By Connie Reguli.
My country, AMERICA, BE VERY ASHAMED!!!!!!!
#TenneseeLastNight Oct. 6, 2020
* Police detained parents for hours with no probable cause and no removal Order on hand; that detainment is Unconstitutional restraint of liberty. This happened to me in my case by city and county officers (in NC).
* Social worker shows up not knowing any details to the case. Same happened to me in NC.
*All government agents saying they are “just doing their job” or “what they were told”, which are grounds for an enabling type of doctrine in Federal civil suits. Same in my case in NC.
* They already investigated the parents for saftey factors, risk factors, exigent circumstances, and min. parent standards for this child and found nothing. They never even bothered to investigate in my case in NC or assess. No substantiation means they still have a Constitutionally-protected bubble of the right to privacy regarding this child. Obviously government agents involved in their case and mine don’t care about the Constitution. Gross negligence claims in civil suits cover the county’s excessive lack of concern in properly educating their SW (cheaper to have uneducated unlicensed ones).
*Without exigent circumstances, you cannot just take a child or something from a person to whom that child or something belongs where CRIME is committed. No crime had been commited, the police were just used as thugs with guns to steal and kidnap a child without a LAWFUL Order for removal. LAWFUL means FACTS – that paper the social worker improperly SERVED to the parents wasn’t factual. You see from the video and pics she never gave the papers to the police to serve? You have to have a PROPER investigation to discern FACTS and a social worker who isn’t taught to lie to CREATE “facts”. There were no exigent circumstances here, like there were none in my case.That would be a 4th Amendment violation. On top of due process littered everywhere in this case. Oh, I wasn’t ever properly served and they lied about who served me in court.
*The ‘endangerment doctrine’ means that if one child IN THE HOME experienced a certain kind of abuse, other children are looked at and assessed if THEY will be endangered by the SAME alleged abuse. If yes, the abuse applies to the other child, RISK and SAFTEY factors must apply in a PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR not single incident for a child to be removed on a “possible abuse in the future”, that parent and child has a right to privacy if the alleged abuse doesn’t apply to the other child(ren). They took this month old baby on improper endangerment doctrine, as they took my daughter on improper endangerment doctrine because my daughter was not school-aged.
Lastly, that SW didn’t know how to properly buckle in an infant in a proper car seat and refused to let the mother do so. Officers refused to help the SW who was making a once calm babe in her mother’s arms begin screaming and crying once separated from her mother.
By Connie Reguli
In 1984, the United States Congress established the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), and, as part of Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013 they receive $40 million to study and track missing and trafficked children in the United States.
In 2017, NCMEC assisted law enforcement with over 27,000 cases of missing children, the majority who were considered endangered runaways.
According to their most recent report complied from FBI data and their own, of the nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC in 2017, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Of those, 88 percent were in the care of social services when they went missing.
Showing the scope of the abuse, in 2017 alone, NCMEC’s CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation, received over 10 million reports. According to NCMEC, most of these tips were related to the following:
- Apparent child sexual abuse images.
- Online enticement, including “sextortion.”
- Child sex trafficking.
- Child sexual molestation.
Other governmental organizations have corroborated this horrifying trend. In a 2013 FBI 70-city nationwide raid, 60 percent of the victims came from foster care or group homes. In 2014, New York authorities estimated that 85 percent of sex trafficking victims were previously in the child welfare system. In 2012, Connecticut police rescued 88 children from sex trafficking; 86 were from the child welfare system.
Equally as disturbing as the fact that most sex trafficked kids come from within the system is the fact that the FBI discovered in a 2014 nationwide raid that many foster children rescued from sex traffickers, including children as young as 11, were never reported missing by child welfare authorities.
Last year, TFTP reported on an example of this lack of reporting out of Topeka, Kansas. In the shocking report, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), which oversees foster care in the state, were found to have lost 70 children after a high profile case of three missing sisters garnered the attention of authorities.
This has to stop.
Published by Free Thought Project JUNE 12, 2018
By Connie Reguli.
The plight in how to maintain your rights as a parent while in prison is real.
States, help families stay together by correcting a consequence of the Adoption and Safe Families Act
Washington governor Inslee signs new Bill.
August 31, 2020
BY Senior Scholar, Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity, Lipscomb University
A Legal Overview Of Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation
04/14/2017 11:12 am ET Updated Apr 14, 2017
If a governmental police department, in contrast to a private security company, was involved in the recently widely reported removal of a passenger from an airplane, there is a possibility, depending upon the specific facts, of a successful Section 1983 lawsuit that would impose liability upon that governmental entity. Police action may extend liability for injuries such as assault and battery to government in addition to private individuals and businesses.
The federal Civil Rights Act of 1871 (yes, 1871), also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, was part of post Civil War legal developments that include the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. This comment briefly provides an incomplete educational overview of litigation under this significant legislation. Always consult an experienced attorney in all civil rights cases.
42 U.S.C. Section 1983:
“Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.”
Dormant Until the 1960s
Very little Section 1983 litigation occurred until the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1961 decision in Monroe v. Pape. This case involved a warrantless breaking into a home by 13 Chicago police officers. While the city of Chicago could not be sued (municipal liability was added in 1978) the police officers could be sued as acting “under the color of state law” even though they were not authorized and may have been forbidden to act. This decision allowed individual governmental employees to be sued for acts that violate the Constitution or statutes.
Meaning of “Person”
The judicial interpretation of “person” under Section 1983 is complex and requires that one seek experienced legal counsel. The following provides only an extremely brief and incomplete overview.
The Supreme Court has decided that a state and state agencies are not “persons” subject to suit under Section 1983. However, municipalities and other local governmental units such as school districts may be sued when official policies are in clear violation of constitutional rights according to the Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Monell v. Department of Social Services.
One cannot sue a state officer under Section 1983 for the typical actions routinely undertaken in an official capacity. For example, denying a driver’s license due to a failing grade on a driving test does not create a Section 1983 case. However, merely being an official does not provide blanket immunity for the violation of an individual’s rights.
A 1971 Supreme Court decision, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, stated that lawsuits could be brought for violations of Fourth Amendment rights even in the absence of a statute that authorizes litigation holding, in essence, for every wrong there is a remedy. The Bivens decision has been interpreted broadly to allow lawsuits for a variety of violations, such as “excessive force,” unless a specific statute clearly provides an alternative remedy or some special factors mitigate against allowing the particular lawsuit.
Purely private persons or businesses not acting under “color of state law” are immune from a Section 1983 lawsuit [Morris v. Dillard’s Department Stores, Fifth Circuit, 2001]. Other state tort (personal injury) legal remedies may exist.
Acting Under “Color of State Law”
The Supreme Court has traditionally indicated that “color of state law” means power “possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with the authority of state law” [West v. Atkins, 1988]. This means that a state employee performing a governmental function, even if exceeding her/his authority, is acting under color of law. Additionally, a non-governmental person or entity may also act under color of law.
Rights “Secured by the Constitution and Laws”
Section 1983 does not create new legal rights. Rather, it is focused on the violation of existing rights. A given situation may involve state laws and state remedies such as tort (personal injury) law. However, most of the Bill of Rights have been held to apply to state and local entities and officials. Violations of rights such as due process, the Fourth Amendment (searches) and Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) are common examples.
Historically public officials are granted either absolute or qualified immunity from lawsuit (can’t be sued) when performing official duties. Examples of absolute immunity involve a limited group of officials such as the President, legislators, or judges carrying out official duties. Qualified immunity is the general rule for individuals such as police officers and other officials unless they violate clearly established Constitutional rights or act in a grossly unreasonable fashion. The Supreme Court has held that Section 1983 does allow immunity defenses with some caveats. Actions taken with “deliberate indifference” may impose liability [Farmer v. Brennan, 1994]. This is a very high standard beyond negligence (recklessness) and involves conscious disregard.
Bottom of Form
There are numerous Section 1983 First Amendment cases in which harassment and inconvenience, alone, do not produce official liability. Would a “person of ordinary firmness” be deterred from speaking or acting by the official’s conduct? [Friedmann v. Corrections Corporation of America, Ninth Circuit, 2001].
Fourth Amendment cases involving police stops and investigations find no violation of Section 1983 if there were “reasonable suspicion” for the initial stop, and the detention was only long enough to carry out the purposes of the stop. Probable cause exists for an arrest if there is a reasonable belief that criminal activity has occurred, even if a subsequent trial results in a not guilty verdict. As the Supreme Court has stated: “The Constitution does not guarantee that only the guilty will be arrested. If it did, Section 1983 would provide a cause of action for every defendant acquitted — indeed, for every suspect released.” [Baker v. McCollan, 1979].
Often off-duty Section 1983 lawsuits involve police officers. Traditional employer liability for an employee’s actions (respondeat superior) will not impose Section 1983 liability on a municipality. Rather, the city must have either an express policy or a well-established custom or common practice that produces a violation of constitutional rights.
