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Court of Appeals Hands Devastating Blow to Arlington Department of Human Services

1 Apr

In a decision of March 18, 2014, the Court of Appeals rejected the Department of Human Services attempt to terminate the parental rights of Carlos Mendoza.   The case is Dung Thi Thach v. Arlington Cnty. Dep’t of Human Servs. (Va. App., 2014).     The Arlington DHS did their typical attempt to terminate a parent’s rights as if the burden were on the parent to show why they should not be terminated.    Specifically, the Arlington DHS view that a child is better off in foster care than with their parents, was outrightly rejected.   The Court of Appeals said:

The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that “‘[w]hile it may be occasionally necessary to sever the legal relationship between parent and child, those circumstances are rare.'” Tackett, 62 Va. App. at 320, 746 S.E.2d at 521 (quoting Lowe v. Dep’t of Pub. Welfare, 231 Va. 277, 280, 343 S.E.2d 70, 72 (1986)). “‘Statutes terminating the legal relationship between parent and child should be interpreted consistently with the governmental objective of preserving, when possible, the parent-child relationship.'” Id. While circuit court judges are vested with considerable deference in determining a child’s best interest, “[i]t is clear that the Constitution requires more than a mere showing of the child’s best interest to terminate parental rights.” Copeland v. Todd, 282 Va. 183, 199, 715 S.E.2d 11, 20 (2011). “‘The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody and management of their children does not evaporate simply because they have not been model parents or have lost temporary custody . . . to the State.'” Crawley, 47 Va. App. at 581, 625 S.E.2d at 674 (quoting Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753 (1982)). “If there is ‘reason to believe that positive, nurturing parent-child relationships exist, the [state’s] parens patriae interest favors preservation, not severance, of natural familial bonds.'” Id. (quoting Santosky, 455 U.S. at 766-67). Thus, the circuit court could not terminate Mendoza’s rights because it felt that J.M’s foster parents could provide more stability than Mendoza. See Copeland, 282 Va. at 199, 715 S.E.2d at 19-20 (the state cannot “‘infringe on the fundamental right of parents . . . simply because a state judge believes a better decision could be made'” (quoting Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57, 72-73 (2000))).

Representing the Arlington DHS in this devastating loss was Jason McCandless.    The attorney representing Mendoza was Mark S. Thrash; G. Rex Flynn, Jr.; The Flynn Law Firm, PLLC.   Congratulation to both Mr. Thrash and his client, Mr  Mendoza.   Kudos to the Court of Appeals for getting this one right.

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DOJ/FBI Renews Its Call for Leads on Public Corruption in Northern Virginia

19 Feb

Coverup of Foster Child Being Beaten As all who are familiar with the family courts and Arlington Department of Human Services are familiar how corruption exists and it is ruining the lives of families and their children in places like Arlington, Virginia.   You know who these corrupt actors are, and the FBI division of the Department of Justice wants to know.    Yesterday, the DOJ/FBI put a call out for information on this pervasive corruption.

Northern Virginia Public Corruption Hotline at 703-686-6225 and e-mail at NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov.

Below is the text of the press release the DOJ/FBI released yesterday.   If you speak up they will listen.   So, please do make the effort to heed their call, and let them know about your experiences and/or those of others, with the corruption on Northern Virginia.   Let’s clean up corruption in Arlington now!

FBI Announces Campaign to Seek Public Assistance Identifying Acts of Public Corruption 

FBI Washington
February 18, 2014  

Public Information Office (202) 278-3519

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Washington Field Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying public corruption in Northern Virginia. As the FBI’s number one criminal investigative priority, public corruption occurs when a public official, at any level of government—local, state, or federal—does any official act in exchange for money or other free goods or services for private gain. Public corruption could also include public employees who take something of value for their own personal gain, thereby violating the public’s trust. Public corruption hits at the heart of what a government is supposed to do—serve its people.

Listen: Public Service Announcement
Download | Transcript   

Public corruption is often the result of agreements made in whispered conversations and sealed with quick handshakes. The secretive nature of the crime makes it difficult to detect without the assistance of concerned citizens. Many of the FBI’s investigations into public corruption begin with a tip from someone who encounters corruption. Therefore, the public’s willingness to come forward and report abuse of public office is essential to the FBI’s investigations. The FBI’s Washington Field Office has a dedicated squad of agents that investigate allegations of public corruption in Northern Virginia. To help identify potential criminal activity, the Washington Field Office has set up a Northern Virginia Public Corruption Hotline at 703-686-6225 and e-mail at NOVAPC@ic.fbi.gov.

While the vast majority of public officials are honest in their work and committed to serving their fellow citizens, unfortunately, a small percentage of public officials abuse their offices and the positions that they were sworn to uphold. Examples of corruption, where bribery and/or kickbacks occur in exchange for official action, could include public corruption committed by:

  • Government officials such as DMV employees; city inspectors; taxing or zoning assessors or other regulatory agency employees; or even town councils or mayors;
  • Contracting officials at all levels, including those who manage government contracts or regulatory permits; or school resource officers who manage school accounts;
  • Local officials colluding with real estate investors to rig the bidding process at foreclosure auctions;
  • A person representing the judicial branch—a judge, member of the jury or court personnel;
  • A person representing law enforcement who steals drugs from criminals, embezzles government funds, falsifies records, or smuggles contraband.
   
  Related podcast

Two recent examples of public corruption investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which includes jurisdiction over Northern Virginia, are a DMV employee and two others who pled guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for DMV documents for illegal aliens who were otherwise not eligible; and a chief of a volunteer fire department who pled guilty to theft from a program that received federal funds. Such examples of public corruption erode the public’s confidence and undermine the strength of our government.

Click here to read the original press release on the DOJ Website

Another Confession About Abuse by CPS by a Former CPS Worker

18 Feb

Here is an excellent video by a former CPS worker.   He has many tips for trying to defend yourself against the arbitrary and corrupt practices of Child Protective Services, like those practiced by Arlington Department of Human Services.

Read more at: Former CPS Worker Video

Also see:

Judge Wiggins: Anti-Mother Again

30 Oct
Arlington County Sheriff

Arlington County Sheriff (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

Ms. Hernandez made a serious and fatal mistake.  She left her son, Nathan, in his car seat for six hours while she was at work at the Catholic Diocese in July, on a day when the high temperature reached 90 degrees. She intended to drop the boy off at day care and didn’t realize the baby was in the car until she went to pick up another child.

Judge Wiggins, who has demonstrated herself to be less than understanding of maternal instinct and generally shown herself to be antimother in many cases over the last decade, has allowed the prosecution of this poor mother to go forward and be presented to a grand jury.  Inept Arlington Judge Esther Wiggins improbably found probable cause Monday to continue with a charge of felony neglect against 32-year-old Zoraida Magali Conde Hernandez.

Ashlie After Brutal Beating

Ashlie After Brutal Beating

The irony is that this obvious mistake by this poor mother, whose loss of her child has caused her to suffer enough, is going before a grand jury, but Judge Wiggins said nothing about the failure to prosecute the Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy who beat and tasered 11 year old Ashlie Mae O’Brien in the public hallway outside of her office door on December 7, 2011.

Double standard — prosecute the poor mother, while letting the criminal Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy go free.   Did you expect any better from the corrupt Arlington County Family Court?  Nah!