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A CPS Nightmare

The prosecutor scratched the charges because my client was not guilty of the crime. This wasn’t one of those maybe-she-did-it-but-we-can’t-prove-it cases. The sum of information available about what happened should have made it obvious to anyone with half a brain that my client did nothing wrong. She did not assault her daughter.

My client’s innocence notwithstanding, some of the folks over at Arizona Child Protective Services, either lacking half a brain or bored with nothing to do, decided to meddle. “We just want to get your client’s side of things,” they said. I found out about the meeting exactly one business day before it was set to happen.

I don’t represent people in dependencies. I attended the meeting with CPS because I never trust the government to respect my clients’ rights. The handful of lawyers I asked about CPS matters said it was unusual for attorneys to go to those meetings, but my innocent client in a den of wolves less than a day after her criminal case went away seemed like a recipe for a set-up. I wanted to be there to make sure they didn’t put words in her mouth that might resurrect the criminal case.

The meeting was conducted by a woman who proclaimed herself the “facilitator.” She used the term “facilitator” with the kind of frequency I commonly encounter when a person using a word doesn’t quite know what it means and thinks repeating it will make him or her appear smart. She also said things like “matter-of-factly” and “irregardlessly.”

My client, my client’s mother, the assigned CPS caseworker, and I were all in attendance. We each filled out little name cards. The back of the cards featured a list of ground rules. The last one was “no blaming or shaming.” The hearing had very specific rules and a set order. Every document, every meeting, every location, and every concept seemed to have an acronym. This was a TDM where a TCN might issue, attended by the CFT at CPS.

The facilitator, who at times did a fair job of pretending to be impartial, generally undertook the role of grand inquisitress with zeal that would make Mike Nifong blush. When she first started attacking my client, no one seemed to notice my comment that it sounded an awful lot to me like some prohibited “blaming or shaming” was taking place. I don’t think the facilitator thought the back of the name cards applied to her.

My client, a wonderful person I believe to be an excellent mother, explained all she had done for her daughter. She had a steady job, a safe home, and clearly cared about both of her children. I was impressed when she explained the lengths she went to in order to get services for that daughter. Her description of the bureaucratic runaround she got dealing with insurance was met with disbelief by the facilitator and the case worker though. They couldn’t imagine anyone would have trouble dealing with the health care system. When I told them I’ve struggled assisting clients to get similar services set up, it was obvious they thought I was lying. Not their flawless, well-oiled machine!

The facilitator clearly didn’t listen to anything my client said. My client said she’d do anything for her kids, and the facilitator responded with “so you’re unwilling and unable to care for them?” “No,” my client said, “I will do anything.” The caseworker and facilitator stared at my client like she just said “take my kids, I don’t care and won’t do anything to help them.” It was like watching two different conversations.

When it suited the facilitator’s preconceptions, she mixed up the facts. She exaggerated the length of CPS’s involvement, the amount of time it took my client to get services for her daughter, the number of days of notice they’d given, and the severity of the alleged conduct underlying the scratched criminal charges. She was wholly incapable of wrapping her head around the fact my client did not assault her daughter. The caseworker claimed she saw choke marks on my client’s daughter, which the facilitator agreed proved my client assaulted her. I found that very strange considering that the alleged assault was supposedly just three punches.

The facilitator kept telling me, “we have a lower standard here.” Neither she nor the caseworker read the police reports. They didn’t interview the other adult who witnessed what happened. They didn’t talk to the prosecutor. They thought lower standard meant no standard. They assumed my client was guilty and that the charges were dropped for some reason having nothing to do with innocence. They wouldn’t listen to anything to the contrary.

When my client admitted she was open to getting help dealing with her daughter’s issues, the facilitator said CPS couldn’t do anything she couldn’t do herself. I asked the facilitator why CPS would need to take the kids if my client could do everything they could, and I got the kind of reaction I used to get when I said a familiar word more than once to my dog; a look hinting at partial understanding, head cocked to one side.

I’ve never been in a room with people who resented me more. Over and over again, they said the same thing: “maybe we could have done X, but you said you had a lawyer.” It was always followed by a spiteful glance. The caseworker claimed she didn’t interview the person who witnessed what happened between my client and her daughter because my client hired a lawyer. To be clear, my client and the witness are two different people. I guess hiring a lawyer stops CPS from figuring out what happened.

After what I can honestly say was the most farcical proceeding I’ve ever witnessed, the facilitator and caseworker decided to take both of my client’s children away. In a meeting they said lawyers never attended (and which most lawyers told me they never attended), CPS decided to take not just the child involved in the criminal case, but the child who had nothing to do with anything. It was based almost entirely on an incident that occurred in front of an independent witness CPS didn’t interview and that was described in a police report CPS didn’t read. I explained the facts and made arguments, but they just didn’t care.

I occasionally appear in front of some bad judges in criminal matters, but I’ve never encountered anything like that. In what might be the most frustrating decision of all, they decided they couldn’t place the children with the other adult who witnessed what happened because “she failed to protect the child” during the alleged abuse. That’s the same alleged abuse that by all accounts but one never happened, and which CPS never properly researched

As my client cried her eyes out, the facilitator handed her a pamphlet entitled “Icebreakers” to help her prepare for when she next gets to see her children. The facilitator described CPS’s programs to my client as if she expected my client to give her a hug and thank her. The facilitator and caseworker then decided that my client’s visitation should be at the discretion of CPS; no set hours, just left to the discretion of some bureaucrats. I was disgusted.

My client is now in the hands of a very capable lawyer who does dependencies. Personally, I’m still in shock. I can’t believe what I saw. I can’t believe CPS can take kids based on nothing, can’t believe the facilitator and the caseworker could do something like that to a family, and can’t believe that any human being could be so willing to make a life-changing decision so callously. It’s the kind of thing I’m going to have nightmares about for years to come.

