Thursday, August 29, 2013

Never Go Down Without A Fight: One Mom's Struggle to Fight CPS

Many people don't know a whole lot about my personal life. I normally keep things quiet and just post my reviews and go on about my day. I started this blog to do coupon match ups but quickly found that I liked doing reviews and hosting the amazing giveaways. It pretty much keeps my mind occupied from the struggles I face and have faced daily the past 4 years.

 Four years ago (next month) I lost custody of my then 8 year old daughter. She had gone to her Dad's for a 2 week summer visit in July of 09. I let her go a few days early simply because we weren't doing anything big here at home, however I told them that she would probably be needing a visit to the the Dr by the next morning because she had just gotten into some poison ivy and it would probably be spread by the next morning, but if they were willing to take her, then she could come early. The two weeks came and went and I didn't hear much from anyone. They had taken a trip to Panama City Beach so I didn't want to interrupt their vacation. On the day it was time to come home, I called to see what time we would be meeting when I was informed that we wouldn't be meeting. I was told that after my daughter had arrived at her Dad's home she had a bruise on her butt and he had called CPS 2 weeks prior stating that she had been whipped at my house. He told me that the worker (whom had yet to contact me) stated that he didn't have to return her until she met with me, (even though she had 2 weeks to do so already). Furious does not even begin to explain it.

Fight CPS photo:  NCJFCJsNationalConferenceonJuvenileandFamilyLaw.jpg

I immediately started calling this worker. No answer. I hung up and called again and again until she answered. She was nowhere near pleasant to say the least. She had already made her assumption without ever meeting me. We were informed that we would have to meet with her in her office so she could question everyone in my home before my daughter was allowed to come home. I have 3 older children as well. To make a long story short, we went to the meeting, she had my ex husband go file paperwork on me so he still wouldn't have to return her until a court date the following month. We broke for lunch, I went straight to the court house that he just left, had them serve me with the papers and went back  prepared. When she told me that the judge had just signed a paper stating that my daughter could stay with her Dad until court, I presented the copy that I had just been served with. It had nothing more than "his story" and was signed by the clerk with a court date. When I told her I WAS taking my daughter home with me that day, she was PISSED. She wasn't prepared for me to be thinking ahead and have this information. I took my child home and we waited. In between this time and time for the court dates CPS came to my home numerous times. Her bad attitude still existed and mine did as well. She didn't come at me with one ounce of attitude that she didn't get 10 ounces in return.  I was determined to take no shit from this woman what-so-ever. These are my children and I would NOT let her take them from me.

Fight CPS photo:  n743837164_2389931_9893.jpg

The big court date finally came after being put off numerous times and I just knew that it would go okay. I had medical records stating from when they had taken my Daughter to the ER the next morning for the poison ivy and given a steroid shot in her butt, that there was no abuse reported. This worker approached the Judge and told her that my daughter was whipped in my home and my daughter also told the same. The CPS worker told my attorney that the only thing they would agree to was to let my daughter go to her Dad's OR they would take my boys and place them in foster care and I wouldn't know where they were. If I would just agree, then my boys would stay with me and I would know where they all were. With that said, my daughter was gone. I asked them to drug test my ex husband before allowing this custody change. They did. He failed but was still allowed to take her. The medical records were not allowed to be seen.

Fight CPS photo:  PruGowardMinisterDepartmentCommunityServices-ChildDeaths.jpg

Now throughout the next 3 1/2 years my Daughter started telling me little details here and there about court, even though the Judge advised her not too. Of course I appealed and appealed and nothing went in my favor. My daughter told me that her Dad's girlfriend was good friends with the CPS worker as the Dad's g/f had worked in the Juvenile Clerks office in a different county but knew her from there. She also stated that she was promised horses, go-carts, dogs, etc, if she would just say that she was whipped at my house causing a bruise. Now living in the middle of (almost) downtown Nashville, there is no way he could have fulfilled the promise of a horse or a go-cart. They DID get her a dog but as soon as court was over she said they got rid of that. In between this time her and her Dad had moved in with 2 different girls basically overnight. The g/f that helped him get custody was old news to him so he left her and the next few days had another one. That lasted no time and he was back with the original. More recently he did the same thing again but back to square one yet again. For 2 years, every other weekend, I had to treat my Daughter's head for head lice, even though luckily no-one in my home ever got it, we still got the blame for her lice. This was reported in numerous emails and court documents, but not one time brought up in court by anyone.

