How to write a Motion To Dismiss for CPS Juvenile Court In Pennsylvania

The goal here is to show the court that the assessment of harm and neglect against you should have been UNFOUNDED (you are not guilty) and therefore the court has no jurisdiction over the child and should close the case.

You will also want to show that the intake worker lied and coerced you which means that the judges decisions to make your child a ward of the court was based on more than hearsay (which is legal in most juvenile courts) but was based on distortion, misrepresentation, lies, and omission. This would mean that the judge would have to reconsider the evidence.

If you actually DID neglect or harm your child according to the state statutes, and they have shown evidence of it, this will not work for you.

Check out our LEGAL DISCLAIMER before you get started.

Step 1. Download this FREE program to write your Motion To Dismiss in.

It is called Open Office.

Step 2. Download this template and open it using the Open Office program.

Step 3. Download this EXAMPLE to see what yours should look like.

Step 4. Start writing your story of who you are and how you got involved with CPS using the format of the template. Everything that is printed in red must be changed or taken off.

Step 5. When it comes time to talk about a certain subject, use the case law citations and CPS statutes and state law below to back your claims.

CLICK HERE to see an online version - Motion To Dismiss

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children,

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

Comes now Petitioner Jeramey Tipaloo (Father) based upon the attached Declaration, moves the court for a Judgment dismissing the above-captioned cases.

DATED this day of November _____, 2016

_____________________________________

Petitioner, signature

Submitted by:

________________________________________________________________________________

Petitioner, Print Name Address or Contact Address

________________________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip Telephone or Contact Telephone

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

I, Jeramey Tipaloo (Father), Petitioner in the above proceeding, make this declaration in support of my motion to dismiss the above-captioned cases. I request the court dismiss these cases for the following reasons:

On January 12th, 2016, at 2 p.m.,CPS intake caseworkers Brooke Sinclair, Megan Favreau and (4) Florence P.D. Police Officers made face to face contact with Jeramey J. Tullis.

Intake Worker Brooke Sinclair stated at the door that “We are here to investigate a report of child abuse and neglect,”

I felt I had nothing to hide and was sure that my children had never been abused or neglected, welcomed the intake caseworkers and Florence P.D. Officers into the home.

I have a naturaly loud voice. Mix that with the emotional stress of 4 police and 2 caseworkers entering my home and accusing me of neglect and abuse of my children. My demeanor was as any normal father would be to protect his children from being taken away. My voice was loud and demanding of proof of harm.

The intake worker would not give me any specifics of how I had harmed my children.

I stationed myself leaning backwards on the kitchen bar with my legs crossed and demanded the caseworker for documentation of proof of the allegations.

The intake worker, Brooke Sinclair, sat on the couch silent, looking aimlessly around at coworker Megan Favreau and police officers for answers. 

Meanwhile the two older boys were scared of the situation and kept behind my legs where they felt safe. The oldest boy was intuitivly following my demenor by peeking out from my legs and telling the intakeworker “GO! GO!”

The intake worker made a decision from that scene that there would be inpending danger caused to the children and that it was an emergency to take all 3 children.

I called my wife at work saying “Come home quick! CPS is here and they are taking our children.”

She arrived at home and met the intake workers Brooke Sinclair, and Megan Favreau outside on front step. Brooke Sinclair said “There is reasonable cause to believe that there is a threat of harm in the household.”

When my wife entered the home, she saw me leaning against the kitchen island with my back and Haiden and Jaiden are behind me giggling and playing with each other. They were running around with smiles on their faces while playing

The youngest child was sound asleep in his bassinet in the bedroom.

Intake worker Brooke Sinclair stated to my wife “The children were cowering behind the father.”

My wife asked the CW for a CPS handbook so that we could know our rights. The CW handed her a pamphlet that explained nothing of what was happening at this time and why she had the right to take our children.

My wife asked to speak to Brooke Sinclair’s supervisor (Julie Harper).

The caseworker got on her phone and walked out towards the driveway. After a few minutes she hung up the phone and returned to the front step.

My wife asked why she did not allow her to speak to her supervisor while she had her on the phone.

The CW stated she was not allowed to let her use her phone and she preceded to give my wife her supervisors business card.

My wife immediately attempted to call the supervisor from the house phone and got the answering machine. She then left a voicemail for Julie Harper to contact her as soon as possible.

My wife asked for a court order and the caseworker walked out to her car and grabbed a piece of paper and wrote “Threat of Harm” on it.

Meanwhile, I called his Domestic Violence Advocate Pamela Long at Siuslaw Outreach Services. I stated that Pamela wanted to speak to Brooke Sinclair.

The CW refused to talk to her and stated “I do not have time to talk to her.”

One of the Police officers got on the phone and advised Pamela that CPS was here and they are taking the children into CPS care.

The DV advocate asked to speak to me again, in return she asked me to hand the phone to the CW and that she needed to speak to her.

I handed the CW the phone. As soon as she had it in her hand, she hung it up refusing to speak to the Domestic Violence Advocate.

We both objected to the caseworker’s decision. The Florence Police Department officers and CPS caseworkers both stated that if we interfere with the taking of the children, we would both would be arrested.

Both caseworkers and a officer all cornered Haiden, Jaiden, and my wife all in the laundry room. The intake caseworker said to my wife, “Meaghan if you come with us and leave Jeramey we can get you and your boys into a Hotel room tonight and you can keep your kids, but Jeramey cannot come and cannot have contact with you or the children.”

My wife begged with the caseworker, “Please don’t take our boys, Our boys need us, you don’t how how much trauma you are causing them right now.”

We asked if we could feed the children the meal I had just made for them. The CW said “No we will get them something to eat.”

The caseworker proceeded to get Haiden and Jaiden into the bedroom to get clothes on them.

My wife then asked the CW “Can I please breastfeed our newborn please before you take him? You just woke him up and I do not have a breastpump.

The CW said “No, we have some formula at the DHS office we could give him.”

The second CW, Megan Favreau went into the master bedroom grabbed the baby (Kaiden) from his bassinet where he was asleep. Immediately put him into the car seat and could not figure out how to buckle the infant into the car seat. She then took him to the CPS vehicle.

While we were in the boys bedroom getting the boys clothes, the CW came into the room with clothes too small from a bag marked S.O.S. for donation and put them on the children.

The CW asked for our car seats to transport them and began searching around in closets and rooms for them without any permission. We pulled the car seats out of the living room closet. The CW’s then put the children into the back of their car.

The CW suggested that my wife go with the police escort up to the DHS office in Florence to speak with her more about the reason why CPS was taking our children into protective care.

My wife offered to get some juice for the kids but the CW would not wait for her. I then gave it to a police officer to give to the CW.

My wife took the escort ride up to the local DHS office in Florence. She then waited for the CW half an hour in a room by herself. All she could hear was our children screaming at the top of their lungs.

The intake CW entered the room and said that she had me on the speaker phone. I was distraught and was crying and blaming myself for the children being taken away. My loudness again was taken as proof that there was a impending safety threat.

The CW then preceded to use coercion by telling my wife “You should leave Jeramey and if you want any chance of getting your children back you should sign these papers.” She asked for a copy of them and has never received the copies to this date.

We object to the coercion from the CW to get my wife to sign a plea of guilt at the DHS office in Florence Oregon. She did not know at that time that that paper she signed was a plea of guilt. She hearby resinds her signiture on this form. “Consent” that is the product of official intimidation or harassment is not consent at all. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they are coerced to comply with a request that they would prefer to refuse. Florida v. Bostick, 501 US 429 (1991). Coercion can be mental as well as physical. Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 US (1960)

Again, neither of us were told what specific impending threat of harm caused our children to be taken away.

I asked the CW if our children had anything to eat. The CW stated “ We gave them some snacks.”

The pleading filed by the agency contained no information indicating any actual imminent danger to our children or that any one of them had been injured on the day they were removed. The allegations and contentions in the pleading filed by the agency had no factual support. This went against the requirement of 419B.866 (3)(d)

The pleading filed by the agency stated the reason that the children were taken as, “One or both parents’ or caregivers’ behavior is violent and/or they are acting (behaving) dangerously.” CPS has never shown this court any evidence that there was any violence involved between us at any time. The evidence that was submitted to the court only showed that there were arguments and yelling. Never any violence. This went against the requirement of 419B.866 (3)(d)

Oregon law provides that a child may be removed without a court order only if, based on the totality of the circumstances, there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of physical or sexual abuse. Moreover, the agency must show that it is contrary to the welfare of the child to remain in our home, and consistent with the circumstances and ensuring that the child is safe, that reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal from their home.

After a child is removed without a court order, Oregon law mandates that CPS show that: (1) there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child if the child is returned home, or there is evidence of sexual abuse and the child is at substantial risk of future sexual abuse; (2) it is contrary to the child’s welfare to remain in the home; and (3) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate need for removal.” All of these things must be shown by the agency in order to meet their burden of proof under Oregon Juvinile laws.

CPS did not show this court any one of these mandated requirements were fulfilled because they did not first meet their burden of proof with evidence that there was any violence. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d)

CPS could not show that there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child if the child is returned home or that it is contrary to the children’s welfare to remain in the home because they have never proven that there was a safety threat of violence in the first place. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d)

If there is no imminent or inpending dangers such as “severe abuse” “severe harm” according to the definitions of 419B.005, OAR 413-015-0425, OAR 413-015-0115, and OAR 413-015-0115 (47) then there is no safety threat. If there is no safety threat, then this allegation of “One or both parents’ or caregivers’ behavior is violent and/or they are acting (behaving) dangerously.” should have been UNFOUNDED.

CPS has failed to fulfill the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(c)(d) in that they failed to show the court WHAT imminent abuse or severe harm would have befell the children if left at home. Oregon law states that that the intakeworker should be able to describe it. CPS failed to describe it as per OAR 413-015-0115. If it cannot be described then the accusations should have been UNFOUNDED.

The intake worker and the CW have never clearly described and articulated what severe harm was imminant or about to happen. The intake worker and CW have clearly based her finding on a gut feeling.

OAR 413-015-0115 Definitions

  1. Observable” means specific, real, can be seen and described. Observable does not include suspicion or gut feeling.”

CPS knowingly misled the Court with statements in the caseworker’s sworn affidavit and with sworn testimony at the ex parte hearing required by the Oregon Juvinile Code. CPS knowingly misled the court with lies of ommission by not showing the court that there was NO violence in the mother and fathers relationship and there was no violence on the day of the children’s abduction. There was no imminent danger to the children on the evening that the children were removed.

By intentionally and consciously ommiting this important information, shows a doing wrong for dishonest purpose. This went against the requirements of 419B.866 (3)(a)

419B.866 Signing pleadings required; effect of signing or not signing.

(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d) of this subsection, by signing, filing or otherwise submitting an argument in support of a petition, answer, motion or other paper, an attorney or party makes the certifications to the court identified in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this subsection and further certifies that the certifications are based on the person’s reasonable knowledge, information and belief formed after the making of any inquiry that is reasonable under the circumstances.