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38 Responses to "A CPS Nightmare"

  1. Unknown says:

    This is what exactly what happen to tdm that i attend with cps. They treated me like an animal calling me names and keep forcing me to admit that i was using drug they took my baby out in the hospital because they said i am positive on meth wtf i never did do drugs in my entire life but they want me to say i am wtf i was cring and telling them i am not using but this stupid lady keep telling me o so where do you get you meth they are so rude and just keep judging u
    so when i went back to the hospital the result was negative boy i could have sue that hospital for making my life miserable right now this cps shit wont leave me the f alone my case got closed and then just one report they are back. My lawyer told me once your in a system u be stuck in the system. F this people they dont have heart they just love seing families getting hurt or to remove children without them knowing it they are the one whos damaging the kids by removing them to parents and throw them somewhere else with this forter home that its really unsafe for kids as well. I am still fighting with this asshole for another accusation again. They all need to rot in hell for doing this to families.

  2. Josh & Amanda says:

    Holy ishh. This sounds almost exactly like what happened to me and my gf. They took our kid 2 weeks ago and the meeting was exactly how your saying. Like 2 different conversations were going on.
    When they showed up to take our 2 month old daughter the report they gave us was filled with things we never said, 100% lies/putting words in our mouths and thats what got a judge to sign off on taking our kids. We our innocent and this is horrifying. We are 26 years old and just had our first child, we just dont have money for a good lawyer.

  3. tabitha says:

    me and my husband has been wrongfully accused of of our daughter when she clapsed the care of a babysitter wr were not home at the time This happened !!! they are now messing with us big time hey! They have been doing a lot of illegal things in our case! we currently have a multi million dollar lawsuit on them because of all the stuff that they been doing. CPS is very corrupted

    1. Marie White says:

      I want to sue them to

  4. Fred says:

    Beautiful rendition!

    The truth shall make you free. And make you laugh, as well!

    Needless to say, in the confidential confines of CPS, you won’t find much freedom or laughter.

  5. Brandy Rackley says:

    This is all so horrible.

    My brother has been dealing with CPS. Around June of 2014 my brother found out his step daughter was having sex with her boyfriend (she was 17 and he was 18). My brother told his step daughter she was not to be staying at her boyfriends late at night and her boyfriend could not stay at their house late either. The boyfriends family planned a trip to New York and invited his step daughter to go. My brother said no because she had been acting up and treating her siblings badly as well as the 2 already being sexually active.

    One night his step daughter said she was going to her boyfriends for a little while. with noone knowing what her plans were really she packed most of her stuff, snuck it out, and left with her boyfriend. She then proceeded to call CPS making false allegations abt my brother and his wife when she was told the next day to get home right away because she knew the rules.

    CPS showed up at my brothers house not really hearing or believing anything my brotehr or wife had to say. The questioned 5 kids in the house and not 1 of them back up the alligations. It still did not matter. To top it all off, CPS let my brothers step daughter stay with her boyfriend. My brother went to pick up his step daughter from her boyfriends and she refused to go, the 2nd time he took MCSO and still they let her stay. SHE WAS A RUNAWAY! Gilbert Pd contacted her and was told that she could not go to New York and she is considered a runaway, her boyfriends family took her anyway. She was reported as a runaway, how did she get on the plane?!?

    My brother and his wife were expected to do a drug test, hair folicle test, and miss work because of all the lies. Nothing else was done for 6 months. The other kids were at school in December and CPS pulled them out of class to question them again. Their father is not around because he is a sex offender and the younger kids dont know abt that or anything about him for that reason. The case worker went ahead and let the kids know, while at school, about their real father and what he had done. He is currently a fugitive on the run.

    A new caseworker has the case and went and talked to my brothers step daughter and then to my brother and his wife. She said it was very clear what her intentions were and she should have been put into foster care, arrested for being a runaway, or put with other family members. She should not have been left with her boyfriend and his family and the fact they took her out of state without her parents permission is unacceptable.

    They spoke for a while and on a few different occassions stated that my brother should sue CPS for everything that had been done and not done by the last case worker. Needless to say, as of yesterday, his CPS case is now closed and now its time to take the next steps.

    If this seems to be a legitimate reason to sue (aside from the case worker stating it was) can you lead me in the right direction so I gave give him the info? He works a lot of hours and I am trying to help him as much as I can.

    Thank you


  6. Debbie says:

    The shame is that an ex husband law enforcement officer can use his position as an Arizona State employee to take his children from their Mother. Lying, dishonorable man who took an oath and can dishonor that oath. Courts are blinded by lies and after almost 6 months these children are not home. Shameful

  7. Wendy Rush says:

    I am in Silsbee Texas (Hardin County), does anyone know someone in Texas that can help? Here is my story or part of it any way, I have copied and pasted from the DFPS Consumer Affairs Email I sent to them. PLEASE HELP.

    I have had nothing but problems with the CPS Supervisor Elizabeth Cole, the Case Worker LeErin Bridges isn’t that bad. I called May 27th when I was released from jail after I was arrested for telling the cop he needed a warrant to enter my house because he tried to force his way past me. What happened that day May 26th is my BF that there is a protective order against came to the house to get clothes, we were not fighting or anything, he walked up to the door as I was walking out, I said Marshall you need to leave because of the protective order, he said OK, I just need clothes, I told him I would bring them to him later. (Crime Victims told BOTH of us that no where in the order does it say we can not be around each other as long as it’s not 1200 feet within the house, my daughter’s school or my job at Walmart, she said as long as he’s not threatening or harassing us that he could be the one to watch my kids while I have surgery for my Thyroid Cancer) I walked out to my truck to put my purse in, the neighbor kids started running their mouth, I told them to shut up and mind their business, my bf was standing on the porch, well their mom comes home threatening to kick my A** when I told her she needs to teach her kids respect for adults, my bf walked out to the road and told her to shut up and leave us alone, he walked off, I did not see where he went, I heard them say He’s got a gun, which I turned around and said no one’s got a gun, because I did NOT see him with a gun, I seen my daughter standing in the door way, I said the ONLY real gun in my house is my 12 gauge that has a child safety lock and I have the only keys to it and it’s hidden.