Consistently enforced personnel and municipal policies will prevent a claim. For example, a 2016 Fifth Circuit decision involving an off-duty intoxicated Houston police officer who killed an individual involved in a bar fight did not impose liability on the city of Houston since Houston rules prohibited police officers from carrying a firearm while intoxicated [Rodriguez v. City of Houston]. A similar no-municipal-liability decision, with a different factual background, was reached in 2015 by the Seventh Circuit [Rossi v. City of Chicago].
However, off-duty police officers employed as security guards who routinely exercise arrest and booking functions in coordination with business owners and the local police department may impose Section 1983 liability on the municipality [Lusby v. City of Lawton, Tenth Circuit, 1984]. Has the officer acted under an assertion of official status and are the actions in some way connected to this official status, even if exceeding his/her authority? Does a particular local custom rise to level of color of law?
While Section 1983 contains no statute of limitations (time in which a suit must be brought), federal courts tend to apply the personal injury statute of limitations of the state where the action occurred. Also, a plaintiff must possess “standing to sue,” that is a specific concrete actual or imminent injury to himself/herself. One cannot typically seek redress for others. Additionally, the claim must be “ripe.” Is the case one that a court may appropriately decide now rather than await the unfolding of future events? Is the case only hypothetical?
Generally speaking, a successful Section 1983 plaintiff may collect typical state tort compensatory damages such as those for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, reputational injury, etc. Punitive damages are available against individuals (but not municipalities) in cases involving “reckless or callous disregard for the plaintiff’s rights, as well as intentional violations of federal law” [Smith v. Wade, 1983]. Finally, reasonable attorney’s fees and expert witness fees are also available [42 U.S.C. Section 1988]. As a matter of practice, municipalities frequently indemnify their officials and police officers if a financial judgment is rendered against them individually.
A Brief Section 1983 Litigation Checklist
1. Has there been a violation of a Constitutional or statutorily protected right?
2. Is the actor a person that is subject to Section 1983?
3. Did this person act under color of law or local governmental custom or practice?
4. Are the actions complained of connected to the deprivation of rights in a reasonably foreseeable manner (proximate causation)?
5. Are there defenses to liability such as immunity, lack of standing to sue, or a lack of ripeness?
6. Is a monetary judgment collectable from a governmental entity or, in the case of an individual defendant, personal assets or personal insurance policies?
This comment provides a brief and incomplete educational overview of a complex topic and is not intended to provide legal advice. Always consult an experienced attorney in specific situations.
By Connie Reguli. Aug 23 2020
I am moved this Sunday morning to share with you segments of Pastor Johnson’s sermon on the tactics of the devil and the awesome power of Nehemiah.
Read Nehemiah 4 and you will learn of a powerful leader blessed and chosen to strengthen his people in desperate times.
First, you must understand fear. Fear interferes with the building of God’s kingdom. The Bible repeatedly says “fear not” and “fear the Lord” and “fear God”. For if you fail to follow your calling you will NOT receive the blessing. You will live in a state of confusion. Then the warriors in Christ must be gathered wherever they are to take up their shields and do whatever they can do to work on the wall which will shield and protect not just one person but a nation.
Second, you must keep your mind on Christ and know your identity and profess it. To feel the weight of the world of deception and do nothing is a waste of space. You have been promised by the blood of Christ that if two or three of you agree and bring it before God it shall be granted.
Third you must always standard prepared to face the enemy and pray that our leaders are guided by the Holy Spirit to bring redemptive solutions. Much evil is soon to be exposed and it will either drain your spirit or empower you to pick up your shield 🛡 and sword ⚔️ to restore this land. This Nation was created out of an idea 💡 of liberty and freedom. We can only keep our liberty if we are diligent.
Our money says In God We Trust. Our pledge says “one nation under God”. Our first president implored us to seek the will of God and then do it mightily.
In Nehemiah the enemy was disheartened when they realized that building the wall could only have been done with the strength of God Almighty. Now is the time for Nehemiah-leadership in this nation.
By Connie Reguli
So this information just came in on the ABA parent representation listserve.
Dear Parent Advocates:
I’m very excited to report to you that Rep. Gwen Moore, a life-long champion of family-centered child welfare reforms, has just introduced H.R. 7976 in Congress. This bill’s central focus is on suspending the ASFA timeline requiring states to petition for termination of parental rights if a child has been in care for 15 of the most recent 22 months.
