Nicole driving to work, crying, with a cold (I thought their super-healthy lifestyle meant they have strong immune systems and what not).
This was brutal.
All right. I decided to do a quick update this morning, um, while I was driving to work. ‘Scuse my voce. I have a cold or allergies or something and I did not sleep well last night, so I probably look horrible but I don’t care how I look.
So anyhow, today, today is two years from the date that this whole ordeal started, um, two years ago today, we got a call (crying). . . someone called. . .(unclear) notification, I can’t remember how, I think we were called in for something else.
Anyways, there was an anonymous call in to CPS from a woman who has now since identified herself. Her name is Sondra Johnston-(unclear last part of name), she lives in Irvington, and um, she’s never met my family, she had never been to my home. She only knew, um, my husband from an acquaintance. I worked with her, uh, step-brother.
And, anyways, she made an anonymous call, uh, to CPS with some false accusations which prompted an investigation, because in CPS, here in Kentucky, if you make an anonymous call, you can report whatever you want, and CPS is obligated to look into it. But, uh, people call all the time when they’re pissed off at their neighbor and anyone who has kids is subject to this because all you’ve gotta do is make someone angry and they go, “I’m gonna call CPS on you” and it happens and they have to investigate.
CPS came out to the house with the sheriff and a state trooper while we were not at home. They went onto the property and took photographs. They did this without a warrant, um, and without probable cause because an anonymous phone call is not probable cause. But they did so.
Um, after that inc- after that happened, I spoke with the case, the worker, um, Jennifer What’sHerName. I spoke with Jennifer and they told me that they wanted to sit down and talk to the children and I said, and with us, in the home, and I said not without a warrant because I am invoking my 4th Amendment rights.
And they said, pretty much, okay fine, tried to convince us but nothing happened, but later on that afternoon her supervisor called me and said she wanted to sit down with just my husband and I. Again, I declined, invoking my 4th Amendment.
At that point, I had gone back to the home with my, um, two oldest boys, and I noticed the sheriff was sitting in my neighbor’s driveway. When he saw me pull into my home, he came over to my property and met me at the end of my driveway.
That conversation is recorded and posted if anybody wants to hear it.
What happened then was the sheriff and I had a discussion about the situation. Not once in that, I believe it’s 20 minute- conversation, it’s pretty lengthy, not once did he express any concerns about the condition of my property which he had toured that morning. He had no concerns about my children, his only concern was that I was not cooperating with his investigation, which I have a 4th Amendment not to. I have a 5th Amendment right not to. I have a, I think it’s the 7th, I can’t remember off my head, and, um, we do not have to do that.
We are legally ob – legally privileged, I guess at this point, it’s not a right anymore, it’s a privilege to not comply. And not without court orders. And he didn’t have any at that point. There was no reason and not once did he communicate any concern for my children, in fact, in the recording, he says it’s kinda neat how we live, he just didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t cooperating, and he specifically cited things that I posted on Facebook. He cited things like “Flex your rights.” You can Google this. Go on Youtube and type in “flex your rights.” “Ten ways of dealing with police.” He specifically cited that article. I want you to watch that video. It’s an hour long but it’s really worth watching.
And I myself did not follow some of those guidelines in there. I got a little too chatty, but that is what it is.
Um, but when I left my property, I asked him if I was free to go and he said yes. When I left my property, he was still sitting there. Because he didn’t leave, and I got maybe a half a mile down the road when he pulled me over. I handed him my license and registration, like you’re supposed to do at a traffic stop, and he then continued to say that he was going to be taking my children.
And I asked for a court order again, I asked for a warrant, I asked for a court order. He did not provide that. He told me that because he was the sheriff, he didn’t need to provide me those things, which, um, is completely false.
So, that’s what happened that evening. I was in my car. I told my children, you know, reminded them of their rights, of not to have to, they don’t have to talk to police, they don’t have to answer questions, and, um, they voluntarily went, um, my oldest one was a little more voluntarily than my younger son was, went with the police. I verbally opposed that.
I was sitting in my car. I was quite loud. I was yelling. I was frantic. Um, but I was sitting in my car when I was warned that I was going to be arrested, and I continued to verbally oppose the abduction of my children, and I was ripped from my car and arrested. (crying again)
I was about five months pregnant when they grabbed me and they pushed me against the cop car to handcuff me. When they did that, I instinctively pushed back, as anyone would do, and then they cited me for arrest, um, for resisting arrest.