    Well I go inside my house to get my kids, I had my 5 week old baby in my left arm and my 8 yr. old daughter was right behind me. I went to go leave and a Silsbee Cop named Joshua Lawrence was standing in front of my door, he tried to push me aside to walk in my house, I said Excuse me you need a warrant just to bust up in my house like that, he said WHERE IS HE, I said I do not know, I think he left, he said your lying you are hiding him, I said NO I AM NOT, I do not want y’all shooting my dogs because last time y’all threatened to shoot them for the hell of it. I said I will wait with my kids on the front porch while you go get a warrant then y’all can search my house all y’all want. He then grabs my hair pulling me out of my house, while I’m still holding my baby, he throws me on the couch that’s outside to where I almost land on my baby, I stood up screaming police brutality, then he twisted my right arm behind my back and I told him he is endangering my children and another cop comes up trying to taze me, then he tried taking my baby out of my arms, I said NO, your not taking my baby, and yelled look this cop is trying to taze me while I’m holding my baby, the mother who I had the altercation with said Good that’s what you get B*tch. I said NO it’s not, I haven’t done anything wrong and I’m holding my baby, I am covered under the protective order. The cop says someone take the baby she’s using him as a shield I said No I am not, I was holding my baby and y’all drag me out of my house abusing me while my 8 yr old daughter is watching what y’all are doing to me, freaking out.

    I asked the Chief of Police if I could press charges against the two cops that did that to me, he said yes you can go to the Police Station, so I went on my own free will there, but ended up getting arrested for interfering with public duty since I told the cop they needed a warrant. I never once got to press charges. I honestly did not know my bf was in the house. They said they found him in there under the baby bed with clothes on him, but I was already gone at that time. CPS said the cops called them telling them how they needed to come out right away because they thought there was a hostage situation and there was a gun involved. Which that was never true and the cops fed lies to the Silsbee Bee which they published a story full of lies, I told Silsbee Bee, if the story does not get corrected I am going to sue them along with the Silsbee PD, for violating my civil rights and that’s exactly what CPS is doing as well. When the cops showed up I was standing in my door way holding my baby and my daughter was standing behind me where the cops COULD see both my children, after they drug me out of my house and finally left me alone, my daughter, me and the baby was all on the front porch so they could clearly see there was no hostage situation. SGT. Montalvo or however you spell his name told me I should of just told the cops I was scared for me and my kids life because THAT GUY as they all call him had a gun to our heads. I said NO, because that is a LIE, we never argued and I never seen a gun outside and the ONLY real gun in my house is my 12 gauge that has always had a child safety lock on it and I am the ONLY one with the keys to it, plus it was hidden, he didn’t even know where my gun was. There are two black bb/pellet guns. And CPS told the FBS Facilitator how the cops also told them how they found THAT GUY under the baby bed in the baby room holding a gun, which is another lie, because those BB/Pellet guns were in the Master bedroom from what I was told. CPS also said how the cops told them they thought it would be a Gun Standoff, well, that sure doesn’t make sense since the PD, let 15 Neighbors stand in the road directly in front of my house video taping and taking pictures of what was going on.

    When I got out of jail May 27th, I called steadily to CPS trying to find out how to get my kids back in my Custody since I signed the PCSP under duress since I was being arrested and was told if I didn’t sign that paper then they would go to state custody. I am protected under the protection order with my kids, I was basically forced to sign it, on May 18th, my bf broke my window out of the back of my suburban when he threw a piece of glass at it, he said he did not know my kids were in it with me. I checked both of them when the glass broke neither one of my kids had any glass on them, I did call the cops because I was mad. When the cops got there they both said they were not going to arrest him even when they seen both my kids in my truck, but when I asked one cop what his name was and reminded him he is the cop that pulled me over before for a missing headlight he got in my business about the stuff in my truck and why my daughter’s father wasn’t in her life and I had told him he slipped me a xanax and I woke up to him raping me, the cop laughed saying oh that’s a good one, I’ll have to try that one next time, I said RAPE is not funny. After I told him that, he decided he was going to arrest my bf and told me if I didn’t sign a protection order they would call CPS on me, so I singed it scared my Kids would get taken when I did not do anything wrong.

    I know y’all most likely don’t care to hear my whole story but I’m trying to let y’all see what has exactly happened. But when I told Mrs. Cole about basically being forced to sign the protective order, she said WHAT, did the cop put a gun to your head and make you sign it, I said NO. She has done nothing but twist my words around left and right and I’ve caught her trying to play head games and she has lied to me. She was asking me different questions and asked me if I changed the locks on my house, I said No Ma’am, I didn’t know I was supposed to AND in the lease it says I have to get permission from the Landlord and the cost has to come out of my pocket which I don’t have since I had been on Maternity leave. She said YOUR not taking blame for any of this, I said what do you mean, I said he has his own keys to the house but your blaming me for all this, she said yes I’m blaming you for it all because you should have called the cops when you seen him, but you didn’t. My bf and I had started renting the house February 21, 2014. He is the one that has been paying the bills since I had went on Maternity leave March 27th but we had been dating since November of 2013. The only incidents we have had regarding domestic abuse since him and I have been together is a night he twisted my fingers which he went to jail for and the night he broke the window out of my truck. Other than that he has never laid a hand on me or my daughter. Any time I would say anything good about what Marshall has done for my kids and I, Mrs. Cole would look at me with such disgust. I told her he is the only man that has ever been there for my kids and I. I got with him when I was pregnant and since the assumed father would not even claim the baby, Marshall stepped up to the plate and he paid for the gas to my Dr. visits and he went to the majority of them with me and was there for the birth of my son. Like I said before I am NOT taking up for him, he’s a grown man, he has done some stupid stuff when he would drink, from what I know he is getting help through AA.

