• Report: #530375
Complaint Review:

Texas Department Of Family And Protective Services

  • Submitted: Sun, November 29, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, November 29, 2009

  • Reported By: Jim — Humble Texas United States of America
Texas Department Of Family And Protective Services
5425 Polk St Houston, Texas United States of America

Texas Department Of Family And Protective Services TDFPS, DFPS, Children's Protective Services, CPS HELP: CPS is stealing our children and CASA is enabling it to happen! Houston, Texas

*Author of original report: Angela's Case 5 Years Later

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We have a problem in Texas (along with much of the country): CPS is stealing our children and CASA is enabling it

to happen! At 25%, Texas has one of (if not the) highest removal rate(s) of any state in the union. That means 1 in 4 children investigated are taken from their loving family to (most often) live with strangers. Hispanic-American and
Afro-American children along with those of mixed decent are (most) often the ones targeted. They raise their guns to families receiving welfare assistance and pull the trigger on those living in housing.

My grandchildren meet all three conditions. In June 2008, while my daughter was working on a social services project the kids wanted something to eat. So she fixed something for them but forgot that her (common law) husband was home playing X-Box in the bedroom. He got argumentative but decided to go to a friends house to cool down. He had to step behind the bed to get his cell phone and in turning around he tripped over the cable cord.

Fatefully when he extended his arm to catch himself Angela was standing too close and he accidently hit her with the phone splitting her eyebrow. Unfortunately this is such of a common injury in our family that it is almost like a Rite of Passage. One starting with my father, myself, both of my sisters, then a niece and (I believe) two of my nephews along with my eldest grandson have all passed. While trying to arrange for a sitter so he could drive her to the hospital a neighbor decided to call 911. After the ambulance left the same neighbor allowed the Humble Police to search the apartment without a search warrant coming up with fabricated evidence and a very questionable report. The next day, upon his returning from work Humble PD
rushed in with guns drawn to arrest the husband. When Angela gave her statement to the DA requesting the case be dropped, Humble PD called CPS claiming child endangerment as if guns drawn wasnt. The CPS investigator told Angela that she wanted to close the case but her supervisor would not allow it, instructing her to put it through to Family-based safety services [FBSS]. The FBSS caseworker did not present herself in any form resembling her title as described in the DFPS Rules, 40 TAC 700.702(3)(A)-(B) and never offered any services resembling DFPS Rules, 40 TAC 700.701 or 40 TAC 700.703 . The caseworker was so abusive and stressful to Angela during her third trimester that she endangered the pregnancy forcing our attorney to have to step in requiring no more unrepresented CPS visits. The husband ended up taking plea bargain so he could be out of jail in time for his sons birth.

After the birth the caseworker returned with a vengeance finally driving the husband from the home when the baby was six months old. The next visit was out of character in a friendly sort of way offering to assist with Angelas electric bill. A couple
of weeks later Angela had to call and request that the statement be returned because it was time for her to recertify for food stamps. The caseworker claims to have stopped by but no one was home, but none of the neighbors report seeing her. Its a well know fact that Police, caseworkers and government officials can hardly come and go from a housing project unseen. It just doesnt happen. About 3 weeks later the caseworker showed up at the apartment announcing she was there to close the case, while already knowing the electricity was most likely off and that she had lost her food stamps. Angela said it was not a good time which made the caseworker angry and she demanded to see the house. Angela knew that the power was due to be restored that day and was hoping to buy a day so she could clean the mess that she had made staying there while the kids had been staying with a friend. The friend had traffic court that morning so she brought the kids home. Soon after the caseworker left the power came on but it was nearing time for Angela to go to work so she started the babys bath and getting him
and her daughter (7) ready for the babysitter. All of a sudden she hears loud banging at the door. It was Humble PD. She told the kids to be quite and act like no one was at home. She then heard the window open followed by This is Officer Bradshaw.
Angela, we know that you are here. We had a report of a dead baby. We need to see the baby. Knowing the apartment would not meet CPS standards she was afraid to let them in. then the bathroom door opened and one of the apartment maintenance men was standing there who then turned and opened the door for the police. They told Angela that by law she had to let the CPS worker in to the apartment. The caseworker entered and seized the children then filed an ex parte order the next morning as it was the practice before Gates v. TDFPS in July 2008. She gave Angela the wrong address for the court house. After the children were removed a CVS caseworker was assigned which means the FBSS worker no longer has to stand
in front of the judge and answer for her actions. Our second CVS worker told us that the first one quit her job over her
wanting to close the case and (once again) her supervisor would not let her. And that is where we stand now. In 2004, Gov. Rick Perry issued Executive Order RP 35 in an attempt to reform the CPS program.

