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  1. #1
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    Default When Can CPS Remove Children From Their Home

    What does C.I. stand for?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Well that's admirable if it's true. But how can it be? How can you strip CPS of their arrest and seizure power? How can they protect if they have to wait for a court order?

    I mean it's possible, maybe as a result of Wenatchee sex ring debacle.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    I can't speak for other jurisdictions, but here, CPS doesn't usually need or wait for a court order. They simply call police, outline their reasons for declaring a child in danger or meeting neglect standards (establishing probable cause), and police make the official seizure, then turn the child over to CPS.
    Catherine NeSmith
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting kist
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    Well that's admirable if it's true. But how can it be? How can you strip CPS of their arrest and seizure power? How can they protect if they have to wait for a court order?

    I mean it's possible, maybe as a result of Wenatchee sex ring debacle.
    In WA, CPS cannot, on its own, remove any child from the care of his/her custodial parent without a pick up order. Before a court will sign such an order, the following conditions must be met: 1) a dependency petition and sworn statement supporting the pick up order must have been filed; 2) there are reasonable grounds to believe the child’s health, safety, or welfare will be seriously endangered if not taken into custody; and 3)there are reasonable grounds to believe the child is dependent.

    Only law enforcement, not CPS, can remove a child without such an order if

    There is probable cause to believe that the child is abused or neglected
    AND
    The child would be injured
    OR
    The child could not be taken into custody if it were necessary to first obtain a court order

    These statutory mechanisms were in place long before the Wenatchee sex ring case.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting bjobjs
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    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: CA

    I have a co-worker who had the police called on her the other night for an argument she and her husband were having. When the police showed up the husband mentioned methamphetamines so the police asked if there was anything in the home. My co-worker said a smashed pipe.

    To make a long story short the police ended up asking her to become a C.I. or they would arrest her and her husband for child endagerment and put her children in the system, ages 14 & 12.

    She has no prior record and there is no previous C.P.S. matters.

    Without all the accusations of being a bad person for using, etc. etc. She is worried about her family if she becomes a snitch.

    Can the police do this to her children without any actual proof or come back on her for something else?

    Please only advise on this if you know what youare talking about. She don't need any sarcasm or ridicule. She got enough of that from me.
    First off, and simply put, no, the police cannot do something like this. For one, it's illegal for "mandatory reporters" such as police officers, to not report suspected child neglect or abuse (which would include suspected exposure to meth).

    At the same time, I find it hard to believe that the police would risk their careers in this manner or that the police department would subject itself to such liability.

    If it is true, get proof and let your local news station run with it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    To answer the question about CPS seizing a child, here in CA they CAN do so without a court order under the right circumstances. In my county they want law enforcement to do it and this opens up a huge can of worms when it is CPS's investigation. This leads to the occasional uncomfortable situation when they tell us, "We want you to take the child and give him/her to us because we say so ...".

    In any event, in this state (the OP's state) CPS has that statutory authority. Whether they choose to utilize it or not is a matter of agency discretion, and increasingly they are choosing NOT to do so.

    As for whether the officers should have threatened to use her as a CI or not, *I* wouldn't have done so, but I know officers who might ask. I suspect the officers were rather exaggerating the case they had for an immediate arrest and seizure of the children for a smashed meth. pipe, but it is theoretically possible. And before anyone works as a CI they should probably get the advice of an attorney.

    It is very likely that there are some details that are missing, so the entire picture may not be clear.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    As for whether the officers should have threatened to use her as a CI or not, *I* wouldn't have done so, but I know officers who might ask. I suspect the officers were rather exaggerating the case they had for an immediate arrest and seizure of the children for a smashed meth. pipe, but it is theoretically possible. And before anyone works as a CI they should probably get the advice of an attorney.

    It is very likely that there are some details that are missing, so the entire picture may not be clear.

    - Carl
    Those officers who would be asking such a thing would be breaking the law. Mandatory reporters can't promise not to report suspected neglect/abuse no matter what they might get in return for such a promise.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting Mercutio100
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    Those officers who would be asking such a thing would be breaking the law. Mandatory reporters can't promise not to report suspected neglect/abuse no matter what they might get in return for such a promise.
    It depends on the standard of abuse or neglect and the details. Broken glass on the floor of an unknown room or exterior of the residence is not clearly evidence of abuse - it doesn't definitively show that anyone used or possessed a controlled substance on the premises or in the presence of the children. Plus, there is no reason they could not send the 11166 to CPS and withhold the crime report in an attempt to gain leverage.

    As I said, it's not what *I* would do or advise, but I can articulate (hypothesize) circumstances under which it would be both lawful and proper.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  9. #9
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    WA
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    It depends on the standard of abuse or neglect and the details. Broken glass on the floor of an unknown room or exterior of the residence is not clearly evidence of abuse - it doesn't definitively show that anyone used or possessed a controlled substance on the premises or in the presence of the children. Plus, there is no reason they could not send the 11166 to CPS and withhold the crime report in an attempt to gain leverage.

    As I said, it's not what *I* would do or advise, but I can articulate (hypothesize) circumstances under which it would be both lawful and proper.

    - Carl
    In the context of the officer(s) suspecting abuse, there is no debating their lawful duty. If they suspect abuse or neglect, as mandatory reporters, they MUST report this to CPS. Now, whether or not the officer's "actually" suspect abuse is one thing, but the fact that they are using the circumstances here to effectively threaten the parents into cooperating as CIs is reprehensible AND illegal. Your point about what can or cannot serve as evidence fails to address the real issue here as to whether an officer of the law can tell a parent "we won't report this to CPS as long as you cooperate as a drug informant." Plainly put, an officer can NEVER lawfully make such a "deal".

    The health, welfare, and safety of children is paramount and cannot be used as a bartering chip or way of effecting leverage in any other matter. The officer may be able to justify in his head that this is a legitimate tactic if he doesn't really suspect abuse, but it doesn't make such an action legal.

  10. #10
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    California
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    Default Re: Child Endangerment

    Quote Quoting Mercutio100
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    In the context of the officer(s) suspecting abuse, there is no debating their lawful duty.
    Correct. But, broken glass does not equal neglect or endangerment. if so, then I will have to report myself the next time we break a glass on the kitchen floor. One has to establish something more than broken glass, and a glass tube is not automatically a meth pipe. Granted, if the officer's are using that as leverage, they must have assumed so, but I suspect they were bluffing all around.

    Under CA law (PC 11166 et seq) law enforcement are required to cross report "known" or "reasonably suspected" child abuse or neglect. The mere presence of broken glass - even a broken glass pipe - is not, by itself, necessarily sufficient to trigger this requirement. We do not know that the officers here did not cross report it to CPS ... they are certainly able to use discretion and not arrest as well as send the 11166 notification to CPS.

    Now, whether or not the officer's "actually" suspect abuse is one thing, but the fact that they are using the circumstances here to effectively threaten the parents into cooperating as CIs is reprehensible AND illegal.
    It may be wrong, but it may not be unlawful. We don't know the circumstances. As I said, I suspect the officers (if they actually said this) stepped out of bounds. Whether they wandered outside California's mandatory reporting laws is debatable.

    Hence the reason I also suggest that anyone who considers entering into a contract as a CI do so subsequent to an attorney's review.

    In the end, they may have wandered outside legal boundaries ... they may not have. I would not have condoned such an action as was presented here. However, I might consider an offer to forego an arrest in exchange for consideration to make some buys. But, if I don't have enough to say that the pipe is chargeable in my county as a meth pipe pursuant to H&S 11364, I'd be bluffing.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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