    Going back to Mrs. Cole, on the first conversation May 27th after she was asking me questions, she said it sounds to me like your a Mother that doesn’t care, like you care more about this man than your kids, I said Ma’am my kids will ALWAYS come first in my life, she says, well I don’t even want you seeing your kids, you can only see them ONE hour a week supervised at the CPS office in Lumberton. I broke down crying. Yes, I did call the case worker a lot because it is hurting both my daughter and I being away from one another and I can’t even bond with my baby. The case worker told me I don’t need to call her a lot because she has other cases to work on. I kept asking when could I see my kids which I never got a clear answer. So I went into the CPS office and talked with a Lady in Foster Care, she said my best bet would be call and set up a appointment with Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Bridges . So I left messages with both Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Bridges asking them if we could set up a appointment because there is a lot of miscommunication over the phone. She called me back asking what am I talking about miscommunication, I said well I’ve been asking when could I see my kids and I never get a answer. She said Oh any day you want BUT it’s going to be for one hour at the cps building. So I finally got a visit set up for June 6th. Which I went and seen my kids and both my children had a strong odor of cigarette smoke on them and after, I had to stay and talk with Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Bridges.

    Mrs. Cole started off being very rude to me. She asked me again What my story was, I told her the SAME exact story I’ve been telling her. She said Ms. Rush, I think your lying I think you knew he was in your house. I said Ma’am I’m telling you the truth and I will tell you until I’m blue in the face the same story. I have nothing to lie about. I was telling her, what I told her before that when I was walking out he was walking up, she said so where were you going, I said my kids and I were going to get something to eat, she says So your telling me you left with your kids to get a burger and you came back home and didn’t know if he was in your house or not, I said Ma’am we never got to leave the house, everything happened so fast. She said your changing your story, I said No Ma’am I am not, we never got to leave the house until later when I voluntarily left with the police, so right there Mrs. Cole was twisting my words. I told them I did not want the baby’s assumed father seeing the baby, because he is a heavy pot smoker and he drinks every day and he is the one that tried to choke me when he kicked my daughter and I out last August. Mrs. Cole says what do you mean by ASSUMED, do you NOT know who you sleep with, I said Ma’am I KNOW who I sleep with, I am NOT a WHORE, I said there could be another possibility, but I don’t know because he told me he had a Vasectomy, she says so what are you saying you were sleeping with BOTH men at the same time, I said NO I was not. She again asked me about the locks on my house and again I told her I do NOT have the money to change my locks since I have been on Maternity leave and showed her our Lease. She said where are you staying, I said at my house where I have been, she said how are you paying for bills if you don’t have a job, I said Marshall is still paying the bills. She rolled her eyes and said have you seen him, I said No Ma’am I have not seen him since we got arrested and have not talked to him, the Landlord told me he paid the rent, she says so your telling me your staying in a house this guy is paying for and your not seeing him, so you don’t think he’s expecting anything. I said Ma’am I am NOT him, I do not know what he thinks.

    I also said I have no where else to move. I am getting my job back and will be getting my own place when I can afford it. I said Marshall is still on the lease/bills so by law he is still legally obligated to help pay them until his name is OFF those bills and when he got released from Jail May 19th he told me he didn’t want my kids or I to be homeless so he would help with the bills until I could get back on my feet. Mrs. Cole started playing head games and kept trying to get me to say I do drugs. I said Ma’am, I do NOT do drugs, I passed my Drug test. She said well what if I do a hair follicle on you what the results be, I said NEGATIVE, she says so if I call the Dr. that delivered your baby or any of your other Dr.s would they tell me different, I said No Ma’am they wouldn’t, you can call any Dr.s you want even shave my hair for many hair follicles and it would always come back the same, I do NOT do drugs. She laughed and said Good thing you didn’t do drugs when you were pregnant because if so it would of popped up and the Dr. would of called CPS right away. Mrs. Bridges let her know the ONLY prescriptions I’ve been on is what I gave them a list of after I had my baby. She then say’s so do you think you have a drinking problem, I said No Ma’am I do not have a drinking problem, she say’s so are you depressed, I said NO, I am not and have not been depressed, I may get Stressed out sometimes, but I am not depressed. Mrs. Cole said I could take services such as Anger Management, Parenting Classes and have a Psychological test done on me but she doesn’t even know if she wants to waste her time on me.

    Mrs. Bridges said that my Step sister who is the main voluntary care giver said she feels harassed for helping watch my kids. They told me I need to quit harassing her because she could turn my kids over to state, I said Ma’am I am NOT harassing her, I call or text to see how my kids are doing and half the time she doesn’t respond at all, I said don’t I have another placement option, Mrs. Cole says NO you do not have that option, your kids would go straight to a Foster home and could get adopted out, I started crying and told them, if I could go back to that day I would of just left with my kids. She said she still wanted the visitations to stay the same one hour a week at CPS. They told me the Family Team Plan Meeting would be June 16th.

    Ok, so June 16th, I showed up to CPS for the Family Team Plan Meeting, my dad, step sister and ex step mom showed up as well. Mrs. Cole, Mrs. Bridges, the Facilitator, the FBS Supervisor and FBS Case Worker also attended the meeting. I was not informed that I could have whoever I wanted to attend the meeting. I really did not want my ex step mom attending the meeting because she has always hated me and she brags about having mental papers. The Facilitator told me to tell my story of why CPS was involved so I started telling her, I didn’t say the part about the police finding the boyfriend under the bed, because I was not at the house when they found him, so Mrs. Cole informed her of that and the Facilitator says OH Ms. Rush you left all of that out, I said Ma’am, it was not my place to say because I was not at the house when they found him, so I do not know exactly what happened at the house after I left. She asked if any of my family had any input, my EX Step Mom, says I’m not gonna lie for anyone She knew her Marshall was in the house and kept on putting me down left and right, I defended myself saying I did not know he was in there, then the ex step mom says your the one that went to jail not us, NOT Once did my dad or step sister confirm what she said, but it was written in the Family Team Plan that “Family says mother knew boyfriend was in house”, which is a lie, because Charmaine is NO part of my family and my dad nor step sister ever said that.