(b) A party or attorney certifies that the petition, answer, motion or other paper is not being presented for any improper purpose including, but not limited to, harassing or causing unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

(c) An attorney certifies that the claims and other legal positions taken in the petition, answer, motion or other paper are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.

(d) A party or attorney certifies that the allegations and other factual assertions in the petition, answer, motion or other paper are supported by evidence. An allegation or other factual assertion that the party or attorney does not wish to certify is supported by evidence must be specifically identified. The party or attorney certifies that the party or attorney reasonably believes that an allegation or other factual assertion so identified will be supported by evidence after further investigation and discovery. [2001 c.622 §20]

This case should have been closed at screening because it did not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005

(4) Close at Screening: A report will be closed at screening if one of the following subsections applies:

(a) The screener determines that information received:

(A) Does not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005 or, when applicable, Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section 36, and the screener determines:

  1. That the information describes behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that pose a risk to a child;

Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section SECTION 38. (1) The investigation conducted by the Department of Human Services under section 37 of this 2016 Act must result in one of the following findings:

(a) That the report is substantiated. A report is substantiated when there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

(b) That the report is unsubstantiated. A report is unsubstantiated when there is no evidence that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

  1. That the report is inconclusive. A report is inconclusive when there is some indication that the abuse occurred but there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse occurred.

SECTION 39. ORS 419B.005 is amended to read: 419B.005. As used in ORS 419B.005 to 419B.050, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)(a) “Abuse” means:

(A) Any assault, as defined in ORS chapter 163, of a child and any physical injury to a child which has been caused by other than accidental means, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.

(B) Any mental injury to a child, which shall include only observable and substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by cruelty to the child, with due regard to the culture of the child.

(G) Threatened harm to a child, which means subjecting a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.

Neither the intakeworker or the caseworker have reported in any way that the children suffered from any “assault”, “Physical injury”, “observable and substantial impairment” or “ substantial risk of harm”. This report should have been unsubstantiated or NOT FOUNDED. There was insufficient information to support this being a disposition of child abuse or neglect.

The Case Progress Evaluation Summary reads; “On January 5th, 2016, the agency received a call of concern for the children in the care of Mr. Tullis and Ms. Gotterba. The agency responded on 1/13/2016 and CPS caseworkers Brook Sinclair, Megan Favreau and Florence Police Officers made face to face contact with Mr. Tullis at his residence in Florence, Oregon.”

The law at ORS 413-015-0210 states that the caseworker must make contact within 5 calendar days. The law also states that the information from an informant must constituted a report of child abuse or neglect as defined in ORS 419B.005. If it does not, then the report must be closed at screening. No where in the caseworkers report to the court or in the original petition to the court did DHS or CPS show that they had met these requirements.

According to 413-015-0210

Determining Department’s Response and Required Time Lines for CPS Information

(1) After the screener completes screening activities required by OAR 413-015-0205, and the screener determines the information received is CPS information, the screener must determine the Department response, either CPS assessment required or close at screening. If a CPS assessment is required, the screener must then determine the time line for the Department response, either within 24 hours or within five calendar days.

(2) CPS assessment required. A CPS assessment is required if:

(a) The screener determines that information received constitutes a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005, and the information indicates:

(A) The alleged perpetrator is a legal parent of the alleged child victim;

(B) The alleged perpetrator resides in the alleged child victim’s home;

  1. The alleged perpetrator may have access to the alleged child victim, and the parent or caregiver may not be able or willing to protect the child;

(3) Response Time Lines. If the screener determines that a CPS assessment is required, the screener must:

(a) Determine the CPS assessment response time line. The time line for the Department response refers to the amount of time between when the report is received at screening and when the CPS worker is required to make an initial contact. When determining the response time, the screener must take into account the location of the child, how long the child will be in that location, and access that others have to the child.

(A) Within 24 hours: This response time line is required, unless paragraph (B) of this subsection applies, when the information received constitutes a report of child abuse or neglect as defined in ORS 419B.005 or, when applicable, Oregon Laws 2016, chapter 106, section 36.

(B) Within five calendar days: This response time line must only be used when the screener can clearly document how the information indicates the child’s safety will not be compromised by not responding within 24 hours and whether an intentional delay to allow for a planned response is less likely to compromise the safety of the child.

(4) Close at Screening: A report will be closed at screening if one of the following subsections applies:

(a) The screener determines that information received:

(A) Does not constitute a report of child abuse or neglect, as defined in ORS 419B.005

419B.005 Definitions. As used in ORS 419B.005 to 419B.050, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)(a) “Abuse” means:

(A) Any assault, as defined in ORS chapter 163, of a child and any physical injury to a child which has been caused by other than accidental means, including any injury which appears to be at variance with the explanation given of the injury.

(B) Any mental injury to a child, which shall include only observable and substantial impairment of the child’s mental or psychological ability to function caused by cruelty to the child, with due regard to the culture of the child.

(D) Sexual abuse, as described in ORS chapter 163.

(F) Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care that is likely to endanger the health or welfare of the child.

(G) Threatened harm to a child, which means subjecting a child to a substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare.

I object to the intake workers witch hunt to try and find something to pin on me. The law states that there must already be a known exigent circumstance existing before conducting a search or seizure without a warrant or court order. This exigent circumstance must directly be associated with harm to the childs life or limb. “Government officials are required to obtain prior judicial authorization before intruding on a parent’s custody of her child unless they possess information at the time of the seizure that establishes ‘reasonable cause to believe that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury and that the scope of the intrusion is reasonably necessary to avert that specific injury.’” Mabe v. San Bernardino Cnty., Dep’t of Pub. Soc. Servs., 237 F.3d 1101, 1106 (9th Cir. 2001)

I object that the intake worker has clearly violated our children’s Fourth Amendment rights. A man demanding his rights and his childrens rights with a loud voice does not equal “violence”.The father was not directing his negative attention to the children. The father was not violently in a physical fight with anyone where a child could get in the way and be harmed. The children had no bruises or marks to show that abuse had already happened to them and that it was impending that it would happen again soon. Two children playing behind their fathers legs does not equal “cowering” as the CW insinuates. Two children hiding behind their fathers legs when 6 people are in the same room arguing with the parent does not equal impending doom, exigent circumstances or imminent danger to the children.

For purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a “seizure” of a person is a situation in which a reasonable person would feel that he is not free to leave, and also either actually yields to a show of authority from police or social workers or is physically touched by police. Persons may not be “seized” without a court order or being placed under arrest. California v. Hodari, 499 U.S. 621 (1991).

Being there was no evidence of an imminent threat of harm to any one of our children, the CPS investigator violated our childen’s clearly established fourth amendment rights.

The Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Our children are undeniably entitled to stay with their parents without governmental interference.

The CPS investigater had neither a warrant nor probable cause to seize our children.

In order to prevail, therefore, she must have demonstrate a governmental interest sufficient to justify dispensing with constitutional protections. The record before us is devoid of such.

As previously noted, there was no evidence of danger to our children sufficient to implicate the state’s interest in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of them as minors.

You cannot seize childern simply because their parent is yelling.

The social workers were specifically charged with protecting children where there were allegations of abuse. There is no indication in this record of any threat to our children’s safety, nor was she investigating allegations that our children had previously suffered abuse at the hands of their parents.

Under the circumstances, our children enjoyed a clearly established right to maintain their relationship free from interference by state actors.

According to OAR 413-015-0400, when the agency makes a determination of the presence of a safety threat, there are 5 factors that all have to be met and present at the same time in order for it to be FOUNDED.

  1. A family condition is out-of-control.

According to OAR 413-015-0425 “Out of control” means”

  1. (d) “family behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that can affect a child’s safety are unrestrained, unmanaged, without limits or monitoring, not subject to influence or manipulation within the control of the family, resulting in an unpredictable and chaotic family environment.”

The father was in control of himself and restrained by leaning against the kitchen bar and crossing his legs. He only argued his points with a loud voice. He did not threaten anyone, throw things, or break things. He was simply reacting to a situation where officials were trying to take his children without due cause. Even if these actions and attitudes resulted in a chaotic family environment, it did not fullfill the other factors that would have entitled the intakeworker to take the children.

  1. A family condition is likely to result in harm.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 “Harm” means:

  1. “….. any kind of impairment, damage, detriment, or injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning. “Harm” is the result of child abuse or neglect and may vary from mild to severe.”

A father leaning up against a kitchen bar did not show any actions that would likely result in direct harm to his children.

  1. The severe effect is imminent: reasonably could happen soon.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 (47) “Severe harm” means:

(a) Significant or acute injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning;

(b) Immobilizing impairment; or

  1. Life threatening damage.

Even if it were true that the children were cowering behind their father, the intake worker and CW have never seen anything even close to a severe effect or severe harm that was imminent.

  1. The family condition is observable and can be clearly described and articulated.

OAR 413-015-0115 Definitions

  1. Observable” means specific, real, can be seen and described. Observable does not include suspicion or gut feeling.”

The intake worker and the CW have never clearly described and articulated what severe harm was imminant or about to happen. The intake worker and CW have clearly based her finding on a gut feeling.

  1. There is a vulnerable child.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 “Vulnerable child” means:

(53) …..a child who is unable to protect himself or herself. This includes a child who is dependent on others for sustenance and protection.

A “vulnerable child” is defenseless, exposed to behaviors, conditions, or circumstances that he or she is powerless to manage, and is susceptible and accessible to a threatening parent or caregiver.

Vulnerability is judged according to physical and emotional development, ability to communicate needs, mobility, size, and dependence.

According to OAR 413-015-1000

Threat of harm, includes all activities, conditions, and circumstances that place the child at threat of severe harm of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, mental injury, or other child abuse or neglect.

According to OAR 413-015-0425

Present Danger is an IMMEDIATE, SIGNIFICANT, and clearly observable severe harm or threat of severe harm occurring in the present.

According to OAR 413-015-0425

Impending Danger is a state of danger in which family conditions, behaviors, attitudes, motive, emotions and /or situations are out of control and , while the danger may not be currently active, it can be anticipated to have severe effects on a child at any time.

The key word here is severe as in SEVERE HARM and SEVERE EFFECTS.

According to OAR 413-015-0115 statute (47) “Severe harm” means:

(a) Significant or acute injury to a child’s physical, sexual, psychological, cognitive, or behavioral development or functioning;

(b) Immobilizing impairment; or

(c) Life threatening damage.

The CPS’s evaluation should have been decided as UNFOUNDED according to Oregon law and CPS’s own rules. This claim of Neglect and Threat of Harm should never have been brought to this court because it does not fit the statutory definition of child abuse or neglect.

CPS has not shown evidense in any manner that our children have suffered ANY severe harm. Nor have they shown that any severe effects were imminent such as:

  • Significant or acute injury
  • Immobilizing impairment
  • or Life threatening damage

CPS has never proven that our current mental condition placed or will place our children at a threat of severe harm.

