Posts Tagged visitation

Addiction Stronger Than Motherhood

By Attorney David Engler

Custody disputes take place in Juvenile Court, if the families are not married or Domestic Court, if the family is in the process of a divorce or have divorced previously.

Custody disputes take place in Juvenile Court, if the families are not married or Domestic Court, if the family is in the process of a divorce or have divorced previously.

Clearly having an agreement about how a couple will jointly parent the child or children is the best result.  But if there is no agreement, often accusations will fly.

And I warn all clients to be aware that the court might order a drug screen at any given time.  The courts will almost always take the child or children from the parent on illegal drugs and give custody to the parent who is not hooked.  Sometimes it is hard to find anyone not taking pain pills without a prescription. In one case both parents and a grandparent were dirty. In Ohio for the first time overdoses of drugs has overtaken auto accidents as the leading cause of accidental death.

In one case the mother was asked by the Magistrate to give a urine screen and she said she couldn’t because she had a yeast infection.  Everyone found that to be disgusting and a weak excuse.  Recently a nice looking young mother was asked to take a screen and at first she agreed.  Then after 15 minutes she comes back and said she had just pee’d before court.  The Court told her to drink some water. 30 minutes later still no urine.  I really didn’t need to see a drug test. She had all the signs.  Empty pill bottles without prescriptions.  Selling things from her house.  Unable to keep a schedule.  A doctor at an ER saying no narcotics for you after she came with a complaint of a tooth ache.  (I was thinking good for the doctor who checked the database from his Akron offices and saw she had filled 21 prescriptions for pain meds in the last two years.)

So she only sees her child if supervised.  That is the overwhelming power of the pain pill epidemic. This scourge does not see race, sex or income.  It is even more powerful than a mother’s natural instinct to care for her child. 

People can recover and get their children back.  But the road is very difficult and those who are nearest to the addict must not be fooled.  We the parents, or friend or guardian must dispense very tough love. Get help; call 211. You will find a counselor, clinic or N.A. Group.  It is a persistent enemy.  For some it is stronger than motherhood.

 

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

Also published on eGuardianship.com http://eguardianship.wordpress.com// and on Attorney David Engler’s Blog  http://davidengler.wordpress.com//

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The (lack of a sincere) Apology

By Attorney David Engler

The CSB worker that I agreed not to prosecute gave me the old no apology, apology. It’s where you tell the offended party that you are sorry if they were so stupid that you took their threatening words as a threat. That since you are so stupid, then I am sorry you took my warning to “stay out of Trumbull ” as something other than a nicety we people use around here. And I am so sorry if you or someone might have been alarmed that I used ugly language that would make my mother’s hair curl to tell you I would attempt to ruin your business…but if you should happen to have such thin skin then I’m sorry.

Try using one of these lines on your wife. Boom to the moon!

(Here is a link to an article that describes the pathology of the faux apology.
http://lightshouse.org/lights-blog/false-apology-fake-apology-fauxpology )

It is this total lack of remorse in their every ill-advised actions that make me pursue this agency, seeking justice for the murdered and abused children. If Trumbull County’s CSB openly recognized their mistakes, and were making a sincere effort to correct them, one could give them the benefit-of-the-doubt. But in fact, they are not sincerely trying to make good, they are simply scrambling to take any actions which will make the spotlight on their operations go away.

Let’s not allow them to do that, for the good of our region and the good of our children let’s keep the spotlight where it belongs, on the children Trumbull County CSB has had in their custody who have been abused and murdered.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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Attorney Engler asks Governor to have State take over Trumbull Children Services Bureau

Today’s Vindicator newspaper carries more on this ongoing tragedy:
Attorney Engler asks Governor to have State take over Trumbull Children Services Bureau

Considering the State’s finding that Trumbull CSB went back and filed visitation forms AFTER the alleged rape of an infant, all the way back to October 2010, it now is clear they should be no longer be the custodian of the victimized infant.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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Trumbull Rape Case: Letter to Governor: State must takeover Trumbull CSB!

This letter was sent to Governor Kasich by Attorney David Engler requesting that the Governor become involved and take action in the case where Trumbull County Children Services Bureau failed to provide adequate supervision with the result being an infant was raped in their offices. The State’s investigation has shown that Trumbull County Children Services Bureau actually went all the way back to October 2010 in filling out visitation forms AFTER the rape of the infant, forms which are designed to be completed at the times of visitation, not months/years later! For many people this seems like tampering with evidence or worse.

