Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's Wrong With This News Story?

The court takes a child away from her mother because of a DUI conviction, and puts her in foster care.  The divorced father says that there's no need to put her in foster care.  He would be glad to have his daughter while the courts figure when the mother can again be trusted with the daughter.  So what is going on here?  From the October 13, 2011 Lincoln Journal-Star:

OMAHA -- A Douglas County Juvenile Court judge on Thursday allowed a dad stationed with the Army in Colorado to become a participant in his daughter's foster care case.

But while acknowledging the father appeared to be a fit parent and that no home study would be required, Judge Christopher Kelly delayed any chance of Sgt. David Sanders getting temporary custody of his 13-year-old daughter for 30 to 45 days.

At that time, the judge said, he will hear evidence about the Omaha mother's situation. He said he had been told she was cooperating and getting counseling, but he had no evidence of that.

Leslie Christensen, Sanders' attorney, said the father should not have to wait 30 to 45 days -- if that's what the judge's order indicates -- for his constitutional rights to take effect.
 Now, if there was some reason why the father could not be trusted with custody of his daughter, then this might make sense.  But the newspaper article seems to indicate that the father is regarded as a fit father. 

I know that a lot of foster parents are really good people, doing their best to provide high quality, loving care for children whose own parents are not fit or available.  But I also know that there are some foster care systems around the country that are monstrous--with foster parents so bad that you might almost be better off giving the kid a bus ticket and sending them cross country.  Foster care should always be what you do if you have no fit natural parent or near relative willing to take care of a child.

But this article tells us that the father appears to be a fit father--and the courts are putting this child in foster care?  What's wrong with this picture (other than insanity seems to have taken over family courts in some places)?

4 comments:

Ber950 said...

The problem is the father is out of state. If the judge lets the child leave the state then the legal issues get even more complicated. While we had temp custody of a couple of kids we were not to even take them out of state to visit family.

Dave said...

Like Clayton, I'm a social conservative with libertarian sympathies, but I see another problem here. I think that courts are far too likely to take kids away from their parents.

I think a DUI is a clear indicator of poor judgement, but I'm not convinced that a .08 blood alcohol level is enough to justify taking the kid away. It may be merited, but I'd be much more concerned with a higher blood alcohol level.

The severity of the offense matters. I think drinking and driving is a bad idea, but that we should also look at the severity of the offense. All the drunk driving fatalities I've heard about involve blood alcohol levels way over the limit. As in .20 or higher.

Should mom lose custody of the kid if she's driving with the kid in the car and has a .20 blood alcohol level? Yes. Should she lose custody if her blood alcohol level is .08 and the kid isn't in the car? I'm not so sure.

Clayton said...

For a serious alcoholic, a .20% BAC may not be any more disabling than a .08% BAC for people who do not drink regularly. For me, .08% BAC would have me snoring loudly. Actually, well before that point. I drink so seldom that sniffing the wine cork might be close to DUI.

Jon said...

I are not a Lawyer/Attorney or Officer of the Court. Just a simple Citizen who knows of the LAW. So let me take a look at the Picture that was painted by your question: 'WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?'

Way too may civil legal weasels (aka: Lawyer/Attorney..who are Officers of the Court)in the Court House.

Under Civil Law a Parent granted a Divorce from a Civil Marriage and then granted Custody of a Child or Children Born to the Marriage are awarded custody only on the terms of the Court. What the Judge does not tell you in so many words is that the Child/Children remain WARDS of THE COURT till such Child reaches the age of 18 years from their birth. In one quick breath the Judge announces that Judgement in the mater of the the Divorce is Final according to the Laws of the State of______ (Fill in Nebraska in your picture).

What the Judge (an Officer of the Court) states in that breath is about 20 pounds of Laws, Regulations and Rules that are printed in Books and those Books are kept in the Law Library that are open to the public and required by law to be Housed at the Main County Courthouse. (Forget going online for these books as they all leave out two or three vary IMPORTANT pages at the beginning of each Book. Yes, even the State and Federal web sites leave them out.)

So, back to what that breath says in a nutshell....Children remain WARDS of THE COURT. Should the person AWARDED the custody of the WARD/WARDS of THE COURT be in PERIL as to their duties to the WARD/WARDS. AWARDS of the Court can be retracted and Physical Custody of the WARD/WARDS transfers back to the discretion of the Court.

So your picture was painted with the Brush of a WEASEL using the bright colors and pigments of COMMEN LAW thinned and shaded with the Oil milked from a SNAKE (CIVIL LAW). ie: COMMEN LAW words,

Plea
Divorce
Marriage
Wards of THE COURT
Award

CIVIL LAW words,

Plea (copy of word in Commen Law)
Divorce (should say Civil Law Divorce)
Marriage (Should say Civil Marriage)
Wards of THE COURT (copy of word in Commen Law)
AWARD (copy word of Commen Law)

Change a few words and you get a diffident law with different rules.