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Ladywriter

Deal to return sect children to parents collapses

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Despite Texas Supreme Court ruling, judge demands changes in agreement

SAN ANGELO, Texas - A Texas judge refused on Friday to sign an agreement that would have paved the way for the first large batch of children taken from a polygamist sect's ranch to return to their parents, dashing hopes raised by a Supreme Court ruling in the case. Texas District Judge Barbara Walther wanted to add restrictions to the parents' movement and broaden the authority of Child Protective Services to monitor the more than 400 children in foster care before signing an agreement by CPS and the parents that would have reunited the families.

When several parents' attorneys objected and argued that Walther didn't have the authority to expand the agreement, she said she would only sign the initial document after all 38 parents whose case was considered by the Supreme Court signed off — a provision attorneys said would ensure the children stayed in custody at least through the weekend.

The hearing's end was a stunning development after it appeared the parents and CPS had reached an agreement that would allow children to return beginning Monday. The tentative plan technically applied only to the mothers named in an appellate court ruling that found CPS was unjustified in sweeping up the children from the Yearning For Zion Ranch two months ago, but everyone agreed the order would be extended to all but a few specific children. "There was an opportunity today for relief in this, and it was not granted," said Willie Jessop, an elder for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which runs the ranch.

More court filings likely

Attorneys for several of the minors and mothers in custody said Walther's refusal to sign the order would likely result in more appellate court filings.

While Walther said she would issue the order if all the parents signed, attorney Andrea Sloan said that would take days because parents have spread across the state to be close to their children in foster care.

"It's not as simple as going across the street and setting up a booth," said Sloan, who represents several young FLDS women and minors who contend they should be reclassified as adults.

Laura Shockley, an attorney for several children and mothers not part of the original appellate court case, predicted more filings in the Third District Court of Appeals in Austin on Monday. That court ordered Walther to allow the children to return to their parents in a reasonable time, a decision affirmed by the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday.

Judge objected to deadline

The agreement between CPS and parents said they would not be allowed to leave Texas until Aug. 31 but could move back to the ranch. It also called for parenting classes and visits by CPS to interview children and parents in the child abuse investigation.

Walther wanted to remove the August deadline and provide for psychological evaluations of the children.

All the children living at the ranch were placed in state custody in early April after CPS said the sect was forcing underage girls into marriage and sex and endangering all the children, including infants and boys.

An appellate court ruled last week that CPS failed to show an immediate danger to justify taking the children from their parents, saying the state failed to show any more than five of the teenage girls were being sexually abused and offered no evidence of sexual or physical abuse of the other children.

and so on...

these people don't deserve to get their daughters back at all and they should be jailed like their leader for sexually assaulting minors :disgust:


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The state had no right to take them in the first place. The original person who called in a tip has yet to be identifed and police now think it was probally wasn't a legit call anyways. According to law, the only circumstances that a child can be removed without a court order is if there is clear evidence that the child is in mortal danger. They had no proof of that, so removing all the children was actually illegal. While I do agree that abuse cases should be followed up, monitored, and children removed if necessicary, I don't think the removal was actually necessiacry in this case. Investigation, yes. Any suspecion of abuse should be investigated.


Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints!

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I kinda agree with Dubird but their actions were strange nonetheless. They switched their children's bracelets around, which identified them, and gave false names so that their children couldn't be identified. If they had nothing to hide, they would have cooperated so that they could get their children back as soon as they can. And then sue their ass or something. I wouldn't be surprised if many were sexually abused since their leader is already in a trial for marrying a 12 year old (or is it a separate incident?).


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Can't agree with ya there, I've got a 13 year old daughter.

I don't really care how the state got involved I'm just glad that they did.

The sickos not only approve of under 18 sex marriage and pregnancy, its a lifestyle they force upon their own children under the guise of religion. I don't care what deity you're praising its just damn wrong. These girls haven't even finished growing and they're married off to some pedophile. The human population isn't suffering so badly we need more children having children.

Who am I to judge? Well for starters I'm a mom. Before anybody rips into me they better have a 13 year old daughter of their own yo. :sword:


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                                               Look at the flowers

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Well, for starters, the not being married untill 18 actually didn't become a law until recently (by that, i mean within the last century vs. thousands of years of human history). In fact, there are some places in the South where you can get married as young as 13 if you have parental consent. Or, well, used to be because a friend of mine got married to an older guy when she was underage. And it was legal, because her parents signed the consent form. And there are still a lot of countries where kids get married at 13, 14, 15, etc. I'm not saying it's a good idea, mind you, but that is reality. And not all the family groups in there practiced that. They took a lot of kids from parents where it wasn't necessicary, that's the problem I have with it. Just because their leader's a nutjob, doesn't mean everyone is.

Plus, I'm a little surprised religious rights nuts haven't jumped in on this. I would've thought they'd be in there because they communal living and all could be considered part of their religion.


Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints!

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The other religious nuts probably don't want their compounds investigated -_-;


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                                               Look at the flowers

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I have to agree lady. I know it hits home to you. I know you have a right to practice your own religion, but this underage marriage crap was nuts.


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"Well, Toutousai...don't you think it's a pity for Tessaiga? All Inuyasha can do is wave about a sword with all his strength...it's the same whether it's a famous sword or a log."

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