The CW has also stated in her Ongoing Safety Plans and the Child Welfare Case Plans that,”There is a long history of domestic violence occuring between Meaghan Gotterba and Jeramy Tullis. The children have wittnessed the DV betweem their parents.”

Although arguing or talking in foul language is not appropreate in front of children or anywhere else, arguing is not part of CPS’s own examples of this mentioned safety threat. CPS has never shown evidence that any of our children “…demonstrates an observable, significant effect.” The term “Family Discord” is not even used in the discriptions of any of the Oregon Safety Threats.

Below is the examples of this peticular Safety Threat as brought out in CPS’s own Screening and Assessment Handbook, Chapter II –

  • Examples:
  • Violence includes hitting, beating or physically assaulting a child, spouse or other family member.
  • Violence includes acting dangerously toward a child or others, including throwing things, brandishing weapons, aggressively intimidating and terrorizing. This includes making believable threats of homicide or suicide.
  • Family violence involves physical and verbal assault on a parent, caregiver or member of the child’s household in the presence of a child; the child witnesses the activity; and the child demonstrates an observable, significant effect.
  • Family violence occurs and a child has been assaulted or attempted to intervene.
  • Family violence occurs and a child could be inadvertently harmed even though the child may not be the actual target of the violence.
  • Parent/caregiver whose behavior outside of the home (e.g., drugs, violence, aggressiveness, hostility) creates an environment within the home which threatens child safety (e.g., drug labs, gangs, drive-by shootings).
  • Due to the batterer’s controlling behavior, the child’s basic needs are unmet.

The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and Oregon law require Child Welfare caseworkers to make efforts to prevent the need to remove a child from his or her home prior to placing the child in protective custody, to return the child to a parent, and to achieve permanency for a child who cannot be returned to his or her home.

The intakeworker’s wrongful conduct violated clearly established law. Genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the reasonableness of the intakeworker’s conduct.

This blatant disregard for the childrens 4th amendment rights, the states rules and regulations and Federal laws has striped the intakeworker and caseworker of their Qualified Immunity. They both have been trained in their scope of work and clearly went against what a reasonable person would have known.

Qualified immunity shields government officials from liability when they are acting within their discretionary authority and their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional law of which a reasonable person would have known. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396(1982);

Characteristically the Court has defined these elements by identifying the circumstances in which qualified immunity would not be available. Referring both to the objective and subjective elements, we have held that qualified immunity would be defeated if an official “knew or reasonably should have known that the action he took within his sphere of official responsibility would violate the constitutional rights of the [plaintiff], or if he took the action with the malicious intention to cause a deprivation of constitutional rights or other injury . . . .” Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727, 73 L.Ed.2d 396 (1982)

I object to the intakeworkers “fishing expedition” and “witch hunt” to try and find a reason to take our children. Even if it was true that the children were “cowering” behind me, the intakeworker clearly did not see a exigent circumstances that would harm life or limb.

Under “Reasons Services Could Not be Provided to Prevent removal Of the Child from the home” in the report to the court, the CW gives the reason “During the initial assessment, Mr Tullis was angry and volatile with the DHS intakeworker. The agency was unable to develop an in-home plan due to Mr Tullis’ lack of cooperation.

Nowhere in the law of OAR 413-015-0400 and nowhere in CPS statutes does it require that an in-home-plan be put into place if there is no reason­able cause to believe that child abuse or neglect occurred or was about to occur soon.

Nowhere in the law of OAR 413-015-0400 and nowhere in CPS statutes does it require that an in-home plan should be put into place if the parent is angry that someone is there trying to take their children away.

It is to only be put into place IF the intakeworker has reason­able cause to believe that child abuse or neglect occurred or it is going to occur soon.

This claimed exigent is less than the real, genuine or bona fide emergency required by the constitutions, federal and state.

The only reason that the intakeworker took the children was because the fathers yelling was of inconvenience to the intakeworker and not of exigent circumstances relating to the children. The fathers yelling was only an excuse to take the children instead of real cause mandated by law.

Being there was NO true exigent circumstances, the caseworker would need a warrant or court order to take the children. If she had persuded a court for a court order or warrant, It would have been based on lies and ommissions as the original petition to the court was.

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

A due-process violation occurs when a state-required breakup of a natural family is founded solely on a “best interests” analysis that is not supported by the requisite proof of parental unfitness. Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246, 255, (1978)

The CW has never presented to this court any evidence that was explicitly documented that showed any reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal of two boys that were playing behind their father legs and one infant sleeping in its bed. Just using one of Oregons 16 safety threats title as a reason to take a child and not backing it up with evidence does not fulfill the letter of the law.

Judicial determinations that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal and to finalize the permanency plan in effect, as well as judicial determinations that reasonable efforts are not required, must be explicitly documented, made on a case-by-case basis, and stated in the court order. A transcript of the court proceeding is the only other documentation that will be accepted to verify that these determinations have been made. Affidavits, nunc pro tunc orders, and references to state law are not acceptable. 45 C.F.R. §1356.21(d). The court, after hearing the evidence, must be satisfied that reasonable efforts . . . have been made. Review and approval of the [state] agency’s report and recommendation alone are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act; the court must make a determination that the agency’s efforts were, in the judgment of the court, reasonable for preventing placement. With regard to emergency situations, if the agency’s judgment was that services could not have prevented removal of the child, the court at the time of the adjudicatory hearing must find that the lack of preventive efforts was reasonable.

CPS was never required by the court to provide specific and detailed documentation to prove that Reasonable Efforts were in fact made. 42 C.F.R. Section 1356.21(d) requires documentation of judicial determinations concerning both reasonable efforts and contrary to the welfare findings. They are to be explicitly documented on a case by case basis and so stated in the court order. Facts substantiating the legal conclusion must be stated in the order. Lack of compliance results in denial of federal funds for the child’s foster placement.

According to OAR 413-040-0013

Every 30 days the Ongoing Safety Plan is to be reviewed and updated to be current. Any previously identified Safety Threats that have been reduced or eliminated will be shown to be so.

The caseworker, Stacie Navarro, has never done this.

According to OAR 413-040-0013

Every 30 days there is to be a face-to-face review with parent on progress toward achieving the current Conditions For Return and Expected Outcomes.

This has never been done by the caseworker.

According to OAR 413-040-0016 and OAR 413-040-0010

Every 90 days (or any time within the 90 days) there is to be a full face-to-face current Case Plan review with the parent. This would include reviewing and updating the Ongoing Safety Plan, Action Agreement, Expected Outcomes, and Conditions For Return.

The fact is, after the first separate Action Agreements were signed back in 3/10/16 by both parents, the caseworker has NEVER visited our home or updated anything thru a face-to-face with either parent. To date over 6 months have passed by.

This means that the caseworker has committed malfeasance 28 times (14 times with each parent.)

In fact, the caseworker STILL to this date has not talked to the parents specifically about the conditions for return, expected outcomes, nor has she talked to the parents personally about a case plan where everything is updated. She also has not updated any visitation plan with them. They have never seen any visitation plan other than the original one made at intake almost 6 months ago. In fact, the visitation plan dated 3/2/16 submitted to court in the case file was not even signed by the caseworker or the parents.

And because of the CW’s lack of mandated monthly updates, this means that the caseworker presented false information in the CRB on 7/7/16 and the Oregon Family Decision Meeting on 9/15/16. This also means that the CW passed on false information to the caseworker’s supervisor. This also means that false information was presented to Dr. Basham for the Psych Evaluations by stateing that the parents were in a violent relationship.

And because of the caseworker, Stacie Navarro, not doing her mandated obligations of updating anything, she has thus given false testimony to this court at every hearing so far.

The CW lack of updating the case causes the court to not know the truth. This is basicly a lie of ommission. A lie of omission is to remain silent when ethical behavior calls for one to speak up. A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s (the judge’s) capacity to make an informed decision.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said it best, “The government’s interest in the welfare of children embraces not only protecting children from physical abuse, but also protecting children’s interest in the privacy and dignity of their homes and in the lawfully exercised authority of their parents.Calabretta v. Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999).

We are therefore establishing ON THE RECORD that we strongly challenge that any lawfull reason existed to remove our children.

Therefore, we strongly challenge this courts jurisiction over this matter.

We withdraw and rescind any and all signatures to “voluntary” safety and service plans or any other “agreements”. Such signatures were obtained through duress, threat, and coercion. We now explicitly withdraw any consents we gave.

We withdraw any plea of guilt that we were coerced and tricked into signing.

I am petitioning the court to dismiss jurisdiction, close the case, and order that the children are returned home immediately.

I hereby declare that the above statements are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief. I understand they are made for use as evidence in court and I am subject to penalty for perjury.

DATED this day of ___________, 20____ .

Petitioner (signature) _________________________________________

Print Name _________________________________________________

Address or Contact Address ____________________________________

City, State, Zip Code __________________________________________

Telephone or Contact Telephone ________________________________

STATE OF OREGON           )

)     ss.

County of Lane )

SIGNED AND SWORN to before me on this ______ day of ______________, 2016.

_____________________

SEAL

Attorney’s signature______________________________________________

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON FOR LANE COUNTY

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT

In the matter of

Haiden Tipaloo

Jaiden Tipaloo

Kaiden Tipaloo

Minor Children,

Court Numbers: 16JU00258

16JU00325

16JU00765

MOTION TO DISMISS DUE TO LACK OF JURISDICTION

Based upon the Motion to Dismiss filed by the plaintiff , IT IS HEREBY ORDERED these cases be dismissed

___ resolving and disposing of all remaining issues and parties (general)

___ disposing of defendant (s) _______________________________________________________ (limited) and it is further ordered this case is dismissed

___ with prejudice

___ without prejudice

DATE: ___________________

______________________________________________

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE

Pennsylvania

 

Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence

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Current Through April 2016

Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Consequences

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through February 2016

Physical Abuse

The term ‘child abuse’ shall mean intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly doing any of the following:

  • Causing bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act
  • Fabricating, feigning, or intentionally exaggerating or inducing a medical symptom or disease that results in a potentially harmful medical evaluation or treatment to the child through any recent act
  • Causing sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any act or failure to act
  • Creating a reasonable likelihood of bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act
  • Creating a likelihood of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child through any recent act or failure to act
  • Causing serious physical neglect of a child
  • Engaging in any of the following recent acts:
    • Kicking, biting, throwing, burning, stabbing, or cutting a child in a manner that endangers the child
    • Unreasonably restraining or confining a child, based on consideration of the method, location, or the duration of the restraint or confinement
    • Forcefully shaking a child younger than age 1
    • Forcefully slapping or otherwise striking a child younger than age 1
    • Interfering with the breathing of a child
    • Causing a child to be present at a location while a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7508.2 (relating to operation of methamphetamine laboratory) is occurring, provided that the violation is being investigated by law enforcement
    • Leaving a child unsupervised with an individual, other than the child’s parent, who the actor knows or reasonably should have known:
      • Is required to register as a Tier II or Tier III sexual offender, when the victim of the sexual offense was younger than age 18 when the crime was committed
      • Has been determined to be a sexually violent predator
      • Has been determined to be a sexually violent delinquent child
Neglect

‘Serious physical neglect’ means any of the following when committed by a perpetrator that endangers a child’s life or health, threatens a child’s well-being, causes bodily injury, or impairs a child’s health, development, or functioning:

  • A repeated, prolonged, or unconscionable egregious failure to supervise a child in a manner that is appropriate considering the child’s developmental age and abilities
  • The failure to provide a child with adequate essentials of life, including food, shelter, or medical care
Sexual Abuse/Exploitation

‘Sexual abuse or exploitation’ means any of the following:

  • The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another individual to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Looking at the sexual or other intimate parts of a child or another individual for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire in any individual
    • Participating in sexually explicit conversation either in person, by telephone, by computer, or by a computer-aided device for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual
    • Actual or simulated sexual activity or nudity for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any individual
    • Actual or simulated sexual activity for the purpose of producing visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting, or filming
  • Any of the following offenses committed against a child:
    • Rape, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3121
    • Statutory sexual assault, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1
    • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3123
    • Sexual assault, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1
    • Institutional sexual assault, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2
    • Aggravated indecent assault, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3125
    • Indecent assault, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126
    • Indecent exposure, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3127
    • Incest, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 4302
    • Prostitution, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5902
    • Sexual abuse of children, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312
    • Unlawful contact with a minor, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6318
    • Sexual exploitation of children, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6320
Emotional Abuse

The term ‘child abuse’ includes causing or substantially contributing to serious mental injury to a child through any act or failure to act or a series of such acts or failures to act.

