Polygamy Sect Kids Must Stay in Custody [constitutional?]

Is anyone feeling the same way? I read a couple articles on this situation and it just kept jumping out at me that due to the allegation of abuse by one anonymous caller, which is currently being investigated as a hoax, all of these children have been taken into custody by the state. Something seems really weird about this.

abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/comments?type=story&id=4680903

The threshold required to trigger an investigation is quite low, and the removal of children from parents’ custody is likewise relatively straightforward if the child services investigator finds evidence to support the claim of abuse. This is difficult for parents and children regardless of the truth of the allegations, and particularly tragic if the parents are completely innocent, but it is unfortunately a necessary precaution when kids may be at risk. Even if cleared, a parent may be ineligible to adopt after such an allegation is made, depending on the state.

In other words, this is just another example of CPS being above the law and not really related to the invidual circumstance.

I still think it’s creepy.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I think it’s creepy too. When are they going to make the Mass illegal? It happens all over the world. When are we going to let our government take one too many rights (rites as a play on words)?

I heard (and can’t for the life of me remember where-I think I may have read it in the St. Louis Post Dispatch last week), that some gov’t agency has been investigating this group for about 4 years, and had a spy inside the compound, it just took that phone call from the allegedly abused 16 y/o to give reason for the search.

Whether or not it was constitutional I don’t know, but I’m not sorry they did it. Underage girls were pregnant, and many already had several children. Clearly there is some abuse going on, and isn’t this Warren Jeffs (Jeffs?, Jessops? can’t remember his name) group? The one who’s already in prison for child rape? The only ones I feel sorry for are the girls who’ve been brainwashed into thinking this compound is “paradise” and how God wants them to live, as well as the young children separated from their (adult) mothers because they chose to leave their kids and go back to the compound. Hopefully the government can unindoctrinate them.

And I really don’t think the Catholic Church, as a whole, has anything to worry about, as an Institution. We don’t teach bizarre, heretical doctrines (that girls should be married off to polygamous unions as soon as they hit puberty), that clash with U.S. law, and any abuses that individuals (i.e, priests or bishops) commit are from failing to follow Catholic teaching and should be treated as crimes, obviously, and prosecuted.

Just my :twocents: on the matter.

In Christ,

Ellen

I see your points on the situation, but I am of the camp that believes the law has to be followed.

How many criminals could we catch if police and judges could toe the line? Probably a lot.

I just disagree with the process in this case. If they can do it to people we dislike or people who might be criminals, they can certainly do it to us.

Here is some better infomation…

chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/religion/5719330.html

Jack Sampson, a professor in the University of Texas Law School’s Children’s Rights Clinic, said CPS workers were obligated to investigate the allegations as a civil matter. Whether it turns into a criminal issue is to be decided.

“We don’t know who the father is. But we do know that if the father is more than two years older (than the underage mother), that there’s been a crime,” Sampson said.

CPS spokesman Darrell Azar said it doesn’t matter if the original call turns out to be a hoax.

The authorities were slowly building up a good case. If left alone this probably would have had a strong case by the time they finally raided the compound.

This false accusation has thrown an wrench into the whole affair.:frowning:

Imagine if this case gets thrown out on constitutional grounds. The FLDS already now that they have an informant in their midst. They will just close ranks even tighter.

One CPS worker, not surprisingly, said that it doesn’t matter if the search warrant is valid or not… because of what they found!!

I keep telling people that the Constitution isn’t worth the paper its is written on. :frowning: :hypno: OK, so there are crimes going on… If the search warrant is not valid, they had no right to go there and without that, they would not have known (or at least i don’t think they would have…about the abuse)… How could they not known until the raid that there was pedophilia going on?? I find THAT hard to believe…

The thing is creepy all right… In more ways than one…

My position is that children should not be separated from their parents except in EXTREME cases… A 13 yr old should not be married & having children, but she is not mature enough to know what she is doing… and should not be punished with the loss of her child(ren)… especially when she was taken advantage of by adult males who want to promote polygamy… :mad: **taking the children is just another abuse!! **

I find it hard to beleive they have a case against every one of these children’s parents… The ones who haven’t done anything illegal should be free to go NOW!!

I wasn’t aware of that - where did you read it? Obviously if the search warrant was invalid, the evidence discovered must be suppressed in any criminal case, as “the fruit of the poisonous tree.” This would seriously undermine any criminal case.

Perhaps the CPS worker was referring to the disposition of the children. Since that aspect is a matter of family law rather than criminal law, Texas courts probably aren’t bound by the restrictions on evidence gathering in making decisions on what to do with the children. Instead, the courts probably use the “best interests of the child” as the main principle in what to do. That may inconvenience some children for a few days, but it’s a small price to pay if there is a risk the children could be sent back to an abusive environment.