The Family Group
Decision-Making [FGDM] concept (I believe) came from RP-35. It was a great idea but it has failed. On November 10, 2009 my daughter and I attended a Permanency Planning Review after which I began researching the CPS handbook. Based on our experience, Section 6437 reads like a fairy tale. For a meeting that is supposed to show the support and unity of the family many key people were missing. Neither the childrens attorney ad litem nor the children over 7 present nor were they allowed participation according to 6437.37. Angelas notification was (mysteriously) misaddressed, our attorneys was sent to her bulk mailbox instead of the law office and who knows if the two older children (over 7) were even notified. We got about 16 hours warning when my daughter over heard the CASA and the caretaker discussing it behind her back at the child visitation the night before leaving us without anytime to gather, much less know about bringing our supportive individuals to the meeting.. The only ones in attendance were the CASA guardian ad litem and the CVS caseworker and their supervisors. The CVS supervisor almost choked on her coffee when I commented about knowing the removal violated the law based on the Gates case. The CASA supervisor is claiming that the judge approved the CPS psychology report recommending farther parenting class despite his telling us to get our own psychology evaluation. In response to Angela saying that this will be her third time taking them the facilitator shouted, And you will do it eight times if you ever want to get these kids back!

Then we were dismissed from the meeting while everyone else remained seated. We have no idea if the meeting continued or not. Who knows how many of the meetings are conducted with questionable legality. A special thanks to Gov. Perry who on June 19, 2009 vetoed SB 1440. An extra special recognition and thank you goes to this bills own author, Rep. Jerry Madden who on June 18, 2009 sent a letter to the governor requesting its veto after the wording from SB 1064 had been added which would have made a great deal of what I described above legal. Thank you to the Texas Home School Coalition [THSC] and the many other lobby groups that supported this veto. Unfortunately for my grandchildren this FBSS caseworker was not an investigator so she most likely was not on the memo distribution list informing her that her actions taken June 25, 2009, a full four working days after the bill was vetoed, were illegal. As many of the prisoners of our overcrowded Texas prisons have discovered, Ignorantness of the law is no excuse. For that reason we are seeking a Civil/Family law attorney willing to take on CPS in stripping the caseworker and both the FBSS and CVS supervisors along with Humble PD of their qualified immunity. Someone needs to pay for this unprovoked attack on our family. Lastly, if CPS wont allow us to show our community support at the Permanency Planning Review in accordance with Texas Administrative Code [TAC] then we need it Thursday December 17, 2009, in the 246 th Family Court, before the Honorable Jim York at 9:00am. We are calling out there to all the readers of this report rather citizen, politician or news media. We need community leaders, ministers, coalitions and whomever else that can stand with us before Judge York to show that Texans are tired of our children being stolen under the guise of child protection.

Thank you, Jim B Grandfather and proud Texan PS:

Angela is 26 years old and Enrico, her husband, is five years her elder. Angela has worked for the same company ever since she was 16. While pregnant with her daughter she got her GED. Soon after the birth @ 18, she took and pasted the US Civil Service exam for the Post Office but had to quit during training, thanks to a CPS report called in by the same woman to whom CASA has made caretaker of these kids and is (we think) now trying to adopt both kids out from under her. Just as Angela conducts herself with a maturity way beyond her years, these children amaze people with their early maturity drawing complements from all who meet them.

Coincidentally the social services project Angela was working on when all this started was a database of services that are available to struggling families called The Angel Eyes Fund. Now we feel that it needs to take on the far more important role of Guardian Angel to protect our most precious Texans. Had this caseworker lived up to her job title according to TAC we would not have missed watching my (possibly) last grandchild learn to walk. We would not have missed the babies first and his sisters eighth birthdays or his first Halloween. We are hoping for Christmas.

Finally, Id like to tell you that after my last visit, the baby cried to come home with me and he dont even like white people.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/29/2009 09:38 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/texas-department-of-family-and-protective-services/houston-texas-77023/texas-department-of-family-and-protective-services-tdfps-dfps-childrens-protective-serv-530375. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Author of original report

Angela's Case 5 Years Later

AUTHOR: Jim - ()

It is hard to believe how much I thought I knew back when I wrote the original report and what we have come to know in the 5 years since. In October 2010, I founded Angel Eyes over Texas (AEovrT) as a watchdog group. In the interim we have assisted about 30 families to a positive outcome. While that number does not seem very large, but we have found many families do not take direction very well. In other cases they were unable to convince their attorneys to take the measures suggested.