But back to the beginning of 2013. I hadn't seen her Dad at all while exchanging for visits in almost 5 months. It was the "flavor of the week" that always met me. So while we were waiting on them one day my Daughter was mad. She didn't want to go home, b/c she kept telling me the g/f was being mean to her calling myself and my daughter bitches and other nasty names. She claimed that the girlfriend was locking her in her room at night and she would have to bang on the door for a long time in the mornings to get someone up to let her out for school. I told her that I would attempt to call her Daddy and inform him but I had no direct number. I HAD to go through the g/f and her response was ALWAYS "he's asleep but I'll have him call you" He never did. But as she was getting out of the car, she said "Mama, I'm sorry, but you know all that time we spent in court, I lied about it all because they made me. They promised me all this stuff and made it sound really good and told me that I HAD to tell  the Judge I was whipped at your house or I would be in big trouble." 

Now in between the time she was taken until now she had actually told a counselor that was court ordered to come to my house that she wanted to be with me but stated she couldn't tell her Daddy because "he would get mad." The counselor documented this but the Judge and the CPS worker, as usual would hear nothing of it just as they wouldn't with the medical records. They also wouldn't hear of the challenges the Counselor had with said CPS worker. Even though it was a signed and notarized document by a counselor THEY recruited into my home, they refused to allow it in court. The counselor was in court but was never allowed to speak on the stand.

Fight CPS photo:  MyownexperiencesandresearchFORHUMANRIGHTS.jpg

Immediately after she told me this, I went home and documented it all. The next morning, I called CPS on them, reporting everything that she had stated, including the verbal abuse, food stamp fraud, since they lived together but he adds his address as apartment B and they both draw food stamps from the same house. There is no apartment B. Needless to say they worked with the previous CPS worker, case thrown out AGAIN! I went and filed another court petition. I made my way into court, and lo and behold there sits the same Judge. he snapped on me. He told me that I kept filing all of these petitions and it was going to stop! As I was about to leave, I turned to see the BEST attorney in my county and asked her to please consider taking the case. She knew the case well and agreed. I met with her a few days later. Her first words were, "We HAVE to get this moved to another Judge" And she did. For this I am forever grateful. 

My daughter is now 12 and is sick to death of her Dad's actions. She has several overnight bags that she keeps her very favorite things in. When I asked her WHY she always had those same bags with the same things in them, her response was , because I never know from one day to the next where I will end up at with my Dad and since I have stuff at 2 different ex girlfriends house, I want to make sure to keep this stuff. We now have a new court date coming up on September 10th with a new Judge and no CPS workers. Definitely got my fingers crossed for a good outcome. My Daughter has made it very clear that she was made to lie by her Dad and his Girlfriend. She puts it in letters to me, she writes it in notes on my phone and iPad. She has stated numerous times now that her Dad will work his way around things, including drug tests. They are now living with the ex husbands Mother but the Dad continues to see the ex girlfriend and another girl according to my daughter. There are many nights that he doesn't come home, leaving her there with his parents.

Shortly after drafting this post, I received a text message from my daughter. She stated that when she returned home from her last visit with me, her Dad asked her if she wanted to live back with me and she said yes. She said that he told her he was going to let her, but he just had to make sure it was ok with the Judge on our court date coming up. I'm not sure if he is intimidated by the fact the he has no Judge on his side now, but rather a Judge that is unbiased, and looking at the case from the beginning, medical records and all, or if he is just tired of not being able to live the free life that he wants, but  either way, I want the day of court to proceed as it would have. I want the Judge to hear my daughter say she was made to lie. I want CPS and DCS to know that it's not okay to take one child from the home, leave 3 and call abuse, all because she is allegedly friends with a party involved. I personally am not a fan of the Department of Children's Services. Especially not in this little town. When all is said and done, I will tell the FULL story to anyone that will listen. News media, newspapers, you name it. I will attach all of the notes made throughout this four year period and let everyone know that you do have rights when it comes to dealing with DCS or CPS.