By Attorney David Engler

Honorable Governor Kasich:

Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania recently said of the Penn State sex abuse scandal that: “When it comes to the safety of our children there can be no margin for error. There can be no hesitancy to act.” These words carry meaning to the scandal in Trumbull County, Ohio where an infant was sexually molested by her own parents during a “supervised” visitation at Children Services’ own offices during this past summer. The sex act was filmed by the father. It is alleged to be around 6 to 7 minutes long. I represent the maternal grandmother who upon discovering the evidence on September 28, 2011 immediately went to the police even though her own daughter was involved. The Governor of Pennsylvania forced the termination of a legendary coach and the University President. Others were either fired or resigned. He did this 5 days from the release of the indictment. In Trumbull County it has been 8 weeks and all the CSB workers are still on the job. After much pressing, the County Prosecutor referred the criminal investigation to BCI. But no one asked those directly involved to stay away from the crime scene or limit their access to records.

Your Department of Job and Family Services issued a report released in part on November 16th, signed by Jennifer Justice, Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Families and Children. I had warned shortly after the crime was discovered that the employees be removed less they have access to records that could cover up the potential crime of child endangering. Make no mistake that in this case there is a Jerry Sandusky. The parents have allegedly committed this horrific crime. And like Penn State, there is an institution that would like this matter to go away. TCCSB literally entered the visitation log records in October 2011 ( after learning of the crime) going back to November 2010. This was a finding of the review. The federal government requires records of the visitation to be contemporaneous. TCCSB back filled after they were notified of the crime. So there was no accurate time stamping of the records regarding the date the molestation took place. This is a violation of Ohio Administrative Code and Federal Law. 42 USC 674(a)(3)(C) There were no cameras in the room. There was no case worker present. No reasonable child placement agency would define this as supervised.

Please understand that CSB knew before this event that the father was a sex offender and that the mother would do whatever any man asked her to do. TCCSB had handled the previous cases. Yet CSB believes that the abuse was unforeseeable. 90% of all abuse upon children is caused by relatives or people known to the child. It was completely foreseeable. What is unforeseeable is that a children service agency licensed by the State would either allow this visitation or not actually understand what the word supervised visitation means.

The Director of CSB believes your State’s report is an exoneration. It is a remarkable spin that is sickening. Unfortunately an employee of ODJFS referred to the sexual molestation of a 13 month old little girl as “a slip-up”. I would like to see him explain that to the little girl when she gets older. ODJFS seeks only an anemic action plan. Please Governor, ask for your department to strip away the bureaucratic nonsense language and ask why an agency that phonies up its basic reporting requirements under state and federal guidelines, fails to understand the danger of allowing a previous adjudicated sex offender to visit with an infant and does not train it’s staff…is allowed to continue to operate.

I believe you will be sickened at the thick legalese used in the November 16,2011 report to cover up the sexual molestation of a 13 month old at the Agency’s actual offices.

State law allows you to withhold funding from the agency and/or come in and run it while it is in non-compliance. O.R.C. 5101.24.

On behalf of the victim, a 13 month infant, I am asking that you immediately seek a state take over of the agency and remove the Director and any other person involved in this “slip-up.” I believe you should also let Benjamin Johnson, JFS spokesman as quoted in the November 19, 2011 Youngstown Vindicator know that when referring to the assault of an infant, it is best not to call it a “slip-up”. Your agency discovered that TCCSB made up records dating back 11 months after a crime was committed. We will never know the veracity of these records. We know there were no cameras. We know that TCCSB failed to understand the “risk factor” of a sex offender. This all came out in the report.

It is a continuing victimization of this little girl for Director Nick Verosky to claim the State’s report is helpful and shows they took correct actions or simply need to address technical issues.

There can be no margin for error when it comes to the safety of our children. There can be no hesitancy to act.

Sincerely,

David L. Engler
Attorney for Maternal Grandmother of Abused Infant

Cc: Michael Corbett, ODJFS
Barbara Manuel, ODJFS
Mike DeWine, Attorney General.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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Another Horrible Improbable New Statistic in Trumbull County

By Attorney David Engler

A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. More than 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse. Approximately 80% of the children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. And more than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.

Out of these terrifying statistics there are none documenting the lightning-hitting-the-same-person-twice-odds of a child being sexually abused during a supervised visit at the Children Services Agency and oh, by the way, her older sister was murdered by a foster mother approved and monitored by the same Children Services Agency!

The official response to date has been tepid. It was a combination of how can we stop the sickness of people like the baby’s parents and we-will-ask-the-State-to-review-our-policies boilerplate whitewash.