    I told Everyone that was in that room that Charmaine has admitted to me slipping half of a valium in my dad’s coffee without him knowing and asked for her to have a drug test, CPS ignored everything I said, so I asked if they would Please make her leave the room because she is not there for Family Support, ALL she was doing was putting me down lying on me, the Facilitator says No, we are not making her leave, she’s giving us valuable information to this case. Here they will listen to a ex felon that smokes weed and cigarettes around my kids and her own grand kid but they won’t listen to anything I have to say. Then Charmaine let it slip how she’s been unsupervised around my kids when she’s not supposed to be, Mrs. Cole say’s, “Your not supposed to be unsupervised around them”. Mrs. Cole says Ms. Rush, do you have another Alternative Placement, I said Ma’am on June 6th you told me I did not have that option that my kids would go to a foster care and could possibly get adopted out, she said I did not say that, I said Yes you did Ma’am, that’s why I started crying that day. Charmaine was saying how I call them 15-20 times a day harassing them, I said No I don’t because number one you call me from a Private number so I don’t have your number, number two, Ashley (step sister) hardly answers my calls or text so the only person I call is my Dad. I call because they have my kids and I am concerned about my kids. My sister doesn’t even answer my questions about how my kids are doing or how their Dr. appointments go. So they told me I am only allowed to call my dad’s phone from 6pm -8pm to speak with my Daughter.

    I asked them to PLEASE have Charmaine QUIT posting my kids pictures on her Facebook, so the Facilitator tells her to quit, but then she say’s Ms. Rush do you post pictures of your kids on Face Book, I said YES they are MY kids. She says well your not allowed to post any pictures of your kids or information about them on Facebook either since you want to be so petty about Charmaine posting them. I also mentioned that Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Bridges has let the Baby’s Assumed Father see him when I asked them NOT to because of his drug usage and he’s a alcoholic and has many women in and out of his life and about the whole trying to choke me incident and that I want a drug test done on him. Mrs. Cole say’s Ms. Rush you do NOT Dictate how we do our investigation, you don’t know what we are doing or have been doing. Then she told the Facilitator that he said he want’s to help with a baby that he doesn’t even know if it’s his or not and laughed while she was saying it. Saying he’s a good samaritan, I said no because if he isn’t, then y’all are using him by letting him buy things for the baby. Mrs. Cole told me I need to quit having people call CPS on my behalf. I said I haven’t then I asked who was calling on my behalf, she says THAT DOES NOT MATTER. The FBS Case Worker asked why they wanted to have a mental evaluation on me, Mrs. Cole says because Ms. Rush says she’s depressed, I said WHAT, I NEVER said I was depressed, you asked me if I was and I told you NO, I am not, I may be stressed but NOT Depressed, but they ignored that. Any time I said ANYTHING about what the cops did to me, Mrs. Cole and the Facilitator Mrs. Scheerish McNeal would tell me that I am not taking blame for anything, that I just want to blame the cops and everyone else. I told them if I knew that night would of escalated to what it has I would of just let the cops in but I seriously did not know he was in there. I told them that keeping my kids away from me is ABUSE on their part. The Facilitator acted like she got mad, she said Ms. Rush YOU have done this to your self YOU are doing this to your children. What I said did not matter that day, they were all coming down on me like I was trash. The ONLY Nice one out of the bunch was Mrs. Charlotte Burrell, she is the FBS Case Worker. The Family Team Plan Meeting was NOT at all about SUPPORT, it was about tearing me a New rear end.

    Can someone PLEASE send me some kind of email/fax saying that if there is NO court order which there isn’t then I can get my kids. I need that so when I go get my kids, I have proof in case my ex step mom would call the cops on me. Mrs. Valerie with DFPS Consumer Affairs and LT Wallace with the Hardin County Sheriff Dept have both said if there is no court order than I have every right to get my kids. But Mrs. Valerie said that CPS can file a petition with the Court to have my kids put in State Custody…. I do not have any criminal or drug charges. I have NEVER abused either of my Kids. CPS is violating my civil rights. And I am going to file a lawsuit on them along with the Silsbee PD. As I have done a lot of research and have talked to many CPS Defense Lawyers they have all told me the same thing, CPS is turning this case on ME, the NON-OFFENDING Parent. They have NOT once investigated my BF…. They are solely going on what I and a FEW Family members have told them. They are causing mental distress on both My Daughter and I. My baby will be 9 weeks old Tuesday and I can not even bond with him. I have tried breast feeding him, but I have Thyroid Cancer and Hyperthyroidism so I have a low milk supply but they have taken away my right to breast feed my baby. I have only gotten to see my kids TWO times in almost a whole month. My dad says my Daughter tosses and turns in her sleep at night and cries saying Mommy. I have been the ONLY one in her life for 8 yr.s, CPS is doing NOTHING but tearing my family apart. From the first time I have talked to Mrs. Cole I have felt like she has had a personal vendetta against me, she ALWAYS talks to me in such disgust. I am being punished because I honestly did NOT know my BF was in the house and I was standing up for MY and my Childrens rights when I told the cop he needed a warrant because I did NOT want him shooting my dogs.

    The whole reason why the PCSP was necessary is : Due to the arrest of Wendy Rush and the Alleged Violation of a protection order by Ms. Rush. Mrs. Valerie with Crime Victims in Kountze called Mrs. Bridges cell phone and left her a message letting her know that I DID NOT violate the protective order since I was also protected under it. But Mrs. Cole laughed about it in the Family Meeting saying EVEN though you may not have violated the order since you were covered under it, you still put your children in harms way. I talked to Mrs. Bridges on the phone I want to say Tuesday, I asked her WHY am I still only allowed one hour a week with my kids, she said Because FBS wants to make sure the kids are safe and that THAT GUY isn’t around because since CPS is still on the case IF anything happens to your kids then we will be held responsible. Well they sure don’t care about my kids safety or emotional state because if they did they would let me have my kids back and quit trying to build a case against me when there is NOTHING… Yes I have agreed to do their services. I will be starting back to work on the 25th of June. With me being at work I will never get to see my kids if CPS is going to keep playing these games and refusing to let me see my kids. That’s why I’ve already started the paper work for a lawsuit. CPS does not know anything about me, they are judging me on HEAR SAY from CROOKED Cops that like to abuse women.

