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WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


So 10 am this morning me and my wife are woken up by knocking on our door. It turns out our 5 year old daughter woke up early this morning, put on her coat and shoes, filled her own backpack with her school stuff, and proceeded to walk to school.

A family saw her walking, and commented that she did very well for her age (looked both ways before crossing, pushed traffic light buttons, waited for cars, ect.) and seemed to be well taking care of herself. They played with her for a while at the school playground before calling the police because they didn't know where she lived. The police officer showed up, was very polite, but had to call in a second officer. They investigated our house, which turned into a 2 hour bullying session by the second officer.

He continually said our house was a pit (we have laundry on the floor, and probably a few days of dishes on our table, I hadn't done them in a while), and a soft spot in the bedroom (the floor was giving out due to water damage in the bathroom. I've been fixing the holes as we find them. There's several obvious spots where I've fixed the damage.)

He however, proceeds to look at me and comment "Look at this, this...you're pathetic." and calls child protective services (CPS). The woman arrives, and pretty much agrees with the officer. The first officer was nice, and fairly understanding. In front of all three of them I informed them that once before CPS had been here, gave them the previous CPS agent's name and card (this was a year and a half ago) however this apparently meant nothing (the previous visit they said nothing was wrong with our home).

No warnings, nothing, she says she's taking our kids and putting them in foster care, and that tomorrow or tuesday we will have to go to court over custody of our children (a 5 year old girl and 9 month old boy).

I ask, if the house was "very clean" by the time they came tomorrow, if this would be over fast, and the second officer proceeded to laugh and said "that'd mean you worked all through the night. You won't have this clean within two weeks even.".

The woman also repeatedly told us we might lose our kids for good.

Tomorrow I will be speaking to an attorney. Do you think I have a leg to stand on in court? My wife is missing a lot of work due to the fact that she's out of her mind crying because they took her children. I called my professors in college and said I probably couldn't make it to class (near finals even) at least for mon/tue. so I'm around to deal with this because my wife obviously can't with how freaked out she is.

I've been told by several non-legal friends to see if I can sue for grievances/damages or whatever. I know little about this so I'm curious: did they do wrong? I've also been told by several others that you're supposed to usually get some warnings before they take the kids due to a messy home.

(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

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BuckarooBanzai
Dec 2, 2004
Wherever you go, there you are.

Family law lawyer ASAP.

Shonagon
Mar 27, 2005

It is impervious to reason or pleading, it knows no mercy or patience.

If your house is as reasonable as you suggest, I'm really confused as to why anyone would have taken your children away without any sort of warning/advice, or why you would let them, rather than calling a lawyer on the spot. Did they suggest the children were in imminent danger?

I'm also really confused why your response to having your children put in foster care is 'Can I sue?' rather than 'How the gently caress do I get my children back?'

Why were CPS round previously?

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


BuckarooBanzai posted:

Family law lawyer ASAP.

My biggest concern with this is we're...quite poor. I'm hoping someone will have a heart or have a way for us to deal with this. My wife works, I go to college. She works at a burger king. We don't exactly make crazy money.

BEHOLD: MY CAPE
Jan 11, 2004


Yes you need an attorney but first let's climb down the most obvious rabbit hole here: why were you involved with CPS the first time?

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


Shonagon posted:

If your house is as reasonable as you suggest, I'm really confused as to why anyone would have taken your children away without any sort of warning/advice, or why you would let them, rather than calling a lawyer on the spot. Did they suggest the children were in imminent danger?

I'm also really confused why your response to having your children put in foster care is 'Can I sue?' rather than 'How the gently caress do I get my children back?'

Why were CPS round previously?

BEHOLD: MY CAPE posted:

Yes you need an attorney but first let's climb down the most obvious rabbit hole here: why were you involved with CPS the first time?

Basically the same reason. Apparently someone called and said we were "living in trash, the house was a pit. Garbage up to your knees, holes straight to the ground."

We've got a few soft floor spots, and the house isn't exactly spotless. They pretty much blew it out of proportion. It's a sunday, I don't know if you can get ahold of lawyers on a sunday?

Regardless, it's not just "Can I sue" it's kind of a combo..."how do I get my children back, and can I sue them". Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Edit: The first time CPS was here, the response we got was "Yeah, there's a bit of clutter, but nothing really terrible. Sorry to bother you, you shouldn't hear from us again. Here's my card if you need anything. Have a nice day."

Loretta Trampface
Sep 12, 2006

by T. Finninho


Can we see some photos of your humble home? I'd like to see what we're working with here.

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


Loretta Trampface posted:

Can we see some photos of your humble home? I'd like to see what we're working with here.

Any pictures we'd have to take now, and we've been cleaning for a while, so it's better than it was, if you'd like to see them?

Otherwise I'd have to ask the cops for the photos, and I don't think "for the internet people" would be a good reason to acquire them.

