Mother's Legal Rights Violated

I would like to thank everyone who has visited my website at www.betsyforjudge.com and shared their stories. Here is just one:

Cheryl** is 37 years old. She is the mother of 3 children, ages 14, 7 and 14 months. Cheryl is employed full-time and lives in a 4-bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath home on 60 acres. Orange County Child Protective Services (CPS) removed Cheryl's 3 children from her custody on January 15, 2008, alleging that her 7-year old son was locked out of the house one day and had to call his father from a neighbor's house. According to the juvenile petition filed by CPS, Cheryl is "jittery" and her behavior raises "suspicions" of a personality disorder or substance abuse. To date, Cheryl has taken 27 drug tests which have all been negative.

When Child Protective Services removes children from their parent's custody, North Carolina law requires the court to provide the parent with a hearing within 7 days of the removal of the children. If CPS does not prove at the 7-Day Hearing that the allegations made against the parent are true and that the children's removal from the home was necessary to protect them, the children must be returned to their parents.

On January 22, 2008, Cheryl went to court for her 7-Day Hearing. Cheryl's court appointed attorney failed to show up for court. Cheryl sat in the courtroom for three hours before being told by the CPS attorney that her case would not be heard that day. Cheryl's 7-Day Hearing was continued to January 28, 2008.

On January 28, 2008, Cheryl arrived at the courthouse promptly at 2:00 p.m. for her 7-Day Hearing. The judge arrived at 2:20 p.m. Cheryl's court appointed attorney arrived at 2:25 p.m. Because Cheryl's attorney was late, the judge refused to allow Cheryl or her attorney to present any evidence, and Cheryl's children were ordered to remain in foster care. Subsequent to the hearing, the judge signed a written order which states that neither Cheryl nor her attorney were present in court at 2:20 p.m. when her case was called. The order also states that evidence was presented, and that based on the evidence, the children should remain in foster care.

North Carolina law also provides a parent with an additional hearing within 30 days of the first 7-Day Hearing. Cheryl's court appointed attorney failed to ask for this hearing which could have resulted in Cheryl's children being returned to her custody. As of today--more than 4 months after her children were removed--Cheryl has still not had her 7-Day Hearing. Two of Cheryl's children, including the baby, are in foster care; the third child is living with his father. Cheryl is allowed to see her children for one hour a week. She was not allowed to see her baby on the baby's first birthday.

Cheryl has a court hearing scheduled for next month at which Child Protective Services must prove by clear and convincing evidence that Cheryl neglected her children. The same judge who refused to allow Cheryl to have her 7-Day Hearing because her attorney was late will be presiding over this hearing.

Betsy J. Wolfenden,

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate

**The name of the mother has been changed to protect her identity and the identity of her children.

Issues: 

Total votes: 259

Comments

Dont the law protect children and women like this?  I feel that this is a very hurtful and cruel thing to do these children.  How will they get over this?  What can we do about stuff like this?  To go that long without any cause is unjust and should be punishable to the people involved.

Yet again our system shows how inconsistent it can be. I have been involved in family law both from the professional side and the personal. It is gut wrenching to know that people who know so little about you can determine the outcome of your life and the lives of your children.

The difference in the way the same Judge may rule in one case compared to another when the cases are almost identical can dumbfound you. Not to mention the unfortunate moment you realize you have sunk thousands of dollars into a lawyer who is substandard and it is either too late to do anything about it or you are too broke by then to pay another retainer... DSS along with many GALs do their best to as do most of the Attorneys and Judges, I know this, they have a job that most cannot begin to wrap their minds around, but too often we are left with overzealous or overloaded people we have to rely on to decide the outcome of our lives.

Again, I have worked in family law and also have been involved in an ongoing custody battle myself and it is easy when you are on the working side to forget that this isn't "just another" case on the docket, this is a persons life that everyone involved is handling and at that moment in time it is the ONLY thing that matters to that client, defendant, or plaintiff. Our system is not perfect, but it is better than most. Unfortunately for this mother thought, she is seeing the worst possible side. It is time for those behind the bench and at DSS to realize a mistake has been made and be big enough to admit it before more harm come to these children and their mother.

Is this the result of a bad judge, an overworked public defender's office, or a systemic problem that will require more than a single judge to correct?

I believe that, at the very least, this is a systemic problem in 15-B District Court.  The court appointed attorneys representing indigent parents are not Asst. Public Defenders. 