    Here I have heard of THREE separate cases here in Hardin and Jefferson County where the women were on Drugs, One lady went to rehab for 30 days and did parenting classes, she got her kids back in 30 days, one was on meth and she did rehab and parenting classes, got her kids back in 3 weeks and one was on drugs got her kids taken away and got her kids back in 2 weeks. That picture does not seem right to me. I DO NOT do drugs nor drink, I have been the victim of abuse but these cruel CPS women are making me out to be the criminal. All they have done is try to intimidate me, scare me, bully me, they are causing mental distress on my daughter and taking away the bond I’m supposed to have with my infant. As I have stated earlier CPS is VIOLATING My Civil Rights….

    1. John Smith says:


      1. Wendy says:

        John Smith (Sounds like a FAKE name), glad you thought my story was funny. I sure hope you never have to go through what I had to go through. But I believe in Karma…

    2. anonymous says:

      to anyone reading this , this ladies story probably sounds crazy , and like she has an excuse for everything , and a year ago i probably would of said she is bat shit crazy , however after what i have gone thru in the last year , with cps ,dirty cops ,corrupt judges , and dependancy attorneys who blatantly violate and assist the courts in violating my due process , i believe her 100% i was shot on 6/4/2016 by a person in my home , who was a undercover fedral marshall who was screwing my wife at the time, since this the police report said i came at my wife with a knife and she shot me with a 22 which we had in our residence , the 9mm slug taken from my leg dissapeared after being picked up by cop who wrote report , my wife was threatened that she was to sign and go along with what they told her to do (till this day she freezes and wont say what they did to her and refuses to talk about it) and tells me to my face somtimes that she shot me even though we were both there and we both know different ) cps took my kids and social worker Jessica ludwig csw san diego health and human services refuses to give us the services needed for reunification and lies to judge that weve been personally handed these referalls on several occasions what i dont understand is why while were there at court with her and the judge common sense cant be used and require she bring these referrals and hand them to us right there in court so theres no confusion ,, after 9 months and now my serices terminated that i never got in the first place , now my attorney benhaz zamani of dependancy legal group assisted cps and the judge in denying me a voice to contest this, took my due process and wiped their ass with it , and ran out the clock on my rights to appeal , i had a marsden before trial because my atty refused to to her job i wanted to call witnesses etc , i had a very good case to present along with loads of exculpatory evidence so i get a comtinuance the judge (different then the regular one) denies my request due to the attt agreeing to call witnesses and take time with me to work on presenting a case , never happened she refused and didnt show up for trial sent some dumbass that outright told me i deserved to lose my kids and laughed at me
      then lied to me saying she filed an appeal , while all she was doing was running out the clock , so the appalate court would never even see it , to help her cps and the judge cover up their miscarriage of justice , after all hope was lost at appeals, reunification, human decency, i was finally allowed a marsden and the opportunity to represent myself , and got to pickup and look at the file of everything ever ssid about and against me in whole , i have document after document of perjured reports, my signature forged on over a dozen docs by my atty lies that are easily proved just by reading the reports as they make up so many lies that they contradict themselves many times on the same page ,everything they have written since the beginning is fiction and anyone that reads the reports in the file (even those who dont know me or anything about my case prior is discusted at how they cant keep track of the blatant lies they tell , they do and get away with whatever they want to the point they are so cocky that they are above the law they dont even bother to tell good lies that are beleiveable or proofread their fictions as to not get caught lying and perjuring themselves

      so in whole
      in the last year i was shot thrown in jail(criminal charges dropped because the DA could clearly see they were trumped up bullshit) made homeless by a restraining order and had my kids stolen by the state
      have had my name dragged thru the most awefull things said about me thats is beyond defamation of my charachter they have defamed my sense as a human being , turned my family against me refused me visitation with my kids (who i lived for and were my world) and are terminating my perental rights , i beleive (because i cant afford med care for a real diagnosis) that i am now suffering from ptsd and. legal abuse syndrome , severe depression i can hardly eat , ive turned to. IV drug use to numb the pain (i had 5 years clean time prior to these court hearings and even during i started again when i felt so hopeless that i was gonna take my own life and not in the look at me im gonna kill myself i want attention kind of way , (this is somthing ive kept private to myself and am only writing it here incase any of the very few people i have left ,can have an answer as to why i did it if i do get the balls

      after a round of roulette i went and scored and have been able to numb enough to keep the sucidal needs (not just thoughts away) everytime i decide to stop using within 24 hours i am quietly conteplating to myself how im going to execute myself , the one thing i feel i have to do in order to follow thru write a farewell to my children and let them know it wasnt there fault in anyway and in order to do this clearheaded i need to fix to be able to disconnect just enough to not be so emotional as the tears run so fast onto the paper it becomes impossible to write on but then my use will ussally sidetrack this by overthinking and racing thoughts were what i write doesnt make sense and i would never want my children to see, then rinse repeat i want to end this misery and hopelessness as every waking breath i take is unbearable torture , some days i beleive what i said about why i havent done it yet other days i hate myself for being to big of a pussy to just blow my brains out with a 45 fast and clean , and pray and try to muster up the courage to do it , every time i sleep , i have had vivid dreams of taking my life in just about every way possible only to wake and be highly dissapointed in myself for not having the balls to do it,im not a beleiver in suocide other than for people who are in great pain like those that go to kervorkian because they are terminal and suffering , but now that i know i am suffering a pain 100 times greater than any physical ailment could ever , i feel justified in ending this UNJUSTIFIABLE EXISTENCE

      1. Wendy says:

        Sorry you had to go through that, I hope.things have got better for you. Wish I would of seen your comment sooner. My best advice is LEARN YOUR RIGHTS OR YOU HAVE NONE. I researched so much because like you, I was on the verge of suicide I was so depressed and sick to my stomach not being able to see my kids, and being treated like a criminal. I learned my rights, there was never a court order so I went and got my kids. CPS was trying to make a case out of nothing. They knew I wasn’t abusing or neglecting my kids so there was nothing they could do. To this day I have dealt with CPS at least 10 times since 2014, because my Ex’s would call on me. Hopefully things have got better for you. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to email me at Monkey-05@live.com . Eventually I want to go to College for Psychology to become a Victims Advocate to help people like you and myself.

