I saw this letter and I think everyone should think about their innocents. Try to fight with what you can.
If I were to write a letter to an attorney in a new CPS case, it might go something like this:
You have been appointed to represent me as an attorney in the county juvenile court. Be on my side; I need your help. I am fighting for the release of my three children from state custody. I am innocent of any wrongdoing. The caseworker made assumptions about me that are false. My children need to be at home with me, for their well-being – mentally, emotionally, and physically.
While you are my attorney, please keep in mind that you are working for me, not for the county that pays you. As my attorney I expect you to give me the best legal representation available. I therefore request face-to-face meetings with you at least once monthly to make sure you are actively working on my case, and not letting it slide between the cracks.
I understand that many court-appointed attorneys tend to simply guide parents through the juvenile court system, advising them to plead guilty to charges to make things easier for everyone else in the courtroom. This is not the kind of representation I’m requesting. I’m asking you to be actively involved in proving my innocence.
I’m hereby asking that you take my case to trial and make the caseworker prove all charges. Since they are false charges, I think it would be in my best interest, and the best interest of my children, if I were to fight to prove my innocence with a full trial. Do not under any circumstances ask me to plead guilty to false charges against me.
As you know, parents involved in CPS cases have to complete a ’service plan’ yet many do so and still do not get their children returned. I would like to avoid doing any kind of ’services’ and request that you refuse all services, and/or force the caseworkers to prove the need for any services requested. I do not want to be in the position of many parents in these cases forced to have psychological evaluations when there is no evidence of mental illness, or forced to do drug testing when there’s no evidence of drug abuse. Please honor my request, protect my best interests, and see that my time is not wasted by unnecessary court-ordered ’services’. Of course they would also be a waste of taxpayer money. Do everything you can to resist these services in my case. As you are my attorney I’m trusting you to fight these issues individually and fiercely.
I expect you to be 100% aware of what is happening with my case at all times, and to inform me immediately of any changes.
I expect you to obtain and share with me a complete copy of the case file including all case narratives.
I expect you to help me compile substantial evidence to prove my innocence in this case by preponderance of the evidence.
I expect you to produce legal paperwork including a complete response to all caseworker reports, declarations supporting my side of the case, and other documents as needed, and to present those documents to the judge or juvenile court referee who hears our case.
I expect you to do everything you can to prevent my name from being included on the central index, blacklisting people from working with children. I am innocent and my name should not be included on that list.
Please respond to my requests in writing within ten days; I will need your written response for my records in this case.
Name of Client