Rep. Moore has issued the attached statement in support of the bill. Here is the entry on Congress.Gov:
The text of the bill is attached to this email but we expect the actual bill text with the bill number to be available at this link soon. The release that Rep. Moore’s office just issued is attached below this email.
The following is directed to this listserve specifically. The bill would, if passed, make it clear that states do not have to file petitions for termination of parental rights during times of public health crisis. It does so in two ways: (1) by directly suspending the requirement of filing a petition for termination of parental rights during any public health crisis that has been declared federally or in the state, and (2) expanding the list of “compelling reasons” not to petition for termination to include times of “public health crisis.” The bill also proposes a one-year time frame after public health emergencies are no longer in effect so that parents can resume services and in effect have some opportunity to make up for the terrible effects of the health crisis that set them back. The bill also clarifies that reasonable efforts must continue and defines reasonable efforts more specifically by a variety of alternative methods for providing services during times of public health crisis.
This bill is the result of very hard work by a number of members of this listserve and others who have joined together to make draft proposals and seek out Congressional support. Members of the strategic planning group for this effort include a number of National Alliance for Parent Representation Steering Committee members. The bill has strong bipartisan allies including leadership by A Texas Public Policy Foundation and ParentalRights.org and the Shriver Center who have worked together to bring this issue to the attention of lawmakers. The states that our working group members represent include the following (in the order of the names listed above), Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California. Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia.
Currently, our group is looking for more allies in every state who can help connect us to other groups that may support this bill and identify parents who have compelling stories of why they would need more than 15 months to reunite with their families, especially during times of public help crisis.
We especially are looking for people who help in states where we don’t yet have active representation in our group. We have had a few folks volunteer to be in our new state network from additional states, but if you are from a state that isn’t listed here and have any political connections or connections to groups that you think would be in support of the bill, please contact me and I will let you know of next steps for this network of advocates.
We also view this bill as providing a means of educating members of Congress as to the real-life harm to children and families of too-speedy termination especially in times o COVID. This will help Congressmembers gain a better picture than the media often presents about what the timelines actually mean. The bill is consistent with the guidance we have seen from the Children’s Bureau but it goes further by actually providing in law the clarity that termination of parental rights is not required states will not forfeit federal dollars if they do not petition for TPR.
Thank you Diane Redleaf Co-chair, United Family Advocates Principal, Family Defense Consulting
Member, Steering Committee, National Alliance for Parent Representation Congresswoman Gwen Moore Introduces the Suspend the Timeline Not Parental Rights During a Public Health Crisis Act*
Today, Congresswoman Moore introduced H.R. 7976, legislation to pause the federal timeframe for states to file a petition to terminate parental rights for a child and guarantee that states do not receive federal funding cuts due to this change in policy. In response, she released the following statement:
“COVID-19 has created great uncertainty for many, causing millions to face housing, health, food, and job insecurity. It has also hindered parents from being able to utilize the services now unavailable in the COVID closedown that would normally help them reunify with their children. This unprecedented crisis should not lead to permanent damage to families because of a federal timeline created before this pandemic.”
This bill already has bipartisan backing from numerous advocacy groups across the aisle, who note the importance of preserving children’s family ties:
“Parents who were diligently working services required to provide a safe, stable home for their children suddenly, and through no fault of their own, found themselves unable to access these services due to COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns,” said *Andrew C. Brown, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Child and Family Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation*.
“But the clock continues to run on arbitrary case timelines governing termination of parental rights, robbing them of precious time. A temporary suspension of termination timelines gives these parents a fair opportunity to restore their families and honors their decision to take personal responsibility by doing the hard work necessary to achieve reunification.”
“Children in foster care have a heightened need and clear right to visit their parents. At the start of the pandemic, many child welfare agencies suspended in-person family time for children and their parents and siblings. Before the pandemic, many of these children would have been returned to their families, but agencies have been unable to provide the services needed to facilitate reunification. We should not allow this pandemic to lead to unnecessary permanent termination of parent-child relationships,” *Jey Rajaraman, Chief Counsel, Family Representation Project, Legal Services of New Jersey*.
“We should not allow the unprecedented challenges of this public health situation to take away a family’s chance to reunite. Children deserve the right to be with their families whenever safely possible,” *Chris Gottlieb, Co-Director, NYU School of Law, Family Defense Clinic*.