      2. Wendy says:

        Also check your state on recording laws. Texas is a One party state, meaning if you yourself know your recording your own conversation, you do NOT have to let the other party know your recording them and it CAN be used in a court of law.

  8. Ben Tisnado says:

    My story starts off with my ex girlfriend that has mental condition and left with my baby boy Danny. She refused to get treatment and Cps was called to make sure my son was safe. Neatness to say now I am a bad person to and they never came to my house to interview me. The case work Ann Britenmister was always so rude to me and my family and she decided to place my baby boy with a family. I have not got to see him at all. I love my son but she think because I am only 18 I can’t care for him and called me today saying if I don’t comply with her request my son Danny with be place for adoption. There are people my age raising kids and people my age fighting wars, but I can’t raise my son I love. I work to be able to provide for him. I have asked for a new case worker but haven’t got any response. Can someone help me please.

  9. Kim Register says:

    Thoughts and heartfelt prayers coming your way!
    Our family has been in this nightmare for only 10 weeks…
    Please visit FB Saving Caleb. We need your prayers too.
    I’m Caleb’s Nana

  10. kirsten says:

    My story….
    Ive been involved with CPS for two weeks. They came barging into my hospital room saying my baby tested positive for opiates. I said “uh huh…here is my prescription”. The lady said “well this is invalid because its written by your family dr not obgyn we are putting your baby and other 2 children in foster care because you are a drug addict. Long story short…got a lawyer who is in process of getting case dismissed 2 oldest at home…im not allowed to be left alone with them because “i might have withdrawls from my 5mg norcos and shake my babies” i dont even have any parking tickets… No criminal record but im only allowed to keep my baby during the day….under husbands supervision. Since facilitation hearing caseworkers have ignored all my calls regarding what i do next i.e. My drug assessment…when they came to talk to me less than 12 hours after birth i agreed to do anything they wanted so they wouldnt put babies in foster care…i told them at the facilitation meeting i would have admitted to being satan if it kept my children safe…both lawyers expect this to be over before next court date but at this point….i dont trust anyone or anything…im amazed right now that ive been labeled a drug addict for properly using my own prescription….i will never again trust a doctor, hospital, or government agency. This whole thing should have been dropped the second I showed them my very valid prescription. Any advice anyone? This is a freakin nightmare. Ohh p.s. I was called a unique drug addict by judge because my bills are paid 2 months in advance and im the bread winner working 40-65 hours a week…and my car is paid in full…and the only time ive missed work was to have a baby… This is just insane…people keep telling me “this is just part of the process”…..Fuck The Process Give me my baby back!!!!!

  11. Janice says:

    this is happening to my son as well. Cps caseworker is 22 years old, no children or experience with parenting and has come in and even though the child said it was an accident while they were playing she got smacked, she sat up just as he was hitting a ball, they say he smacked her on purpose. They are not interested in the truth, and removed the kids from their mom, and filed neglect charges on her and battery on my son. None of it is true, they have been together for 3 years without one incident, and just had a new baby together, and now the cps told her she can’t have her kids back ever if she don’t brake up with my son. They have torn apart a wonderful family, removed children from a loving home, and my son was arrested and charged with battery. We hired a lawyer and are fighting all this now. The CPS caseworker is not interested in the truth, just about pushing this family around and being dissrespectful and no regards for whats in the best interest of these children. Someone needs to stop these people. They are so corrupt. I am so angry and sad for my son and his family.

  12. Johnnie says:

    I am currently dealing with CPS and have been the past 5 months going on six. They took my daughter for neglect. I was wrong for using marijuana during my pregnancy. I havent had my daughter since the day she was born. CPS has! In those 5 almost 6 months I have straighten up. I signed myself up for Anger Management, Parenting Classes, Matrix drug Classes and even set up my own Pysch Eval. I graduated my all my things I signed myself up for. Have all my certificates and my Pysch Eval says I have a personality disorder from the trauma I have been through. I have almost 6 months clean and will do whatever it takes to get my baby back. I have missed out on alot with her. And I can not wait until she`s home. But from some reason CPS tells me it`s way too soon to give her back or do an IN- Home Dependancy. I don`t see why I am proving mysel and keep proving myself. I get 7 hours of supervised visits a week. They have an adoption date set for her February 15th 2013. If I am doing everything they want and they still don`t wanna give her back by then. Can they still adopt her out??? This is my first child I don`t wanna lose my baby girl she`s my world…. I miss her soo much. I love all the time they do let me have

  13. Kathleen Brewington says:

    My family and I are involved in a cps case I can prove they have violated two state statues here in Arizona and violated my rights, they have taken my daughters children too and I want to sue them based on the violations of two az laws, need a lawyer for this but cannot afford one, we have a definite case worth pursuing.

    1. Kathleen, I am interested in hearing your story.

      DeeAn GIllespie Strub Attorney dgillespie@gillaw.com

      1. claudia says:

        What law wr they… my 4 5 6 8 14 amend plus im not yet been spoken by anywho its been a month kids taken from school no contact no notification shady shady $$$ fed
        incentive droven case mngrs

  14. Anonymous says:

    How ironic that I know someone who is dealing with CPS and was again researching all the acronyms when I came across this site. It’s been a long time since I read this being that the case Matt is referring to is mine. After that hellish meeting and both of my children being removed from my care I was forced to go to Anger Management classes, psychatric evaluations, and have a parent aide in my home for almost a year. My youngest daughter was returned after 3 months and my oldest (the one who made the allegations) after 6 months. What I find interesting is that my daughter that made the allegations recanted two months after this meeting (legalized kidnapping) and stated that she had “made it up” to avoid getting in trouble for running away. That is something that was ignored and her caseworkers did nothing. An abuse finding will continue to be on my record for the rest of my life even though the child who made the allegations has repeatedly stated that it wasn’t true. At the end of the case my oldest daughters actions were out of control, she ran away from group home after group home and she was skipping school. Because it wasn’t something CPS wanted to deal with they referred me to the Juvenile court and closed her case. Apparently their idea of “best interest of the child” is not ensuring that their actions are appropriate.

    To this day both of my children are in counseling for PTSD symptoms suffered at the hands of CPS. If you mention to either of them anything that has to do with the CPS case we endured 3 years ago they still cry. My youngest daughter is isolated, won’t leave the house, and rarely has friends over. She’s not the same person. That childlike innocence she use to have is gone and now she lives in fear. When she first came home she was even scared to sleep in her own bed terrified that CPS would come take her again. I don’t know if a day will come when we are all “back to normal”. It’s sad that no one will take steps to restructure this system as it clearly needs done. I’ve sent so many letters through the years and nothing. Children are removed from homes that don’t need to be while we constantly hear stories of young children dying because CPS should have been involved. At some point I can only pray that someone will take on the issue of CPS and get CPS’s priorities corrected.

    Thanks again Matt for supporting me that day. You being there will NEVER be forgotten!

    1. Concerned Grandma says:

      So, who was your capable dependency lawyer? My daughter is in need of one. Her court-appointed lawyer is brain dead.

  15. SCOTT A. says:


  16. SCOTT A. says:


  17. shaky nerves says:

    I’f u have possession of ur kids + cps request u to bring to office. I strongly advise not 2. With or without a lawyer screw the report they’ll write what they want anyway don’t let them in house either. Let them break the doors down + viedo tape it. Protect ur kids and rights! I’m not a lawyer just a victim

  18. SCOTT A. says:


  19. Admiral Lord Nelson says:

    Does this kind of abuse happen often?

    Has no one ever ended such kangaroo proceeding by taking out a handgun and killing his/her tormentors? If not, why not?

  20. Maggie says:

    I couldn’t help but to comment more. Concerning that “Facilitator” you mentioned; in my state, CPS facilitaors must have a Masters in Social Work. I have met same (presumably with Master’s degrees) who have been as insipid and as ‘uneducated’ as the very one you had encountered.

    I too nearly lost my cool when encountering said individials. It’s their arrogance and the lack of liability (the immunity they possess)that enable them to do the things they do.

    I do hope your former client prevailed. I have a feeling she may have thanks to your diligence and concern.

    CPS is a bloody nightmare. Although statutes and protocol exist, CPS does not follow same. They make it up as they go along and unless there is an attorney present to call them ontheir actions, they steamroll families, often destroying said families entirely.

    I actually had one CPS worker say to me that she did not need to abide by the 4th Amendment as she was a state employee……………….

    There have actually been Federal Court decisions reminding CPS that, “hello”, you must abide by the 4th Amendment.

    Absolutely incredible.

    1. Kaylea says:

      The same happened to me. My ex-mother-in-law called and claimed that I “spend all night on the computer and sleep all day while the baby is awake”, which firstly, is not true, and second, I live alone and generally keep to myself, so no one would have ‘known’ if I was. When CPS came to my door, she demanded to come in and I asked her nicely if she had a search warrant. She said she didn’t need one, and she needed to come into the house, to make sure I wasn’t asleep, I guess? I know she didn’t need to come in to see the baby, who I was holding in my arms and who had just gotten out of the bathtub and was happily chewing on a cracker. The worker told me that if I did not let her in, that she would call the police, which is exactly what she did. The police showed up, and the officer told me that CPS didn’t need search warrants if they had “probable cause” (although they didn’t), and I had to let her in or I would be arrested. I let them in, and an hour later my daughter was placed in my ex-mother-in-law’s temporary custody. Thankfullly, my daughter is home now after going to court a few times, but I’ve wondered about that also. Even the FBI needs a search warrant, correct? So what gives CPS the power to enter a person’s home with no good reason?

      1. talina says:

        Acctually that’s called illigal search and seasure look at this web page Google How CPS buys and sells our children.the social worker and the police officer violated you 4 the and 14 the amendment rights and your child’s that’s a law suit alot of people are suing CPA and the police for this plz check it out

  21. Maggie says:

    Family Team Meeting. I think CPS nationwide employs same.

    Attorneys are often told Not to attend. CPS does not like attorneys.

    I worked on a few cases similar to the one you described. That is; nothing happened. There was no crime, no abuse, no neglect -yet CPS does not care.

    It seems that their goal is to get as many people into the system as possible.

    Now, there is more. Even though nothing happened, if a CPS worker thinks something did happen, and it seems that many CPS workers are schooled to think that there is abuse everywhere, the parents’ names will still be put on a state child abuse registry. No trial. No opportunity to be heard and at least in California, the names stay on the list for life.

    I bet if you hadn’t seen this with your own eyes that you would never have believed it.

    The Constitution thrown right out the window.

  22. SCOTT A. says:


  23. Adrian says:

    I’ve had similar issues with CPS. I have a theory about CPS and similar agencies. If you stick a CPS worker into a given geographical area, that CPS worker is going to take away at least X number of kids per year. I’m guessing CPS workers, like almost all government bureaucracies, are evaluated based on comparisons to surrounding CPS offices. I’m sure some baseline expectation, written or unwritten, exists that in a given population a worker should be expected to have X number of cases per year that requires removal of a child from a home. Maybe I’m completely in left field on this but I feel compelled to figure out why some clients lose temporary custody of their children for seemingly no good reason.

  24. Matt Brown says:

    Mike, I completely agree. The whole time thoughts kept popping into my head about previous clients who didn’t care or actively tried to harm their children and either got CPS to leave them alone or ended up with in-home dependencies.

  25. Mike g says:

    It’s even worse when there are clear signs of abuse – cigarette burns, bruises, and a two year old kid saying he’d been sodomized, and CPS does nothing.

    I never could figure that one out.

  26. Chris K. says:

    This has become my response to all instances of too much government largesse or improper actions by actors under the color of authority:

    “Tall trees, short ropes”

  27. Bryan says:

    You didn’t mention it explicitly, but it sounds like the meeting took place at the client’s home, or possibly CPS.

    In retrospect, it seems a good idea to only hold such a meeting in a venue where a video recording is taken. Like your office!

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