I thoiught attorneys were supposed to help you

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ninalp
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:08 pm

I thoiught attorneys were supposed to help you

Postby ninalp » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:45 pm

Well, I attended court again today, Tuesday, my court appoionted attorney didn't bother showing up. Today, he was 45 minutes late, and didn't even make an attempt to talk to me beforehand. When I was called into the courtroom, my nightmare became a reality. The first hearing was a dispositional hearing, that they voided. So basically, we were at the first 72 hour hearing. The DFACS attorney question the caseworker, my son's guardian ad litem, asked DFACS caseworker a few questions, my bozo attorney was writing down some stuff - then he looked up and looked like "is it my turn". He asked a few questions to the caseworker (already asked and answered, and some very irrelevant questions. My eyeballs almost popped out of my head when he said "No further questions. I whispered to him, aren't you going to ask me questions - of all things he said NOW IS NOT THE TIME. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn't believe it. I had typed up some informtion for him - some questions to ask, some history, he never bothered to look at hit. I'm still in shock, but I've read enough here to somwhat expect it. AFter the hearing, I asked him again, he told me he knew how to do his job, I told him that I wanted someone to fight for me. It went on of course, and no way would I get anywhere with him - he was so arrogant. I'm not down about it, I actually went on with my day - My son came over to spend the day - we had a great time, he kept telling me that he didn't say all of that stuff - and they blew it out of proportion. He did say that what he did tell them he told them it happened years ago.... and they used it. I told the caseworker I don't know how they sleep at night. I said to her - you know none of that happened and you know what it's about - "she does, but is doing what she's told. What a day!

Gary Shaw
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: SE Georgia
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Postby Gary Shaw » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:54 am

ninalp,

It seems to make little difference whether your attorney is court appointed or privately paid. Not many of them will work for you and against DFCS.

In my opinion the only way to overcome these people is to be more knowledgeable of the Federal and State Laws and the State Policies than they are. Fortunately that is fairly easy, they are not knowledgeable.

We hired an attorney for our son and his wife. Well recommended, talked a good tough game but did not know the laws nor policies and was pretty ineffective. From fear because they were starting to talk TPR and ignorance because I had no experience with this, we started to search for information. This site helped us tremendously. We were very lucky that at that time, May 2005, there were many very helpful people here. They would not be all warm and sympathetic like some now. They would lead you to information they had found and tell you to learn it.

My advice is to do that. Don't stop trying to out learn them. The best resource we found for Georgia was the "Case Workers Reference Manual" funded by the Georgia Supreme Court. It tell a caseworker exactly what they can do and the legal citation for that but more important for you is it tells them what they can not do and the legal citation for that.

I am a neanderthal, knuckle dragging, red neck construction person but I learned. I did the research and wrote our attorney a thirty three page brief of what the had done wrong, citing the laws that said so and what they had not done right, again citing the laws that said so. We used him as a paid tool to enter the knowledge into court. In three months we moved from TPR talk to the Judge ordering the ASAP return of my grand children. Not because we are good, because we loved them enough to realize how little we knew, how serious this had become and to overcome that at whatever costs to us and our time. It works.
The two enemies of the people are criminals and the government, so let us tie the second down with the Constitution so the second will not become a legalized version of the first.
Thomas Jefferson

Workingmom
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:05 pm

Postby Workingmom » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:02 pm

Unfortunately, even some paid attorneys are not worth the bottom of my shoe. My first one was a loser, not only was he too scared to fight them (and that is because I gave him all of the physical evidence he needed), he began to agree with cps, and told me to do just what they wanted to do. If I wanted to live my life with someone stripping every freedom away from me, I would have stayed with my ex-husband, and that awful family of his. Before paying for an attorney, I would actually ask more about not only his dealings with cps, but his success rate.

This is the big mistake I made. I was so desperate just to find someone who could take my case at the last minute, that I went for the first attorney that I found was available to go to court with me. Cause after the first hearing, I only had 7 days to find someone to represent me. That was the biggest waste of my time and money!!

Marina07
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:24 am

Postby Marina07 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:27 pm

My boyfriend had three things on his side when this started. One, a good attorney. And an attorney he already knew, who knew what CPS/DSS was saying was ridiculous, he knew he was a good dad. Second, the law guardian we had met with a few weeks before the DSS/CPS investigation began when he petitioned the court for full custody of his kids (shortly after their loser of a mom went to jail). The law guardian really liked us, and still does, she thought we were wonderful parents. Third, I am a very good researcher, and did a lot of research for his lawyer on ways to win abuse cases, especially false allegations. I used this site a lot, but mostly did my own research. Found out each and every person involved in the investigation, and found out who would be willing to go against them. I wound up getting in touch with an expert witness who made their expert witness look like an idiot.