Fight CPS photo:  NSWSupremeCourtWelfareServiceAdoptionCorruption.jpg

My biggest piece of advice... If they ever come knocking on your door, do not let them in your home without an attorney/officer WITH a search warrant, or some other unbiased party there! You do not have to be rude about it, but you can simply call and have an officer come to your home. You DO have rights!

Record every conversation! I put a note on my door that simply stated anything you say or do in this home could be recorded. I do have a camera in my home now that records video and voice. I personally use it as a surveillance camera but in the event DCS ever comes back to my home, it will be used to record their entire visit and they will be warned ahead of time by a note on the door.

Get a GOOD attorney. Court appointed is not going to help you most of the time. I don't care WHAT you have to do to come up with the money, sell your car, your boat, whatever! I'd much rather lose a boat or a car than my child. 

Trust me when I tell you, DCS is NOT your friend! They will kill you with kindness many times and tell you anything you want to hear just to get something to use against you in court. DO NOT ever think they are on your side. They are going to make you do their bullshit psych evals, sign medical release forms to ALL of your Dr's giving them access to every appointment you have ever been too, etc. My Psych eval was a crock. It ONLY came about after I appealed the courts time after time. They said my mental stability was in question for me to keep appealing this case. I walked in and had to look at ink spots on paper and tell him what they were. They were freaking ink spots! Yeah some of them looked like certain characters, some of them looked like nothing more than what they were. I had to draw a house, a person (I'm no artist so my person looked like something from Star Trek and of course, that was used against me).

The Psychologist that done my eval was upset with the DCS worker. He said he would probably not ever get paid for the eval b/c of how she submitted it. She submitted wanting MY insurance to pay. I called my insurance and told them that it was DCS ordered and they would be paying for it. He also stated that I was one that would help any stranger that ever came to me looking for food, etc. Of course that was used against me in the final paperwork. I'm sorry but I thought being generous and helping others are what we are SUPPOSED to do!


Give your children a Reverse Maranda Card. Teach them how important it is to keep it with them at ALL times! Instruct them to give this to ANY CPS or DCS worker that comes to question them! For many this may seem like you have something to hide. Call it what you will. After the HELL I have been through, I will NOT let DCS or CPS ever intimidate my children again. They once came and asked my 15 year old son if we ever locked him in a cage?! He said I looked at her like she was a nut and told her no and that I have nothing more to say to her if she can't ask me questions that actually make sense! He left the meeting and sent me a text.



You are hereby informed:

1. I am exercising my right to remain silent.

2. I am exercising my right to speak with my parents now.
Notify them immediately.




I lost my job because of this case and the numerous court dates and workers coming to and calling my job. They want you down to nothing and they will stop at nothing to get you there if they get half the chance. I strongly advise that if you have minor children in your home, to learn your local laws regarding DCS/CPS. You may think it will never happen to you. I thought the same thing. You've been warned. Now this is just a basic layout of how my story went. There are hundreds of pages of documents and evidence in this case, which when this case is said and done, will be brought out to my local media.

You may wonder if I am upset with my Daughter. Absolutely Not! She was 8 years old when this started. She was doing what her Dad told her to do all while (according to her) promising her the finer things. I will never be upset with her for this and hopefully once she is home where she belongs and wants to be, we will never have to discuss this again!

NOTE: I am NOT an attorney. Always research your local laws and proceed as you feel necessary when dealing with CPS. This is simply the way MY case played out and how I chose to handle MY situation. You may choose to handle your case completely different. However you proceed, I suggest you research, research, research and never let them get you down. NEVER go down without a fight and you fight with every ounce of energy you have in you!

ALSO I'm not saying ALL DCS workers are this way.

There are LOTs of disturbing statistics regarding DCS here in TN. Here is one article published in June

 You can find great information on many sites including the American Family Rights Association.

