I don't "do" many CPS (Child Protective Services) hearings. The only way I get involved is if the judge appoints me to represent a parent (the person the child has been removed from) or the child itself (herself? his self?) I've told the judges that I don't mind doing my part of community service (lord knows I have too many criminal court appointments), but keep me away from CPS cases. Normally, that happens.
But today I spent about 30 minutes in a hearing on whether CPS should be able to temporarily keep a baby that was removed from the mother just days after the mother gave birth. It's not quite this simple, but, in essence, CPS wanted the judge to authorize their continued possession of the child due to the mother's drug use during the pregnancy. Interestingly, the mother quit using meth two months before the birth and has been clean (as evidenced by a few drug tests) ever since. On the day of birth, mom was negative for any drugs as was the baby. Nevertheless, CPS came in and took the baby.
For now, the judge said that CPS could keep the child (she's actually in the possession of her grandparents) but everyone agrees that if mom can stay on the straight and narrow, she can have her baby back.
Life is hard. I hate these cases.
Edit: After some very kind "Nice job, Barry" posts, let me clarify: I didn't have a lot to do with the hearing other than to monitor it on behalf of the child. The CPS lawyer, Regina Anderson, did all the hard work. And CPS investigators did all the pre-hearing leg work.
at 10:41 PM