the burden of proving which rests on the government. Elrod v. Burns, 96 S.Ct. 2673; 427 U.S. 347, (1976).

The United States Supreme Court noted that a parent’s right to “the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children” is an interest “far more precious” than any property right. May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533; 73 S.Ct. 840, 843, (1952).

The Court (U.S. Supreme Court) stressed, “the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.”

A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651; 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

The U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S.Ct. 549; 434 U.S. 246, 255-56, (1978)

Law and court procedures that are “fair on their faces” but administered “with an evil eye or a heavy hand” was discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, (1886)

The Constitution also protects “the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters.” Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law.

There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, (1965) Parent’s right to custody of child is a right encompassed within protection of this amendment which may not be interfered with under guise of protection public interest by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within competency of state to effect. Reynold v. Baby Fold, Inc., 369 NE 2d 858; 68 Ill 2d 419, appeal dismissed 98 S.Ct. 1598, 435 U.S. 963, Il, (1977)

Parent’s rights have been recognized as being “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free man.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

Reality of private biases and possible injury they might inflict were impermissible considerations under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Palmore v. Sidoti, 104 S.Ct. 1879; 466 U.S. 429

Legislative classifications which distributes benefits and burdens on the basis of gender carry the inherent risk of reinforcing stereotypes about the proper place of women and their need for special protection; thus, even statutes purportedly designed to compensate for and ameliorate the effects of past discrimination against women must be carefully tailored… the state cannot be permitted to classify on the basis of sex. Orr v. Orr, 99 S.Ct. 1102; 4340 U.S. 268 (1979)

The United States Supreme Court held that the “old notion” that “generally it is the man’s primary responsibility to provide a home and its essentials” can no longer justify a statute that discriminates on the basis of sex. No longer is the female destined solely for the homes and the rearing of the family, and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas. Stanton v. Stanton, 421 U.S. 7, 10; 95 S.Ct. 1373, 1376 (1975)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that severance in the parent-child relationship caused by the state occur only with rigorous protections for individual liberty interests at stake. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir. WI., (1984)

COMPELLING STATE INTEREST

The following Supreme Court decisions were cited in a published opinion by Chief judge Norman K. Moon of Court of Appeals of Virginia June 3, 1997 in the case Williams and Williams v. Williams and Williams 24 Va. App. 778; 485 S.E. 2d 651 (June 3, 1997)

Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections than do those resisting state intervention into ongoing family affairs.

The Supreme Court noted its “historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Santosky v. Kramer, 102 S.Ct. 1388; 455 U.S. 745, (1982).

In applying the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has held that “[w]here certain fundamental rights are involved… regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a ‘compelling state interest’ …and …legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake. State interference with a fundamental right must by justified by a “compelling state interest.” Roe v. Wade. 410 U.S. 113, 155 ; 93 S.Ct. 705; 35 L Ed 2d 147, (1973)

State’s power to legislate, adjudicate and administer all aspects of family law, including determinations of custodial and visitation rights, is subject to scrutiny by federal judiciary within reach of due process and/or equal protection clause of 14th Amendment… fourteenth Amendment applied to states through specific rights contained in the first eight amendments of the Constitution which declares fundamental personal rights… Fourteenth Amendment encompasses and applied to states those pre-existing fundamental rights recognized by the Ninth Amendment.

The Ninth Amendment acknowledged the prior existence of fundamental rights with it: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The United States Supreme Court in a long line of decisions, has recognized that matters involving marriage, procreation, and the parent-child relationship are among those fundamental “liberty” interests protected by the Constitution.

Thus, the decision in Roe v. Wade, as recently described by the Supreme Court as founded on the “Constitutional underpinning of… a recognition that the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment includes not only the freedoms explicitly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but also a freedom of personal choice in certain matters of marriage and family life.” While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed [by the Fourteenth Amendment] …

Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923).

