Saginaw County: Elijah Dillard Update

Mother Loses Parental Rights To All Children Mio Campbell, the 31-year-old mother of deceased Elijah Dillard, has lost her parental rights to her other three children. On Wednesday, July 23rd, Saginaw County Probate Judge Faye Harrison terminated Campbell’s parental rights to her daughters, telling her “You were all they had!” but that she had “entirely Read More »

Ottawa County CPS Petition Denied

Grand Haven Mother Found Innocent A CPS petition to remove three little girls from the custody of their parent’s home in Grand Haven was recently denied. A jury found their mother not guilty of improper supervision after a three day trial in Ottawa County Family Court. Steve Wagasky, the biological father of the youngest child, Read More »

Detroit Missing Boy

Hiding Because Of Overly Harsh Discipline? On June 16th, 12-year-old Charlie Bouthell V was reported missing by his father. An extensive search was mounted involving local police, FBI and friends and family members. Charlie, who was missing for 11 days and suspected dead, was found a few days ago hiding in his father’s basement. Police Read More »

CPS Supervision Tragedy

Child Dies While Under CPS Supervision We often write about the incompetence of the CPS system/workers.  In the case of a 4-year-old Manhattan boy, if CPS would have followed their own policy, they could have prevented his tragic death.  In mid-December of 2013, the father of Myls Dobson left the boy in the care of Read More »

Kalamazoo Parental Rights Termination

Kalamazoo Parental Rights Decision Delayed According to Jonetta Woods, she is ready to take on the responsibilities of parenting her 6-year-old daughter. But the Michigan Department of Human Services and Assistant Prosecutor Ramie Almeda are both hoping for a termination of Woods’ parental rights. Presiding Judge Patricia N. Conlon chose again to delay the ruling, Read More »

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Some CPS Workers Think This is The Law As an attorney I spend countless hours on the phone explaining Statutes, Case Law, Policies etc. Often lay people have a difficult time understanding different aspects pertaining to their case. However when I am dealing with professionals I expect that they know and understand the laws and Read More »

Medical Marijuana and Children's Protective Services

Should CPS Make a Change in Policy? Despite the fact that the federal government has completely prohibited marijuana, medical or otherwise, there are now 20 states, including Michigan, that have approved marijuana for medical purposes. There are also 17 states that have effectively “decriminalized” the possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use. But Read More »

MI Supreme Court Strikes "One-Parent" Doctrine

The Michigan Supreme Court has struck down a doctrine that has been infringing on the rights of parents for over 70 years. The “one-parent” doctrine has long frustrated parents involved in the CPS system due to the fact that it often denies one parent the opportunity to have a trial on whether or not he Read More »

Michigan Child Abuse and Manslaughter

Howell Woman Pleads Guilty To Charges 22-year-old Chelsie Lenee Marme of Fowlerville, MI, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and second degree child abuse recently, in a plea deal that calls for the judge to not issue a sentence that exceeds the middle of the state’s recommended guidelines. According to court records, Marme and her boyfriend, Read More »

Interviews During Child Abuse Investigations

Michigan House Approves McMillin Legislation In a unanimous vote, the Michigan House recently approved new legislation that would provide protection for Michigan children and families during abuse investigations. According to state Rep. Tom McMillin, the new law will require that anyone conducting interviews of children during the course of an abuse investigation, must record those Read More »

CPS Central Registry Removal

Successful Litigation for Two Clients Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC takes the Constitutional Right to parent one’s children very seriously.  In Michigan, parents can be placed on the Children’s Protective Services (CPS) Central Registry for life without prior notice or a hearing on the merits of the case.  Parents receive notice only after they’ve been placed Read More »

Lansing Murder Suicide Orphans 6-Year-Old Boy

Children’s Protective Services Called  In the early hours of the morning on May 29th, neighbors woke up to the sound of a weeping child in the street. The little boy was a 6-year-old resident of Lansing’s southside. Neighbors who found him called 911, unsure of what was wrong or why he was roaming the streets Read More »

Identity Theft: Foster Care Children Vulnerable

Foster Care Children Easy Prey For Identity Thieves Identity theft is a very real concern for many people these days. As technological advances allow for more and more data collection and storage online, the ability to access that information illegally and use it for personal gain increases too. Thousands of people worldwide can tell you Read More »