It is true that a single judge cannot fix all of the problems. However, if elected, I will work to ensure that the legal and constitutional rights of the citizens of Orange and Chatham counties are protected.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate

Something tells me this question will not be answered but I would like to know who the judge is?

Because the case is ongoing, I'd prefer not to answer that question at this time.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate  

I am appalled that a 7-year old child would come to their house and no one was home.  Where is the accountability?  What went wrong where the child would go to their house an no one was to let them in?  I am glad that CPS did their job and investigated the case.  My wife worked at CPS, and they actually CARE about children. 

 As far as the mother and her attorney, my only thoughts were "too bad, too sad".  I'm sorry that she did not see her child's 1 year old birthday, but there is a certain ACCOUNTABILITY that goes along with being a parent.

 Instead of talking about a mother's legal rights, let's talk about what's good for our children.

First, I am not sure what reason you have to question the accountability of the parents when we dont know the story. As far whats good for our children,  I think their home and their parents is where it starts unless proven otherwise.  The reason I feel this is even a issue is because the mothers rights were violated and this case has not been heard to this day so therefore she hasnt been found guilty if not heard.  How have the children been treated since leaving home?  No one knows that information?  If in fact the children were not neglected, how will you or any of us justify what these children and mother have experienced?  This is why the 15B district needs so badly to be rebuilt on the truth and fairness to all parties.

I am an advocate for children.  Kids deserve to be safe, and a child not being able to access their house (as presented in this thread) does not lead to a safe environment.  What do you think of the chance of a predator snatching a child because of this presented scenario?  It happens, and 15B district should be commended for making a tough (however unpopular) decision for the rights of these children at this time.

 Concerning your premise that we don't know how the children are now being treated--that is correct.  We don't know.  We do know that the mother failed to provide the child with access to their home for only this one instance.  We don't know if this was the only instance, do we?  We do know from this thread that CPS had suspicions.

Well, you are right, but we also don't know if any part of the story is true.

Please read "Check the facts" below

Reread the post... the child didn't come home to no one home, that is not what it said.  The mother was home, she was upstairs with the infant, the little boy snuck outside and the door locked behind him.  Mom could not hear him knocking, he went next door to use the phone and called his dad.  Funny, none of these concerns from Dad came into play after all these years, until... she filed for child support.  Makes you go hmmm...

SO?

CPS did the right thing by reporting their suspicions.  That's their jobs.  The story about the boy locking himself out seems to be far fetched.  I'm really wondering what other facts have been left out.

We should be thankful for CPS and the courts for what they do for us. 

Shouldn't the punishment for a court attorney's behavior be directed to the attonrey, not to the client?   The practical outcome is that the client was punished for the behavior of the attorney, who was appointed by the court in the first place--so in essence, the employer (the court) hired a bad employee (the late attorney) and dealt with it by punishing the customer (the client).   Interesting.  Wouldn't fly in the private sector.    

First thing first:  I don't believe I know Ms. Wolfenden.  I know nothing about the race that she's running, nor do I know anything about anyone she may be running against. Her website makes her look like a caring, skilled, and passionate advocate.  So what I'm about to say is not an argument for or against her candidacy.

OK, having said that:  I find this thread troubling for a few reasons. 

(1) This is a story that Ms. Wolfenden says was submitted to her via her campaign website.  It very well could be entirely accurate (and typical), but how is anyone to assess its veracity?  Whether it tells the whole story?

(2) Why does Ms. Wolfenden not name the person whose story she is telling?  It's hard to believe the reason Ms. Wolfenden offers; the story is so studded with details that anyone with any familiarity with the case (for example, the presiding judge, or the children's father) will know immediately who Ms. Wolfenden is talking about.

(3)  The story certainly places the presiding judge (again, I have no idea who it is) in a very bad light.  Is the judge an opponent of Ms. Wolfenden's in the election for which she's a candidate?  Is that what we are perhaps to infer?  Even if not, it just doesn't seem right to me to present facts that disparage a judge's (and, by implication, a whole judicial district's) reputation, and then decline to name the person being disparaged.

(4) Somehow, for reasons I can't articulate (and don't expect others to share), I find it a little uncomfortable for OP posts to be used as a venue for what is, in effect, free and direct political campaign advertising.

The point of Cheryl being unknown is to protect herself and her children? Politics has nothing to do with this.  This is about mothers and fathers and their right to parent children.
I find it sad that OP would allow this to be posted.  It's careless.  Where is the accountability with the parents?