*Rep. Gwen Moore has long been a leader on child welfare reform. She looks forward to working with her colleagues from both parties to ensure these families are given the opportunity they deserve to safely reunify. COVID has led to an immense amount of uncertainty in the lives of families struggling with poverty. This bill prevents a temporary, though severe, health crisis from causing irrevocable separation of children from their parents and a permanent loss of their vital family times who have lost the opportunities every family deserves.*
Read more information about the legislation *here <https://gwenmoore.house.gov/uploadedfiles/background_information_on_the_suspend_the_timeline_not_parental_rights_during_a_public_health_crisis_act_.pdf>.*
July 26 2020 By Connie Reguli
On July 21, 2020 the Second Circuit court ruled on a case out of New York which attempted to shut down a faith based adoption agency (New Hope Family Services) because they refused to consider same-sex couples. This is a win for faith based adoption agencies.
Last year in Pennsylvania, the state agency refused to send referrals for adoption to Catholic Charities because CC refused to consider same-sex couples. The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear this appeal out of Third Circuit and will likely do so this fall.
NEW YORK & SECOND CIRCUIT
In Second Circuit several civil rights organizations opposed the New Hope adoption agency by filing amici briefs such as the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
On reviews of the arguments, this organization claims that the regulation is First Amendment neutral and does not affect the autonomy of the church. However it claims that to allow the church relief is detrimental to the health and welfare of the LBGTQ population.
This issue is headed to the United States Supreme Court because of a Third Circuit decision out of a court in Pennsylvania.
PENNSYLVANIA AND THIRD CIRCUIT
BPNEWS reported – The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the intersection of religious liberty and same-sex marriage in foster care and adoption during its next term, which begins in October. The justices agreed in February to review a Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the city of Philadelphia did not violate religious freedom by halting referrals to Catholic Social Services because the agency does not place children in the homes of same-sex couples.
The Third Circuit opinion is captioned Fulton Et al v City of Philadelphia Et al. Case No. 18-2574, but is well known as the Catholic Charities case. The court said this:
In layman’s terms, Catholic Charities lost. The state was allowed to refuse placements and referrals to CC due to their exclusion policy.
Over 200 (I stopped counting) persons and organizations of interest filed briefs and participated in the appeal. Several states including Texas, Illinois, Delaware, California, Oregon, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts Washington, and Rhode Island, also participated.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) proposed a federal solution to the problem for faith-based agencies which is a priority in its legislative agenda. It has worked for adoption of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which would bar government discrimination against adoption agencies and other child welfare entities that refuse to take part in serving in a way that contradicts their beliefs.
TENNESSEE LEGISLATES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.
In NASHVILLE (BP) — Tennessee state senators approved legislation Jan. 14 that would prohibit the state from forcing Christian or other faith-based adoption agencies to place children in homes that would “violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”Senate Bill 1304 passed the Senate by a margin of 20-6. Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville was the only Republican voting against the bill, joining the chamber’s five Democrats, according to an article in The Tennessean.
The bill will now go to Gov. Bill Lee for his signature, having passed the house last year by a 67-32 margin.
The bill was opposed by gay rights activist groups and those who felt the bill would have a negative impact on the state’s economy.
Dickerson, in speaking against the legislation, said passage of the bill could cause the state to suffer an adverse financial impact because of “bad public policy,” The Tennessean reported.
According to The Tennessean, eight states across the country have passed similar legislation. The paper also reported it had contacted the governor’s office and received confirmation the governor “would be signing the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.”
WHERE WILL THIS GO?
This ruling by the United States Supreme Court will be precedental. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled on Oberfell v Hodges which found that the states could not prohibit same-sex marriage. It found that the right to marry was a fundamental liberty and the states could not prohibit marriage based on the gender of the couple.
The adoption issue raises another fundamental liberty issue and it is likely that that the LBGTQ community will claim that the right to parent is a fundamental liberty. However there is no fundamental liberty to adopt.
What is disturbing to me is that the rights of children are not represented here. We already have children removed from heterosexual families and placed in LBGTQ homes for foster to adopt. Do the children have a fundamental liberty to not be placed in this unit? What is the next extension? Will the state welfare agencies accept transgenders as fosters?
We are on a slippery slope. Our national laws regarding relations, family, and marriage are complicated and distorted. A century ago sexual deviation was criminal. It was even illegal to live with or marry your paramour if you cheated during your marriage with that person. Now it is common. As a divorce attorney I saw it all the time.
We have much to do as a nation in this area. Pray for wisdom and pray for our country.