Woman Pleads Guilty To Child Abuse Charge

Toddler Left Out In The Cold Dana Toader, a 33-year-old artist and college instructor from Comstock Park, MI recently pled guilty to a misdemeanor child abuse charge.  The plea stems from Toader having left her 2-year-old child unattended in a vehicle while she was shopping. On February 13th, people noticed that a very young child Read More »

Jackson Man's Drunk Driving Results In Assault and Third Degree Child Abuse Charges

CPS Removes Three-Year-Old Boy From Father’s Care Jeffrey Salyers, a 53-year-old resident of Jackson, MI, has been charged with the felony of third degree child abuse and three assault misdemeanors, all of them a result of his decision to drink and then drive. According to Terry Rose, the 64-year-old man who became unwittingly involved, the Read More »

CPS Investigates Grand Blanc, MI Catholic Priest

“Inappropriate Touching” Subject of Investigation Father Ken Coughlin, a Catholic priest from Grand Blanc, MI, is being investigated by the Michigan office of Children’s Protective Services (CPS) regarding an allegation made of inappropriate touching. According to statements released by The Catholic Diocese of Lansing, and by the Grand Blanc City Police Department, the abuse allegations Read More »

Michigan Parents Face Possible Termination of Parental Rights for Remaining Children

Already Facing Murder Charges in Death of Son Mio Campbell and Aki Dillard, parents of a deceased 6-year-old boy, Elijah Dillard, are currently facing murder charges for the death of their son. They are now also faced with the potential termination of parental rights for their other three surviving children. The children are in state Read More »

Termination of Parental Rights in Michigan

Termination of Parental Rights: How does it happen and what does it really mean? Termination of parental rights in Michigan means the complete and total severance of the parent-child relationship. It is absolute and permanent. A parent loses not just the right to care for and raise their child, but the right to maintain a relationship Read More »

Why Did My Child's Teacher Contact CPS?

A Closer Look at Michigan’s Mandatory Reporter Law Our office often receives phone calls from frustrated and upset parents after their child’s teacher, daycare provider, or physician has contacted CPS and made an allegation of abuse or neglect. This often happens before a parent is even given a chance to explain the suspicious behavior, marks Read More »

Another Flint Child Abuse Case Makes the News - Twin Infant Boys Diagnosed With Non-Accidental Trauma

Non-Accidental Trauma Alleged On April 12th, two 7 month old infant boys were brought into Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI. They had both sustained severe injuries and were in critical condition. Following protocol, hospital staff alerted police that the injuries that were “suspicious in nature” and may be the result of child abuse. The Read More »

Flint Michigan Child Abuse Video Goes Viral

Mother & Grandmother Arrested For Posting Video Of Child Abuse On Facebook A Flint Michigan child abuse case is gaining some national attention.  Police have arrested Demitria Latrion Powell, a 28 year old resident of Flint, MI along with 42 year old Uteas Michelle Taylor, and a 39 year old man named Stefon Tirrell Felton. Read More »

Montcalm County Termination Of Parental Rights Decision Overturned, At Least for Now

In the Matter of A. K. and J. K., Minors; the parents appealed an order terminating their parental rights to their two children. This case originated in Montcalm Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals handed down their opinion on March 27, 2014. In the appeal, the mother challenged the statutory grounds for termination Read More »

What Do I Do When the Court is not Treating me Fairly?

How do I Get a Biased Judge off of My Case? This is a question we hear a lot.  The answer is that it is not an easy thing to do, and needs to be considered carefully.  The first question that you need to ask is “what happens if I lose?”  Losing a motion to Read More »

If You Have Contact With CPS, Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy!

As you are reading this post and considering your options, I want to be clear that I am in no way suggesting that you provide Child Protective Services (CPS) any information or allow them into your home. Any recommendations I make with regard to cooperating with CPS are done on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration of all Read More »

Should I Talk to CPS When they Come to my Door?