Eric, I share your concerns and had many of the same thoughts when this post was first published. I am even more concerned by the large number of anonymous comments given the sensitive nature of the post.

As far as politicking, we have always had candidates participate here, and this is often beneficial to their campaigns (especially when in need of name recognition). However, I do hope that readers will note that Betsy's posts have been purely campaign-oriented and that she has not taken the time to engage the OP community in any other way. This certainly influences my opinion of her (since I also have never met her).

This whole thread makes me feel icky, but there is no rule against that. As long as other candidates have the opportunity to use OP as a platform, I think it's fair.

I thought the two candidates for Orange/Chatham district court were Page Vernon and Greg Gerding. Can someone else enter the race after the primary?

I'm running for Judge Alonzo Coleman's seat. If Judge Coleman is relected, he can only serve 6 months of the 4-year term because he faces mandatory retirement at age 72 in June of 2009. After Judge Coleman retires, the new governor will appoint a judge to fill Judge Coleman's seat. Because judges serve the people; they should be elected by the people, which is one of the reasons I decided to run for Judge Coleman's seat.

15-B District Court affects the lives of your family, your neighbors, your co-workers and your friends. All of you have a right to know what goes on in 15-B District Court: whether it is fair or unjust; whether the law is being followed or not; whether the judges are impartial and unbiased or engaging in favoritism and cronyism.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate

There are four 15B seats on the ballot in the fall. Only one (Pat Devine's seat, she is retiring) had more than 2 candidates file, so that seat needed a primary to cut it down to 2. Betsy Wolfenden is running against incumbent Alonzo Coleman for another seat and incumbents Chuck Anderson and Beverly Scarlett are running unopposed. Joe Buckner is the fifth 15B judge but his seat is not up this year.

Thanks to everyone for their comments.  What I have been attempting to do with my posts is to educate all of you in regards to what is going in 15-B District Court.  If you never had reason to call the police and yet were told that the police department in your town was engaging in acts of corruption, you would want to know this information and act on this information.  Likewise, you, as voters, need to know what so many of us attorneys practicing in 15-B District Court already know: things are not right at all in the courthouse, and the legal and constitutional rights of your loved ones, neighbors, and co-workers are being violated. 

Yes, I am running for an elected office, and the reason I'm running is to shine a light on a system which needs to be exposed and eradicated.  There are good judges and attorneys in 15-B who try to follow the law every day, but there are some bad apples who are doing their best to make sure that the good ol' boy network that has served them so well for so many years remains firmly entrenched.   At this point, the highest service that I can provide to the community that I live in and love is to run for a judicial seat and use it as a platform to speak out against the corruption in 15-B District Court. 

What's going on in 15-B District Court is going on in courthouses in small towns all over this country.  We can pretend this is not going on right under our noses or we can educate ourselves and do something about it.   

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate 

 

If you're running for office in order to shine light on a broken system, then shine the light!

Just don't do it by innuendo, and don't do it in a way that makes it impossible for anyone to evaluate.

Dear Shining Light : has it blinked out. Really exposing who people are that are involved will cost people jobs that are good decent people. go to the court house and look up family cases if you want to evaluate.

Ok, we've named the judge presiding in the case in this thread somewhere (and I have to disclose that I had a summer job in law school working for him in 1974).  I'm beginning to think that the good decent person who will lose his job based on this thread is him.  A candidate wants the readers to evaluate her versus an incumbent based on a serious of tragedies but if we really want to evaluate it someone who does not give their name says we must "go to the court house and look up family cases".  Do I look under "F" for family at the court house?

is that we can't make judgments on a particular case without all the evidence and mitigating circumstances.  To be quite honest with you, I'm solely concerned about the children's welfare as opposed to the parent.  CPS exists to protect our children.  Just because an attorney did not show up on time is not a viable reason to hand the children back to the mother.

I don't know the mother (obviously!).  She may be a great mother, but the fact that is undebatable is that her 7 year old child could not get in to the home, and CPS had suspicions of this mother.

 Want to win my vote?  Focus on the children, and not the mother.  I will definitely listen.

shouldn't you be hesitant to jump to a rash conclusion without understanding all the mitigating evidence surrounding a case?  I don't understand why some want to focus on the attorney instead of the neglect of a 7 year old.