[quote=distracted]taking the children is just another abuse!!
[/quote]

No need to shout.

[quote=distracted]I find it hard to beleive they have a case against every one of these children’s parents… The ones who haven’t done anything illegal should be free to go NOW!!
[/quote]

How do you propose they make this hasty decision? And are you suggesting that if they strongly suspect wrongdoing but don’t have enough evidence for a case against a particular person, they should release the child immediately back into the custody of the possibly abusive parent, without investigating the matter as thoroughly as they can?

The State of Texas was wrong in the first place for making the raid the way they did, and now they are fishing for sex abuse. Even if they do find statutory rape that does not justify the taking of other people’s children. If the guy down the street is a statutory rapist that means they take my kids away? It’s a cover up and I hope they sue the snot out of them.

If they are going to start taking children without just cause, the one smart thing is to wear a bullet proof vests. The next time someone might get shot.

Where is the fishing for sex abuse when a rapist brings their victum in to Planned Parenthood?

As our rights are taken away, the two favorite excuses are for our own safety or “for the children”. Well, it’s a tossup whether these kids are better off with a wacky cult or the authorities:

from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Texas judge declines to rule on FLDS mothers’ request to stay with their nursing babies

SAN ANGELO, Texas - The Texas judge overseeing the polygamous FLDS sect’s case refused Monday to make any ruling that would allow breast-feeding mothers to remain with their children in state custody.
Judge Barbara Walther did rule that the women and children currently staying at the San Angelo Coliseum could meet twice a day to pray without being monitored by state workers.

. . . . .

Attorneys for the women asked the judge to consider letting nursing mothers remain with their children after negotiations with CPS on the issue stalled. They asked the judge to let the mothers stay until DNA results are in, likely to take up to 40 days.
Walther acknowledged the nutritional and bonding benefits of breast-feeding.
“But every day in this country, we have mothers who go back to work after six weeks of maternity leave,” she said.
“The court has made a determination that the environment those children were in was not safe,” said Walther, adding that there is a shortage of suitable placements for infants in Texas.

Right on, Your Honor! The fact that some women voluntarily (or from necessity) return to work totally justifies you letting the State literally take infants from their mothers’ breasts.

Some very good points raised in this op-ed:

Scott Henson: Where’s the evidence of abuse?

Judge Barbara Walther, who is overseeing the YFZ Ranch case, yesterday declared: “The court has ruled the conditions those children were in were not safe for the children. I did not make the facts that got this case into the courts.”

  Excuse me, Judge? You issued a sweeping, house-to-house search warrant based on a highly questionable anonymous call that turned out to be phony. You refused to allow individual hearings for children, grouping them together like cattle. You accepted the testimony of an expert on "cults" who only learned about FLDS from media accounts, rather than an academic who'd studied them professionally for 18 years.
  You've ruled the existence of five girls between 16 and 19 who were pregnant or had children was evidence of systematic abuse, even though in Texas 16-year-olds can marry with parental consent. You've ruled young toddlers are in "immediate" danger because of their parents' beliefs or what might happen 15 years from now, not because anyone abuses them. 

From the evidence presented publicly, I do not believe that the children have been sexually abused or physically harmed. Allegations of forcible rape turned out to be bogus, and only five girls 16 to 19 years old were found pregnant or with children – probably about the same ratio you’d find if you rounded up all the kids in my neighborhood.

(more)

And exactly how are alleged forced marriages of teenagers evidence of an unsafe environment for infants?

didymus, now I am confused. I had heard on the news that there were multiple cases of UNDERAGE females being pregnant. :confused:

Well, so far everything we’ve been hearing has been coming from the state authorities who have every reason to blacken this group as much as they can. After pulling off a raid like this they can’t say, “Oops, these folks are just weirdos, there’s no abuse. Sorry we ripped their lives apart and kidnapped four hundred innocent kids.”

Maybe when the DNA comes back it will turn out that there are 17 year-old mothers of 4 year-olds or something like that. Until then I’m sticking with “innocent until proven guilty.”

Surely an argument can be made that these kids have just been traumatized more than the average CPS removal due to their childhood lifestyle.

Whereas a lot of kids in America are placed in nurseries, daycare and go to school at a young age, these kids were in a home-based care and schooling environment. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of them had never been away from their parents’ home for even a couple days.

I read it in some news release…

Obviously if the search warrant was invalid, the evidence discovered must be suppressed in any criminal case, as “the fruit of the poisonous tree.”

