If Child Protective Services Think We are Not Being Taken Seriously – Then They Need to Think Again!

For to long Child Protective Services have stolen children for profit. The parents are not allowed due process, not allowed to question witnesses or face their accuser.  They are railroaded, lied about and their children are bought and sold like  a commodity. Familes are torn apart, destroyed and forever changed by a government agency that has no scruples, no morals and no standards. They have no one to make sure they don’t abuse the very system they were put in place to protect. Money has become the issue not the children and not the family.This is just the beginning. We will not stop until CPS is stopped and children who have been stolen are returned home to their real families not their fake ones.


Families torn apart illegally? Heather Catallo investigates

  • Families Torn Apart Illegally? Heather Catallo investigates
Photographer: WXYZ
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Families torn apart

Photographer: WXYZ
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Families torn apart

Photographer: WXYZ
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Read more: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/removal-order#ixzz1ubD6RUMS

Posted: 05/09/2012
Last Updated: 6 hours and 17 minutes ago

(WXYZ) – When protective services take children from their parents, state law says a judge must first personally review the case and sign off. But that was not happening in one of Michigan’s busiest courts.

It’s called “rubber stamping,” and last August 7 Action News first exposed how court staff were literally stamping a judge’s name onto orders that allowed the state to take kids from their parents.

After our investigations – the rubber stamping stopped – but no one has ever been held accountable — not the judge, not the chief judge or child protective services.

“Why was this allowed to happen in your court,” Catallo asked Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Kim Smith.

Smith is the presiding judge at the James Lincoln Hall of Justice, the county’s juvenile court. It was her name that had been stamped on removal orders. And legal experts tell us, that stamp allowed children to be taken from their parents illegally.

Here’s a look at how the practice called “rubber stamping” came to light.

“I knew the system was broken, but I didn’t know it was this broken, where anyone, literally anyone could come and take your child,” said Maryanne Godboldo.

Godboldo’s case made international news after she was accused of firing a gun after police officers and child protective services came to take her daughter in March of 2011.

They showed up at her door after Godboldo told two local agencies that she was working with her doctor to wean her daughter off the controversial anti-psychotic medication Risperdal.

Godboldo’s lawyers say those agencies reported her to CPS. And after that happened, a caseworker used a rubber stamped court order that a judge later called invalid to take then 13-year-old Ariana from her mother.

Under Michigan law, unless it’s an emergency, where a child is in imminent danger,Child Protective Services workers are supposed to request a hearing in front of a judge – where the parents accused of neglect or abuse can tell their side of the story before a child is removed from the home. But court insiders tell us that wasn’t happening in Wayne County.

Testimony under oath in the Godboldo case revealed that caseworkers routinely took their petitions to probation officers inside the court, who would then stamp Judge Leslie Kim Smith’s name onto the removal orders.

“It is completely illegal,” said Joshua Kay a professor with the University of Michigan Law School’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic.

“What does that mean for the children of Wayne County,” asked Catallo.

“What it means is that they are in greater danger of being removed from their homes unnecessarily,” said Kay. He added, under Michigan law, a judge must personally review a child removal order.

“I think it’s important to emphasize the tremendous impact of a decision to remove a child. It is one of the most wrenching things that can happen in a child’s life, in the life of a family, and it changes people’s lives forever,” said Kay.

Last August, the day after the 7 Action News Investigators confirmed that the rubber stamping had been going on – the court stopped doing it.

After we exposed the practice, the State Supreme Court Administrator’s Office, or SCAO, sent a memo to all the family courts in the state, recommending they review their procedures.

An SCAO official also told Wayne County’s Chief Judge that the rubber stamping must stop. The court is now using an iPad for their on-call judge to review after-hours child removal orders electronically.

But we knew there was more to the story—how many children had been taken illegally? How long had rubber stamping been going on?

Some court insiders tell us, it’s been happening for decades. But those are questions no one seems to want to answer .

Last fall, we asked the court in writing for all their records on removal orders going back to 2009. But they won’t provide them. And guess what? The court doesn’t have to because it’s not subject to public information laws.

After Judge Leslie Kim Smith and her boss Chief Judge Virgil Smith denied our many requests for information, we caught up with the juvenile court judge on her way into work.

Judge Smith tried to pass us off to the court’s lawyer – the same one who denied our earlier requests for information on child removal records.

“We’d like to talk to you – it was your name on those removal orders that was rubber stamped,” said Catallo.

“Alright, well you need to talk to Liz Kocab, who’s the general counsel for the court,” said Judge Smith.

“But it was your name on those removal orders – why was this allowed to happen in your court,” asked Catallo.

“I understand,” said the Judge.

“Are you going to talk to us or not,” asked Catallo.

“Have a good day,” said the Judge.

We also asked the state’s Department of Human Services, which oversees protective services, for the same information. They wanted to charge us $32,742 for the public records request.

Following one of our first stories a year ago about child removals, DHS Director Maura Corrigan refused to

speak to us on camera.

The day after our investigation aired, Corrigan wrote an opinion piece in the Detroit Free Press. The headline: “Removing children from families always follows legal procedures.”

Now that that’s been proven to be false – we asked a DHS spokesman if they have been trying to determine how many children may have been wrongly taken from homes with invalid court orders.

“We did not review all court orders, as that is not proper procedure on our end. Instead, in recent months we have focused our attention squarely on addressing structural deficiencies within the system. The goal here is to go at the root cause, and not the symptom. To that end, we have worked with Senator Rick Jones and the State Court Administrators Office, which has resulted in Senate Bill 320, one that requires a written order for removal and clearly addresses after hours procedure. That bill has now passed the House Judiciary Committee and sits currently before the full house. We testified in clear support of this bill,” said DHS spokesman David Akerly.

“This system is destroying the future of America. And if something is not done about it, we won’t have a future,” said Godboldo.

Maryanne Godboldo is now suing the state, Wayne County, and Detroit police for illegally taking her child.

As for her criminal case for allegedly firing a gun — a judge threw it out—because he said the removal order used to take her daughter was not valid, and he said there was no evidence presented that she fired the shot.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Read more: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/removal-order#ixzz1ubCyQYdz

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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One Response to If Child Protective Services Think We are Not Being Taken Seriously – Then They Need to Think Again!

  1. Angel says:

    I am a Mother of 4 babies all rangeing from 4-8 and i have been fighting the system for almost 14 months now. they gave me my children in what they permissive placement and when their threw a knife at the wall nobody was hurt but i still kicked him and 10 days later they came and removed the children when i went to court the judge ordered that i have to have IIS in my home before I could get my children back but 2 weeks they came and removed them saying that i was uncoopertive and not open for new suggestions and how to parent my children which is not true at all my youngest that has just turned 4 made this loud schrill scream and i told him that if he did it again i would put vinager on his tongue and then he stoped but the iis worker did not like how i parent so when she left she knew i had work that afternoon and waited till i was at work to come remove the children. i have a harsh sounding voice it is just my personality but i am also from a big city in california but i reside in springfield, mo in greene county and because of how i parent i am still fighting for my kids and being told that they are looking at terminating my rights. My children never go hungry, they go to school everyday, they get snacks, they are bathed, have clothes toys and yes i do let my children watch tv but they also play outside so how children services can even think about terminting a parents rights that has never harmed their children is quite baffling if anyone has any tips or suggestions please respond thank you so kindly and god bless


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