It’s Never Fun Being Investigated CPS is knocking on your door; panic, fear and a myriad of other emotions are going through your mind.  From this moment forward, every step you take has the potential of changing the outcome of your case.  Many people open the door and speak with CPS, not because it is Read More »

Family Defense Attorneys of Michigan name Attorney Brandy Thompson to Board of Directors

Attorney Brandy Thompson named to the Inaugural Board of Directors for Family Defense Attorneys of Michigan Congratulations to Attorney Brandy Thompson upon being named Vice President of the newly formed non-profit organization, Family Defense Attorneys of Michigan (FDAM). Recognizing the need for stronger defense attorneys to represent parents dealing with Children’s Protective Services, this organization Read More »

Court of Appeals Sides with Lower Court: Denial of Parenting Time Okay without Finding of Harm

Sadly, parents often fight uphill battles when faced with a termination of parental rights.  A Michigan mother certainly found this to be true when she argued before the Court of Appeals that she was denied mandatory parenting time prior to the filing of a termination petition.  She maintained that this denial impeded efforts to reunify Read More »

Ingham County Child Returned Home to Medical Marijuana Patients

A little over a month ago, Baby Bree  was removed from the care of her parents.  Ingham County Child Protective Services swooped in and took the child because of concerns that she was being exposed to marijuana.  Her parents are state-approved medical marijuana users.  Last Friday, Ingham County Judge Richard Garcia did what was right and Read More »

Federal Lawsuit Against Adult Protective Services Dismissed

Kolley v. Adult Protective Services is a case related to an investigation by Oakland County Adult Protective Services into the family of a developmentally disabled 19-year-old woman who alleged that her mother hit her. The family brought suit against the organizations and individuals that conducted the investigation. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Read More »

Grandparent Rights Established in Guardianship Case – Genessee County Court Overruled

Grandparent rights may have taken a small step forward last week.  This is at least true for Grandparents whose grandchildren are placed in a guardianship and the guardian won’t allow visitation. In Ashlee Book-Gilbert v. Jerry Ryan Greenleaf, the child’s paternal grandmother appealed by leave granted a court order denying her request for grandparent visitation Read More »

Termination of Parental Rights; Is there Something More Important?

At Kronzek & Cronkright, our attorneys are zealous advocates of parental rights.  We find that there is little more problematic than a parent unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to get their children home.  When a case goes to the permanency planning phase and there is a goal change from reunification to termination Read More »

MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS OVERTURNS MUSKEGON FAMILY COURT JUDGE – GRANTS GUARDIANSHIP TO PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently addressed an appeal by leave to an order denying a paternal grandmother’s petition for a juvenile guardianship. In the Matter of COH, ERH, JRG, KBH, Minors; originated in the Muskegon Circuit Court Family Division. The opinion is dated June 25, 2013. In 2008, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Read More »

SANILAC COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT OVERTURNED BY MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS FOR FAILING TO CONSIDER FAMILY PLACEMENT IN ITS BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD DETERMINATION

In the Matter of Heuer/Franzel, Minors; the respondent appealed by right an order terminating her parental rights. The case originated in the Sanilac Circuit Court Family Division. The opinion is dated June 20, 2013. The respondent admitted that MCL 712A.19b(3)(c)(i) served as grounds for termination of her parental rights of her children. In turn, the Read More »

Expansion of the Children’s Ombudsman Act may not be good for parents.

Recently, the Children’s Ombudsman Act was amended in a few important ways. The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman is responsible for investigating complaints related to children involved with protective services (CPS), adoption services, foster care, and juvenile justice. These noted changes would assist in determining if regulations and statutes affecting child welfare are properly being followed. Read More »

Michigan Attorney General Weighs In on the Interaction Between The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act And Child Protective Proceedings – A Discussion Of The Recent Attorney General Opinion

The Michigan Attorney General recently addressed the application of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act to child protective proceedings. The opinion was released on May 10, 2013. First, the Attorney General stated that primary caregivers and registered patients may invoke immunity or protection under sections 4 (a) and (b) of the MMMA in a child protective Read More »

What does “failure to protect” mean?

As an attorney practicing in the area Child Protective Services Defense I speak with dozens of concerned parents each week that are dealing with CPS issues.  Some of the issues parents face are allegations of direct abuse. Specifically, a parent might be charged with spanking a child (leaving marks), sexually abusing the child, leaving a Read More »

Michigan Court of Appeals Overturns Wayne County Judge’s Decision to Terminate Parental Rights

Regarding In the Matter of Clarmont, Minors; a respondent appealed as of right termination of her parental rights under MCL 712A.19b(3)(c)(i), (g), and (j). The Court of Appeals opinion is dated February 19, 2013. The lower court is the Wayne County Juvenile Division. First, the respondent had an expected prison release date within a span Read More »

St. Clair County Court Overturned on Termination of Parental Rights Case

Regarding the case of In the Matter of A. P. Wines, Minor; the respondent appealed an order of termination of her parental rights to her son. Originating in St. Clair County, the lower court is the St. Clair Circuit Court Family Division. This Court of Appeals opinion is dated February 28, 2013. This case began Read More »

Indian Child Welfare Act ICWA - Termination of Parental Rights in Michigan

In the Matter of Salisbury, Minors; the Court of Appeals addressed a failure to comply with the notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) (25 USC 1901 et. seq.). The case originated in the Kalamazoo Circuit Court family division and was released on February 14, 2013. The respondents appealed as of right to Read More »

Court of Appeals offers no help to Mother with “second thoughts” about releasing her Parental Rights; applies “knowing and Voluntary” standard.