 

No parent can be responsible for legal system failures--late attorneys and judges that ignore the 7-day rule have nothing to do with this woman's parenting skill. If this is a true case and the facts are as presented, then the children are being penalized as much as the mother is.

make sure someone is home to let the child in.  That is a fact that was presented.  Getting distracted in life is not an excuse.
have been presented.  Worse case scenario would be that the mother would get the children back without the courts understanding all of the facts and mitigating circumstances, and then the mother repeats the behavior (or worse, something tragic actually happens).  The other risk is if there is a good explanation of why the child was not able to get into the house.  Until this is resolved, I totally agree with the judge's ruling.

Not just one of her rights were violated, many were, that is one reason for the focus on mom.  2nd... the child got locked out because he snuck out, (in the daylight) while she was upstairs witht the baby and the door locked behind him.

Also, let's look at DSS choices

The 14 year old daughter was first placed with her biological dad who hasn't had anything to do with her in 10 years, then he flunked 2 drug tests and oops... they had to get her out, then they put her with a neighbor, and moved her because the neighbor was too close to the mother, NOw theyhave stuck her with a foster mom who just this past saturday dropped her off at bojangles for 2 hours while she was at the wooden nickel BAR.. the 14 year old got bored at bojangles waiting and guess what, wandered over to M&M billiards, the real mom got a call from the 14 year old, the mom went to the bar, called the police and filed a report, the foster mom says it wasn't her fault that the 14 year old was at the bar, (now didn't she drop her off unsupervised for 2 hours while she was at another bar with friends, of course she is responsible for where the girl ends up, at a bar as well) 

Now let's think also, I am not positive, but if the foster mom went to the Wooden nickel bar to meet friends for a couple of hours isn't it likely she was drinking too? And knowing she was going back to pick the 14 year old up (from where ever she had wandered too) and drive her home?

 Then, they put the 7 year old with his biological dad who also admitted past drug use, anger problems and has several incident reports on file with several counties for domestic violence...

So let me ask you, does it seem that DSS is placing the children in better homes?

*

*

I posted anonymously by accident, which is not honoring my commitment to  this community.   I wondered why this woman is being punished for her attorney's behavior.   It should be possible to reprimand the attorney without the client  losing her day in court.  

However, everyone's primary concern should be the wellbeing of the children, not the 'rights' of either parent.    Hard to know if that is adequately represented in this case without more information.

 

We know for sure that this kind of thing happens every day.  N&O columnist Ruth Sheehan would pick up on such an eye-catching case.  The District 15B  candidate is semi-welcome to campaign on OP, as Ruby notes with typical diplomacy.  However, I think it's rather cheap to capitalize on one case, real or not, for display purposes.  There's an ethical consideration.  This tactic will not make her very popular in 15B. 
I also want to encourage people to use the 5-star ratings that appear under each post to make your opinion known. (This feature is only available to registered, logged-in users.)  If you want to see more posts like this, rate it a 4 or 5, if not, give it 1 or 2 stars.
Do you represent anyone, or have you represented anyone, in connection with  litigation involving Cheryl?

No, I did not represent anyone in this case.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate. 

 

I really appreciate the discussion and I respect everyone's viewpoint.  Clearly, in some cases, children need to be removed from their homes to keep them safe.  Even in those cases, though, the process by which we do so needs to be fair.  We are a land of laws, after all. 

Lots of you focused on the facts instead of the violation of Cheryl's legal rights.  I find that intriguing because the facts can depend on who is perceiving them, which is why following the law is so important.

According to Cheryl, her son went outside to ride his bike at their neighbors house and inadvertantly locked himself out.  When he knocked on the door and received no answer, he went back to neighbor's house and called his father.  Cheryl believes it is the father of her son who called DSS because he wanted custody of their son without having a costly custody hearing.  Cheryl is also concerned because the attorney for her son's father is good friends with the judge while her own attorney does not enjoy such a relationship. 

According to CPS, Cheryl should have been more vigilant, but the case regarding this particular incident was actually closed.  CPS is now focused on its "suspicions" of drug use.  CPS is also maintaining that Cheryl has not been "cooperative."  They have also told her that she must get a job so she is not so financially dependent upon the father of the baby.  

None of us is a perfect parent.  But unless you are proven unfit, it's not up to CPS to judge your parenting or to give your kid to a foster parent because CPS believes the foster parent can parent your child better.  The bottom line in this case is that, absent clear and convincing evidence that Cheryl has neglected her children, she has a constitutional right to parent her children.  What's so troubling is that Cheryl has not yet had her day in court even though the law requires a 7-Day Hearing and then review hearings every 30 days after that. 