In our case we saw very many twists and very much questionable activity on the part of DFPS. At the time of the original report. A month later a third child was taken and a case opened in a second court. As a result we got two sets of discovery. The first set was hardcopy; second searchable PDF. The second was where we found much of the questionable activity that violated the family’s rights along with committing a number of crimes. To gain a full picture of what happened I must reach back many years before my daughter’s case.

About a year after my ex and I split up in the early nineties it came to my attention that my ex was getting ready to move to Florida to flee a CPS investigation. With only a few days notice I started taking measures to protect my children. When CPS refused to assist me in protecting my children, I took measures to intervene and removed them myself which resulted in my own arrest a few days later. The arresting officer was a rookie female officer. While the other Humble PD officers were very civil toward me this officer was very animated about referring to me as a kidnaper. By the time I bonded out, mother and children had left the state.

About a year later my son (14) returned to Texas suffering from medical neglect. He spent his first weekend back in Texas in the hospital and had to have surgery about a month later. During his hospital stay I was hammered by CPS and my only saving grace was his Greyhound ticket stub. I can’t count the number of times CPS promised they would make all efforts to get Angela out of that situation. Nothing ever happened.

Fifteen months after my son came home, we got a call saying she was returning to Texas. Four days after enrolling her in school I received a call from Florida CPS informing me that she had been molested by her mom’s boyfriend. Florida had done in 4 days what Texas could not do in 15 months, insure Angela was safe.

In 2002, when her children were 2 and only a few months, Angela caught a brief case. She worked services and was clear of it in just a few months; progressing much like one would expect a case to have done.

Fast forward to fall of 2006, Angela had a one night stand with a young man; became pregnant and miscarried over the New Year’s holiday. About mid-January, the dad and his fictive brother were homeless. Angela allowed them to crash in her living room but there was not any farther relationship between the two.

About 1am on March 14, 2007 she found out that the pair had been using her apartment as a base to sell crack and put them out of the house. Around 7am, they were caught by police selling on a corner. They brought the police back to her apartment and she was charged with the drugs they had left in her home. During the course of the police action a female detective showed up. Angela recognized her as the officer that arrested me when she child and was now the Humble PD Child Welfare officer. Angela made the comment, “I know you. You’re the one that arrested my dad when I was nine years old. You’re the reason I got molested by my mom’s boyfriend.” Upon hearing the word “molest”, the elder male started hollering, “Child molester and pointing at Angela. He’s not but 16 years old.” The officer obviously irritated over the fact that my charges had been dropped, took it out on Angela by charging her with “Sexual assault of a minor.” Instead of charging the elder, adult male with failure to protect.

Her two children went to the station with the detective. Angela’s son’s dad picked them up and delivered her daughter to her dad. Sometime during the course of their interaction he asked out the detective. Both have confirmed this happened, but we have never been able to find out what kind of relationship they formed. But we feel confident that she had something to do with Angela’s CPS problems. But I digress back to the story.

Everyone in the household had thought the younger male was 19 and it was his 8 tattoos that convinced the grand jury that it was impossible to tell he was a minor. Charges were dropped in June and she took a plea for deferred adjudication on the drug charge in order to get her children home sooner. The judge lifted the protection order preventing contact with any child under 18, but said CPS would not allow her children to return. It would be 3 years before we would find out that they did not have legal custody to prevent their return.

Over the summer Angela developed cervical cancer having to have two surgeries. This combined with dental problems left her in constant need of pain relief for which she was prescribed hydrocodone.

This is also about the time she met her second son’s dad.

Her daughter returned home in October. But her son’s dad tried to get custody and we had to go through a short battle over him and he did not return until late November.

During the time the children were gone, her apartments moved her off property and out of the children’s school district. About the time her daughter returned, she had recently found out that she would be moving back in a few weeks. Her son had been having problems reading and when her son home knowing he would be forced to change school twice within a month arrangements were made for him to finish the school year where he was at; even after she moved back.

First Friday of May 2008, upon being asked to read aloud, he had a meltdown at school. The following Monday the school filed a CPS report. This was 20 days before the cell phone incident mentioned in my original report. I touched on the problems with the FBSS worker.

I closed that report asking for support at our December 17, 2009 hearing. At that hearing the judge said that her eldest son was not part of the CPS action and the court did not have jurisdiction over him.

On December 20th, mom and her attorney went to dad’s home with constables to enforce her custody agreement. Dad phoned the detective, who in turn spoke to the constables, who then chose to not enforce the order. Note… Dad does not live within Humble city limits. So she interfered with a situation outside her jurisdiction.