The Director should voluntarily place himself on administrative leave and the Board, County Commissioners or County Prosecutor should call for a Federal investigation. The Board is a recipient of Federal funding.

To be sure the alleged perpetrators involved in this tragic mess are all broken, poor, with multiple mental health diagnoses, criminal histories, likely victims of abuse themselves and barely literate, if that. But the one clear fact is that the 13 month old little girl was innocent. Now she is an improbable and horrible statistic.

Protect Trumbull Children Stop CSB

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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Couple Molest Child During Supervised Visit at Agency

By Attorney David Engler

The article in the TribToday of October 5, 2011 laid it out in black and white.  Relatives of a 13 month old baby girl sexually molested her during a supervised visit at the Trumbull County Children Service agency during this past summer. It is too shocking to understand.  First you need to know that this baby was taken into the custody of the government from the moment she was born.  The grandmother said it was because the mother could not pay any bills.  Often children are lost to CSB at birth when drugs are involved and no father can be found. So a young couple, the mother, Felecia, 21 and her husband, Cody Beemer, 23 get  a supervised visit at the agency’s offices.  He videos or takes pictures of he and Felecia “performing sexual acts on the child.”  Did I just read that? I re-read it several times till the utter depravity and ugliness of that claim registered. A 13 month old baby is raped while at the agency’s own offices.

An abused child

It cannot get any worse.  But it does. The sister of the 13 month old named Tammy Sue Banks was “immediately taken into CSB custody after her birth in June 2007.” She was then given, at some point by CSB, to a foster-mother, Bonnie Pattinson, who suffocated and beat her to death in the 21st month of her short life.  Pattinson is doing nine years. 

This is an agency that is funded by the public to protect children.  How is it possible that two children from the same family either died or were raped as infants under CSB’s watch?  This is not a coincidence that tragedy has come to these two little girls.  The prosecutor suggested an independent investigator be hired.  Much more is required.  A federal investigation is required. Our youngest have a right to life. These losses are a denial of basic civil rights.  There are dedicated professionals at CSB, but there are also poorly trained caseworkers who appear to lack any meaningful supervision.  I have been in court with both.

The problem with CSB is that they develop an institutional arrogance.  It comes from believing that because its mission is protecting children, then it can never be questioned. If their decisions go unquestioned by the courts and its appointed Board, then the immunity it enjoys under the law becomes a cloak of infallibility.

For the baby, Tammy Sue and for the little girl raped while at CSB offices, a swift and transparent federal investigation is required, not a suggestion of improvements.  That will come later.  Who will stand up for these children abused by the one’s who gave them life and not protected by the people who get paid to do just that?

 

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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Keeping Track of Your On-Site Visits

By Attorney David Engler

One of the most important jobs of a guardian is to keep track of the times you visited your ward at a nursing or group home. Just last night I was visiting my own mother at a rehabilitation facility. Now while she seems to be completely competent at age 82, I can see the difference in treatment because the staff knows I am a lawyer and involved in the guardianship business. Most importantly I am keeping track of what I am seeing and letting them know that I am. My mom has complained about not getting her medications at the right times and about rude treatment by an aide. Her roommate confirmed the complaints.

It is remarkable how some staff that work at nursing homes do not seem to like their jobs and treat all patients like unruly children.

Well, they should be listing the complaints they receive directly from the patients on their charts. They do not! It is information that might show a pattern of neglect and therefore better not to list. But the fear of litigation is a powerful deterrent and if you demand that your complaints on behalf of your ward be documented and that you are recording the same, your client will get better care.

My Mom hit the nurse’s button and was not supposed to use the rest room without assistance. The response took more than 20 minutes. Now she is on a diuretic and it is hard to wait. The aide finally showed up and said, well just do it in your bed. You have to be kidding! She wasn’t! Believe me, these understaffed and under trained statements are coming out every day to our wards who find themselves relying on the care of others. Let the facility know up front that you will document the issue in your own case notes.

Our software (www.eguardianship.com) allows the guardian to keep track of case notes and these notes are searchable. Contemporaneous notes are admissible as business records if litigation is needed in the future. We have to put the pressure on the residential care-givers to keep them honest and accountable.

Vary the times you come to visit so your schedule is not predictable. If they know you show only at 4 P.M. then maybe they will not bathe your ward until that time. Do not be shy about letting the residential care facility know that your job is as an advocate on behalf of your ward. Let them know that you keep electronic records even if they do not.

Attorney David Engler
Phone: 330-729-9777
http://www.DavidEngler.com Attorney Engler’s website
Areas of Practice: Family Law, Elder Law, Domestic Relations, Bankruptcy, Criminal

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