In addition to recognizing as a fundamental liberty interest the right of parents to raise their children, the Supreme Court has also established that the Constitution’s guarantee to fundamental privacy rights also embodies a fundamental right to parental autonomy in child rearing. The Court acknowledged a “private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” Prince v. Massachusetts, 3210 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431-U.S. 494 (1977)

The Supreme Court has clearly established that to constitute a compelling interest, state interference with a parent’s right to raise his or her child must be for the purpose of protecting the child’s health or welfare. Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 230 (1972)

Father enjoys the right to associate with his children which is guaranteed by this amendment (First) as incorporated in Amendment 14, or which is embodied in the concept of “liberty” as that word is used in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Mabra v. Schmidt, 356 F Supp 620: D.C., WI (1973)

SUPPORTING FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT DECISIONS

The rights of parents to care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by this amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe v. Irwin , 440 F Supp 1247; U.S.D.C. of Michigan, (1985)

Parent’s interest in custody of her children is a liberty interest which has received considerable constitutional protection; a parent who is deprived of custody of his or her child, even though temporarily, suffers thereby grievous loss and such loss deserves extensive due process protection. In the Interest of Cooper, 621 P 2d 437: 5 Kansas App Div 2d 584, (1980)

A parent’s right to the preservation of his relationship with his child derives from the fact that the parent’s achievement of a rich and rewarding life is likely to depend significantly on his ability to participate in the rearing of his children. A child’s corresponding right to protection from interference in the relationship derives from the psychic importance to him of being raised by a loving, responsible, reliable adult. Franz v. U.S., 707 F 2d 582, 58-95-599; U.S. Ct. App. (1983)

The liberty interest of the family encompasses an interest in retaining custody of one’s children and, thus a state may not interfere with a parent’s custodial rights absent due process protections. Langton v. Maloney, 527 F Supp 538, D.C. Conn. (1981)

A parent’s right to the custody of his or her children is an element of “liberty” guaranteed by the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Matter of Gentry, 369 NW 2d 889, MI App. Div. (1983)

The parent-child relationship is a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205, 1242-45; U.S. Ct. App 7th Cir. WI. No bond is more precious and none should be more zealously protected by the law as the bond between parent and child. Carson v. Elrod, 411 F Supp 645, 649; DC E.D. VA (1976)

The non-custodial divorced parent has no way to implement the constitutionally protected right to maintain a parental relationship with his child except through visitation. To acknowledge the protected status of the relationship as the majority does, and yet deny protection under Title 42 USC Section 1983, to visitation, which is the exclusive means of effecting that right, is to negate the right completely. Wise v. Bravo, 666 F 2d 1328, (1981)

The rights of parents to parent-child relationships are recognized and upheld. Fantony v. Fantony, 122 A 2d 593, (1956); Brennan v. Brennan, 454 A 2d 901, (1982) U.S. Supreme Court It would seem that the Constitution is violated more than it is honored in matters involving domestic relations. -AFC

cps
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BE A PARENT
(from an article published in The Liberator)  From Dave Usher usher@mo.net Thanks to Murray Steinberg for sharing these with us.

U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

Our legal minds will put the cites below to good use.

Please feel free to share them with your attorney. For future reference, these are being added to the ACFC legal cites page. – ACFC Loss of First Amendment Freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.

Though First Amendment rights are not absolute, they may be curtailed only by interests of vital importance, the burden of proving which rests on the government. Elrod v. Burns, 96 S.Ct. 2673; 427 U.S. 347, (1976).

The United States Supreme Court noted that a parent’s right to “the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children” is an interest “far more precious” than any property right. May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533; 73 S.Ct. 840, 843, (1952).

The Court (U.S. Supreme Court) stressed, “the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.”

A parent’s interest in the companionship, care, custody and management of his or her children rises to a constitutionally secured right, given the centrality of family life as the focus for personal meaning and responsibility. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651; 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

The U.S. Supreme Court implied that “a (once) married father who is separated or divorced from a mother and is no longer living with his child” could not constitutionally be treated differently from a currently married father living with his child. Quilloin v. Walcott, 98 S.Ct. 549; 434 U.S. 246, 255-56, (1978)

Law and court procedures that are “fair on their faces” but administered “with an evil eye or a heavy hand” was discriminatory and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, (1886)

The Constitution also protects “the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters.” Federal Courts (and State Courts), under Griswold can protect, under the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” phrase of the Declaration of Independence, the right of a man to enjoy the mutual care, company, love and affection of his children, and this cannot be taken away from him without due process of law.