On January 4th, dad decided that he was tired of still paying child support and having the child so he returned him. Then called CPS and told them he had returned him. They served her with court documents and on January 28th he was taken into CPS custody and placed with a family friend of the father.

About 3 weeks later, CPS held a permanency hearing on him. There was no DFPS employees at this hearing that had firsthand knowledge of the case. When the moderator contacted the caregiver, it was discovered that she was with CASA and the caseworker assigned to the case. It was then we realized we were at another staged permanency hearing.

In June 2010, we received Discovery on the first case. In September they had a trial on merits to terminate mother’s parental rights. CPS did not have enough evidence to get that ruling, so the judge placed the two youngest children into Permanent Managing Conservatorship of DFPS and child support ordered. Angela’s attorney appealed.

About 8 months later we received Discovery on the second case. In the first case it was furnished via hardcopy, but this time was a searchable PDF. We found a great deal in this set of discovery, but the attorney refused to present what was found.

At pretrial, CPS withdrew their petition for custody, but the state attorney used many state resources to ensure that the dad got custody from mom. Once again child support was ordered.

In January 2012, Angela had another son. CPS wanted to come after him but the county attorney would not take the case.

The following January she had another baby. This time they tried to do a hospital removal. Luckily by this time the family knew their rights and they were unsuccessful. The next day they got a court order to remove. When they caught up with the family, they did not have a proper “writ of attachment” and the sheriff deputies would not enforce the removal order. Mom was served with an order to appear before the judge on the first case. When he realized it was not the children he already was overseeing he chose to recuse himself from the case. The case had to be reassigned by the administrative judge. When we were set to appear, CPS non-suited the case with prejudice. A month later they filed another suit requesting court ordered services which got dismissed.

We attended permanency review hearings every 6 months on the younger children. Around September 2013 we attended one and the caseworker had resigned. The CVS supervisor knew very little about the case. Also the child placement agency in charge of the case was not in attendance.

At the next review hearing, the program director showed up instead of the supervisor. It was revealed that the case had been without an actual worker reassigned to it. Once again no CPA present. The judge was very irritated and ordered a home-study for mom. When this study was run on January 28, 2014, this was the first time since December 16, 2009. A total of 1504 days without checking to see if it was safe for these children to return home. On February 13, 2014 the judge ordered for the children to return home. They began transitioning home the following weekend and returned permanently March 14, 2014. The case was closed October 14, 2014.

At the 2/13/14 hearing we were introduced to the new caseworker assigned to our case. She was assigned to CVS and was due to graduate basic skills on March 5th. This was in direct violation to the CPS handbook on reunification. The only thing the state did toward making living conditions suitable was the purchase of a set of bunk-beds.

One of the things that AEovrT has come to be good at is finding out where caseworkers fail to do their jobs as they are defined. When one looks at section 1200 Legal Bases for Child Protective Services you will notice that dealing with CPS is not only found within Family Code. Section 1211 points toward Texas Human Resource Code (HRC) which defines the authority for DFPS to do its job. That authority allows them to investigate and enforce various portions of Family Code referenced in section 1212 by following the rules found in Texas Administrative Code referenced in section 1213.

 An important thing that was found in HRC is the immunity statute. HRC §40.061 had subtitle (c) added in 1997 and it defines the 4 conditions that removes a DFPS employee’s immunity and it reads:

(c) This section does not provide immunity to a department employee who, in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship in which child abuse is alleged or that arises out of a child abuse investigation, in a criminal prosecution for an offense in which child abuse is an element, or in the preparation of the suit or prosecution:

(1) commits or attempts to commit perjury;

(2) fabricates or attempts to fabricate evidence;

(3) knowingly conceals or intentionally withholds information that would establish that a person alleged to have committed child abuse did not commit child abuse; or

(4) violates state or federal law in the investigation or prosecution of the suit.

- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/HR/2/D/40/C/40.061#sthash.nJInWtfG.dpuf

While most people think their immunity comes from the federal qualified immunity standard, but that only applies as long as their actions are lawful. We thank the Sunset commission for adding that new level of accountability.

When we began breaking down the Discovery one of the first things found was a problem with the Grand Jury finding.

Using 40 TAC §700.511 they found a way NOT to document Angela’s being cleared. The drug charge satisfied the condition to get a “Reason to Believe” for the “Neglectful Supervision” under §700.511(a); because of which §700.511(b) allows the overall allegation for the case to be ruled RTB. This means that even though Angela was cleared by the Grand Jury in CPS’ eyes she is still guilty. Each time I find something in about the case the sexual assault is documented but only with the resolve of the neglectful supervision. Add to that the fact that we found that the case had been merged with a case from her childhood. The merger process creates a situation called “flat filing” where all physical records are destroyed but there is computer history. In my opinion, the agency uses this merger process to create history without documentation.

The next import element found was the intake report on my grandson’s meltdown. First red flag was communication with law enforcement. Both the school and the child’s father lives in the county not within the city limits of Humble. But the report shows only email communications with Humble PD which would have landed on the desk of the Child Welfare officer; the detective. Another thing in that report was where the investigator claims to have interviewed my grand-daughter the day before the incident that created the case; four days before CPS got the case. There are more inconsistencies but they are best described along with the next investigation report.

The cell phone incident that we originally thought was the trigger for the CPS involvement took place 17 days later. Once again all law enforcement communications was with Humble PD. In fact the reporter was PD on 6/6/2008; 3 days into summer vacation. Interesting fact is that the CPS investigator pulled CPS on BOTH cases was 6/13/2008; 39 days after the first case opened. Add to that the fact that the police report indicates that it was reported 3 hours after the police were on the scene. Combining these two facts together raises the question, “Was the first case deliberately delayed in hopes that there would be an incident in the home that would allow PD to frame the family?” Which in turn drew attention away from detective’s (alleged) cougar cub’s case. Strange how the abuse in that case was alleged to have taken place in the parental grandparent’s home and they were never interviewed.

The 2nd investigation report claims children were interviewed at school on 6/10/2008. Neither child attended summer school so at school interviews was impossible.

Proof that both the investigator never went to the schools is quite clear. Had she actually conducted the investigations, both investigations would not have the same wrong answers.

First red flag is the report having the wrong last name for my granddaughter. Had they done the investigation in May as claimed they would have found out that the name was wrong along with the fact that she had never been enrolled at that school. Then a month later it was impossible to do a school investigation, so it would have been impossible for the investigator to know that the children attended different elementary schools. Both investigations include the following statement:

(Child’s name) is a 6-year-old white and African-American female that attends Park Lake Elementary and is in the first grade. I spoke with (Child’s name) at Lakeland Elementary and she stated that she does know the difference between the truth and a lie and stated that she would tell the truth.  She stated that she has never spoke with anyone from CPS before.

Notice the last statement, these investigations are alleged to have taken place a month apart and this child interviewed both times, but in the second investigation she still had talked to CPS. The second investigation contradicts the first. Under HRC §40.061(c)(2) fabricating evidence voids the worker’s immunity and Texas Penal Code (TPC) §37.10. TAMPERING WITH GOVERNMENTAL RECORD is a 3rd degree. With two counts this investigator should be in jail.

As a result of these falsified investigations FBSS was elevated to a higher level which explains the worker’s aggressiveness but it does not explain her insubordination. Within the discovery we found where on November 7, 2008 she was instructed to either staff the case with legal or close the case. About a week later she and her supervisor met with legal and were told that it could be pushed for court ordered services. This was 7 months before the removal. By failing to follow the program director’s order to take legal action or close the case both the worker and supervisor were insubordinate to their supervisor. We found where a later staffing discussed paying a utility. We also found where it was documented Angela calling to retrieve her electric bill about a month before the removal.

At the removal, Angela stood on her 4th amendment rights to not allow the caseworker into the home. The worker in turn called PD and it was the detective that raised the window unsecuring the property. She even stated in her testimony that the DA had instructed her not to enter the home. So she allowed the apartment maintenance man to enter instead. Had our attorney known about “Gates vs Texas” then this case would not had progressed past the emergency removal.

Another thing that was documented was the worker claiming that the elder child lived with his father. Yet nowhere in the 10 months of FBSS visits does she document the child moving out of the household. Also it would not been necessary for her to instruct the dad to not allow the child to return home. But because the child legally lived with mom it was necessary to conduct a removal along with his siblings. But that would have kept all the children in the same court under one case.

It is believed that the detective helped orchestrate all of this to get the father out of paying child support. Strange how the state bent over backwards to insure that he got custody, while the younger two siblings appeared to be sacrificed to the system.

It is also our opinion that the younger children were returned to prevent them from participating in the class action lawsuit for long term foster children. The evidence in our case would been very helpful to the lawsuit.

As to date I’ve found about 8 felonies committed by 3 caseworkers. Others could be charged should we ever be able to get a DA to take up the case.

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