I honestly don't know how people who can't afford an attorney, can win. My public defender was not worth my time, she didn't help at all. Luckily, I wasn't the one on trial. I did a lot of the research on the subject, but his lawyer prepared the legal documents, which I couldn't do. But, I'd do as much research as you can, and if there's any possibility of hiring your own attorney, do it. Send your case to as many attorney's as possible, asking if they'd be willing to take your case, and what they would suggest. We are now like $25k in debt after all is said and done, but we have our family back, and eventually we'll get the debt under control. It was all worth it in the end, to have our kids back. I just talked to my boyfriend, and he's playing checkers with his son. :)

The first couple court appearances, we felt like you too. It was basically his attorney saying, no questions, no questions, every time, until it was time for him to do otherwise. My best advice, be patient.

debbiescalese
Posts: 460
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:55 am
Location: WV

Postby debbiescalese » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:56 am

I paid $2500 to an atty who never once showed up for court. When we hired him we did so because he was a former prosecutor, figured he'd know what he was talking about and how to work the system. Nope he never once in a whole year ever showed up in court. Now we have one who just wants us to go with the flow which is very fustraiting when the flow is wrong and damaging to the kids. We have been told by june this should all be over and everything should be back to "normal" I'm not even sure what that is anymore after going throw 2 years of this crap. I will not believe it is over till I have some paper work to that effect.

Anyway the lawyer is not really there for anything more than to collect the max amount of money for the min amount of work. They don't care about anything else. Really it isn't their children, isn't thier family, what do they care.

It is really important to know the law, know your rights because nobody will tell you what they are and if you don't know it is easier for them to take them away.

Workingmom
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:05 pm

Scope 'em out

Postby Workingmom » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:26 am

A woman who is fighting CPS to keep her daughter away from her drug using ex-husband (that's right, they want to put her daughter in harms way) said that her attorney was hired by someone else by just watching how she handled her case in court.

Show up at the courthouse when you have the time to sit around, look at the docket, and see how that other attorneys play out. I would also ask what kind of cases are they use to handling and how much experiance they really have with cps. Ask for specific examples. They can do that as long as they leave out important information such as names, or what area they are from. If they can't tell you anything, odds are, they don't have the experiance of dealing with that agency.

Workingmom
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:05 pm

Scope 'em out

Postby Workingmom » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:26 am

A woman who is fighting CPS to keep her daughter away from her drug using ex-husband (that's right, they want to put her daughter in harms way) said that her attorney was hired by someone else by just watching how she handled her case in court.

Show up at the courthouse when you have the time to sit around, look at the docket, and see how that other attorneys play out. I would also ask what kind of cases are they use to handling and how much experiance they really have with cps. Ask for specific examples. They can do that as long as they leave out important information such as names, or what area they are from. If they can't tell you anything, odds are, they don't have the experiance of dealing with that agency.

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katgotsteve
Posts: 219
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:47 am
Location: Georgia

Postby katgotsteve » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:50 am

i have had things explained to me like this.
the first hearing is normally your 72 hour hearing, there is really not a case put on, only cps to say why they need custody or to investigate the family. the hearing often referred to as the ajudicatory hearing, is where the evidence is presented. i will tell you from experience, if you are found guilty (that is the only word i can think of) at this hearing, it is permanent. that means all other hearing following will be just to see if your situation has changed. most judges from what i read err on the side of caution, which in other words they use err on the side of the child. which basically means even though we do not have evidence it is easy to say, it happened and "protect" the child from futher harm. i truly believe that more harm comes from the false sense of protecting than any abuse that may have happened.
the one problem that face with alot of these groups is you could associate yourself with a true abuser and that is just a slap in the face to an organization who really wants change and the person who really is innocent. until caseworkers and system can use common sense we will always be in this situation. i think common sense is the key.

Workingmom
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:05 pm

None Found

Postby Workingmom » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:40 am

The downside to that is that these people, CPS, GAL, or the court system have any common sense. They have a great deal of education, and all these fancy degrees to back it up, but they don't have the common sense required to spot the obvious. Even my kids see what they don't, and they are getting frustrated because they have told them what their father is like, and are being ignored. And everytime I see them, they cry that they want to come home. They tell me that they've told the GAL how there father threatens thems with "say this" and "say that", but "don't say anything about daddy". My ex-husband and cps and the GAL are all just using each other as puppets.


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