Become a Fan
When The State Comes Calling
By Lady By The Lake55
Thursday, August 14, 2003
This is a fiction account of what the State Child Protective Services can do to desecrate the American Family.
It is a nice, sunny day, in Pleasantville, California. The Harris family is just sitting down at their dining room table to eat a simple meal that Marian Harris prepares her family.
Forwarned Is ForeArmed
The Harris family is a typical American family of four. James Harris is an engineer and works a 8 am to 5 pm job at at small but well known firm.
Marian Harris is a stay-at-home mother. This is what James and Marian decided before they even started their family.
James Jr, (JimmyJr as he is known) is a typical 10 year old boy. He likes baseball, football, and playing computer games. He is a nice, quiet, young boy.
Katherine Harris, is the youngest child in the Harris family. She is five years younger than her brother Jimmy Jr. She is in kindegarden. She likes playing with her dolls, going to the zoo and watching t.v. with her family.
There is nothing unusual about the Harris family, but their troubles start when a busy-body neighbor calls
The Pleasantville California Department of Children and Family Services on them.
Ms. Rosa Smyth is a senile old woman. She does not like children in the first place. She does not like noise, the children playing in their own backyard, and so she calls California Department of Children and Family Services on James and Marian Harris.
The Next Morning
Marian is in the kitchen writing down what the family's dinner menu is going to be for the evening. She is sitting at her kitchen table.
A knock comes at the front door, ((knock)) (Knock)) . Marian wonders who that could be so early in the morning hours. So she gets up and walks over to the window and looks out the window to see who is there at the front door.
Standing at the front door is an middle age woman. She is dressed in a nice two piece suit and has a brief case in her hand.
Marian walks over to the door and opens up the door and asks" May I help you?"
"Good Morning, Mrs. Harris. My name is Miss. Davis, I am from the California Department of Children and Family Services. May I come in?" Ms. Davis asks.
"What is this about?"Mrs. Harris asks.
"I am following up on a complaint made on Mr. Harris and you by a concerned citizen that you two are not taking care of your children properly". Ms. Davis tells her.
"Who may that be, may I ask?" Mrs. Harris asks Ms. Davis.
"I am afraid we are not allow to give out that information Mrs. Harris". Ms.Davis tells her.
"Why not, we have done nothing wrong.
The children are in school every day.
They are properly taken care of. We pay our bills on time." Mrs. Harris
Ms. Davis looks around the home. Why is she looking around the home. She is looking around for tell-tale signs of neglect.
"May we please sit down. I just need to ask you a few questions". Ms. Davis asks Mrs. Harris.
"Well I am not sure if I should be answering any more questions at this time". Mrs. Harris states.
Ms. Davis looks at Mrs. Harris weirdly and then she jolts down something in her stenographer note book.
Ms. Davis looks up and asks" What school does Jimmy and Katie attend Mrs.Harris?"
"What do you mean what school do they attend?" Mrs. Harris responds.
"The name of the school?". Ms. Davis asks.
"I don't think that is any of your concern. My children are doing very well in their school." Mrs. Harris states.
Again, Ms. Davis writes down something in her stenographer note book.
Ms Davis writes down that Mrs. Harris is being evasive and vague and uncooperative with the the Department's investigation.
"Well thank you for your time, Mrs. Harris. Do you think Mr. Harris would mind if I call him at his job?" Ms. Davis asks.
"Well, I really don't know. He is working on an important project with a well known client. The company's phone number is in the phone book." Mrs. Harris states.
"Mrs. Harris, one last question. Do any of your neighbors have the right to file a complaint against your husband and you, can you tell me that?"
Ms. Davis asks her.
"No, I don't think so. We pretty much keep to ourselves. The children play in the backyard which is fenched up.
So, no I don't know of any reason why any of our neighbors would file a complaint against us." Mrs. Harris says.
"Thank-you for your time, Mrs. Harris. If I have any further questions, I will be back in contact with you". Ms. Davis says.