There is a family right to privacy which the state cannot invade or it becomes actionable for civil rights damages. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, (1965) Parent’s right to custody of child is a right encompassed within protection of this amendment which may not be interfered with under guise of protection public interest by legislative action which is arbitrary or without reasonable relation to some purpose within competency of state to effect. Reynold v. Baby Fold, Inc., 369 NE 2d 858; 68 Ill 2d 419, appeal dismissed 98 S.Ct. 1598, 435 U.S. 963, Il, (1977)

Parent’s rights have been recognized as being “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free man.” Meyer v. Nebraska, 92 S.Ct. 1208, (1972)

Reality of private biases and possible injury they might inflict were impermissible considerations under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Palmore v. Sidoti, 104 S.Ct. 1879; 466 U.S. 429

Legislative classifications which distributes benefits and burdens on the basis of gender carry the inherent risk of reinforcing stereotypes about the proper place of women and their need for special protection; thus, even statutes purportedly designed to compensate for and ameliorate the effects of past discrimination against women must be carefully tailored… the state cannot be permitted to classify on the basis of sex. Orr v. Orr, 99 S.Ct. 1102; 4340 U.S. 268 (1979)

The United States Supreme Court held that the “old notion” that “generally it is the man’s primary responsibility to provide a home and its essentials” can no longer justify a statute that discriminates on the basis of sex. No longer is the female destined solely for the homes and the rearing of the family, and only the male for the marketplace and the world of ideas. Stanton v. Stanton, 421 U.S. 7, 10; 95 S.Ct. 1373, 1376 (1975)

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that severance in the parent-child relationship caused by the state occur only with rigorous protections for individual liberty interests at stake. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir. WI., (1984)

COMPELLING STATE INTEREST

The following Supreme Court decisions were cited in a published opinion by Chief judge Norman K. Moon of Court of Appeals of Virginia June 3, 1997 in the case Williams and Williams v. Williams and Williams 24 Va. App. 778; 485 S.E. 2d 651 (June 3, 1997)

Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain vital interest in preventing irretrievable destruction of their family life; if anything, persons faced with forced dissolution of their parental rights have more critical need for procedural protections than do those resisting state intervention into ongoing family affairs.

The Supreme Court noted its “historical recognition that freedom of personal choice in matters of family life is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Santosky v. Kramer, 102 S.Ct. 1388; 455 U.S. 745, (1982).

In applying the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has held that “[w]here certain fundamental rights are involved… regulation limiting these rights may be justified only by a ‘compelling state interest’ …and …legislative enactments must be narrowly drawn to express only the legitimate state interests at stake. State interference with a fundamental right must by justified by a “compelling state interest.” Roe v. Wade. 410 U.S. 113, 155 ; 93 S.Ct. 705; 35 L Ed 2d 147, (1973)

State’s power to legislate, adjudicate and administer all aspects of family law, including determinations of custodial and visitation rights, is subject to scrutiny by federal judiciary within reach of due process and/or equal protection clause of 14th Amendment… fourteenth Amendment applied to states through specific rights contained in the first eight amendments of the Constitution which declares fundamental personal rights… Fourteenth Amendment encompasses and applied to states those pre-existing fundamental rights recognized by the Ninth Amendment.

The Ninth Amendment acknowledged the prior existence of fundamental rights with it: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The United States Supreme Court in a long line of decisions, has recognized that matters involving marriage, procreation, and the parent-child relationship are among those fundamental “liberty” interests protected by the Constitution.

Thus, the decision in Roe v. Wade, as recently described by the Supreme Court as founded on the “Constitutional underpinning of… a recognition that the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment includes not only the freedoms explicitly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but also a freedom of personal choice in certain matters of marriage and family life.” While this court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty thus guaranteed [by the Fourteenth Amendment] …

Without doubt, it denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923).

In addition to recognizing as a fundamental liberty interest the right of parents to raise their children, the Supreme Court has also established that the Constitution’s guarantee to fundamental privacy rights also embodies a fundamental right to parental autonomy in child rearing. The Court acknowledged a “private realm of family life which the state cannot enter.” Prince v. Massachusetts, 3210 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); Moore v. City of East Cleveland, 431-U.S. 494 (1977)

The Supreme Court has clearly established that to constitute a compelling interest, state interference with a parent’s right to raise his or her child must be for the purpose of protecting the child’s health or welfare. Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 230 (1972)

Father enjoys the right to associate with his children which is guaranteed by this amendment (First) as incorporated in Amendment 14, or which is embodied in the concept of “liberty” as that word is used in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment and Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Mabra v. Schmidt, 356 F Supp 620: D.C., WI (1973)

