Thursday, May 22, 2008

Texas' FLDS Case Upended

Proving that general allegations do not a child abuse case make, the Texas Third District Court of Appeals found in a mandamus proceeding that CPS failed to carry the burden under the Texas Family Code in its removal action concerning the children of members of the Yearning for Zion ranch out in West Texas. Specifically, the Court of Appeals found that CPS failed to demonstrate there was any danger of physical harm to any of the children, that a need for protection justified removal, or that CPS took any "reasonable steps" to avoid removal. In other words, it appears the removal action was based largely on a generalized fear that the children were in danger of abuse as a result of the belief system of their parents and under Texas law, you can't take children away simply because of the religious beliefs of the parents. Basically at this point CPS must either demonstrate in a new round of hearings the factors above as required by state law, or the kids go back to their parents. Since it's hard to imagine that CPS will be able to demonstrate any of these requirements in the overwhelming majority of cases (if any) it's very likely that most, if not all, of the children taken will be back with their parents shortly. As they should be.

As always, Scott Henson has more on the FLDS removal case here.

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