Its Not About The Child’s Best Interest

When Sheriff Todd Pate came to my home on May 6, 2015 he did not have my families best interest at heart. He made that apparent in our conversation at the end of my driveway. He never expressed any concerns for my living arrangement, he was just looking for a way to use his authority over someone who didn’t submit to him.

In Kentucky an anonymous call to CPS is not probable cause for a warrant. It cannot be used against you. Filing a false CPS report is a criminal charge. When Sondra McEntee called CPS she did not leave her name. We all knew it was her, but she did not identify herself. When we spoke to CPS on the morning of May 6, 2015 we told them that we would not be speaking to anyone without a warrant and without an attorney. That tied CPS hands. Sherrif Todd Pate didn’t like that. So he set up a “stake out” at my home and waited. When I arrived home he pulled up at the end of my driveway. I approached him and told him the same. Not without a warrant, not without an attorney. He did not suspect or accuse me of a crime. He did not have authority to encroach upon me or my family. When Sheriff Todd Pate was unable to find a way to convince me to submit, he found a way to usurp my rights and the rights of my family. He told a judge that our right to refuse entry was cause for an Emergency Custody Order. The judge signed it.

From the CHFS (CPS) website:

  1. Requests an emergency custody order (ECO) from a District, Juvenile or Family court judge, in conjunction with the utilization review consultation (UR) process after consultation and approval by the FSOS/regional office in the following situations:
    1. The child is in danger of imminent death or serious physical injury or is being sexually abused; or
    2. The parent has repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted by other than accidental means physical injury or emotional injury.  Reasonable and ordinary discipline is acceptable as long as reasonable and ordinary discipline does not result in abuse or neglect as defined in KRS 600.020; or
    3. The child is in immediate danger due to the parent’s failure or refusal to provide for the safety or needs of the child;

None of these applied. There was no just cause for an ECO. NONE

This was a clear violation of our rights and an abuse of authority, by the hands of Sheriff Todd Pate. CPS was not with the Sheriff at the time of the removal. The sheriff did this via phone. when I DEMANDED a copy of the order I was told “I told you I am the Sheriff of this county and that is all you need to know” ( Listen Here 27:50) ( this is not my hosted video)

KRS 620.060

Any person authorized to serve process shall serve the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision with a copy of the emergency custody order. If such person cannot be found, the sheriff shall make a good faith effort to notify the nearest known relative, neighbor, or other person familiar with the child.

From the DCFS Website

  1. The court clerk’s office arranges for a person authorized to serve process (e.g. sheriff) to present a copy to the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.
  2. Family Court Rule 19(2) prohibits the removal of a child based on a judge’s verbal order.

Sheriff Todd Pate knew what he was doing was wrong. And he did it anway. His deputy also knew it was wrong. And did it anyway. Moments after my two older boys were taken and I was arrested, my husband and a friend had shown up. We were at their house at the time. The Sheriff, who had just told a judge that my children were in imminent danger, told my husband he had 14 hours to bring our other 8 children to his office. FOURTEEN HOURS. If those children were in imminent danger why would the sheriff leave them in those conditions for an additional FOURTEEN HOURS.

Sheriff Todd Pate testified in court two weeks later that we had broken no laws and saw no reason the children shouldn’t return home. Sheriff Todd Pate knows the truth, has always known the truth but has enabled and allowed this to happen to our family. Three years later Sheriff Todd Pate has refused to rectify what he had done and has also refused to speak up about the knowingly false allegations made by Alex, who is an adult, and has also refused to do his job in any way when we tell him about the criminal activity our family has endured. Sheriff Todd Pate is also asking that he be re-elected. I fear for my family’s safety if he is.

What my children endured for the following 8 weeks was a direct result of Sheriff Todd Pates actions.

From the CHFS website:

  • The judicial determination that results in the child’s removal must coincide with (i.e., occur at the same time as) the Cabinet’s action to physically or constructively remove the child, unless the court order specifies an alternative timeframe for removal.
  • If a court makes a judicial determination that it is contrary to the child’s welfare to remain at home (without specifying an alternative timeframe) and the child does, in fact, remain at home and no removal occurs, the requirement for removal is not met and the child is ineligible for title IV-E.
  •  If the child’s safety is not at risk and the court chooses to order in home services to prevent having to remove the child, it should do so.
  • States cannot issue “blanket” removal orders in an attempt to guarantee title IV-E eligibility in the event that the child has to be removed from the home at some point in the future.
  • The court may take into account the wishes of the parent or person exercising custodial control of the child and place the child with a relative, or any other appropriate person or agency, including the Cabinet.
  • The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is responsible for completing the notice of emergency removal (dependency action), and providing it to the parent, guardian or other person with legal custody via the sheriff or authorized designee to:
    • Serve the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision with a copy of the ECO; or
    • Make a good faith effort to notify the nearest known relative, neighbor or other person familiar with the child if such person cannot be found.

IV-E is big money. Huge funding.Look into that. You wonder why the JUDGE not CHFS, but Judge Shan Embry kept my children in foster care for 8 weeks. 6 weeks AFTER both the Sheriff and CHFS testified under oath that the children should be returned home. That’s one reason. They also knew they messed up. Ill get into that later.

The courts had the authority to order in home services. To this day the courts have never ordered in home services. CHFS says no services are needed.

More of that IV-E money to keep a case that doesn’t need services open.

We had a family who was equipped to take all 10 of our children. It was never done. It was always pushed back. The DCFS kept saying, the kids will be home soon we will just plan for that

We were never officially notified of the removal till the following day. Again, I demanded this at the time of removal. Sheriff Todd Pate doesn’t have to follow these rules. He’s the Sheriff, remember. Todd Pate does whatever he wants. We all have seen what happens when he is told no. 

All of this was destructive to my family. We are strong, but we still hurt.

Studies shows that removal of children, even in cases of abuse, is harmful and should be handled with the utmost care. In cases like ours where there is no abuse its extremely damaging. My children know what happened to them was wrong. They know no one has apologized to them ( aside from DCFS workers who had no role in those events but know it was not needed).

Sheriff Todd Pate didn’t act in our children’s best interest

Judge Shan Embry isn’t acting in our children’s best interest

GAL Susan Strielble inst acting in our children’s best interest

Rick Hardin stopped acting in our best interest

CHFS is advocating for our chidlren’s best interest. The court refuses to listen.

They are acting in the best of their careers, for the best interest of the state.

The judge has never spoken to our children. The GAL has never spoken to our children. They don’t care about my children’s best interests.

Finding an attorney who will help us fight this corruption is impossible. I posted last week that several Family Court Advocacy groups all say that there is no one in KY who wants this fight, Like those mentioned above no one is looking out for the best interests of our children, they are looking out for themselves… except us. We will continue to advocate for our children till our last breaths if needed.

Kentucky, this is not ok. Elections are coming up. Talk to those running for office. Will they be more of the problem or will they stand up and speak out. When you put your life in the hands of some other judge or politician, you better be sure they will always do what is right, no matter what. If none will, then what do you do?

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