Update: Since writing this post, my daughter has written a 4 page letter to the Judge in the case stating that everything about the previous court date was based on lies. She wrote this while at her Dad's home. She admitted that she was 8 years old and had to say whatever they told her to say or suffer the consequences. I have said this time and time again in court, but no one would hear a word of it coming from me. The Dad is still taking her from on girlfriends house to the next. Thanksgiving they stayed with the ex girlfriend, him sleeping in her bed, and the next night they were at the new girlfriends, him sleeping in her bed. My daughter getting pulled right down the middle of it all. Not a good role model for an almost 13 year old girl. Our new court date is now set for Tuesday December 17th, 2013. I hope all goes well and the new Judge will take the time to hear the case in it's entirety unlike the Judge in the past!


WE WON!!! 

Since my ex husband decided it was not necessary for him to show in court, imagine his surprise when I showed up at his door (100 miles from my home) with a police officer to get my daughter. She knew I was on the way. She was packed and ready so the minute he called her name, she was at the door, bags in hand. Not only did I get custody back, he lost ALL parental rights until he can "find the time" to come to court and ask for visitation. Even then, due to the instability, and other "issues" the visits will more than likely be supervised. Thank You ALL SO much for all of your comments and support!


  1. I am so sorry this happened to you, more importantly, I'm sorry this happened to the kids. You always hear of this kind of stuff happening and you really don't believe it, until it happens to someone you know. All those years spent fighting the system is time y'all can never get back. Time she didn't get to spend with her brothers, the most formative years of a young girl's life, when she needs her Mom the most, just wasted. This breaks my heart for her beyond words.I too am dealing with {trying to} picking up the pieces of a young girl's life that could have been so much different if people had just made better choices.It's hard to see them struggle with emotions and feelings they aren't old enough to deal with. I'm just glad there is finally a glimmer of hope at the end of a very dark tunnel for you and the kids! <3

  2. This is a VERY informative post! I'm so glad you shared it. I'm terribly sorry for what you've been through. The BEST advice was this.. you nailed it:

    "My biggest piece of advice... If they ever come knocking on your door, do not let them in your home without an attorney/officer WITH a search warrant, or some other unbiased party there! You do not have to be rude about it, but you can simply call and have an officer come to your home. You DO have rights!

    Record every conversation! I put a note on my door that simply stated anything you say or do in this home could be recorded. I do have a camera in my home now that records video and voice. I personally use it as a surveillance camera but in the event DCS ever comes back to my home, it will be used to record their entire visit and they will be warned ahead of time by a note on the door."

    My (ex) mother in law made it a habit to call CPS on me. I refused to let them in and I left a note on my door saying that they weren't getting in without a search warrant, but ANYTHING they said or did would be recorded and turned into police. Guess what? THEY NEVER CAME BACK! This was after years of harassment from false reports!! I put that sign up and BAM! Gone! Haven't dealt with them in 8 years, thank goodness.

    I'm going to share this post.It's important that parents know their rights!!

  3. Wow,wow and wow! Such a personal post so thank you for sharing your story and hopefully helping others in a similar situation! I am so sorry this has taken place for you but more for your daughter that was forced to be stuck in the middle! What a horrible thing to do to a child!! You all missed out on so much together, its just sad that this it how the justice system works. I give you credit for having the strength not to you know what your ex...just blows my mind how a father could act this way. I wish the bast for you and your family moving forward!

  4. I am so sorry to hear this happened to your family. Thank you for sharing your story and in turn, maybe helping someone else. I had no idea something like this could happen, every parent needs to know their rights.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. So many people get in trouble with CPS because a neighbor is mad or their teacher doesn't think what they teach at home is proper. I hate that kids are collateral. I am going to share your story because there are many who need this knowledge. Thanks again from and God Bless!

  6. I too have dealt with DCF.. here where I live when my 2 older daughters were 9 mos and 1 year and 7 months.. it took me months to get my daughters back.. I am lucky that the foster parents my daughters went with understood what happened and saw the kind of mom I am and helped me in court to get them back (they have been foster parents for years so they know the ins and outs of the system) I had left my 2 girls with my sister for a weekend that I had to leave for work on a business trip.. I left thursday night and when I got back sunday my sister had called dcf herself and told them I abonanded my kids.. which was not true.. it took me almost a year to get them back.. it does not compare to the time you have been with out your daughter.. but the legal system is a big fail when it comes to children.. and someone needs to start a change somewhere..