‘Serious mental injury’ means a psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that:

  • Renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic, or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is threatened
  • Seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks
Abandonment

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Standards for Reporting

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6311
A report is required when a mandatory reporter has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse.

Persons Responsible for the Child

‘Perpetrator’ means a person who has committed child abuse as defined in this section. The term includes only the following:

  • A parent of the child
  • A spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent
  • A paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent
  • A person age 14 or older and responsible for the child’s welfare
  • An individual who is age 14 or older who resides in the same home as the child
  • An individual age 18 or older who does not reside in the same home as the child but is related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity by birth or adoption to the child

Only the following may be considered a perpetrator for failing to act, as provided in this section:

  • A parent of the child
  • A spouse or former spouse of the child’s parent
  • A paramour or former paramour of the child’s parent
  • A person age 18 or older who is responsible for the child’s welfare
  • A person age 18 or older who resides in the same home as the child

A ‘person responsible for the child’s welfare’ is a person who provides permanent or temporary care; supervision; mental health diagnosis or treatment; training; or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision, and control.

Exceptions

The term ‘sexual abuse’ does not include consensual activities between a child who is age 14 or older and another person who is age 14 or older and whose age is within 4 years of the child’s age.

No child shall be deemed to be abused based on injuries that result solely from environmental factors, such as inadequate housing, clothing, and medical care, which are beyond the control of the parent.

If, upon investigation, the county agency determines that a child has not been provided needed medical care because of sincerely held religious beliefs of the child’s parents, which beliefs are consistent with those of a bona fide religion, the child shall not be deemed to be physically or mentally abused. In such cases, the county agency shall closely monitor the child and the child’s family and shall seek court-ordered medical intervention when the lack of medical care threatens the child’s life or long-term health. The family shall be referred for general protective services, if appropriate. This subsection shall not apply if the failure to provide needed medical care causes the death of the child.

The use of reasonable force on or against a child by the child’s own parent or person responsible for the child’s welfare shall not be considered child abuse if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The use of reasonable force constitutes incidental, minor, or reasonable physical contact with the child that are designed to maintain order and control.
  • The use of reasonable force is necessary:
    • To quell a disturbance or remove the child from the scene of a disturbance that threatens physical injury to persons or damage to property
    • To prevent the child from self-inflicted physical harm
    • For self-defense or the defense of another individual
    • To obtain possession of weapons, dangerous objects, or controlled substances or paraphernalia that are on or within the control of the child

 

Definitions of Domestic Violence

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Current Through August 2013

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

‘Abuse’ means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or persons who share biological parenthood:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, or incest with or without a deadly weapon
  • Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to title 18, § 2903
  • Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in chapter 63 (relating to child protective services)
  • Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances that place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury

The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable to any criminal prosecutions commenced under title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Defined in Criminal Laws

A police officer shall have the same right of arrest without a warrant as in a felony whenever he or she has probable cause to believe the defendant has violated §§ 2504 (relating to involuntary manslaughter); 2701 (relating to simple assault); 2702(a)(3), (4) and (5) (relating to aggravated assault); 2705 (relating to recklessly endangering another person); 2706 (relating to terroristic threats); or 2709.1 (relating to stalking) against a family or household member, although the offense did not take place in the presence of the police officer. A police officer may not arrest a person pursuant to this section without first observing recent physical injury to the victim or other corroborative evidence. For the purposes of this subsection, the term ‘family or household member’ has the meaning given that term in title 23, § 6102.

Persons Included in the Definition

‘Family or household members’ means:

  • Spouses or persons who have been spouses
  • Persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses
  • Parents and children
  • Other persons related by consanguinity or affinity
  • Current or former sexual or intimate partners
  • Persons who share biological parenthood

 

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

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Current Through June 2013

Confidentiality of Records

Except as otherwise provided by law, reports made pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, report summaries of child abuse and neglect written reports, as well as any other information obtained, reports written or photographs or x-rays taken concerning alleged instances of child abuse in the possession of the Department of Public Welfare or a county agency shall be confidential.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Records shall only be made available to the following:

  • An authorized official of a county agency, a Federal agency that has a need for the information, or of an agency of another State that performs protective services
  • Multidisciplinary team members assigned to the case
  • A physician examining or treating a child when the physician suspects the child of being an abused child
  • A guardian ad litem or court designated advocate for the child
  • An official or agent of the department conducting a performance audit
  • A court of competent jurisdiction
  • A court of common pleas in connection with any matter involving custody of a child
  • A standing committee of the General Assembly charged with legislative oversight
  • The attorney general or a district attorney
  • Federal auditors if required for Federal financial participation in funding of agencies
  • Law enforcement officials of any jurisdiction, as long as the information is relevant to an investigation
  • Designated county officials
  • A mandated reporter who made a report of abuse involving the subject child
  • A prospective adoptive parent when considering adopting an abused child in the custody of a county agency
  • Appropriate officials of another county or State regarding an investigation related to child abuse or protective services when a family has moved to that county or State
  • A subject of a report
  • Members of a citizen review panel
  • A member of a child fatality or near fatality review team
When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

The department shall conduct a child fatality or near fatality review immediately upon receipt of a report that a child died or nearly died as a result of suspected child abuse.

Prior to completing its report, the department may release the following information to the public concerning a child who died or nearly died as a result of suspected or substantiated child abuse:

  • The identity of the child
  • If the child was in the custody of a public or private agency, the identity of the agency
  • The identity of the public or private agency that provided services to the child and the child’s family in the child’s home prior to the child’s death or near fatality
  • A description of services provided
  • The identity of the county agency that convened a child fatality or near fatality review team with respect to the child

Upon completion of the review and report, the department’s report shall be made available to the county agency, the child fatality or near fatality review team, designated county officials, and, upon request, to other individuals to whom confidential reports may be released.

The report shall be made available to the public, but identifying information shall be removed from the contents of the report except for disclosure of the information listed above. The report shall not be released to the public if the district attorney certifies that release of the report may compromise a pending criminal investigation or proceeding.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

This section applies to all prospective employees of child care services, prospective foster parents, prospective adoptive parents, prospective self-employed family daycare providers, and other persons seeking to provide child care services that involve direct contact with children.

Administrators of child care services shall require applicants to submit with their applications a certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse, indicated report of child abuse, founded report for school employee, or indicated report for school employee.

In the course of investigating and approving an individual as a prospective foster or adoptive parent, the agency shall require the individual and any person over age 18 residing in the individual’s home to submit a certification obtained within the previous 1-year period from the statewide central registry, or its equivalent in each State in which the person has resided within the previous 5-year period, as to whether the person is named as a perpetrator of child abuse.

Self-employed family daycare providers who apply for a certificate of registration with the department shall submit with their registration application certification from the department as to whether the applicant is named in the central register as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse.

 

Immunity for Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through March 2015

A person, hospital, institution, school, facility, agency or agency employee acting in good faith shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result from any of the following:

  • Making a report of suspected child abuse or making a referral for general protective services, regardless of whether the report is required to be made under this chapter
  • Cooperating or consulting with an investigation under this chapter, including providing information to a child fatality or near-fatality review team
  • Testifying in a proceeding arising out of an instance of suspected child abuse or general protective services
  • Engaging in any action authorized under § 6314 (relating to photographs, medical tests, and x-rays of a child subject to report), § 6315 (relating to taking child into protective custody), § 6316 (relating to admission to private and public hospitals), or § 6317 (relating to mandatory reporting and postmortem investigation of deaths)

An official or employee of the department or county agency who refers a report of suspected child abuse for general protective services to law enforcement authorities or provides services as authorized by this chapter shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result from the action.

For the purpose of any civil or criminal proceeding, the good faith of a person required to report pursuant to § 6311 (relating to persons required to report suspected child abuse) and of any person required to make a referral to law enforcement officers under this chapter shall be presumed.

 

Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through February 2013

Individual Responsibility to Report

A mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or neglected child shall make a report to the Department of Public Welfare.

An oral report shall be made immediately, to be followed by a written report within 48 hours.

Written reports shall be made to the appropriate county agency in a manner and on forms the department prescribes by regulation.

Content of Reports

The written reports shall include the following information if available:

  • The names and addresses of the child and the child’s parents or other persons responsible for the care of the child, if known
  • Where the suspected abuse occurred
  • The age and sex of subjects of the report
  • The nature and extent of the suspected abuse, including any evidence of prior abuse to the child or siblings of the child
  • The name and relationship of the person responsible for causing the suspected abuse, if known, and any evidence of prior abuse by that person
  • Family composition
  • The source of the report
  • The name and contact information of the person making the report
  • Any actions taken by the source
  • Any other information that the department may require by regulation
Reporting Suspicious Deaths

A mandated reporter who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect shall report that suspicion to the appropriate coroner. The coroner shall accept the report for investigation and shall report his finding to the police, the district attorney, the appropriate county agency and, if the report is made by a hospital, the hospital.

Reporting Substance-Exposed Infants

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Agency Receiving the Reports

The department shall establish a single statewide toll-free telephone number that all persons, whether mandated by law or not, may use to report cases of suspected child abuse. A county agency shall use the toll-free telephone number for determining the existence of prior founded or indicated reports of child abuse in the Statewide central register or reports under investigation in the pending complaint file.

Initial Screening Decisions

Upon receipt of a complaint of suspected child abuse, the department shall immediately transmit orally to the appropriate county agency notice that the complaint of suspected child abuse has been received and the substance of the complaint. If the central register or the pending complaint file contains information indicating a prior report or a current investigation concerning a subject of the report, the department shall immediately notify the appropriate county agency of this fact. The appropriate county agency shall mean the agency in the county where the suspected child abuse occurred.

If the complaint does not suggest suspected child abuse but does suggest a need for social services or other services or investigation, the department shall transmit the information to the county agency or other public agency for appropriate action. The information shall not be considered a child abuse report unless the agency to which the information was referred has reasonable cause to suspect after investigation that abuse occurred. If the agency has reasonable cause to suspect that abuse occurred, the agency shall notify the department, and the initial complaint shall be considered to have been a child abuse report.

Agency Conducting the Assessment/Investigation

Upon receipt of each report of suspected child abuse, the county agency shall immediately commence an appropriate investigation.

If the complaint of suspected abuse is determined to be one that cannot be investigated under this chapter because the person accused of the abuse is not a parent of a child, a person responsible for the welfare of a child, an individual residing in the same home as a child, or a paramour of a child’s parent, but does suggest the need for investigation, the county agency shall immediately transmit the information to the appropriate authorities, including the district attorney, the district attorney’s designee, or other law enforcement official for investigation.

Assessment/Investigation Procedures

The investigation shall include a determination of the risk of harm to the child or children if they continue to remain in the existing home environment, as well as a determination of the nature, extent, and cause of any condition enumerated in the report, any action necessary to provide for the safety of the child, and the taking of photographic identification of the child to be maintained with the file. During the investigation, the county agency shall provide or arrange for services necessary to protect the child while the agency is making a determination. If the investigation indicates serious physical injury, a medical examination shall be performed on the subject child by a certified medical practitioner. Where there is reasonable cause to suspect there is a history of prior or current abuse, the medical practitioner has the authority to arrange for further medical tests or the county agency has the authority to request further medical tests.

Prior to interviewing a subject of the report, the county agency shall orally notify the subject who is about to be interviewed of the existence of the report, the subject’s right to counsel and other basic rights.

Timeframes for Completing Investigations

Upon receipt of each report of suspected child abuse, the county agency shall immediately commence an appropriate investigation and see the child immediately if emergency protective custody is required or has been or shall be taken or if it cannot be determined from the report whether emergency protective custody is needed. Otherwise, the county agency shall commence an appropriate investigation and see the child within 24 hours of receipt of the report.

The investigation by the county agency to determine whether the report is founded, indicated, or unfounded and whether to accept the family for service shall be completed within 60 days in all cases.

Classification of Reports

Child abuse reports may be classified as follows:

  • Founded report: If there has been any judicial adjudication based on a finding that a child who is a subject of the report has been abused, including the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or a finding of guilt to a criminal charge involving the same factual circumstances involved in the allegation of child abuse
  • Indicated report: If an investigation by the county agency or the department determines that substantial evidence of the alleged abuse exists based on any of the following:
    • Available medical evidence
    • The child protective service investigation
    • An admission of the acts of abuse by the perpetrator
  • Unfounded report: Any report that is not a founded or indicated report

 

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

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Current Through August 2015

Professionals Required to Report

The following adults are required to report:

  • Persons licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field
  • Medical examiners, coroners, or funeral directors
  • Employees of licensed health-care facilities who are engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of individuals
  • School employees
  • Employees of a child care service or public library
  • A clergyman, priest, rabbi, minister, Christian Science practitioner, religious healer, or spiritual leader of any regularly established church or other religious organization
  • Any person, paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of the person’s role in a program, activity, or service, is a person responsible for the child’s welfare or has direct contact with children
  • Employees of a social services agency
  • A peace officer or law enforcement official
  • An emergency medical services provider
  • An individual supervised or managed by a person listed above who has direct contact with children
  • An independent contractor
  • An attorney affiliated with an agency, institution, or other entity, including a school or established religious organization that is responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children
  • A foster parent
  • An adult family member who is a person responsible for the child’s welfare and provides services to a child in a family living home, community home for individuals with an intellectual disability, or licensed host home for children

A ‘school employee’ is an individual who is employed by a school or who provides an activity or service sponsored by a school. The term does not apply to administrative personnel unless that person has direct contact with children. A school is a facility providing elementary, secondary, or postsecondary educational services, including public and nonpublic schools, vocational-technical schools, and institutions of higher education.

Reporting by Other Persons

Any person may make an oral or written report of suspected child abuse, which may be submitted electronically, if that person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse.

Institutional Responsibility to Report

Whenever a person is required to report in the capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency, that person shall report immediately in accordance with § 6313 and shall immediately thereafter notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility, or agency, or the designated agent of the person in charge. Upon notification, the person in charge or the designated agent, if any, shall facilitate the cooperation of the institution, school, facility, or agency with the investigation of the report. Any intimidation, retaliation, or obstruction in the investigation of the report is subject to the provisions of title 18, § 4958 (relating to intimidation, retaliation, or obstruction in child abuse cases). This chapter does not require more than one report from any such institution, school, facility, or agency.

Standards for Making a Report

A mandated reporter shall make a report of suspected child abuse if he or she has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:

  • The mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation, and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity, or service.
  • The mandated reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization, or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the child.
  • A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse.
  • An individual age 14 or older makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the individual has committed child abuse.

Nothing in this section shall require a child to come before the mandated reporter in order for the mandated reporter to make a report of suspected child abuse. Nothing in this section shall require the mandated reporter to identify the person responsible for the child abuse to make a report of suspected child abuse.

Privileged Communications

The privileged communications between a mandated reporter and a patient or client of the mandated reporter shall not:

  • Apply to a situation involving child abuse
  • Relieve the mandated reporter of the duty to make a report of suspected child abuse

The following protections shall apply:

  • Confidential communications made to a member of the clergy are protected under title 42, § 5943 (relating to confidential communications to clergymen).
  • Confidential communications made to an attorney are protected so long as they are within the scope of title 42, § 5916 (relating to confidential communications to attorney) and § 5928 (relating to confidential communications to attorney), the attorney work product doctrine, or the rules of professional conduct for attorneys.
Inclusion of Reporter’s Name in Report

A written report of suspected child abuse, which may be submitted electronically, shall include the name, telephone number, and email address of the person making the report.

Disclosure of Reporter Identity

Upon a written request, a subject of a report may receive a copy of all information, except for the identity of the person who made the report.

Except for reports released to law enforcement officials and the district attorney’s office, and in response to a law enforcement official investigating allegations of false reports under title 18, § 4906.1 (relating to false reports of child abuse), the release of data that would identify the person who made a report of suspected child abuse or who cooperated in a subsequent investigation is prohibited. Law enforcement officials shall treat all reporting sources as confidential informants.

 

Parental Drug Use as Child Abuse

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Current Through April 2015

The term ‘child abuse’ includes intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing a child to be present at a location while a violation of Cons. Stat. tit. 18, § 7508.2 (relating to operation of a methamphetamine laboratory) is occurring, provided that the violation is being investigated by law enforcement.

A health-care provider shall immediately make a report or cause a report to be made to the appropriate county agency if the provider is involved in the delivery or care of a child under 1 year of age who is born and identified as being affected by any of the following:

  • Illegal substance abuse by the child’s mother
  • Withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure
  • A fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

The county agency shall perform a safety assessment or risk assessment, or both, for the child and determine whether child protective services or general protective services are warranted.

The following acts and the causing thereof within the Commonwealth are hereby prohibited: The unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine or phencyclidine or their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, whenever the existence of such salts, isomers, or salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

  • In a structure where any child under age 18 is present
  • Where the manufacturing of methamphetamine or phencyclidine causes any child under age 18 to suffer bodily injury

Any person who violates the first subsection above is guilty of a felony of the third degree and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to not more than 7 years in prison and a fine of not more than $25,000, or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the profits obtained from the illegal activity.

Any person who violates the second subsection above is guilty of a felony of the second degree and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to not more than 10 years in prison and a fine of not more than $50,000, or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the profits obtained from the illegal activity.

 

Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings

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Current Through August 2014

Making The Appointment

When a proceeding has been initiated alleging that the child is a dependent child, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the legal interests and the best interests of the child.

The court may appoint or discharge a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) at any time during a proceeding or investigation regarding dependency.

The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)

A CASA is an individual appointed by the court to participate as an advocate for a child who is dependent or alleged to be dependent. Following appointment by the court, the CASA shall:

  • Have full access to and review all records, including child protective services records, relating to the child and other information, unless otherwise restricted by the court
  • Interview the child and other appropriate persons as necessary to develop his or her recommendations
  • Receive reasonable prior notice of all hearings, staff meetings, investigations, or other proceedings relating to the child
  • Receive reasonable prior notice of the movement of the child from one placement to another placement, the return of a child to the home, the removal of a child from the home, or any action that materially affects the treatment of the child
  • Submit written reports to the court to assist the court in determining the disposition best suited to the health, safety, and welfare of the child
  • Submit copies of all written reports and recommendations to all parties and any attorney of a party
Qualifications/Training

The GAL must be an attorney-at-law.

Prior to appointment, a CASA shall:

  • Be age 21 or older
  • Successfully pass screening requirements, including criminal history and child abuse background checks
  • Successfully complete the training requirements established under § 6342(f) and by the court of common pleas of the county where the CASA will serve

The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission shall develop standards governing the qualifications and training of CASAs.

Specific Duties

The GAL shall be charged with representation of the legal interests and the best interests of the child at every stage of the proceedings and shall do all of the following:

  • Meet with the child as soon as possible following appointment and on a regular basis thereafter in a manner appropriate to the child’s age and maturity
  • On a timely basis, be given access to relevant court and county agency records, reports of examination of the parents or other custodian of the child, and medical, psychological, and school records
  • Participate in all proceedings and administrative hearings and reviews to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child
  • Conduct such further investigation necessary to ascertain the facts
  • Interview potential witnesses, including the child’s parents, caregivers, and foster parents; examine and cross-examine witnesses; and present witnesses and evidence necessary to protect the best interests of the child
  • At the earliest possible date, be advised by the county agency having legal custody of the child of:
    • Any plan to relocate the child or modify custody or visitation arrangements, and the reasons why, prior to the relocation or change in custody or visitation
    • Any proceeding, investigation, or hearing directly affecting the child
  • Make specific recommendations to the court relating to the appropriateness and safety of the child’s placement and services necessary to address the child’s needs and safety
  • Explain the proceedings to the child as appropriate to the child’s age and mental and emotional condition
  • Advise the court of the child’s wishes to the extent that they can be ascertained and present to the court whatever evidence exists to support the child’s wishes

A difference between the child’s wishes and the GAL’s recommendations shall not be considered a conflict of interest for the GAL.

How the Representative Is Compensated

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies

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Current Through April 2014

When Case Plans Are Required

Within 60 days of accepting a family for service, a written family service plan shall be developed for each family receiving services through the county agency.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

The county agency shall prepare the family service plan. The agency shall provide family members, including the child, his or her representatives, and service providers, the opportunity to participate in the development and amendment of the service plan if the opportunity does not jeopardize the child’s safety. The method by which these opportunities are provided shall be recorded in the plan.