Why do you say “obviously”? I know of a case where the law was NOT adhered to. Evidence was used against the person that should not have been used. But the defendant was poor, didn’t know the law (of course) as a lawyer woiuld… What good are laws when they are not obeyed or when there are so many exceptions to the rule that there is, effectively, NO rule at all…

Since that aspect is a matter of family law rather than criminal law, Texas courts probably aren’t bound by the restrictions on evidence gathering in making decisions on what to do with the children.

Are Family Law courts above the Constitiution? A person’s rights should not exist or cease to exist just because of the nature of the conflict…
“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere… (I believe that was ML King Jr…)”

Instead, the courts probably use the “best interests of the child” as the main principle in what to do.

“best interests of the child”??? No more subjective words have ever been spoken… In the long run (and even in the short run) They mean absolutely nothing… When it comes to one’s rights, one needs to be specific… not use this kind of subjective language… Laws need to be specific… Vague-ness is a license to do whatever (in this case, the state) wants…

That may inconvenience some children for a few days

Why do i doubt it will be only a few days???

,

but it’s a small price to pay if there is a risk the children could be sent back to an abusive environment.

the abuse must be proved. Would you want to lose your children for days on end, possibly forever, having Big Brother deciding what is in their best interests (etc)? Would you want to be falsely accused of child abuse, presumed guilty of it until and unless you prove your innocence… which you can’t do because you are not an attorney… (& all those available are probably prejudiced because of the news coverage on the story?) I could go on and on…

And are you suggesting that if they strongly suspect wrongdoing but don’t have enough evidence for a case against a particular person, they should release the child immediately back into the custody of the possibly abusive parent, without investigating the matter as thoroughly as they can?

Yes and No, Yes, they should release the child AND they should investigate…
I heard that all they had was a call from some person who may have made up things…
Underage girls who are “married” to men much older than they are victims of statutory rape… They are victims and their children are victims (should it be proven). It is the men who did the rape who should be arrested.
Children should not be separated from their parents unless there is serious abuse… If a mother forced her child to marry someone (violating the law of age of consent) she should be arrested… But you can’t tell me that all those women are guilty of such things? You can’t tell me that All 400 children are the victims of something like that?? No way…

There is no way a court would grant the separation of mother from child unless they know much more than one thinks. The news media is by far not trying to report the God’s honest truth but to stir the pot for ratings and money.

I am a former social worker and can assure you that the laws are very specific and it is the courts’ hopes to keep parents and children together if at all possible. If they are not doing so, then there is a darn good reason.

Kathie

this is NOT True! Maybe in some states, the laws are obeyed, but not all. I read an article years ago about how several states (i could list them) have this corrupt scheme going on where they make up false charges against wlefare mothers and take their children away from them, adopting them out to wealthy families… and they get away with it all because of those ever-so-subjective-and-meaningless words “best interest of the child”…

I am a former social worker and can assure you that the laws are very specific and it is the courts’ hopes to keep parents and children together if at all possible. If they are not doing so, then there is a darn good reason.

Kathie

Again, this is not true in several states that i know of. I am wondering what state you were a social worker (also what year)?

I believe it is simple. There should only be rare situations where a parnet’s rights are taken permanetly (and i wouldn’t be surprised if the parents at the compound lose their children permanently…). One is when the child is sexually abused (penetration). One is when the child is beaten or in other ways seriously physically harmed. There are others… but even in cases where a child is “disciplined” harshly, the bond between child and parent is usually very strong… and it does children a lot of harm to be separated permanently from his/her parent(s)…
Why doesn’t the state help the parents to become better parents instead of always just taking the child and abandoning the parent(s)??? No one is born knowing how to parent a child… Even after raising many children, a person can be clue-less about many things pertaining to child care… I think the state should do other things besides foster care (etc) in the business of helping children and their families… the social workers and the state CPS seem to have tunnel vision…

Exactly…

right… You would think by now that if the state of TX were doing things on the up and up, some of the children/parents would have been released/re-united…

If the guy down the street is a statutory rapist that means they take my kids away?

Yeah… real logical, isn’t it? Someone has an agenda…

If they are going to start taking children without just cause, the one smart thing is to wear a bullet proof vests. The next time someone might get shot.

I know someone who had children taken away… obeyed every law, did what CPS told — to do… yet LOST… & this person had many, many witnesses to say — was good parent… even excellent parent in many ways (kids top of the class, kids in upper percentile for height and weight… etc.). while CPS disobeyed laws in the case (Constitutional & state juvenile statutes…) & probably got big $ for the adoption of the children…

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