Kalamazoo, MI asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Family Law, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Michigan

Q: CPS used threats for compliance. There is proof, how can that help an appeal of termination of parental rights?

Cps threatened to have kids removed, foster care worker lied, refused services, added heresay statements on record, denied parent access to children for medical, dental, and school appointments

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: For the uninitiated, you will find "threats" mean something different in the legal world. When CPS (or police, prosecutor, attorney) says "if you don't do this, I'll do that"...and the "that" is something lawful - meaning under the law, they, or a judge, can do it...it's not a threat. Your choice is to comply or hope they don't / can't carry out what they are telling you they will.

Termination of parental rights cases are different than a criminal proceeding, and have different burdens of proofs and evidence rules. What you think is hearsay is often admissible in CPS cases.

There's a fine line between a lie and a difference in opinion...Yes, foster care workers, police, etc., have been known to lie. But it's more often the case that you are describing the same event differently, and so it comes down to a matter of credibility, which in most cases, a foster care worker is going to win.

How will any of this affect an appeal? An appeal is based on the entire record, most importantly what's presented at trial. It's impossible to say how successful an appeal will be without a thorough review of the entire record. But other than perhaps refusal of services, none of what you describe will necessarily mean you will succeed on appeal even if true.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.