Contents of a Case Plan

The service plan shall be a discrete part of the family case record and shall include:

  • Identifying information pertaining to both the child and other family members
  • A description of the specific circumstances under which the case was accepted
  • The service objectives for the family, identifying changes needed to protect children in the family in need of protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to prevent their placement
  • The services to be provided to achieve the objectives of the plan
  • The actions to be taken by the parents, children, the county agency, or other agencies, and the dates when these actions will be completed
  • The results of family service plan reviews and placement reviews

If the child must be placed out of the home, the service plan also shall include:

  • A description of the circumstances that make placement necessary
  • To the extent available and accessible, health and educational information on the child that includes:
    • The names and addresses of the child’s health and educational providers
    • The child’s school records and grade-level performance
    • Assurances that the child’s placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement
    • A record of the child’s immunizations and medications
    • The child’s known medical problems, including the identification of known physical, mental, or emotional disabilities
    • Other relevant health and educational information concerning the child determined to be appropriate by the county agency
  • An identification of the type of home or facility in which the child will be placed and the appropriateness of the placement, including how the placement setting is the least restrictive, most familylike setting available for the child, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child
  • A description of the service objectives that shall be achieved by the parents or child prior to reunification
  • For every child age 16 or older, the appropriateness of providing programs and services to help the child prepare for transition from foster care to independent living
  • An identification of services to be provided to the family, the child, and, if applicable, the foster family to achieve the goal for the child in placement and to ensure that the child receives proper care
  • An identification of the steps the county agency shall take to ensure that the service plan is implemented, including a schedule for a review of the status of each child
  • The schedule for visits between the child and parents, including frequency, location, and participants
  • A description of the services actually provided to the child and the parents to implement the plan and achieve the goal established for the child in placement
  • The results of placement reviews

 

Concurrent Planning for Permanency for Children

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Current Through November 2012

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children

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Current Through January 2016

Schedule of Hearings

The court shall conduct a permanency hearing:

  • Within 6 months of the child’s removal from the home and every 6 months thereafter
  • Within 30 days of a finding that reasonable efforts to reunify are not required

If the court resumes jurisdiction of the child pursuant to an agreement to extend foster care after age 18, permanency hearings shall be scheduled in accordance with applicable law until court jurisdiction is terminated, but no later than when the child reaches age 21.

In regulation: The county agency shall ensure that the status of a child in placement under its case management responsibility is reviewed periodically but no less frequently than once every 6 months. The child’s first review shall occur no later than 6 months from the date of placement. Subsequent periodic reviews shall be held no later than 6 months from the date of the previous periodic review.

Persons Entitled to Attend Hearings

The court may order a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child to be present at and to bring the child to any proceeding under this chapter.

Notice of the hearing shall be provided to:

  • The child’s foster parent
  • Any preadoptive parent
  • A relative providing care for the child

The court shall provide the child’s foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for the child the right to be heard at any hearing under this chapter. Unless a foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for a child has been awarded legal custody, nothing in this section shall give the foster parent, preadoptive parent, or relative providing care for the child legal standing in the matter being heard by the court.

Determinations Made at Hearings

At each permanency hearing, a court shall determine all of the following:

  • The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement
  • The appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanency plan
  • The extent of progress made toward alleviating the circumstances that necessitated the original placement
  • The appropriateness and feasibility of the current placement goal for the child
  • The likely date by which the placement goal for the child might be achieved
  • Whether reasonable efforts were made to finalize the permanency plan
  • Whether the child is safe
  • If the child has been placed outside the State, whether the placement continues to be best suited to the safety and welfare of the child
  • The services needed to assist a child who is age 14 or older to make the transition to successful adulthood
  • Whether the child who is between age 18 and 21 has requested that the court continue jurisdiction
  • Whether a transition plan has been prepared in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 675(5)(h)
  • If the child has been in placement for at least 15 of the last 22 months or aggravated circumstances exist, whether a petition to terminate parental rights has been filed
  • If a sibling of a child has been removed from the home and is in a different placement setting, whether reasonable efforts have been made to place the child and his or her sibling together or whether such joint placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling
  • If the child has a sibling, whether visitation of the child with that sibling is occurring no less than twice a month, unless a finding is made that visitation is contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling
  • If the child has been placed with a caregiver, whether the child is being provided with regular, ongoing opportunities to participate in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities and the caregiver is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard
Permanency Options

At the hearing, the court shall determine one of the following:

  • If and when the child will be returned to the child’s parent.
  • If and when the child will be placed for adoption, and the county agency will file for termination of parental rights.
  • If and when the child will be placed with a legal custodian.
  • If and when the child will be placed with a fit and willing relative.
  • If and when the child will be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement that is approved by the court, to which the following shall apply:
    • The child must be age 16 or older.
    • The county agency shall identify at least one significant connection with a supportive adult willing to be involved in the child’s life as the child transitions to adulthood, or document that efforts have been made to identify a supportive adult.
    • The county agency shall document and the court shall verify:
      • A compelling reason that it would not be best suited to the safety; protection; and physical, mental, and moral welfare of the child to be returned to the child’s parent, to be placed for adoption, to be placed with a legal custodian, or to be placed with a fit and willing relative
      • The intensive, ongoing, and unsuccessful efforts to return the child to the child’s parent or achieve another permanent placement
      • The county agency’s efforts to utilize search technology to find biological family members for the child
    • The court shall:
      • Ask the child about his or her desired permanency goal
      • Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the date of the hearing, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the child

 

Determining the Best Interests of the Child

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Current Through March 2016

This chapter shall be interpreted and construed as to effectuate the following purposes:

  • To preserve the unity of the family whenever possible or to provide another alternative permanent family when the unity of the family cannot be maintained
  • To provide for the care, protection, safety, and wholesome mental and physical development of children coming within the provisions of this chapter
  • To achieve the foregoing purposes in a family environment whenever possible, separating the child from parents only when necessary for his or her welfare, safety, or health, or in the interests of public safety
  • To provide means through which the provisions of this chapter are executed and enforced and in which the parties are assured a fair hearing, and their constitutional and other legal rights recognized and enforced

 

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

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Current Through January 2013

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights

The rights of a parent in regard to a child may be terminated after a petition filed on any of the following grounds:

  • The parent, for at least 6 months, either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused or failed to perform parental duties.
  • The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, neglect, or refusal of the parent has caused the child to be without essential parental care, control, or subsistence necessary for his or her physical or mental well-being, and the conditions and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect, or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent.
  • The parent is the presumptive but not the natural father of the child.
  • The child has been found under such circumstances that the identity or whereabouts of the parent is unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent search, and the parent does not claim the child within 3 months after the child is found.
  • The child has been in an out-of-home placement for at least 6 months, the conditions that led to the placement continue to exist, the parent cannot or will not remedy those conditions within a reasonable period of time, the services or assistance reasonably available to the parent are not likely to remedy the conditions that led to the removal or placement of the child within a reasonable period of time, and termination of the parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child.
  • In the case of a newborn child, the parent knows or has reason to know of the child’s birth, does not reside with the child, has not married the child’s other parent, and has failed for 4 months to make reasonable efforts to maintain substantial and continuing contact or to support the child.
  • The parent is the father of a child conceived as a result of a rape or incest.
  • The child has been removed from the care of the parent, 12 months or more have elapsed from the date of removal, the conditions that led to the removal continue to exist, and termination of parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child.
  • The parent has been convicted of one of the following in which the victim was a child of the parent:
    • Criminal homicide
    • Aggravated assault
    • An attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit an offense listed above
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights

The rights of a parent shall not be terminated solely on the basis of environmental factors such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing, and medical care, if found to be beyond the control of the parent.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

 

Kinship Guardianship as a Permanency Option

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Current Through December 2014

Definitions

The term ‘custodian’ means a person other than a parent or legal guardian who stands in loco parentis to the child or a person to whom legal custody of the child has been given by order of a court.

In policy: ‘Permanent Legal Custodianship (PLC)’ is a permanency option for a child who is in the custody of the county agency and who is placed in substitute care.

A ‘relative’ is a person who is related by blood, marriage, or adoption within the fifth degree of kinship to the child, including great-great-great grandparents and first cousins once removed (children of first cousins).

The term ‘kinship’ encompasses those relationships that fall under Pennsylvania’s current definition of kin that exists in other areas of practice and policy, including existing relationships with a child that meets at least one of the following:

  • A relative through blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A godparent as recognized by an organized church
  • A member of the child’s Indian Tribe, nation, or clan
  • An individual with a significant, positive relationship with the child or family

An individual with a significant, positive relationship with the child or family would be a person who knew the child or family prior to the execution of the PLC agreement. This may include relationships established with a teacher, current or former resource parent, etc.

A ‘Subsidized Permanent Legal Custodianship (SPLC)’ is a permanent legal custodianship arrangement where a Federal, State or county subsidy is provided to the custodian for the cost of providing care to a child.

In court rules: Legal custodianship in Pennsylvania is the equivalent of legal guardianship under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 675(7)) and is a formal legal arrangement that transfers custody of a minor child from the natural parent to a relative or other caregiver.

Purpose of Guardianship

Permanent Legal Custodianship (PLC) is an available option for a child to achieve permanency. While it is not appropriate for all children, especially very young children, PLC may serve other children very well. For those children with strong bonds to parents who are unable to care for them, due to ongoing physical or behavioral health issues, or for older children who have been appropriately counseled about adoption and remain adamantly against it, permanency through placement with a permanent legal custodian may be the most optimal consideration, especially when the custodian is a relative, allowing the child to remain in his or her family system.

Parental consent is not required for a PLC and parental rights need not be terminated. When appropriate, the parent should be involved in the development of the child’s placement, permanency and visitation plan, as well as financial support.

In court rules: In the hierarchical scheme of permanency options, permanent legal custodianship is less desirable than reunification or adoption, but preferable to permanent relative placement and another planned permanent living arrangements. It has a higher preference because it provides permanency and stability without ongoing State oversight, while often maintaining ties with siblings, extended family members, and the biological parents.

A Guardian’s Rights and Responsibilities

A custodian to whom legal custody has been given by the court under this chapter has the right to the physical custody of the child; the right to determine the nature of the care and treatment of the child, including ordinary medical care; and the right and duty to provide for the care, protection, training, education, and the physical, mental, and moral welfare of the child. An award of legal custody shall be subject to the conditions and limitations of the order and to the remaining rights and duties of the parents or guardian of the child as determined by the court. The court may award legal custody under this section on a temporary basis to an individual or agency under § 6351(a)(2) (relating to disposition of dependent child) or permanent basis to an individual under section 6351(a)(2.1).