SUPPORTING FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT DECISIONS

The rights of parents to care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by this amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe v. Irwin , 440 F Supp 1247; U.S.D.C. of Michigan, (1985)

Parent’s interest in custody of her children is a liberty interest which has received considerable constitutional protection; a parent who is deprived of custody of his or her child, even though temporarily, suffers thereby grievous loss and such loss deserves extensive due process protection. In the Interest of Cooper, 621 P 2d 437: 5 Kansas App Div 2d 584, (1980)

A parent’s right to the preservation of his relationship with his child derives from the fact that the parent’s achievement of a rich and rewarding life is likely to depend significantly on his ability to participate in the rearing of his children. A child’s corresponding right to protection from interference in the relationship derives from the psychic importance to him of being raised by a loving, responsible, reliable adult. Franz v. U.S., 707 F 2d 582, 58-95-599; U.S. Ct. App. (1983)

The liberty interest of the family encompasses an interest in retaining custody of one’s children and, thus a state may not interfere with a parent’s custodial rights absent due process protections. Langton v. Maloney, 527 F Supp 538, D.C. Conn. (1981)

A parent’s right to the custody of his or her children is an element of “liberty” guaranteed by the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Matter of Gentry, 369 NW 2d 889, MI App. Div. (1983)

The parent-child relationship is a liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F 2d 1205, 1242-45; U.S. Ct. App 7th Cir. WI. No bond is more precious and none should be more zealously protected by the law as the bond between parent and child. Carson v. Elrod, 411 F Supp 645, 649; DC E.D. VA (1976)

The non-custodial divorced parent has no way to implement the constitutionally protected right to maintain a parental relationship with his child except through visitation. To acknowledge the protected status of the relationship as the majority does, and yet deny protection under Title 42 USC Section 1983, to visitation, which is the exclusive means of effecting that right, is to negate the right completely. Wise v. Bravo, 666 F 2d 1328, (1981)

The rights of parents to parent-child relationships are recognized and upheld. Fantony v. Fantony, 122 A 2d 593, (1956); Brennan v. Brennan, 454 A 2d 901, (1982) U.S. Supreme Court It would seem that the Constitution is violated more than it is honored in matters involving domestic relations. -AFC

cps
Whose Children Are They Anyway?

Whose Children Are They, Anyway?

By: Gregory A. Hession, J.D
June 23, 2008
How does a state child protective services agency even begin to take nearly 500 children from families living in a peaceful religious community in West Texas?
Answer: a night-time raid with tanks, riot police, SWAT teams, snipers, and cars full of Texas Rangers and sheriff’s deputies.
That is the new face of state child protection — social workers backed up with automatic weapons.
In a surprise attack coordinated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) on April 3-4, the Rangers and sheriffs removed an initial group of the 468 children at the Yearning for Zion Ranch (YFZ) in Eldorado, Texas. The raid was initiated with a court order — not a warrant — authorizing them only to have “investigatory access” to a particular teenage mother and her child, neither of whom actually existed. Soon thereafter, the rest of the 468 children were removed, with over a thousand government agents participating in the raids at a cost of nearly $2.3 million according to the Associated Press. The basis for taking these children was a false report to a child-abuse hotline that a teen girl was being forced into an underage marriage at the YFZ Ranch, owing to beliefs of their Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) religion.

This article does not attempt to analyze the FLDS religious belief system, nor does it endorse or disapprove of it. The issue of taking children from any family — regardless of its ideology — must be governed by law and due process, not hysteria over religious or political beliefs fanned by a statist press corps.

It will be useful to chronicle the actions of the Texas child protection agency in the FLDS case — based on my review of the actual court documents, case plan, affidavits of the social workers, warrants, and detailed written accounts of the two-day hearing in court — with a critical eye to see how these same tactics are used in individual actions against innocent families nationwide. Thus, families can be prepared to defend themselves against false allegations of abuse, and not become victims like the children of the FLDS group.

State Child Protection, Wholesale Version
The Texas DFPS first got involved with the families at the Yearning for Zion Ranch when a woman from Colorado phoned a report to the Texas child-abuse hotline on March 29. This woman, Rozita Swinton, age 33, falsely identified herself as a 16-year-old named “Sarah,” from the YFZ Ranch, and stated that she had an eight-month-old child, and was pregnant again by her 50-year-old husband. This Colorado call originated from a person known to be a serial false reporter with a criminal record for making false reports. However, the agency used it to seize on the opportunity that they apparently had been waiting for — a plausible excuse to raid this ranch.