  7. Wow! I am so sorry you're having to deal with this, and for so long. I hope your next court date goes well and you get your daughter back for good.

  8. Sorry to read everything you have gone through the past few years. Good Luck when you go back to court in September. A young girl 12 years old needs her mother and a stable home life We will keep you in our prayers that everything goes well.

  9. This is terrible that the court system has failed you so miserably. I wish you luck with your upcoming court date and look forward to hearing about the outcome. Hugs!

  10. How terrible!! I can not stand DCS.....they always accuse the wrong people and then do nothing when the signs are there and then kids lose their life. I will be praying for the outcome of this case! Blessings to you and your little girl!

  11. So sorry you've had to go through this. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to hearing about today's outcome! Good luck!

  12. Very glad you shared this!! You are correct about Child Services, they were in my life because my daughter's father and her grandfather got in a fist fight and she tried to break it up. I got treated like shit and had to do so much while he was treated like a king. Every time I reported to her that I picked my daughter up and he was drunk I was told it is my word against his word. She closed the case and nothing was resolved, my daughter was still forced to go see him and he still got drunk every time he had her. Up until this last Wed. he would torture me over the phone telling me how bad of a mother I am and calling yelling about her homework. Anything he thought of he would call me on. when she was there he would call me complaining about her behavior or how she was giving him a hard time doing her homework. I told him to be the adult and make her do it and stop calling me. This past week he finally did what I have told child services and the judge for years now!!! He punched her in the face, chest and the stomach after spitting in her face!!! People are lucky it wasn't worse. He was arrested, we have a restraining order he was arraigned and they put a no contact order on him. I talked to the DA yesterday and she said no matter what happens when we go on the 27th for the restraining order there will still be a no contact order while we await the pretrial and trial if he so desires one. I pray he doesn't want a trial to put my daughter through that. They should not drop the restraining order at the end of the month because of all that is going on. DCF was contacted once again because she was abused by him. His charges are Domestic assault and battery. He has a lawyer that I swear would rob his own mother to win a case. If DCF does not treat me with respect I will not talk to them at all, I do like your advice about the note on the door and recording the meetings. DCF gave him my phone number last time they were involved. I had a separate phone for him so I didn't have to deal with his shit on my phone that I talk to the school and doctors on and when I asked why they would give my number to him I was told because he deserved to have it!!! NO he didn't. I had the other phone, I answered it when it was his time to have her and when she as there other than that the phone was shut off and it was peaceful. Up until he was arrested I had no peace, he was always texting and calling!! He would call everyday, I left him for a reason and I don't need to hear from him everyday!!! He has not contacted me since he was arrested, if he does he will get 60 days in jail automatically. I know he is going to get drunk one of these nights and call me all pissed off, I hope he enjoys prison because I am done being nice I will call on him in a heartbeat!!!!! I don't know why Child services treats the parent that is there to protect the child like shit and the one that is trouble like the king. He didn't have to do the drug test because he had no ID and no money to get one or pay for the drug test so he was given the ok not to do it. Yet here I was doing everything and more of what they were asking me!!! You know what they held against me, I yelled at her therapist because she put my daughter through hell with all kinds of testing while she had to miss school for all of this and then decided that she wasn't going to take the advice of the specialists that she had my daughter see. I was sticking up for my daughter but I had an anger issue!!! I have never yelled at a teacher or doctor except this one that was not doing anything. I told her I could play with my daughter on the floor for an hour a week and do the same thing she was doing!!! Child services didn't like that!!! I am dreading them coming back into my life but I hope this time is better because I have police reports stating he abused her he was arrested and the police had to separate him from her because he was mentally degrading her for calling for help after he hit her!!! I pray for you and your daughter!!!! Good Luck!!

  13. So sorry about all of this and pray it gets better and you have her home. i couldn't imagine anything so bad as this. Thanks for sharing. My kids are 25,27, and soon to be 29 so no issues here. Such horror you and your children have gone though. Good luck. Deb


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