Loretta Trampface
Sep 12, 2006

by T. Finninho


Sure why not?

Morby
Sep 6, 2007

Double Trouble

Let me go ahead and get my bias out of the way and say that my mom is a social worker and has dealt with CPS (or DFACs as we call it in GA) for most of her career. Generally speaking, CPS is pretty reluctant to swoop in and take children from their parents right away. In fact, the state is reluctant to do so and will bend over backwards and give hte parents multiple chances to prove themselves worthy of retaining custody. That CPS saw the condition of your home and immediately took your kids gives me pause, especially since this was your second run in with them.

One Million Laffs
Aug 7, 2004




Clean your house.

BurgerPimp
Jul 10, 2010


OP, do you have a job? CPS will lump that in as another reason you're unfit to take care of your kids.

Teabiscuit
Jul 21, 2005

by T. Finninho


Gonna need to see photos before I weigh in on this

Sharks Below
May 23, 2011

ty hc <3


I would have thought that with the amount of work CPS has to do (in Australia at least they are vastly understaffed and overworked) they wouldn't take kids away unless they thought the situation was fairly dire. So I'm a little confused as to why they're taking the kids away if there are just 'a couple of soft spots' and it's 'a little messy'. Maybe you and they have different definitions of what messy means?

drkhrs2020
Jul 22, 2007

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Morby posted:

Let me go ahead and get my bias out of the way and say that my mom is a social worker and has dealt with CPS (or DFACs as we call it in GA) for most of her career. Generally speaking, CPS is pretty reluctant to swoop in and take children from their parents right away. In fact, the state is reluctant to do so and will bend over backwards and give hte parents multiple chances to prove themselves worthy of retaining custody. That CPS saw the condition of your home and immediately took your kids gives me pause, especially since this was your second run in with them.

Depends on the state. Some places are notorious for their CPS systems. I think in Kentucky there was a case recently where they required the parents to pay a $500 filing fee or some other prohibitive barrier to resolving a custody issue.

Morby
Sep 6, 2007

Double Trouble

drkhrs2020 posted:

Depends on the state. Some places are notorious for their CPS systems. I think in Kentucky there was a case recently where they required the parents to pay a $500 filing fee or some other prohibitive barrier to resolving a custody issue.

I don't deny that CPS operates on a state-by-state basis, but what else was going on with that case? How many times had they been involved with the family? What were the children's living conditions? There are a lot of other factors involved, too. But, again, I admit that I'm biased. When people go on TV and say stuff like "CPS TOOK ARE KIDS FOR NO REASON AND WON'T GIVE 'EM BACK! " I'm always skeptical because there are usually lots of other things going on. Just like in this case, I think we're not getting the full story.

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


We live in south dakota. I'll have pictures up in a moment.

Edit: My wife works. I do not. In fact I watch the kids -while- my wife works. She works nights, I go to school full time in the day. One of us is always home to watch the kids.

Ireland Sucks
May 16, 2004



Normally the OP tells the story very much slanted in his favour. Given the reaction of all the authorities involved I'd be very suprised if the problems with the house were a bit of laundry and a few dishes.

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


Just for the record I looked it up and this is what it says on the CPS website:

quote:

When a report of abuse and neglect is assigned, the Division of Child Protection Services completes an initial family assessment. An initial family assessment is a neutral approach to gathering information about the report. Information is gathered through interviews, observations and reviewing documents. If it is determined the child is unsafe or there are foreseeable threats of harm, a Family Services Specialist will work jointly with the parents on a plan to improve the situation. Normally, a child would not be removed from the home. However, if a child appears to be in immediate danger, a judge may order removal of the child from the situation or a law enforcement officer may take protective custody.

So apparently they "had reason" to believe the children were in immediate danger.

The pictures are uploading slowly, I'll post them next.

50% complete on those pictures.

Cosmic Cowboy
Oct 27, 2010


WNxOddJob posted:

So 10 am this morning me and my wife are woken up by knocking on our door. It turns out our 5 year old daughter woke up early this morning, put on her coat and shoes, filled her own backpack with her school stuff, and proceeded to walk to school.

A family saw her walking, and commented that she did very well for her age (looked both ways before crossing, pushed traffic light buttons, waited for cars, ect.) and seemed to be well taking care of herself. They played with her for a while at the school playground before calling the police because they didn't know where she lived. The police officer showed up, was very polite, but had to call in a second officer. They investigated our house, which turned into a 2 hour bullying session by the second officer.

He continually said our house was a pit (we have laundry on the floor, and probably a few days of dishes on our table, I hadn't done them in a while), and a soft spot in the bedroom (the floor was giving out due to water damage in the bathroom. I've been fixing the holes as we find them. There's several obvious spots where I've fixed the damage.)