Mrs. Harris walks Ms.Davis to the front door, politely opens the door, and see her out. Mrs.Harris watches as Ms. Davis gets into her car and drives away.
Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Harris calls her husband and lets him know what has transpired.
"James Dear, this is Marian. I need to talk to you". she says over the phone.
"Hi Hon, what is matter? you sound upset." James' voice comes through the phone.
"A Ms. Davis from the State Department of Children and family Services came by today. It appears that someone filed a complaint about us not taking care of the children. When I asked who it was, she said she was allowed to give me that information". Marian told her husband over the phone.
"I see, let me call our family attorney and ask him what he can find out this investigation, honey. I will have Mr. Dean call you back as soon as I finish talking to him. ok." James voice comes through the phone.
"Allright dear, but the woman was nosey
and asked me all kind of questions and she was writing down things". Marian told her husband.
"What kind of things, dear?" James asked his wife.
"What school did the children go to?"
for one. Marian stated.
"What did you tell her?" James asked her.
"I told her I did not think that was her concern". Marian told her husband.
"She did ask me if I thought it would be ok for her to call you at work?" Marian let her husband know.
"What did she say?" James asked his wife.
"I told her she could find your firms telephone number in the telephone directory". Marian said to her husband.
"Fine, dear. thanks for letting me know what is going on. I will call Mr. Dean and ask him to look into the matter for us and let us know what is going on as soon as possible". James told his wife.
"Thanks Dear. Well I will let you get back to work. See you tonight." Marian said and the telephone conversation between James and Marian ends.
James picks up the telephone in his office and calls Mr. Dean, the family attorney-at-law.
"Good Morning Mr. Dean's Office, May I help you?" comes the voice over the phone.
"Yes, this is Mr. Harris calling. Is Mr. Dean in please?" James asks.
"Yes, he is , one minute please. I will connect you". the receptionist says.
"Good Morning, Charles Dean here, may I help you?" Mr. Dean states.
"Hi, Charlie, this is James?" James says.
"Hi, Jim, long time no hear. What I can for you?" comes the voice over the other end of the line.
"Charlie, it appears someone in our neighborhood called California Department of Children and Family Services on us. A woman came out and asked Marian a lot of questions but refused to give her the name of the person who made the call in the first place. Can you find out what this is all about for us please?" Jim asks.
"Yes, no problem. What is the California Case-person's name?" Charlie asks Jim.
"A Ms. Davis." Jim responds.
"Fine, what did this Ms. Davis want exactly. Anything specific?" Charles asks James.
"She wanted to know about where the children went to school. All Marian would tell her is that the school is local and close-by." James said.
"Yes, that is good enough." Charles tells James.
"I will make some calls and talk to the woman's supervisior and find out exactly what this is all about. I will get all the information from the Department. Let me tell you, I have dealt with them before, and we are in for the fight of our lives." Charles states.
"Why, Charles. We have done nothing.
The children are well taken care of.
Marian is a stay at home mom, the children are always supervised. The children are always clean, and have everything they need". James states.
"Yes, I know that. But my dealing with them is that they are unreasonable." Charles states.
"Don't talk to anyone about what is going on. Sit your children down tonight and tell them not to talk to anyone at their school about this.
Don't tell any of their friends about this until I find out exactly whom filed the complaint against you two."
Charles tells James over the phone.
"Will do Charles. Thanks for the help as always." James says politely.
"Your welcome. I am only getting paid for what I am suppose to do". Charles responds.
The phone conversation ends between Charles and James.
Later That Evening
It is 6:30 pm later that evening. The Harris family sits down in the dining room to eat their dinner.
James looks up and starts to talk to the family " Jimmy and Katie, your mom and I need to talk to you. Katie, I know you are a little young to understand this, but Jimmy, you are not. So please give me your complete attention". James asks his children.
Jimmy and Katie put down their forks and looks up intentively towards their dad who is speaking to them.
"Jimmy and Katie, has any one come around your school asking to talk to you?" James asks his children.
"Like who, daddy?" Jimmy asks his dad.
