Consult a DHS Attorney when Assistance Needed
Video Transcribed: What can an attorney do for you in the deprived case that you couldn’t do by yourself? Oklahoma Child Protective Services Attorney Ryan Cannonie, with CPS investigation defense, and over my years as a prosecutor, one thing I saw routinely was that when people hired attorneys that cared and knew what they were doing, their results were tremendously better than if they hadn’t, or if they’d proceeded by themselves, or just kind of went out and randomly picked someone and hoped that that was their area of practice.
An example of this is a friend of mine who’s an attorney, I have seen get into multiple cases when I was a prosecutor that was all but lost. These were the worst cases, they’re cases where the state has decided to terminate parental rights, and I filed some of those. We were going ahead. We were going to terminate because the person hadn’t done what they were supposed to.
In one case, once she got in, the second time we were in court, after being told this per her client had done nothing, she brought in a stack about this tall of all these certificates and programs and everything that her client had done, and when we started looking through that, we realized that the previous DHS worker just hadn’t done their job, and this lady had done everything she needed to do to get her kid back, and that’s what happened.
Within another… They had one more, a short set, a 30 day setting to verify everything, and then we started trial reunification, and within three months, she had her kid back. That case had been going on for over a year, and it took a good attorney less than three months to get this woman her child back.
In another situation I was in, I didn’t file this termination petition, but I came into it later on. There was a family that had some drug abuse issues, and they hadn’t done what they were supposed to. Their attorney didn’t even make that argument.
They had not worked the plan they were supposed to. But, once the termination was filed, that kind of got their attention, decided, “Hey, we need to do something better.” They went out and started working on getting drug treatment.
Then the attorney did something really smart and asked for mediation on the case. Judges love mediation. Not all of them, but a lot of them like mediation because maybe you can work out an agreement and then come to court, and it makes the case simpler.
Through mediation with all the parties, including the foster parents, there was an agreement made that if this person completed everything she needed to in a certain amount of time, then we would agree to dismiss our termination and let her continue her case.
She did. Her attorney stayed on her, and anytime there was any whisper of her not being in compliance, her attorney was calling her up and chewing her out on the phone, and by the end of… I want to say it was… I think that took like five months, a total of five months because she had quite a few things she had to do.
By the end of five, six months, she was able to get her kid back and got her case dismissed. Everyone cheered and was happy. But five months before that, termination, that was where it was at, and that case had been going on for over a year as well when this attorney got into it, and hers, she didn’t start with a blank slate.
She just started with a negative slate because her client had done all these things they shouldn’t have, but then she got her up to not only, things are going okay, to things are amazing now, within five months and got her kid back.
So, attorneys can help you on these cases, knowing what DHS is looking for, knowing what the state is looking for, knowing what you can do to appease them to get your conditions changed, as they say, is something that takes time and experience, and both of these attorneys I’m talking about have both either worked in deprived for years or worked on both sides of state and defense with the deprived for years, and that’s something you need whenever you’re going on a deprived case.
If you have a situation where your kids have been taken from you, you need help, you need a consultation, give us a call. We can walk you through the process, talk to you about some pitfalls ahead of you, some things you can do to make your situation better, and if retained, what we can do to advocate on your behalf, give us a call and we will have an Oklahoma CPS attorney reach you.