Lastly, I can tell you that Cheryl's older children have been traumatized by being removed from their home; their friends; and their siblings. It's harder for Cheryl to know how the baby has been affected as she only sees the baby for one hour a week.      

Thanks again for everyone's comments.   

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate  

 

 

 

Since you have said you are not representing anyone in this case and since CPS records and juvenile court files are, I assume, confidential and not available for inspection by the general public, where are you getting your information?  It appears to me that you have adopted and and made public only one side of the story--the mother's version--without any attempt, or even the opportunity, to verify its truth or veracity. 

The posting of Ms. Wofenden for campaign puposes, her hast to "choose sides" without all the information, and the pulication of unverified facts,  exhibits poor judgment--especially for someone seeking judicial office.

"it's not up to CPS to judge your parenting"

I don't always agree with the way they do things, but it is definitely their responsibility to do just that.  The courts also have a role, but checking up on child welfare is one of the central purposes of the Department of Social Services.

As to whether their was any violation of "Cheryl"s legal rights or whether anything improper has happened in this case, you haven't given us anything independent to support your claims.  In fact, it seems that you don't have any first hand knowledge of the situation either, Ms. Wolfenden.  If I understand your post correctly, then the source of this information is a (anonymous?) post to your website.

I have never yet heard of someone whose children were taken away and felt that process was fair.  Of course "Cheryl" does not "Cheryl" may indeed have been abused by the system, but there's no way to tell.  And given that you are running against the judge that is supposedly involved in this case, the whole thread seems self-serving and therefore less than credible.

If the facts are anything like what you say above, then an appeal of the court's ruling would be in order and ought to be winnable.  Why not pursue that route with the case, rather than attacking a long-serving judge in our community with an entirely one-sided and utterly unverifiable version of the events?

Mark,

Thanks for your comment.  This case does not involve my opponent.  What I meant to say is that if CPS cannot prove you have neglected your child, it should not be removing the child from your home merely because it does not like the way you parent.  Does that make sense?   

I did present one side, that's true, but it's not the facts that are at issue.  It's the statutes which have been disregarded.  Cheryl may very well have neglected her kids, but, again, the law should have been followed and it was not.  If anyone is interested, I'll post the statutes.

If Cheryl's case is appealed, her children will sit in foster care for another 6 to 12 months.  If the Court of Appeals rules that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that Cheryl neglected her children, who gives her that time back with her kids?

A 15-B DSS case was recently reversed by the Court of Appeals because the judge changed the permanent plan for the minor child from reunification with the parent to adoption, without taking any evidence from the parent.  If any one is interested, I'll post the link to the opinion.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate

 

 

If I understand you correctly, you are saying there is a pattern of behavior within 15-B District Court of ignoring the statutes, at least where it concerns parental rights. Why hasn't the mainstream media been brought into this to provide some sunshine on the facts? Where are the other voices of concern?

As someone noted in a previous post, voicing one's concerns makes one unpopular. If you want to continue practicing in 15-B, you either keep your mouth shut or you go practice somewhere else. I know some very good attorneys who got off the court appointed list for CPS cases (representing the parents) because they could not stomach what was going on. I am able to speak out because I have been doing appellate work in our higher courts since 2006. I am also one of those annoying types who can't keep quiet in the face of injustice.

Unfortunately, I don't think the media is that interested in the rights of poor parents. There is a presumption that poverty equates to bad parenting. It's also a very complicated issue to understand (legally) and to investigate. These cases are not public record to protect the identity of the children. Unless you are in the courtroom a lot, it's difficult to see the pattern of corruption because it exists in so many forms.

Betsy J. Wolfenden

 

 

 

Stories can engage us and get our attention, but they can also distract us.

If you wanted to talk about district court 15-B and keep people focused on that subject beginning with an emotionally fraught narrative of a family's dissolution and the aftermath was hardly the best way to accomplish that.  

If there's a problem in 15-B, I would have preferred to see it stated in this way. In 15-B the following good practises are often disregarded, the following poor practises are common, and this particularly happens in cases where people share the following qualities or particularly effects people who share the following experiences (needs a court appointed attorney, needs an interpreter, is involved in a custody case, was a stay at home parent, etc.)

Trying to frame that information in the context of a narrative resulted in commentary on the narrative. Anyone familiar with the internet could predict that.