Last week the Court of Appeals released an opinion indicating that a respondent’s commentary to the court about having mixed feelings about releasing her parental rights was not a sufficient basis to later challenge the validity of the releases as not knowingly and voluntarily made. The case is In the Matter of Hernandez/Vera, Minors; released Read More »

DHS Lacks Transparency and Accountability

Last week, the Detroit Free Press reported that a recent performance audit indicated the Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to provide access to its computer systems as part of compliance with the Children’s Ombudsman Act. The audit’s objective was to assess the Office of Children’s Ombudsman’s (OCO) effectiveness in providing timely and appropriate reviews Read More »

New Study Shows Maltreatment of Children Difficult to Detect

Time magazine reported last week that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) completed a comprehensive review of data to determine if maltreatment of children can be accurately detected.  The full article appears at http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/23/child-abuse-why-its-so-hard-to-determine-whos-at-risk/  This task force is a group funded by the government composed of independent experts that studies research on various topics, Read More »

Is Blood Thicker Than Water? Michigan Court of Appeals Says YES!

When children are removed from their parent’s home for reasons of abuse or neglect there are essentially two options for placement: foster care or relative placement.  Pursuant to Michigan law, CPS is required to look into relative placement as an option before placing a child in a foster care home.  In a recent decision by Read More »

Tameria Green Tragedy – Will this Lead to Real Reform of the Department of Human Services?

In another heart-wrenching incident, CPS failed to effectively intervene and save a Detroit child’s life. It is unclear what transpired on that day, resulting in 8-year-old Tameria Greene being stabbed to death. Reports indicate police discovered a bloody knife near a sink in the house and some dried blood evidence as well. The mother, Sameria Read More »

Michigan Court of Appeals Restores Parental Rights of Epileptic Mother

Recently, the Court of Appeals tackled another case involving the termination of parental rights. The case is In the Matter of Smith dated December 6, 2012. In this unpublished decision, the court addressed whether the Department of Human Services made reasonable efforts to reunite a mother with her children, and also whether statutory grounds for Read More »

Recent Federal Court Ruling Reduces the Power of CPS Agents

There appears to be some new hope for parents who are facing the intimidating presence of CPS workers and police.  The new ruling places CPS under the same requirements that police are in a criminal investigation; at least as far as the Fourth Amendment protections are concerned. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decided this Read More »

Michigan Child Protective Service’s Central Intake Procedure

Child Protective Services (CPS) is the division of the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) that investigates claims of abuse or neglect. When a person suspects child abuse or child neglect is occurring, the procedure used to be that he or she called their local county CPS caseworkers to report a claim. On Monday, March Read More »

Michigan Child Protection Attorneys – Non-Existent Mental Health Disorder Leads to Child Abuse / Child Neglect Investigation in Illinois

As Michigan child abuse attorneys, we keep informed on the latest child protection news from around the country. Sometimes, we read about CPS cases where government caseworkers claim a parent has committed child abuse or child neglect, when that clearly is not the case. One such instance is a recent case in Illinois. The allegations Read More »

Michigan Child Abuse Attorneys – CPS Investigation Leads to Four Methamphetamine Arrests in Ionia County, Michigan

Recently, Child Protective Services—also known as CPS—was involved in an investigation at a home in Ionia County, Michigan. The CPS caseworker, with help from Michigan State Police officers, discovered items at the home that are known to be related to the cooking of meth. CPS and law enforcement informed CMET (the Central Michigan Enforcement Team, Read More »

Michigan CPS Attorneys – Gender Bias in the Child Welfare System

The Family Defense Center is a Chicago-based legal advocacy center that serves families in the child welfare system. Its employees have identified what they refer to as a “gender-plus” bias against women in the system. The group’s Executive Director, Diane L. Redleaf, wrote an article on October 25, 2011 detailing this bias against mothers. The Read More »

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