The Real Guide to CPS

Texas CPS

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Anonymous asked: 3 of our grandsons have been voluntarily placed in our care. Dad is on probation in Rains Co for Aggravated Assault w/deadly weapon. Violation of probation is a ticket straight to the pen. CPS has an open case with confirmed physical abuse on the boys. He has missed 2 appointments with his probation officer and has failed a drug test. He has guns in the house. Contacting his probation officer proved no help. Mom plays the victim role and everyone is at fault but her. Help! Resolution ?

What help I can give in this forum really depends on what you want in the end.  If what you want is to keep the children with you, I would recommend that you consult with a family law attorney about potentially filing an intervention.  If what you want is for one or both of the parents to get the children back, I would recommend hiring an attorney for one of them because it sounds like there is some work to be done before that could happen. 

As far as a resolution, at the end of a CPS termination case there are several possible outcomes.  CPS could dismiss out and the children will go back to whoever they were with before removal.  On the other end of the spectrum, the parents’ rights could be terminated and the children then placed for adoption either by family or others.  Then there are several “in between” options involving conservatorship and family members. 

Generally, there is not a CPS Handbook provision I can point you to because advice and a resolution really depend on your goals. 

Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Can You Abuse or Neglect an Unborn Child?

The short answer is yes, you can.  According to CPS Handbook Sections 2731.1 through 2731.2, a pregnant woman can take actions, specifically actions involving controlled substances, that, even if they do not cause injury, place the child at risk of immediate harm.  

This provision has wide-ranging and serious implications for mothers.  I do not believe this provision has been challenged in court - yet.  At first glance, it seems to me that this interferes with a person’s fundamental right to procreation and, perhaps, other subcategories of the fundamental right to privacy.  Interesting food for thought… or for an appellate case.

Best,

Christina M. Davis

www.sinclairlawtyler.com

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Anonymous asked: If you live in Texas and your infant child is voluntary placed with family member of said to be father of baby, but no paternity test has been done. And I decide to revoke voluntary placement and move out of state and get help from other facility and distant cousins, is that OK?

I cannot directly answer your question “is that OK?” for several reasons.  First, I don’t know all of the facts here.  In telling you that it is OK to move out of state, I could be advising you to break the law, evade an investigation, or any number of other negative outcomes - none of which i can ethically do.  Second, answering that question would be tantamount to giving you legal advice, which I cannot do because I am not your lawyer. 

I can, however, point out that you seem to realize you have the power to revoke a VOLUNTARY placement.  I am not sure where you live, but in Texas those voluntary safety plans usually have a clause in them that informs the parent that should the parent choose to revoke consent, CPS is free to pursue other actions, such as removal of the children the subject of the plan. 

I recommend that you seek the advice of a competent family law attorney in your area to assist you with this case. 

Best,

Christina M. Davis

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: I have recently failed a background check~ the lady told me it was on the CPS side of the report, for neglect and endangerment to a child in 2001. At the time this incident happened I hired a lawyer to help because I was so scared. I do not have paper work or any type of documentation but this should have been resolved. How do I find out now? The lawyer has since closed his office.

Without knowing where you reside or where the case was handled, my best recommendation would be to start at the District Clerk’s Office in the county/municipality/parish where the case was handled.  An employee of the District Clerk’s Office should be able to help you look up your old case.  Once you locate the file for your case, check to see if there was a final order entered or if, perhaps, the Judge signed a dismissal. 

As always, I recommend seeking the assistance of a competent family law attorney in your area to assist you with this matter. 

Best,

Christina M. Davis

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: Does cps worker have the right to check in to my back ground because in live at the same address ?

Section 2311.1 allows for background checks of all principals in the investigation.  Without knowing if you are a an alleged perpetrator, alleged victim, or parent, I do not know whether that section applies to you.  Section 2434.1 is the provision that instructs CPS to perform background checks on all members of the household who are 14 years of age or older to ensure that a child placed in that home will be safe there.  

I hope this helps.

Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: my two children are currently in cps custody and my fionce has been working her plan of service and is only a month or two away from getting the children back. i have been incarcerated and with my csrp bond we are unable to see eachother unless we are legally married. if we were to get married would it affect the cps case with our children

Without knowing more, I cannot answer your question.  If a parent marries the alleged perpetrator or someone that CPS has “concerns” about, then yes, the marriage would affect the CPS case because CPS might be hesitant to return the children.  Generally speaking, a change in status in the middle of any family law court case is going to be disruptive. 

As is usually my suggestion, you and/or your fiance should contact a competent family law attorney in your area for advice. 

Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: We have had an 17 month old baby in our primary care for well over a year and she was actually placed in our home by CPS on a Safety Plan almost 7 mos ago. The parents have not completed services and are somehow passing drug test although they are still using and posting pics on facebook high. CPS at this point has still not given us an answer on when they plan to return her to their care but that they do. Do we have a chance in heck of gaining primary custody if we file in court?

Without knowing anything else about the case, I would say that you absolutely have a chance of prevailing if you file suit or intervene.  I am not sure where you live, but the Texas Family Code has very specific provisions for intervention: who can do it, when they can do it, etc.  Although the child was placed with you through CPS, this is more of a Texas Family Code issue rather than a CPS Handbook issue. 

I would recommend that you speak with a competent family law attorney in your area sooner rather than later. 

Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: I'm recently have a opened case with CPs in regiards to a complaint of drinking and driving whiched was not proved it was hear say . I have been compalying with CPs and doing everything they have asked. What are my legal rights to my kids? What happens when I go filled for custody? There are no legal papers as of now but I have been letting my son stay at his fathers. Please help me

You’ve presented several overlapping legal issues: conservatorship and a CPS case.  I cannot answer your questions for two reasons: 1) I do not have nearly enough information about your family, your case, and the status of any CPS or other family law litigation to give you definitive help; and 2) this forum is not set up to provide the breadth of information you would need to sort through the issues you face.  Plus, I do not know in which state you live; I am only acquainted with Texas law and, more particularly, the practice of family law in East Texas.   

My best recommendation would be to consult a family law attorney in your area. 

Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: I've had an open CPS case for going on a year now... They've brought new allegations upon me from a third party person who has fed them lies the entire time. (My children's grandmother) and now they have contacted my oldest daughters biological father. ( who never legally made himself a father) is there anything I can do about this seeing that he never established legal paternity and my boyfriend now has cared for her since day 1. Her real dad hasn't ever spoken to her either.

Section 2532.1 of the Texas CPS Handbook states that CPS must give notice to each parent when a child is removed.  This section does not specify that the father must have been legally adjudicated – just that CPS must give notice.  I do not know if your case involves a removal (different from a voluntary placement that arises out of a Safety Plan – see §2420), but even if there are just allegations that lead to an investigation, §2364.2 states that CPS must make an effort to located and notify parents, such as your oldest daughter’s biological father.  You should speak with a lawyer about this man’s status, your rights, and your ongoing CPS case. 

 Best,

Christina

www.SinclairLawTyler.com

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Anonymous asked: where is the May 25 post on role removal you reference in most recent posting?

If you go to the main blog page, there is a link on the right-hand side that says “Archive.”  Click on that.  The post is from May 25, 2011, not 2012.  Hope that helps!

Best,

Christina M. Davis

www.SinclairLawTyler.com