Friday, March 4, 2011

CALIFORNIA DEPENDENCY COURTS NEED TO BE OPEN LEGISLATORS TOLD

Nearly 60,000 California children are supervised by a county dependency court. But who's supervising those courts? Children's advocates and officials say accountability and transparency would be improved in cases involving child abuse, neglect and foster care placements.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who introduced the bill, said that based on the comments at the hearing, he would probably introduce a bill proposing a pilot program for open court proceedings.

"Ultimately, I believe it's in the best interest of children to have a court where the public can see both strengths and deficiencies in the system," Feuer said after the hearing. He cited Minnesota's move to open dependency courts, where, he said, no additional harm to children or their families was shown.

Edwards said the presumption that dependency court proceedings are secret leads to a closed atmosphere that does a disservice to the court and the families involved.

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In our present state, children are being taken from loving parents at will. In one horrendous case, two teen-age children were given to Commissioners Alan Friedenthal and Steff Padilla to adopt. There is huge controversie surrounding Commissioner Friedenthal's decisions in Family Court. It is awfully suspect that he was able to adopt children against the parent's wishes.

If dependancy court records were open, we may find out if certain lawyers such as Kenneth Sherman garnered favor in family law by assisting Friedenthal and Padilla in the aquisition of the two children.
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As for Los Angeles DCFS caseworkers, the allegations are “100 percent true.”

“I’ve witnessed DI-CSW Christina Lin (Torrance office) lie and withhold exculpatory evidence. I've seen her supervisor Minda Light cover up for her. I’ve witnessed Debra Ramirez manipulate people. It’s absolutely true that they are untrustworthy,” former DCFS employee Pendolphi said. “They intimidate and threaten parents. I’ve witnessed that first hand and I quit because I could not be the part of the corrupt system that destroys families.”

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This bill should be passed, it will solve much of the incompetence and dysfunction in the DCFS and court system. By allowing transparency in the children’s court system, due process and the rights of families can be restored without risking the lives of children. As it stands now, DCFS/Children’s court can take your children at their discretion without any accountability.

They do not follow any constitutional guidelines when investigating or handling cases and their agenda can be imposed on anyone, innocent or guilty of any crime. This amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in some cases, for accused parents and especially for the children that wind up being abused/further abused while in the system.

It makes DCFS and children's court accountable for their decisions and for their cases. What we have now is not working, we have empowered sometimes untrained immoral civilians with enforcement/investigation of criminal statutes and have given them powers that they are not equipped for and are not accountable for. If they are not held accountable, then the children’s court system, referees and judges cannot be held accountable either and it’s one giant corrupt and screwed up system.

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Opening dependency courtsmay yield the biggest bang-for-the-buck of any child protection measure. Any solution to our current child safety crisis lies in expanding, not curtailing civil rights.

In other words, those worthy of scrutiny could no longer hide behind confidentiality; and those who suffer false accusations silently could defend themselves with the public record.

8 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see my writing being quoted...This "bill should be passed, it will solve much...."
    e.freebird

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  2. I completely agree with all your statements. My daughters three children were taken away when she took her daughter by ambulance to the hospital for a stomach problem. They, DCFS took all my daughters and husbands statements and completely switched their words around and charged her with 5all charges all false and its cost her hundreds of dollars to travel where DCFS says to see her children in two different places only to not get to see her daughter due to DCFSes failure to comply with court orders. It does suck.

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  3. Anonymous10/19/2011

    Remember, in this system, parents are guilty until proven innocent! The trial is called a jurisdictional hearing. This hearing is very similar to a criminal trial, except that there is no jury, and constitutionally important rules of evidence are ignored. For example, hearsay is generally admissible. Your lawyer's goal is to convince the court that the accusations are false, and to dismiss the petition. If the court agrees with your lawyer that the accusations are false, children return home.

    Don’t expect an apology from the social worker, and don’t look to sue the county. Why? The State legislatures have given social workers immunity from lawsuits, unless you can prove that the social worker acted maliciously and gave false statements to the court.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have all supporting evidence that I am under Malicious Prosecution, I filed complaints BEFORE my rights had been stricken I am desperately looking for a probono.... I am a former ward who had been brutalized in this very system, and they are now attempting to place my son some one help please... blueurbandesign@gmail.com

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  4. DCFS and the Dependency Lawyers that they pay to represent you are a sham. The job of the dependency lawyer is give you the minimal defense that is available by the law (what law) that will enable DCFS to get their case validated. They prosecute the wrong people in a forum that is designed not to prosecute. The "system" is a complete joke and our children are suffering and at the end of the day we as parents suffer, with our children.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous10/17/2012

    I unfortunately have been dealing with a vindivtive Ex girlfriend who i have two daughters with. She has opened numerous false allegations against me, one being a child abuse case alleging "verbal abuse". i have discovered she had been contacting a friend she has at DCFS approximately one month prior to allegations and continues calls thereafter. My daughters were removed from my custody and i later discovered the social worker also has ties to the friend my ex was contacting. everything has been one sided. It's amazing how they can consider false statements from mother and document them without absolutely nothing to substantiate her allegations!!!!

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  6. Anonymous3/03/2013

    All American c needs anderstand DCFS working with family court. Theyr Judges corrupt and landering money with child court and DCFS that it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Join a class action lawsuit (Monell Claim) against County of Los Angeles, Michael D. Antonovich, and Kenneth P. Sherman at gcaaa.com.

    ReplyDelete

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