Tag Archives: child abuse and neglect

The role of Guardian ad Litem taking shape:

Family Court Judges and Domestic Relations Commissioners have long used private, independent lawyers to facilitate resolving custodial and timeshare disputes in divorces. These lawyers are appointed by the judge as a Guardian ad Litem who is to, in some manner or another, look out for the children involved. The role of that Guardian ad Litem (or GAL) can be a confusing and ambiguous thing. However, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has issued… Continue reading

Posted in Child custody, child protection, Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce lawyer tactics, Evidence, Family Law, Time-share | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Environmental Neglect of a Child

I finished a five hour long hearing (known as a CAPTA hearing) appealing the finding of neglect by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Protection and Permanency (“Cabinet”). I will not know the outcome of this for at least thirty (30) days and even then the recommendation by the hearing officer will not be final. So, I do not want to comment on this specific case. However, it was an “environmental neglect” investigation that resulted in a finding of neglect and I discovered in the hearing that the investigation worker did not even know the regulatory requirements for…. Continue reading

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The Cabinet for Health & Family Services encounter a limit on their authority

The Cabinet can no longer base a finding of abuse or neglect merely on refusal to sign a plan and parents should not cave to the threat of legal action for mere refusal to sign. Instead, “the risk of harm must be more than a mere theoretical possibility, but an actual and reasonable potential for harm.” Make no mistake: I want parents to be held accountable and for the Cabinet to be able to keep children safe from abuse and neglect, but they cannot have unchecked power and discretion in pursuing their mandates. Parents do have rights in this country. Continue reading

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Stall Tactic – Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Kentucky sets forth the grounds for a court involuntarily terminating parental rights in KRS 625.090. The statute basically gives the essential elements, all of which much be proved by the heightened standard of “clear and convincing” evidence: the child has … Continue reading

Posted in child protection, Family Law | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Accountability by the courts

A decsion rendered by the Kentucky Court of Appeals on May 16, 2008 reveals that the appellate courts are prepared to hold the Cabinet for Health and Family Services accountable in termination of parental rights cases. There are very few … Continue reading

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Systemic apathy and the attorney’s charge

Apathy is the predominate risk with judicial venues where the majority of defendants are guilty of what is alleged against them, such as criminal court or dependency, neglect and abuse court. This systemic apathy leads to the few truly innocent … Continue reading

Posted in child protection, Crime & Punishment, Life & Law, Politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment