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Judge Conduct and Evidence question!

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by YuYuHaki, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. YuYuHaki

    YuYuHaki Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So I had a court case, my EX had the children taken away from us. I am a trucker so I am rarely home or in the area, maybe once a month. Now DFS attacked my EX for the cleanliness of the house while they went after me for saying I handcuffed my child (fake handcuffs, they were only toys). I fought the case of course because I had nothing to do with the cleanliness of the house, I didn't live there. I was on the road making money to support my children (by on the road, I travel across the country delivering stuff in an 18 wheeler). So with that said, I brought in proof that the handcuffs were fake, won the issue against me with the handcuffs. DFS attacked me on this, didn't expect this since they didn't know it was coming (they filed against me without asking, then asked thinking I would disclose everything to them but I withheld this on purpose because I didn't trust them at all). They failed to investigate, not my fault. I won the handcuff issue and made an issue that the initial investigator wasn't there who filed the paperwork and I had the right to face my accuser. The judge said it wasn't a criminal trial so it didn't apply. Now her judgement is where things get sketchy, she found me on one account of neglect saying, "I was the pictures, you should have taken them out of the house!" Here is the issue, the case was heard after the inital investigator showed her pictures of the house but these pictures were never presented in court during my case and I specifically wanted to question this investigator but she wasn't present so the judge said I couldn't. So this investigator got to present evidence against me that I never seen, still haven't seen, and determined the judge's ruling. I want to confirm that this is a huge breach of my legal rights with someone who knows more about the law then I do before I proceed to file against her and an appeal for the case. The house in question, it was messy now and then, but I also witness them always cleaning it up and I never saw anything that I felt was a danger to my children. Yes, I didn't like the mess and I said things but it was mostly paper. No food or dangerous items, just the kids making a mess. There are 4 kids in the household, 2 are mine, 2 are legally not but I consider them family, calling them my nieces. I never once felt there was any reason to pull them out of the house because of a danger to their well being. I never saw these pictures even today!
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Much of what you write is difficult to follow. You had a totally separate case from your ex, and had been charged with something. What were you charged with? What penalty was assessed? It sounds like this was one case as the kids are the same. Was this for removal from the home? If so, if the living conditions were such that it was not a fit environment for the children, and you were unwilling or unable to provide a better environment for them, why would you think the children would not be removed from the home?
     
  3. YuYuHaki

    YuYuHaki Law Topic Starter New Member

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    To answer your questions, my EX took a plea bargain to get the children back but they wanted to put me in supervised visitation saying I was a danger to my children because of the toy handcuffs. They said the charges were 1 count of neglect because I didn't take them out of the house but every time I been to the house, the house was messy but not dangerous. There wasn't food everywhere or anything like that, it was mostly paper trash and clutter. The mother is a pack rat, she collects junk, sometimes she finds in the street, to make projects with that she never completes so they take up space in the house. I said something to her many times on it but she never listens to anyone, but at the same time there is no crime here either. The conditions were not bad when I saw the house, annoying to me from the mess but not dangerous or any illegal crime that I know of. The second charge I got was that the children were dependent on me because I am a trucker and drive over the road eleven days out of fourteen. My working really hard to provide for my children gives me a charge and I wasn't the primary care taker, their mother was!

    The exact wording on the court order is this:


    "Mr. Ward was aware of the conditions in which the children were living and failed to remove the children from the house. He was aware that the children were not always clothed properlt and did not address the matter."


    Except the teacher who testified stated she did not contact me about these issues so I had no way of knowing. As for the clothes, if their mother needed any clothes, all she had to do was ask me and I would provide them. I don't go asking these questions because she is an adult, I expect her to tell me when something is wrong. They complained the children wore long sleeve shirts to school when it was hot. I didn't know this was a crime and I rarely saw what they went to school in because I never was there for school days, I was home Friday night until Monday morning generally unless there was something rare like a court case going on.

    As for not thinking they would not be removed from the home, what crime is it to be messy? Yes, the mother is a slob. Yes she doesn't clean up after herself. But I never heard of this being a crime! I researched and researched, nothing about this shows this is wrong legally. Morally, YES I agree but you are talking about removing the children from school and from the life they know because of something that isn't illegal, starting fights between the parents and dragging the children through the court system for what, her bad habits?

    So I have yet to see the pictures of what the house looked like when DFS got there and the judge quoted as her reasoning for the neglect charge (which in my case, was never brought up since they were focused on the handcuff issue). I know that her husband was always cleaning, saw him all the time cleaning. He has custody of the two children she has with them. We are still good friends, both feeling that she is doing what is best for her.
     
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Unless you are a magician performing a magic trick, I can't begin to fathom why one would lock a child in handcuffs, be they "toys" or not. It is what it is. Could be anything from poor judgment to criminal. If your answer to the children not having proper clothing to wear an living in filth is that you are gone so much you have no idea what was going on, you sunk your own ship.

    It still isn't clear whether you were facing criminal charges or if this was just for the removal of the children from the home.
     
  5. YuYuHaki

    YuYuHaki Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They were child handcuffs, which he was able to remove easily with a push of a switch. It is a common toy children have played with since they started playing cops and robbers. They are harmless, so if you can't fathom why a father would spend time with his child and play with him, then I guess you don't understand children and their need to play games and imagination.
     
  6. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    It is of course, entirely possible to play with one's children and foster their imagination without bondage. I don't know what happened with the handcuffs. Clearly there is more to the story as CPS isn't going to inventory every toy the child owns. They wouldn't even know there were toy handcuffs let alone that you used them on a child unless they were made aware of that by someone (you, your ex, the child, a neighbor, etc.). Context matters and it isn't something to parse out here on an online bulletin board. Discuss it with your counsel who hopefully has the full story and can advise you on a defense.
     
  7. YuYuHaki

    YuYuHaki Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They didn't know, they assumed they were real base upon a child's testimony to his teacher in school. They had no evidence but later showed up at the house a month later to do an inspection based on the allegation (they sat on the allegation a whole month) and found that the house was a total mess and that was the reason they took the children away. The handcuffing wasn't an issue, even the judge admitted so in court and said DFS should have asked to see the handcuffs instead of waste the court's time on the incident. But they said I should have taken the children out of the house (the judge's exact words were, "I saw the pictures", yet no pictures were presented into evidence). So the court ruled one account of neglect for not taking the children out of the house. Being an over the road trucker, I had no idea the condition of the house except when I visited which was once a month. I spoke with my children on SKYPE between visits all the time, sometimes every single night, but never saw anything that constituted the house was dangerous. Without anything proving the house was dangerous, I could not take the children out of school and on the road with me as the state would have came down on me for that. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

    All that said, I still haven't seen these pictures the judge claims was proof and I was present in court for the whole case.
     
  8. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    They don't take kids away because a house is "messy."

    You did have a condition of the house every time you visited.
     

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