 

 

 

 

Betsy,

 I finally found something that I can agree with you on.  The media has made the correlation between the socio-economically disadvantaged and poor parenting.  That's ashame, because many of the so-called "rich folks" had parents that came from some humble beginnings.  Unfortunately, I'm not too convinced that Cheryl is a have not (4 bedroom house, 2 1/2 baths).  Sounds pretty nice to a guy who has 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths.

As far as the case that you have presented, I'm not very moved with this story.  CPS serves a purpose, and I'd hate for a judge to use the law that may enable the abuse of a child.  Based on what you have presented I don't believe that Cheryl has had her rights violated. 

Thank you for your comment.  Only indigent parents are allowed to receive court appointed counsel.

If I may please ask you a question:  Do you believe that someone who is accused of a crime in this country should receive a fair trial?  I hope that you and the other progressive folk who contribute to this website all answer "yes" to that question.   

The reason you are supposed to get a fair trial in this country is because you might get thrown into jail if you are found guilty.  So, since the government might deprive you of your freedom, you have the constitutional right to a fair trial.  That's known as the "right to due process." 

Similarly, parents have a constitutional right to parent their children.  The law does not require us to be perfect parents--just adequate parents.  On the other hand, if we neglect or abuse our kids, we may get them taken away.  However, because the right to parent one's children without government intervention is a fundamental constitutional right, there are strict laws that must be followed when taking someone's children away. 

In NC, those laws have been established by the General Assembly.  They are found in Chapter 7B of the NC General Statutes and they set forth the legal requirements by which the district court judge may allow CPS to remove children from their parents, including the burden of proof CPS must show at trial and the time frame for all of the court hearings (There are many more). 

In Cheryl's case, the judge did not follow the law as set forth in Chapter 7B; furthermore, he punished Cheryl AND HER CHILDREN for her attorney's mistakes.  Lastly, the judge entered a court order which contained false statements.  That order was prepared by the attorney for CPS and signed by the judge.  

In my view, lots of things went wrong in Cheryl's case.  In your view, what went right so that you came to the conclusion that her legal rights were not violated?  

 Betsy J. Wolfneden  

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate  

 

Betsy,

Of course I believe that a person who was charged of a crime deserves a fair trial.  But this is not what I'm concerned with regarding this case.  Again, I'm focused on the children.

Until it's proven to an impartial judge/jury that Cheryl poses no risk to the children, I'm willing for her to wait through the court system.  Is this fair?  I don't know, but I know that it's not fair to send children back to a mother where the courts haven't dedided that she is a fit parent.

The court order containing false statements is a serious allegation.  I've not seen this court order and I cannot determine whether the judge has done such a thing.

If you read my statement closely, I state "Based on what you have presented I don't believe that Cheryl has had her rights violated".  Again, based on what you have shared with us, I don't see where it has been violated.    Specifically, Section 7B-506 (b) states:

(b)       At a hearing to determine the need for continued custody, the court shall receive testimony and shall allow the guardian ad litem, or juvenile, and the juvenile's parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker the right to introduce evidence, to be heard in the person's own behalf, and to examine witnesses. The State shall bear the burden at every stage of the proceedings to provide clear and convincing evidence that the juvenile's placement in custody is necessary. The court shall not be bound by the usual rules of evidence at such hearings.

 I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not privy to all the "clear and convincing evidence that the juvenile's placement in custody is necessary". 

I am asking for you to specifically identify the language that would make me believe that the judge did something to violate Cheryl's legal rights.  I'm willing to hear your argument.

You may not be a lawyer, but your lingo sure is good, which makes me wonder.  Also, why post anon?  Cheryl sat through court again today, had her case heard and drawn to a close but still rec'd no ruling...  This is after waiting almost 30 mins and holding the case up because someone on the other side was running late... now this was the exact reason she was ruled against at her first hearing, her lawyer was running late but no one was willing to wait for her counsel to arrive.  That seems unfair at the very least

and not a lawyer.  I have a wife that's invested some time and effort within CPS.  CPS is a very misunderstood group.  There is much information that has to be sorted out, and, of course, there is the red tape that goes along with it.  I do not agree that CPS believes that they can parent our children better than the parents themselves.  They are doing their job.

BTW, I do believe that Betsy would make a solid judge for district 15-B and will support her at election time.  I simply do not feel that she and I are "eye-to-eye" on this subject.  That's what is so nice about living in the country--we can disagree, in an agreeable manner.

I hope to be an impartial judge who is worthy of your continued support.   Thank you very much. 

Betsy J. Wolfenden

15-B District Court Judicial Candidate.  

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