This fraud points to the widespread potential for manipulation in the child-abuse-hotline reporting system. Any disgruntled neighbor, angry ex-spouse or boyfriend, roommate, or enemy can make an anonymous false report and be believed. A mere allegation from such a person will prompt the agency to literally knock down the door to get into a home to check on the children. If and when the agency figures out it has been played for a chump and has improperly brought down the entire weight of the law on an innocent family, a great deal of harm has already been done, as is the case with the children at the YFZ Ranch.

Once the DFPS agency had the false report from “Sarah,” it enlisted legions of law-enforcement personnel and carried out the April 3 military-style raid of the YFZ Ranch starting at 9:00 p.m., without a warrant or a court order. Published photographs show that the Texas Rangers and sheriffs used armored personnel carriers, snipers, and riot gear to force their entry. Once in, agents of the DFPS carried out interviews of parents and children throughout the night and into the next day, and the agents took trucks-full of documents.

The agency readily determined that there was no “Sarah” at the ranch, and no “husband” abusing her. In fact, court records indicate that the agency found no credible evidence of any abuse whatsoever in any home at the YFZ Ranch. However, as the night-time raid stretched into the following day, officials proceeded to remove all 468 children at the ranch from their homes, most under the age of five, starting at 3:00 a.m. Texas law allows removal of a child only if “there is an immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child,” or if it is clear that “the child has been the victim of sexual abuse.” (Tex. Fam. Code, Sect. 262.104(a))

One can imagine the terror that these babies and toddlers felt being ripped from their mothers in the middle of the night by armed strangers. The abducted children were then farmed out to various foster homes around the state, separated from parents and split off from their siblings. This allowed the state to begin accessing large federal reimbursements for foster care, and to unleash an army of social workers, therapists, and state lawyers.

Next, the state put on a show trial on April 17 and 18, to officially verify that the children needed to be rescued from their parents. This hearing was conducted in the District Court for Schleicher County in San Angelo, Texas, presided over by Judge Barbara Walther. Press accounts described the trial with headlines like, “Chaos Rules at Sect Trial,” as could be expected at a proceeding involving 468 children, their parents, and their lawyers. To make matters worse, prior to the trial, the judge had issued a separate order confiscating all the cellphones belonging to both the children and their parents, so that they could not even talk to their lawyers or to each other.

The gist of the state’s complaint was that female children at the ranch were being groomed for marriage to older men at too young an age and that male children were being encouraged to be sexual predators. The agency asserted that 31 children, aged 14 to 17, were pregnant or had borne children by adults. However, the agency now admits that over half of those 31 persons are actually adults, including one who is 27 years old. At the time of the hearing, the agency could not identify a single child married below the legal age, including the nonexistent “Sarah.” (Texas law allows marriage at age 16, or younger with court approval.) Nor was there testimony that any person was physically abused at the ranch.

The DFPS argued, as a reason to take the children, that “there is a mindset that even the young girls report that they will marry at whatever age, and that it’s the highest blessing they can have to have children.” Thus, in the agency’s view, inculcating respect for motherhood is “abuse.”

A review of the trial transcript shows that the judge made no pretense of providing due process, or of trying to decide the cases on an individual basis. Key evidence included a recommendation from a psychiatrist that the children not be returned to their homes, a psychiatrist who admitted that he got most of his information from the media and had never spoken to the leaders of the community. Several DFPS supervisors also testified, repeating the party line about abuse, although they could not cite any instance of it. The state also failed to provide evidence, as required by both federal and state law, that it had made reasonable efforts to keep the children with their parents prior to removing them.

After the two-day preliminary trial, and without hearing any evidence of abuse and neglect, the judge ruled that the DFPS would keep custody of all the children.

After the agency secured possession of the children, they then imposed a case service plan on each parent, which was put together by “culturally sensitive” experts. The plan, which pre-supposes abuse, sets forth tasks that the parents must do, such as taking parenting classes and undergoing psychological evaluations. In reality, these plans contain boilerplate provisions that are primarily designed to provide information to the agency to use at the final trial against the parents — a tactic I’ve seen repeatedly in my legal representation of families torn apart by the so-called child-protection services.