In court rules: The legal custodian’s rights and duties include:

  • The right and duty to make decisions on behalf of the child, including decisions regarding the child’s travel, driver’s license, marriage, and enlistment in the armed forces
  • The right to petition for child support from the child’s parent
  • The obligation to pay legal expenses related to a parent’s request to change custody or visitation

The parental rights and duties include:

  • The right to visitation when it does not affect the health and safety of the child
  • The right to petition for custody of the child
  • The right to pass on property to the child
  • The duty to pay child support
Qualifying the Guardian

The child-placing agency must have assessed the ability of the prospective guardian to provide a safe home for the child. The approval process must include conducting State and Federal criminal records checks and a check of the State child abuse and neglect central registry.

In regulation: A determination must be made that the home of the prospective guardian meets all relevant health and safety standards.

Procedures for Establishing Guardianship

If the child is found to be a dependent child, the court, subject to conditions and limitations as the court prescribes, may transfer permanent legal custody to an individual resident in or outside this Commonwealth, including any relative, who, after study by the probation officer or other person or agency designated by the court, is found by the court to be qualified to receive and care for the child.

Contents of a Guardianship Order

A court order under this paragraph may set forth the temporary visitation rights of the parents. The court shall refer issues related to support and continuing visitation by the parent to the section of the court of common pleas that regularly determines support and visitation.

Modification/Revocation of Guardianship

The legal custodianship order remains in place until a court terminates it or until the child is adopted, turns 18, or marries. When legal custodianship is set as the permanency plan goal, the court should make every effort to ensure the parties understand that the relationship is to be permanent and that a change in custody will not be made lightly.

Although the legal custodianship is considered permanent, it may be terminated with judicial approval, following the filing of a petition by the agency. (Because the grant of permanent legal custody closes the dependency case, however, this is technically a new proceeding.) The biological parent or the legal custodian also may file motions to have the legal custodianship terminated. Whether the petition is filed by the agency following a determination that the child is in danger, by a parent seeking the return of the child, or by a legal custodian wishing to be relieved of custodial responsibilities, the court must decide whether to continue or revoke the legal custodianship on the basis of the best interests of the child.

Eligibility for Guardianship Subsidy

The Federal subsidized permanent legal custodianship (SPLC) program provides subsidy support to relative/kinship permanent legal custodians to enable them to provide ongoing adequate and appropriate care for the child. For the child to be eligible for Federal subsidy, the child must:

  • Have been eligible for title IV-E foster care maintenance payments for 6 consecutive months while in placement with the relative/kinship caregiver
  • Have been in foster care with the relative/kinship caregiver who meets all of the Federal eligibility requirements for at least 6 consecutive months during the current custody episode
  • Have a strong bond with the relative/kinship caregiver
  • Have been consulted if age 14 or older
  • Be a child who is in county custody and who is the sibling of an eligible child and who is placed in the same custodian home

To be eligible for a Federal subsidy, the prospective guardian must:

  • Be an approved resource home, having met all of the requirements of Title 55 Pa. Code Chapter 3700 regarding foster family home approval, and not be on provisional status
  • Have all clearances required for ongoing home approval up-to-date
  • Meet the definition of ‘relative/kinship’

If the requirements for a Federal subsidy cannot be met, a State-funded subsidy may be considered. To meet State subsidy guidelines, the child must have lived, or be living, with the identified custodian for a total of 6 months, which need not be consecutive. To be eligible for a State subsidy, the guardian must:

  • Meet all of the requirements regarding foster family home approval
  • Have all clearances required for ongoing home approval be up-to-date
  • If already an approved resource parent, not be on provisional status
Links to Agency Policies

Pennsylvania Office of Children, Youth and Families Bulletin, Permanent Legal Custodian Policyexternal link (PDF – 212 KB)

Pennsylvania Dependency Benchbook, Chapter 11, Permanency Optionsexternal link (PDF – 85 KB)

 

Placement of Children With Relatives

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Current Through July 2013

Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

The custody of a dependent child may be transferred to a relative.

When a child must be placed in foster care, first consideration shall be given to a relative of the child. A relative is an individual who is related within the fifth degree to the child or stepchild and who is at least age 21.

Except in situations of family or domestic violence, the county agency shall exercise due diligence to identify and notify all grandparents and other adult relatives to the fifth degree of consanguinity or affinity to the parent or stepparent of a dependent child within 30 days of the child’s removal from the child’s home when temporary legal and physical custody has been transferred to the county agency. The notice must explain all of the following:

  • Any options under Federal and State law available to the relative to participate in the care and placement of the child, including any options that would be lost by failing to respond to the notice
  • The requirements to become a foster parent, permanent legal custodian, or adoptive parent
  • The additional supports that are available for children removed from their home

If a child has been removed from the child’s home under a voluntary placement agreement or is in the legal custody of the county agency, the county agency shall give first consideration to placement with relatives. The county agency shall document that an attempt was made to place the child with a relative. If the child is not placed with a relative, the agency shall document the reason why such placement was not possible.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

The relative must be found to be qualified to receive and care for the child.

Relatives providing care for the child will receive the same foster care rate as other foster parents if they are complying with regulations.

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Prior to entering any order of disposition that would remove a dependent child from his or her home, the court shall determine, if the child has a sibling who is subject to removal from his or her home, whether reasonable efforts were made prior to the placement of the child to place the siblings together or whether such joint placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling.

If a sibling of a child has been removed from his or her home and is in a different placement setting than the child, the court shall enter an order that ensures visits between the child and the child’s sibling no less than twice a month, unless a finding is made that the visits are contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling.

Relatives Who May Adopt

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

A report of intention to adopt shall not be required when the child is the child; grandchild; stepchild; brother or sister of the whole-blood or half-blood; or niece or nephew by blood, marriage, or adoption of the person receiving or retaining custody or physical care.

 

Reasonable Efforts to Preserve or Reunify Families and Achieve Permanency for Children

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Current Through March 2016

What Are Reasonable Efforts

Reasonable efforts include:

  • Efforts to assist the child and the child’s parent
  • Preventive services
When Reasonable Efforts Are Required

Reasonable efforts must be made:

  • To prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home
  • To make it possible for the child to return home
  • To finalize the permanency plan in effect
  • To place siblings together unless a joint placement is contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling

If a sibling of a child has been removed from his home and is in a different placement setting than the child, the court shall enter an order that ensures visitation between the child and the child’s sibling no less than twice a month, unless a finding is made that visitation is contrary to the safety or well-being of the child or sibling.

When Reasonable Efforts Are NOT Required

Reasonable efforts are not required if the court has determined that aggravated circumstances exist and no new or additional efforts are required. Aggravated circumstances include any of the following:

  • The child is in the custody of a county agency, the identity or location of the parents is unknown, and the parent does not claim the child within 3 months or has failed to maintain contact for a period of 6 months.
  • The child or another child of the parent has been the victim of serious physical abuse, sexual violence, or aggravated physical neglect by the parent.
  • The parent has been convicted of any of the following crimes in which the victim was a child: criminal homicide, aggravated assault, rape, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, or the attempt to commit any such crime.
  • The parent’s parental rights to another child have been terminated involuntarily.

 

Standby Guardianship

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Current Through February 2015

Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian

A custodial parent, legal custodian, or legal guardian may designate a standby guardian.

How to Establish a Standby Guardian

A standby guardian may be designated by a written designation that:

  • Identifies the person making the designation, the minor or minors, any other parent, the standby guardian, and the triggering event or events that will commence the guardianship
  • Has been signed by the designating person in the presence of two witnesses who are 18 years of age or older and not otherwise named in the designation, who shall also sign the designation

Different standby guardians may be designated for different triggering events.

A petition for court approval of a designation may be made at any time. If the triggering event has not yet occurred, only the designator may file the petition. If the triggering event has occurred already, the standby guardian may file the petition.

A designation may be approved without a court hearing if there is only one parent.

How Standby Authority is Activated

The standby guardian shall have authority to act as guardian upon the occurrence of a triggering event, including the parent’s death, incapacity, physical debilitation with consent, or written consent alone.

If a designation has been made but the petition for approval of the designation has not been filed and a triggering event has occurred, the standby guardian shall have temporary legal authority to act as guardian of the minor without the direction of the court for a period of 60 days. The standby guardian shall within that period file a petition for approval in accordance with § 5612.

The petition of the standby guardian shall contain one of the following:

  • A determination of the designator’s incapacity
  • A determination of the designator’s debilitation
  • The designator’s signed and dated consent
  • A copy of the designator’s death certificate

If no petition is filed within the 60 days, the standby guardian shall lose all authority to act. If a petition has been filed but the court does not act upon it within the 60-day period, the temporary legal authority to act as guardian shall continue until the court orders otherwise.

Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent

Citation: Cons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 5611
Consent of the other parent is required when the parent’s whereabouts are known, his or her parental rights have not been terminated, and the parent is willing and able to care for the child.

Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby

The commencement of the standby guardian’s authority to act due to incapacity, debilitation and consent, or consent alone shall not itself divest the designator of any parental rights but shall confer upon the standby guardian concurrent or shared custody of the child.

The commencement of the standby guardian’s authority to act as guardian due to the death of the designator shall not confer upon the standby guardian more than physical and legal custody.

A standby guardian shall ensure frequent and continuing contact with the child and ensure the involvement of the parent, including, to the greatest extent possible, in decision-making on behalf of the child.

Withdrawing Guardianship

If a licensed physician determines that the designator has regained capacity, the standby guardian’s authority that commenced on the occurrence of a triggering event shall become inactive, and the standby guardian shall return to having no authority.

Prior to a petition being filed, the designator may revoke a standby guardianship by simple destruction of the designation and notification of the revocation to the standby guardian. After a petition has been filed, the designator may revoke a standby guardianship by:

  • Executing a written revocation
  • Filing the revocation with the court
  • Notifying the persons named in the designation of the revocation in writing

Regardless of whether a petition has been filed, an unwritten revocation may be considered by the court if it can be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

It is important to know that when you make up your motion to dismiss, you will only be able to use opinions from the right court of appeals for YOUR area. There are 11 of them. If you do not know which district you would choose from CLICK HERE. Each have reconsidered court cases from the area that they represent.

For each subject you would like to consider in your motion, choose the correct reviewed case from the appeal court, US Law, or State law. Insert them into your motion as needed.

 

5. I was told by caseworkers name that if I did not tell her anything that CPS would take my child away.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

Coercive or intimidating behavior supports a reasonable belief that compliance is compelledCassady v. Tackett, 938 F. 2d (6th Cir. 1991).

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

Consent” that is the product of official intimidation or harassment is not consent at all. Citizens do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they are coerced to comply with a request that they would prefer to refuse. Florida v. Bostick, 501 US 429 (1991).  

Coercion can be mental as well as physical.Blackburn v. Alabama, 361 US (1960)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

10.  HH told me that if I did not answer a few questions, my child would be taken into DHS custody and placed in foster care. I was coerced into speaking with her and did so under duress. 

