What does C.I. stand for?
What does C.I. stand for?
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.
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.
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
The child would be injured
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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.