"Any one from the State Department of Children and Family Services. Has any one called you out of your school class to talk to you?" James asks Jimmy.
"No, why?" Jimmy asks.
"How about you Kitten?" James asks his daughter Katie.
"No, I don't think so daddy". Katie replies back.
"Good, Good, now listen children, do not talk to anyone who comes and takes you out of your school classes. If anyone does, you tell them that you are not to talk to them and you tell them our family attorney is Mr. Charles Dean, do you understand?" James asks his children.
"Yes, daddy. we understand." the children tell their daddy.
"Furthermore, do not talk to any of your friends, their parents, or whatever is going on within our family. What goes on in our family stays within these walls. Understand".
James tells his children.
"Yes, sure daddy, but what is going on?" Jimmy persue it.
"Jimmy and Katie, a State Child Protective Service worker by the name of Ms. Davis was out here earlier this morning. She was asking your mom all kind of questions and jotting down all kinds of notes in her notebook.
I have made a call to our family attorney and he is investigating the matter. Until we find out more, you are not to talk to anyone about what is going on inside of our family."
James tells his children.
"Ok, daddy. we promise and we will not talk to anyone if they come up to us.
We will tell them we are not to talk to strangers." Jimmy says to his dad.
"Good Boy, you do the same Kitten". James tells his daughter.
The Harris continues to eat their family dinner together and chats away merrily about the rest of their day.
Lesson one: Parents are guilty until proven innocent in a Child Abuse/Neglect Allegations. What you say will be held against you in a court of law.
Lesson two: Shut up and shut up now.
Don't say anything to a CPS worker. They will twist every word you say to them and use it against you.
Lesson three: Do not talk to any CPS workers that comes to your door. If they ask to see your children. Let them see your children through a window.
Lesson four: Ask them if they have a warrant to enter your home. If not they are violating your due process of law. You have constitutional guaranteed rights . Use Them and Enforce them.
Lesson five: Learn and know your miranda warning! Learn and know your rights, are you don't have any!
lesson six: Talk to your children. Let them know what will happen if they talk to anyone about what is going on within your family home. Tell them what goes on in the family home stays in the family home.
Don't Let CPS get a hold of your children. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Once they get a hold of your children. They can and will build a case against you.
Teach your children not to talk to strangers even if the person introduces him/herself to your child.
That person is still a stranger.
Three Days Later
It is three days later. Marian is busying herself around the house cleaning up and later on preparing what to make for her families dinner that evening.
A knock at the door comes ((knock)) ((knock)).
Marian wonders who could that be at 10:00 AM in the morning. She walks across the room and looks out through the window.
She sees Ms. Davis once again. She walks over to the door and opens the door and peers out the screen this time and asks "What can I do to help you this time, Ms. Davis?" without asking her to come in.
"Good Morning Mrs. Harris. I see you remember me?" Ms. Davis responds.
"Yes, indeed I do. now what can I do for you". Marian asks.
"Mrs. Harris, are the children here?" Ms. Davis asks Mrs. Harris.
"Heavens no, they are at school. It is after all a school day for both of them". Marian tells her.
"I see, I thought maybe they would be home from school". Ms.Davis says.
"What, not at 10:00 AM in the morning?" Mrs. Harris tells her.
"May I come in please, Mrs. Harris?"
Ms. Davis asks.
"Do you have a search warrant, Ms. Davis?" Mrs. Harris asks her.
"No, I don't. why?" Ms. Davis asks her.
"Because our family attorney, Mr.Charles Dean, has advised us not to talk to you any further. You may call him at his office downtown. If you have any questions you need to ask about our family. Call him please."
Marian tells her.
"May I have his telephone number?" Ms.Davis asks her.
"But, of course. Here is his card." Marian hands the business card to Ms. Davis.
"Thank-you, Mrs. Harris." Ms Davis says and she wishes her a good day and she walks away with a defeatist attitude on her face.
Ms. Davis did not accomplish a thing that day by going to see Mrs. Harris.
Mrs. Harris watches Ms. Davis get into her car and drive out of her parking place and out of her neighborhood. She closes the door and feels a little better now that Ms. Davis is long gone.
One hour later, Ms. Davis arrives back at the State Office for Children and Family Services and walks into her office.
Mr. Stanley walks into her office and
says," Any new information on the Harris Family, Ms. Davis?"
"No Sir, I am afraid not. I went out for a second visit. However, Mrs. Harris refused to talk to me and she handled me their family attorney. Any more inquiries must be made to his office and to talk to him." Ms. Davis told her supervisor.
"I see, what is the name of their attorney?" He asks her.
"Charles Dean." Comes the answer.
"Oh, I see. Old Ironside Dean, huh?" Mr. Stanley tells her.
"Oh you know of him, do you, Sir?" Ms. Davis asks her supervisor.
"Yes, he knows our rules and procedure well". Mr. Stanley tells her.
"Ms. Davis, who filed the complaint against The Harris'" he askes her.
"A next door neighbor. An elderly woman who apparently does not like children". Ms.Davis tells Mr. Stanley.
"I see, well, we have no further reason to investigate this complaint.
If we take this to court, and all. We will not win it. The Harris' are nice, quiet people. Stable people.
Mr. Harris works at a well known firm. Mrs. Harris is a stay at home mom. The children have constant adult supervision. The children have never missed a day of school. Everytime the children stay home sick . They have a doctor's excuse to get back into school.
According to the principal at the children's school. Little Jimmy is an excellent student and Katherine is adored. They are always clean and properly dressed. Have all their shots.
We have no further reason to investigate this matter. Close it up.
Please write the Harris and inform them that we are closing out their case and we see no reason more to investigate this matter.
Do you understand, Ms. Davis."
Mr. Stanley asks her
"Yes, Sir, I will write the letter immediately. I will also send a letter to their attorney as you requested."
Ms. Davis lets him know.
"Thank-you, Ms. Davis." Mr. Stanley says and walks out of her office.
Two Days Later
Marian Harris walks out to the family mail box. The family mail box is a cute little red house. She opens up the mail box and takes out the mail and starts to surf through the mail.
She comes across a letter address to James and herself and opens up the letter.
Dear Mr and Mrs. Harris:
This letter is to let you know that The California Department of Children and Family Services has completed their investigation on the complaint filed on the behalf of a concerned citizen.
We have found nothing further to investigate on your family. Furthermore, we find that your husband,James and yourself are not abusive or neglectful towards your children, James Junior and Catherine.
We are sorry to have caused you any trouble.
We are closing out your case. Thank you for your cooperation in this investigation.
We are sending a copy of this letter to your family attorney, Mr. Charles. Dean, as well.
Marian rushes back into the family home and calls her husband, James at once.
"Hi, Honey, good news. California Department of Children and Family Services is no longer going to investigation us. They have closed out our case and they sent a copy of the letter to Mr. Dean." Marian tells her husband.
"What a relief. Charlie told me that DCFS were relentless in their pursuit for going after families for no reason." James told his wife, Marian.
"Whatever for?" Marian asks her husband.
"Charlie, would not say. It has to do about money in the state coffers". James tells his wife.
"I am glad to be rid of them". Marian tells her husband over the phone.
"I wonder who their next victim will be. I sure do feel for the next family. I hope it is no one we know. Well honey, I will let you get back to your job. See you tonight." Marian tells her husband.
"Honey, what is for dinner tonight?" He asks his wife.
"Pot roast, potatoes, and sweet corn."
Marian tells her husband.
"Ah, all our favorites. See you tonight honey. Bye now." James said and the telephone call ends.
This story has a happy ending. Most do not. Most Child Welfare cases go on indefinitely.
Site: The Truth Is Out There
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|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|glad this story has a happy ending; but so many children are not that fortunate. god bless and protect our children! good write that makes one think; thanks for sharing! :( (((HUGS))) and love, your texas friend, karen lynn.|