He however, proceeds to look at me and comment "Look at this, this...you're pathetic." and calls child protective services (CPS). The woman arrives, and pretty much agrees with the officer. The first officer was nice, and fairly understanding. In front of all three of them I informed them that once before CPS had been here, gave them the previous CPS agent's name and card (this was a year and a half ago) however this apparently meant nothing (the previous visit they said nothing was wrong with our home).

No warnings, nothing, she says she's taking our kids and putting them in foster care, and that tomorrow or tuesday we will have to go to court over custody of our children (a 5 year old girl and 9 month old boy).

I ask, if the house was "very clean" by the time they came tomorrow, if this would be over fast, and the second officer proceeded to laugh and said "that'd mean you worked all through the night. You won't have this clean within two weeks even.".

The woman also repeatedly told us we might lose our kids for good.

Tomorrow I will be speaking to an attorney. Do you think I have a leg to stand on in court? My wife is missing a lot of work due to the fact that she's out of her mind crying because they took her children. I called my professors in college and said I probably couldn't make it to class (near finals even) at least for mon/tue. so I'm around to deal with this because my wife obviously can't with how freaked out she is.

I've been told by several non-legal friends to see if I can sue for grievances/damages or whatever. I know little about this so I'm curious: did they do wrong? I've also been told by several others that you're supposed to usually get some warnings before they take the kids due to a messy home.

I don't know that this is relevant, but why were you getting up so late? Wouldn't your daughter's school start before ten?

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


It's a weekend. My wife works hard, and I typically am up until midnight-1 am waiting for her to get home. When you have kids (9 month old!) you take whatever chances you can to sleep a bit. It's sunday. There's no reason she would go to school today. If she had to go to school, the alarm is set, and we're up at 7 am.

70% pictures

Harry
Jun 13, 2003


Cosmic Cowboy posted:

I don't know that this is relevant, but why were you getting up so late? Wouldn't your daughter's school start before ten?

Today is Sunday in case you were wondering.

I'm excited to see the pictures. With comments like "it will take you 2 weeks before you clean up this place", this has got to be good.

BurgerPimp
Jul 10, 2010


WNxOddJob posted:

It's a weekend. My wife works hard, and I typically am up until midnight-1 am waiting for her to get home. When you have kids (9 month old!) you take whatever chances you can to sleep a bit. It's sunday. There's no reason she would go to school today. If she had to go to school, the alarm is set, and we're up at 7 am.

70% pictures

OP, do you have a job? If not, get one.

Morby
Sep 6, 2007

Double Trouble

BurgerPimp posted:

OP, do you have a job? If not, get one.

To be fair, it sounds like the OP is a student. With 2 parents and 2 small children, sometimes it makes more sense for one parent to stay home and for the other parent to work because daycare is really expensive.

cubivore
Nov 30, 2006

fuck you, got mine

I also can't help but feel there's something not told here. But same, biased... it's just that parents never seem to think they're doing anything wrong.

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


BurgerPimp posted:

OP, do you have a job? If not, get one.

I've already said I don't have a job. We have food stamps, energy assistance, ect. In the end, if I get a job, my increased income lowers our foodstamps, and the need for daycare (Which the state only covers part of) would end up meaning we are -worse- off for it, as the only job I could probably get as a student in town would be fast food, part time.

Pictures DO NOTE WE ARE CLEANING AND THESE WERE TAKEN NOW, RIGHT NOW, SO STUFF IS BEING TORN APART, SORTED THROUGH, THROWN AWAY, ECT: http://imgur.com/a/OEeT2

I'm not saying it's not our fault. In fact, I agree, our house is a mess. A bad mess? Sure, probably. A dangerous instant take away kids mess? I don't personally think so. A warning would have sufficed to get us to clean.

BurgerPimp
Jul 10, 2010


Morby posted:

To be fair, it sounds like the OP is a student. With 2 parents and 2 small children, sometimes it makes more sense for one parent to stay home and for the other parent to work because daycare is really expensive.

Not if they're so poor they can't afford a safe living environment for their kids. OP should be taking online courses or whatever in the evening so that he can work a job (even just part time) and raise the standard of living for his kids, so that CPS won't take them away. Or should just be working a job and not going to school until he has enough money saved up to afford daycare/whatever.

Cosmic Cowboy
Oct 27, 2010


Harry posted:

Today is Sunday in case you were wondering.

I'm excited to see the pictures. With comments like "it will take you 2 weeks before you clean up this place", this has got to be good.

Hah, I didn't realize this was posted today since she was walking to school. silly kids

Cool Buff Man
Jul 30, 2006

bitch

You should probably have a lot of sex and just have new children. That's really messed up!! Everyone has soft floors due to water damage and laundry on the floors too. Maybe soap up the soft spots and leave the clothes on top to clean the clothes and also prevent more damage! Turn apples into lemonade please and have more childs

Bad Bromance
May 20, 2010

Sorry, guys, I actually do still suck dick! Also my mom only lets me spend five bucks a month to get my cool gaga avatars back so I guess I'm stuck with this one for a while.

Nice horde

plaindot
Dec 26, 2005
awesome

Yeah op, if those pictures are when you're cleaning it, I imagine it was a fuckload worse before.

edit: what I mean, you are filthy.

Teabiscuit
Jul 21, 2005

by T. Finninho


WNxOddJob posted:

I've already said I don't have a job. We have food stamps, energy assistance, ect. In the end, if I get a job, my increased income lowers our foodstamps, and the need for daycare (Which the state only covers part of) would end up meaning we are -worse- off for it, as the only job I could probably get as a student in town would be fast food, part time.

Pictures DO NOTE WE ARE CLEANING AND THESE WERE TAKEN NOW, RIGHT NOW, SO STUFF IS BEING TORN APART, SORTED THROUGH, THROWN AWAY, ECT: http://imgur.com/a/OEeT2

I'm not saying it's not our fault. In fact, I agree, our house is a mess. A bad mess? Sure, probably. A dangerous instant take away kids mess? I don't personally think so. A warning would have sufficed to get us to clean.

Jesus christ you kept kids in that place?

Top Bunk Wanker
Jan 31, 2005


WNxOddJob posted:

Pictures DO NOTE WE ARE CLEANING AND THESE WERE TAKEN NOW, RIGHT NOW, SO STUFF IS BEING TORN APART, SORTED THROUGH, THROWN AWAY, ECT: http://imgur.com/a/OEeT2

I'm not saying it's not our fault. In fact, I agree, our house is a mess. A bad mess? Sure, probably. A dangerous instant take away kids mess? I don't personally think so. A warning would have sufficed to get us to clean.

So this is your house right now, after feverishly cleaning it up and I assume also arranging things so they would look as good as they possibly could for the photos you're using to argue that your house isn't terrible:





CPS and the police officer were right. You're loving disgusting.

Loretta Trampface
Sep 12, 2006

by T. Finninho


WNxOddJob posted:

I've already said I don't have a job. We have food stamps, energy assistance, ect. In the end, if I get a job, my increased income lowers our foodstamps, and the need for daycare (Which the state only covers part of) would end up meaning we are -worse- off for it, as the only job I could probably get as a student in town would be fast food, part time.

Pictures DO NOTE WE ARE CLEANING AND THESE WERE TAKEN NOW, RIGHT NOW, SO STUFF IS BEING TORN APART, SORTED THROUGH, THROWN AWAY, ECT: http://imgur.com/a/OEeT2

I'm not saying it's not our fault. In fact, I agree, our house is a mess. A bad mess? Sure, probably. A dangerous instant take away kids mess? I don't personally think so. A warning would have sufficed to get us to clean.
Huh, you're right. I can't see at all why CPS took away your children.

mypetmonster
Nov 4, 2010


WNxOddJob posted:



Pictures DO NOTE WE ARE CLEANING AND THESE WERE TAKEN NOW, RIGHT NOW, SO STUFF IS BEING TORN APART, SORTED THROUGH, THROWN AWAY, ECT: http://imgur.com/a/OEeT2



oh hey that isn't so bad!!!

oh wait, that is a hovel and if I were your daughter I would run away too!!!

Bad Bromance
May 20, 2010

Sorry, guys, I actually do still suck dick! Also my mom only lets me spend five bucks a month to get my cool gaga avatars back so I guess I'm stuck with this one for a while.

WNxOddJob posted:

I'm not saying it's not our fault. In fact, I agree, our house is a mess. A bad mess? Sure, probably. A dangerous instant take away kids mess? I don't personally think so. A warning would have sufficed to get us to clean.

Yo the warning was the first time CPS came by, was that not enough notice to start dismantling your garbage treasure trove

WNxOddJob
Sep 20, 2008

by Lowtax


Top Bunk Wanter posted:

So this is your house right now, after feverishly cleaning it up and I assume also arranging things so they would look as good as they possibly could for the photos you're using to argue that your house isn't terrible:





CPS and the police officer were right. You're loving disgusting.

I didn't do anything to arrange stuff to make the photos look any better.

Cosmic Cowboy
Oct 27, 2010


Why have you never cleaned or gotten rid of any of that stuff?

Morby
Sep 6, 2007

Double Trouble

Er...yeah, OP. Those pictures are not helping your case at all. CPS would be negligent to NOT take your kids from that living situation. I'm siding with CPS here. Your living conditions are horrible.

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BurgerPimp
Jul 10, 2010


Jesus.

You're lucky CPS was able to FIND your kids in that mess when they came over.

I'd be interested to see a tally of the dead, mummified cats you find in that mess.

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