Legal custody issues

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Legal custody issues

Postby Marina » Sun Jun 01, 2008 7:22 pm

. ... local8.txt

Woman blames CPS for standoff

By JIM SECKLER/The Daily News

Friday, May 30, 2008 1:07 AM CDT

MOHAVE VALLEY - A Mohave Valley woman is angry at the state Child Protective Services for making a tense domestic situation even worse.

The incident began May 3 when Jennifer Ann Vera, 31, also known as Jennifer Simmons, accompanied by two others, allegedly broke into Andrea Smith's home to take back her five children who had been temporarily staying at the home.

Vera is charged with felony endangerment, criminal trespassing and two counts of aggravated assault. Her next court hearing is set for June 5. She faces up to two years in prison if convicted of each of the four counts. She is currently being held in county jail on a $2,500 bond.

Smith said Child Protective Services failed to issue a delegation of power to her in the process of removing the five children. Smith was the one who picked up the children from a school bus stop April 29 after speaking to the children's grandparents. Smith believed the children's grandmother had legal custody of the children who lived with the grandparents.

The grandfather was involved in an accident April 28 and taken to a Las Vegas hospital leaving the children home alone. CPS interviewed Smith May 2 and promised to send the paperwork to allow the children to stay with Smith. Vera has legal custody, otherwise her May 3 charges would have been kidnapping, Smith said.

“They dropped the ball,” Smith said of CPS. “The whole thing could have been avoided if they faxed over the delegation of power. They put us in a deadly situation.”

According to the CPS, a child can be removed from a home for up to 72 hours. A child must return home or else a dependency petition is filed in juvenile court, which Smith has filed. Children can be removed for a longer time and placed in a temporary home after an investigation.

Vera, accompanied by a codefendant, allegedly broke into Smith's home and took two of her children, a 6-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl and allegedly assaulted a third child as well as Smith's 26-year-old daughter. A third accomplice stayed in the car in the driveway.

Smith said she shot at Vera with a shotgun after Vera stood over Smith's daughter hitting her but the gun jammed. She also fired a shot over the head of Vera's accomplice who stood in the doorway but did not enter the home. The county attorney's office did not file charges against the two accomplices.

“The only reason she's alive is the gun jammed,” Smith said of Vera.

Vera and her accomplices fled with the two children in a white Toyota that was later found abandoned while the Mohave County Sheriff's Office issued an Amber Alert. The next day, deputies found Vera, her codefendant and the two children at a residence in the 10500 block of Zinc Lane. The children were not hurt.

Smith filed the dependency petition before Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss that will be heard July 16 on the custody of the five children. If the children are not placed together in a safe and secure home, Smith, who runs an equestrian center in Mohave Valley for disabled children, said she would be willing to take the children.

“Things need to be done to protect the children,” Smith said. “I feel there is an open season on children. These children are falling through the cracks.”


Posts: 5496
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:06 pm

Postby Marina » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:35 am

Rowan Count DSS Looking For 9-Month-Old Boy
Posted: 12:28 pm EST March 5, 2009

SALISBURY, N.C. -- The Rowan County Department of Social Services is asking for the public’s help to find a 9-month-old boy.

DSS has legal custody of William Perry Jr. As part of an agreement, the child's mother takes care of him while DSS monitors their situation.

Officials don't know where the child or his mother is, but they don't think he's in any danger.


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