11.  The evidence used to gain entry did not satisfy the standard of probable cause.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

ANY type of communication, which conveys the idea to the parent that they have no realistic alternative but to allow entry negates any claim that the entry was lawfully gained through the channel of consent.  “Consent to warrantless entry must be voluntary and not the result of duress or coercion. Lack of intelligence, not understanding the right not to consent, or trickery invalidate voluntary consent”.Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 US 218 (1973). 

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

13.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

Police officers and social workers are not immune from coercing or forcing entry into a person’s home without a search warrant.  Calabretta v. Floyd (9th Cir. 1999).

However, when determining whether the court has jurisdiction because of conditions and circumstances, the focus must be on the child’s current conditions and circumstances and not on some point in the past. Father caused injury to child, court took jurisdiction. Mother left father and improved her life. Court had no more jurisdiciton of child. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. S. A., 230 Or App 346, 347, 214 P3d 851 (2009)

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

16.  There are two and only two recognized exceptions to the requirement of having a warrant for the conduct of a child abuse investigation:

a.) The adult in charge of the premises gives the social worker his/her free and voluntary consent to enter the home.

b.) The social worker possesses evidence that meets two standards:

(1) it satisfies the legal standard of establishing probable cause; and

(2) the evidence demonstrates that there are exigent circumstances relative to the health of the children.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

17.  CPS worker HH was in fact, acting under the authority or color of state law at the time this occurred in her official capacity as a social worker for Iowa DHS.

18.  Her execution of Iowa Department of Human Services’ “customs” and/or “policies” were the moving force behind her unconstitutional acts, and that personally, her individual unconstitutional acts violated my clearly established constitutional rights of which a reasonable official would have knownDavis v. Scherer (1984).

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

25.  There was no court order for this, nor did exigent circumstances exist as stated by Caseworkers Name in her initial assessment. 

26.  .    

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

Social workers and police cannot lawfully seize a child without a warrant or the existence of probable cause to believe the child was in imminent danger of harm. Where police were not informed of any abuse of the child prior to arriving at caretaker’s home and found no evidence of abuse while there, seizure of the child was not objectively reasonable and violated the clearly established Fourth Amendment rights of the child. Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, (5th Cir. 2000).

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

Child removals are “seizures” under the Fourth Amendment.  Seizure is unconstitutional without a court order or exigent circumstances. Brokaw v. Mercer County, (7th Cir. 2000)

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

For purposes of the Fourth Amendment, a “seizure” of a person is a situation in which a reasonable person would feel that he is not free to leave, and also either actually yields to a show of authority from police or social workers or is physically touched by police. Persons may not be “seized” without a court order or being placed under arrest. California v. Hodari, 499 U.S. 621 (1991).

As the United States Supreme Court has explained: “In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant.” ( Payton v. New York (1980) 445 U.S. 573, 590 [100 S.Ct. 1371, 1382, 63 L.Ed.2d 639].)

“Exigent circumstances” means “an emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence.” ( People v. Ramey, supra, at p. 276.)

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

Jordan by Jordan v. Jackson, 15 F. 3d 333, 342-346 (4th Cir. 1994) (” The State’s removal of a child from his parent’s home indisputably constitutes an interference with a liberty interest of the parents and thus triggers the procedural protections of the 14th amendment. . . . Forced separation of parent from child, even for a short time, represents a serious impingement on those rights.”)

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

Absent extraordinary circumstances, a parent has a liberty interest in familial association and privacy that cannot be violated without adequate pre-deprivation procedures. An ex parte hearing based on misrepresentation and omission does not constitute notice and an opportunity to be heard. Procurement of an order to seize a child through distortion, misrepresentation and/or omission is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Parents may assert their children’s Fourth Amendment claim on behalf of their children as well as asserting their own Fourteenth Amendment claim. Malik v.Arapahoe Cty. Dept. of Social Services, (10th Cir. 1999)

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

38.  The CPS Assessment report falsely states that I told her I used meth once a week for the past several months.  I did NOT make this statement to anyone, and my UA on March 11, 2011 was negative.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

Court orders obtained based on knowingly false information violates Fourth Amendment.  Brokaw v. Mercer County, (7th Cir. 2000).

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

39.  On March 12, 2011, I signed over temporary legal guardianship of my child to Don and Sarah Boeckholt, for a period not to exceed 6 months.

40.  CPS removed my child after I informed Ms. Hewitt of this fact, which she failed to disclose to the court during the removal hearing. This is a lie of omission. A lie of omission is to remain silent when ethical behavior calls for one to speak up. A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s (the judge’s) capacity to make an informed decision.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

 

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

23.  I was coerced into signing a “voluntary” Safety Plan.  The CPS worker, Caseworkers Name, threatened me that if I did not sign the “voluntary” service plan that my child would be TPR’ed. 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

 According to Amanda C., by and through Gary Richmond, natural parent and next friend, appellee, v. Kelly Case, appellant. N.W.2d  Filed May 23, 2008. No. S-06-1097 this is unauthorized practice of law and acting under the Color of Law.

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

27.  The assessment by Caseworker’s name does not specify what exigent circumstances existed or what immediate danger to life or health my child was in to justify an emergency situation. None of the following apply:

Put CPS rules of exigent circumstances here

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

If anything, this case shows you that you must challenge the court or you will not get another chance.

SAMPLE:   I am therefore establishing ON THE RECORD that I strongly challenge that an emergency existed to remove my child, and most certainly do withdraw any “voluntary” agreements I was coerced into entering into.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

In the opinion of Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. in the majority Opinion of the Supreme Court of Missouri, In the Interest of: P.L.O. and S.K.O., minor children. SC85120 (3/30/2004):  “The mother voluntarily consented to the court’s jurisdiction over her children, voluntarily transferred their custody to the division and never challenged the circumstances of their removal. Accordingly, she cannot now challenge whether an ’emergency’ existed to justify removal of her child under (the statute in question) and this court need not address such a challenge.”

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

CPS Statutes

36.  The CPA falsely states that there are domestic violence issues in the home. My child herself states that Steve was never mean to us, and that she did not witness any violence.

37.  CPS worker caseworkers name states that my child witnessing domestic abuse constitutes as neglect/denial of critical care and is basis for her removal.  

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

In a landmark class action suit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Judge Jack Weistein ruled on Nicholson v. Williams, Case No.: 00-cv-2229, the suit challenged the practice of New York’s City’s Administration for Children’s Services of removing the children of battered mothers solely because the children saw their mothers being beaten by husbands or boyfriends.  Judge Weistein ruled that the practice is unconstitutional and he ordered it stopped.

3rd Circuit

The Department failed to show any evidence to support that father himself caused injuries.
The trial court found that something happened to the child over the weekend and that the injuries were consistent with “child physical abuse.” The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) agreed with the trial court that the child was harmed pursuant to the statutory definition of harm but found the Department failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the Father inflicted or allowed someone else to inflict the injuries to the child. Specifically, the Third DCA pointed to a lack of any evidence to support that Father caused the injuries and noted that the child was exposed to a number of individuals over the weekend, including Father’s wife, her children and a number of other relatives. H.C. v. Department of Children and Family Services and Guardian ad Litem Program, 141 So.3d 243 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

Judicial determinations that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that reasonable efforts were made to prevent removal and to finalize the permanency plan in effect, as well as judicial determinations that reasonable efforts are not required, must be explicitly documented, made on a case-by-case basis, and stated in the court order.  A transcript of the court proceeding is the only other documentation that will be accepted to verify that these determinations have been made. Affidavits, nunc pro tunc orders, and references to state law are not acceptable.  45 C.F.R. §1356.21(d). The court, after hearing the evidence, must be satisfied that reasonable efforts . . . have been made.  Review and approval of the [state] agency’s report and recommendation alone are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act; the court must make a determination that the agency’s efforts were, in the judgment of the court, reasonable for preventing placement. With regard to emergency situations, if the agency’s judgment was that services could not have prevented removal of the child, the court at the time of the adjudicatory hearing must find that the lack of preventive efforts was reasonable.

43.  The reasonable efforts claimed to have been made by CPS were inconsistent in the various court documents, which was not questioned before making a determination.

44.  CPS was never required to provide specific and detailed documentation to prove that Reasonable Efforts were in fact made.  

 

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

The juvenile court is required to make factual findings to support its conclusion that reasonable efforts have been made to avoid or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home. It is not sufficient to merely conclude that reasonable efforts have been made without more. In Interest of B.L., 491 N.W.2d 789, 791 (Iowa App. 1992).

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

42 C.F.R. Section 1356.21(d) requires documentation of judicial determinations concerning both reasonable efforts and contrary to the welfare findings. They are to be explicitly documented on a case by case basis and so stated in the court order. Facts substantiating the legal conclusion must be stated in the order. Lack of compliance results in denial of federal funds for the child’s foster placement.

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

Police officer and social worker may not conduct a warrantless search or seizure in a suspected child abuse case absent exigent circumstances.  Defendants must have reason to believe that life or limb is in immediate jeopardy and that the intrusion is reasonable necessary to alleviate the threat.  Searches and seizures in investigation of a child neglect or child abuse case at a home are governed by the same principles as other searches and seizures at a home. Goodv. Dauphin County Social Services (3rd Cir. 1989)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

A police officer and a social worker may not conduct a warrantless search or seizure in a suspected child abuse case absent exigent circumstances. Defendants must have reason to believe that life or limb is in immediate jeopardy and that the intrusion is reasonable necessary to alleviate the threat. Searches and seizures in investigation of a child neglect or child abuse case at a home are governed by the same principles as other searches and seizures at a home.  Good v. Dauphin County Social Services (3rd Cir. 1989).

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

Children may not be removed from their home by police officers or social workers without notice and a hearing unless the officials have a reasonable belief that the children were in imminent danger.  Ram v. Rubin, (9th Cir. 1997)

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

1st Circuit

2nd Circuit

3rd Circuit

The Department failed to show any evidence to support that father himself caused injuries.
The trial court found that something happened to the child over the weekend and that the injuries were consistent with “child physical abuse.” The Third District Court of Appeal (Third DCA) agreed with the trial court that the child was harmed pursuant to the statutory definition of harm but found the Department failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the Father inflicted or allowed someone else to inflict the injuries to the child. Specifically, the Third DCA pointed to a lack of any evidence to support that Father caused the injuries and noted that the child was exposed to a number of individuals over the weekend, including Father’s wife, her children and a number of other relatives. H.C. v. Department of Children and Family Services and Guardian ad Litem Program, 141 So.3d 243 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014)

4th Circuit

5th Circuit

Defendants could not lawfully seize child without a warrant or the existence of probable cause to believe child was in imminent danger of harm. Where police were not informed of any abuse of the child prior to arriving at caretaker’s home and found no evidence of abuse while there, seizure of the child was not objectively reasonable and violated the clearly established Fourth Amendment rights of the child. Wooley v. City of Baton Rouge, (5th Cir. 2000)

6th Circuit

7th Circuit

8th Circuit

9th Circuit

10th Circuit

11th Circuit

US Supreme Court

CPS Statutes

C.F.R. (Code of Federal Regulations)

 

 

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