On February 3, 2012 my husband beat me up in front of our 2 children and threatened to kill everyone. I left him that night and the next morning called the police and pressed charges against him. The next friday (02/10/2012) I received a phone call from him that stated DHS was at his mother's house and wanted to talk to all 4 of us. Hesitant I went to meet with the DHS worker at his mother's home. Stacy Johnson (Oklahoma County DHS caseworker) informed me that there was a referral made by the police office that I had filed charges with.
Ms. Johnson explained how serious my husbands threat was and that my children were in danger. I agreed to a VOLUNTARY safety plan for my children. This safety plan placed my children with my 67 year old grandmother for what was supposed to be 1 week. During this time I hired an attorney to finalize my divorce and to obtain a VPO against my husband for my children and my protection. The emergency VPO was granted on February 15, 2012.
On February 23rd I received a phone call from Sarah Hemel (Canadian County DHS caseworker) informing me that our case had been transferred to Canadian County because I reside in said county and that DHS had filed for and received an Emergency temporary custody order from Judge Bob Hughey (Canadian County Juvenile Judge). Ms. Hemel also stated the reason for emergency custody was because my children were in imminent danger at the time. Sarah Hemel and a Canadian County sheriff went to my grandmother's home that night and informed my grandmother of the emergency order and left my children in her care.
On February 27th we had our sho-cause hearing in front of Judge Hughey. At this time Ms. Hemel omitted important facts that she had been made aware of prior to the court date as to the steps I was taking to ensure my children's safety. Also, alleging drug abuse on my part and failure to protect my children for "allowing" my husband to beat me up in their presence. Due to the lack of information Ms. Hemel shared my children were ordered to remain in custody until a decision was made whether or not my children were "deprived."
A decision had been reached by the A.D.A Katherine Brewer (assistant district attorney for Canadian County Juvenile court). Despite Ms. Hemel and her supervisor Yvonne Benford's opinion not to file a Deprived action against me, Ms. Brewer did. I was ordered to turn over birth certificates and social security cards within 15 days and to submit to drug tests two times a week. Every drug test came back negative.
We went to court again in April to set up pre-trial and trial date. At this time even though I had passed on-going drug tests the A.D.A and DHS requested I submit to a hair follicle test. The judge ordered me to do one, which I also passed. Finally The judge released me from drug tests after 2 months.
Also, in April we were assigned a "permanency placement worker" Mr. John Loghry. This worker is incredibly rude and the whole time while DHS was involved he treated me a criminal and continued to re-victimize me.
Our court dates were rescheduled by the Judge on 3 different occasions. Finally we got a review on July 2nd. This time our Judge was not present. Judge McCurdy sat in for Judge Hughey. My attorney finally found a law that could help us, stating that in the event a child is in custody and an adjudication hearing had not been held within 90 days of custody being taken the state must release the children back to the parent/parents, unless there is written fact of findings that showed imminent danger to the children if returned.
Judge McCurdy ordered the children to come home that day and stayed the order until 5 p.m. to give Judge Hughey a chance to look it over and make sure he did not have this "written fact of findings." At 4:45 p.m. I received a phone call from my attorney saying that judge Hughey over-ruled Judge McCurdy's order and the children were to stay in custody.
Since there were no facts or evidence supporting my children's need to be in custody, my attorney filed a brief with the supreme court against Judge Hughey for not following the law. Once this was given to the judge in Canadian County immediately dropped the entire case. I received a call from my grandmother saying our worker had called her and because of a technicality Dhs, the A.D.A and judge Hughey agreed my children should be returned to my care and every allegation be dropped.
There are a lot more detail to my case, but to make a long story short, My children were taken from me because my husband abused me. DHS had no reason to keep my children from me for 5 months. The whole time my children were in custody I visited them every night and took care of them just as I would when they were home. I stood my ground, didn't break, and took advantage of every service to better myself for my children. DHS is very corrupt in my eyes and take children from victims of domestic violence only on the grounds of Failure to protect!