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May-03-2008 00:27TweetFollow @OregonNews
Expose: DHS-CPD, Part IVGuest Opinion by Jenifer Saroian for Salem-News.com
Taking the state agency to task for shortfalls in management and a host of other problems that all too often never see the light of day.
(SALEM., Ore.) - In my last three guest pieces, I touched on several ways in which DHS-CPD, and their affiliates, have violated State and Federal laws. Following is a partial list of these violations:
* Failure to adequately investigate allegations that initially bring a family to the attention of DHS.
* Failure to divulge the identity of the person(s) making the allegations, or to look more closely at those who report issues of child neglect or endangerment to determine both motive and credibility or those doing the reporting (often anonymously).
* Requiring a parent who has come under CPS supervision to attend classes, counseling, submit to regular urinalysis, and jump through a series of senseless, unwarranted, hoops, not even related to the original allegations.
* Reporting to the judge that a client, with a perfect compliance record with all DHS demands, has missed meetings, or mandatory urinalysis. Blatant, arrogant lies…that, when caught in the act by the judge, are disguised as “mistake due to workload”.
* Postponing court hearings repeatedly, for months on end for no other reason than to keep the child in custody while gaining more time to "build" a case that does not currently exist.
* Ignoring existing client medical information, and bringing in their own "professionals", who are on the DHS payroll, so have a stake in supporting the DHS agenda 100% of the time.
* Mandating a client to counseling, then ignoring, or covering up the counselors positive reports (it gets lost, or somehow becomes immaterial).
This list goes on and on, and these are only a few of the more well-known practices of DHS-CPS workers.
However, it is one of DHS’s affiliate groups that I will further focus on here:
DHS-CPS COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEYS
In most cases, DHS-CPS will appoint an attorney for a new client. If the client is thinking of "outside representation", the agency procedure is to inform such independents that they, "shouldn’t waste their money, as the agency has 'Family Law Specialists' at their disposal, at no cost to the client".
Unfortunately, these DHS appointed attorneys rarely have any interest in actually helping the clients they were appointed to represent.
In fact, these "Family Law Specialists" routinely ignore their clients wishes regarding the handling of case specifics. They blow off reports of civil rights violations, allow excessive court delays without reason, and even allow judgments to be rendered when their client is not present. They lie and withhold legal information from their clients about;
Parental rights, court procedure, discovery (evidence the State intends to use against their clients in court). They fail to present positive evidence and character witnesses, and generally lull their clients into a false sense of security, then act surprised and blindsided when all goes as planned in court.
I find this most despicable. Lawyers are not well-known for their honesty or integrity, but these barristers are the epitome of the Biblical term, “Judas Goat”.
After carefully reviewing allegations of "inadequate representation" and "unethical legal practices" against three different DHS-CPS appointed attorneys (four, if I include my own), it is clear that all of these cases of "inadequate representation" meet the criteria for filing formal grievances with the Oregon State Bar Association.
The DHS "lawyer pool" is small enough that it would be quite possible for some of them to have multiple grievances with the Oregon State Bar Association (OSBA). Three of four of these filings against a DHS attorney, at the very least, would guarantee scrutiny by the OSBA.
Those of you already on my mailing list will receive copies of the OSBA Grievance Forms along with this month’s newsletter. If you are not on my mailing list, and would like to be, my email is included below. If you need anonymity, you can go to the OSBA website, and fill out the form they have there. If you just want to sit crying, and continue to do nothing, then we can not help each other…BUT, if you want understanding, support, and change…email me, because I need your help.
NUMBERS + SOLIDARITY + ACTION = CHANGE
Here are Jenifer's previous reports in this series published on Salem-News.com:
Jenifer Saroian thinks that when we see something we believe to be dangerously toxic growing and flourishing in our society, it is our moral responsibility to try to do something. We wouldn't let a stranger step on a downed power line if we knew it was there...this isn't any different. It's about pointing out a problem, examining it, and finding a solution. The issue with DHS has been of growing concern to Jenifer for years, but recently, shes says she has come to feel that it's her personal and social responsibility to speak for the people who can't speak for themselves on this issue.
Jenifer says "been there, done that" when it comes to her background. She has spent time working as a hairdresser, shop owner, landscaper, apartment manager, bar tender, state employee, and even has a little legal experience.
She says she is looking for an up and coming attorney, who has the brass to take on a State Agency on contingency. You can email Jenifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
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