A cover letter of the “plan” contained the following statement: “CPS’s [Child Protective Service’s] investigation of the Yearning for Zion Ranch found evidence under Texas law of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Because of what CPS found, CPS removed your child from the ranch. After a hearing, the judge agreed with CPS’s belief that your child was not safe from abuse. The judge gave CPS temporary custody of you [sic] child.”

Happy Ending Elusive
A crack in the foundation of the case came after several of the FLDS parents petitioned the Texas Appeals Court, which quickly overturned the district-court custody order, and threatened to act if the court “failed to comply.” The May 22, 2008, opinion was unflinching in its condemnation of the agency’s actions. The court found that there was no evidence that male children or pre-pubescent females were in any danger of abuse. There was no evidence as to whether the small number of pregnant teens — five in all — were married or were victims of abuse. The court stated bluntly that “there was no evidence of any physical abuse or harm to any other child.”

The appeals court also noted that DFPS had not “made reasonable efforts to eliminate or prevent the removal of any … children.” The district court had made a perfunctory certification that such reasonable efforts were made, but that was exposed as a false finding by the appeals court.

The appeals-court ruling was a huge public embarrassment for the agency and a repudiation of the DFPS position. The agency was certainly not going to allow the largest child-protection case in United States history to be thwarted without a fight, so it immediately appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas. In a brief five-page opinion, the highest court affirmed that the appeals court was correct when it overturned the district-court order, for the same reasons, i.e., that there was no evidence of abuse. The opinion stated tersely, “On the record before us, the removal of the children was not warranted.”

Despite these state high-court rulings, the agency and the district court are placing numerous restrictions and qualifications on the children’s return. The district court is keeping the case open and demanding that parents cede much of their family liberty and privacy as a price for getting their children back.

DFPS has prepared a draft court order for Judge Walther’s signature that requires that parents let DFPS agents enter their homes at any time to inspect them, and allows the DFPS to order psychological testing for the children and parents, as well as to obtain medical exams of the children at any time and place. The agency wants no family member to travel more than 60 miles from home and desires photo identification of all parents and children. The form parents must sign before release of their children chillingly states: “By my signature … I accepted physical possession of the above-referenced child for the Department of Family and Protective Services.” This is a raw power grab, and it is unclear whether or how the higher court might react to this apparent contempt of its order.

But That’s the Way We Always Do It

The tactics perpetrated on the YFZ families are the same ones that CPS uses in almost every child-protection removal case nationwide: insufficient investigation, a superficial initial hearing, a boilerplate case plan whose real purpose is to provide evidence to the agency, splitting children in foster care and moving them far from family, a low standard of proof for abuse, and failure to use reasonable efforts to avoid removal from the home, among others.

What turned this situation around was the extensive publicity that exposed the normally hidden agency wrongdoing. These revelations forced the higher court to reverse the rulings of the agency and of the lower court, which was acting as a puppet of the agency. If each of these 468 cases had been adjudicated individually, hidden from public scrutiny in secret courtrooms as the law provides, the agency might have won most of them, despite having no evidence.

As of this writing, the YFZ families have won an important round in their fight, by getting the Texas Supreme Court to order the return of their children. As of Monday, June 2, the judge had signed a temporary order allowing return of the children to their families, with the many restrictions outlined above.

This temporary order will be in place only until a full trial of the matter, or until the agency comes up with more reasons to take the children away again. It is uncertain what the ultimate outcome of this case will be. The matter could end in a trial, the outcome of which could be anything from full vindication of the parents and dismissal of the case, to a permanent removal and adoption of all the children. Or the Texas DFPS could ultimately decide that it acted without a basis, and ask the court to dismiss the case. Nothing is predictable in child-protection cases, but it should be. The reluctance of District Court Judge Walther to follow the law and provide due process for the affected families compounds the problem.

It is easy to get caught up in the media hype regarding the alleged practices of this religious sect, and thus consider the removal of their children necessary or justified. However, our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the right to direct the upbringing of one’s children without government interference, in absence of criminal action. All parents are entitled to due process prior to having their children taken, and this was not provided by either the agency or the court. If the state can take children without due process from this religious group, then it can take them from anyone whose religious or personal beliefs are disfavored by the state.

This episode should be a warning to all families that an arbitrary attack by the state against a family can happen to any of us and that a court will likely not protect the family from overreaching state social workers or false reports of child abuse.

Gregory A. Hession practices constitutional and family law in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Original Article-

Whose Children Are They, Anyway? – SlideFrame_1