CPS Reprimanded in Child Removal Case

THSC-endorsed Judge John Schmude of the 247th Family District Court in Harris County, Texas, issued a ruling that will likely cause Child Protective Services (CPS) in that county—if not statewide—to act more ethically.

CPS Caseworker Lied to the Court

According to Breitbart, on September 2, 2016, CPS removed a child from the home despite no threat to the child’s well being. Judge Schmude found that the caseworker deliberately misled the court to justify the removal and even filed for termination of parental rights after officially finding that there was no threat to the child!

This family was literally saved by the diligence of Judge Schmude and his associate judge, Judge Paula Vlahakos, who discovered the caseworker’s deception in time to prevent the termination of parental rights.

Consequently, Judge Schmude ordered CPS to pay $27,500 in legal fees and required that the CPS staff involved sign an affidavit after they have read both Article 1 of the Texas Constitution and the relevant sections of the Texas Family Code in their entirety.

The order includes nearly three pages of findings reprimanding CPS for lying to the court to justify their illegal actions and stating that CPS had “misled this court in violation of their duty of candor and in violation of the oath they swore to demean themselves honestly.”

A Win for THSC Members and Supporters

Besides the due justice for the family, this is gratifying news for THSC and every supporter who voted to elect Judge Schmude to the 2015-2018 term. Judge Schmude gained THSC’s approval for his strong stance on constitutional rights, as well as a commitment to never legislate from the bench.

In addition to keeping a close eye on the legislative activity in Austin, THSC’s policy team works hard to vet legislative, local and judicial candidates. This CPS case makes clear why it is critical to our freedoms as Texans and homeschoolers to elect officials who value parental and family rights.

Reasons this Ruling Is Important

  1. This case has elements in common with the Tutt Case for which THSC has been advocating since 2013. In November 2013, seven of the Tutt children were illegally removed from their home and placed in foster care when a caseworker lied to the court about her findings and altered her original report about the family to justify the removal. THSC is hopeful that at the resolution of the Tutt case CPS caseworkers are similarly reprimanded.
  2. Secondly, this case will provide a springboard for discussion with legislators as we pursue legislative reform of CPS in the 2017 session of the Texas State Legislature. In January 2017, THSC’s public policy team and the THSC Watchmen will take up residency in Austin throughout the session to fight for home school and parental rights.

2 Ways to Take Action

  1. Stay informed and be prepared to contact your legislators in support of CPS reform legislation by signing up for THSC legislative, advocacy and political updates.
  2. Join with THSC’s efforts to elect pro-family officials like Judge Schmude and prevent tragedies like the Tutt case. Do you support Keeping Texas Families Free?  What can you give today?