In fact, when my husband asked the sheriff what I was being charged with, he told him he would think about it on the way to the police station. He was just looking for something, and he did. I sat there in booking for thirty minutes while the sheriff, Sheriff Todd Pate, Googled criminal charges to pull up on me. And he actually had to change his disorderly charge because he had the first one wrong.
So, that’s a big concern of mine, because I don’t think law enforcement should enforce laws that they don’t understand. If you have to go back later and Google to find out what the person’s charges are, you obviously made a false arrest.
But that’s what happened.
Our case is still open. It’s been two years. Our children were returned after eight weeks, and I’m gonna talk more about that on another time, but the only thing that CPS found in their two years’ investigation, two years’ investigation, mind you, two years of monitoring my family, two years of investigating my family, two years of visits, monthly visits, talk to the children, meeting with the children, all of this, the only thing that CPS has found is that we did not register as homeschoolers.
Can you imagine the state taking your children for not registering them? For not registering them. Do you understand how asinine that is? For not registering. There was no harm inflicted, no potential harm inflicted. Registering is registering. It’s a filing form. It has nothing to do anything that actually happens or doesn’t happen. It’s filing a form. And that’s what we were, and that’s what it boiled down to is all they could found. Our case is still open because closing it would mean they would have to admit they were wrong and that’s never going to happen.
I don’t think our case will ever be closed until maybe my children age out. The youngest one on record was [child’s name] because [other child] was not born, so he’s not in their files at this time. Um, and hopefully we can keep it that way.
But, [child’s name] is three, which means fifteen years. They’ll probably keep it open for fifteen years, because that is, um, that seems to be the stalling tactic. They have done evaluations, they’ve tried looking at different things. They’re now talking about, as I’ve stated before, filing a rights [NOTE: this is unclear] to try to isolate and find something else that may justify in some way their actions. They’ve had two years and they still have not been able to come up with anything to justify what they did that day.
We’ve had to take a plea deal with coercion of threats of contempt, in family court, in criminal court, it should have been separated. But the county attorney, Bradley Butler, brought our criminal charges into our family court case because it’s all the same people, small town, you know how that goes, and said that because we weren’t cooperating in our criminal charges, because we were both contending our criminal charges, that he was gonna hold us in contempt.
Contempt is whatever the judge says, whatever the county attorney says, it’s whatever they make up. If you disagree with them in any way, that’s called contempt.
And at this point, the children had already been returned. I was about a month away from having [child’s name] and I was looking at six months jail time if I did not (starts to cry again), if I did not sign that paperwork. So I had to sign the plea deal, saying that I was guilty of whatever, and that the sheriff was justified and blah, blah, blah, because if I didn’t, I would have had my son in jail.
That’s a hard decision to have to make. Because when you know you’re innocent of something, when you know you’ve done the right thing and you have to admit you’ve done wrong when you haven’t, only because you want to try to save what semblance of sanity you have, there’s no way my children could have gone back into foster care. There’s no way we could have allowed that.
And, um, having [child’s name] in jail, that would have just been, that would have been horrible, because they would have taken him immediately. Sorry (continues to cry)
But this is the system that we’re all fighting. You know people say, oh well, if you just did this, if you just took care of your kids, only bad parents get involved, I can assure you that I may be biased, but even CPS who has investigated us profusely, has not found us to be bad parents.
We were never charged with abuse. We were never charged with neglect. None of our paperwork ever says that. The judge, the guardian ad litem, um, [name of GAL]’s the guardian ad litem in our county, she made as part of the plea deal was that we lived in a dilapidated home, which is dependency.
Dependency means whatever they want it to mean. Through no fault of our own, we lived in a dilapidated home. That’s exactly what the paperwork said. We had to plea to that. Which is fine. We were living in a dilapidated home. We were working on it. We had plans to build a bigger home. We were working on those things.
The cabin that we were living in, it was safe. I know it was safe, we lived in it for a whole winter. It was clean because we kept it clean. It was small. It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, but it was safe. And even the caseworkers that came the Friday after that my kids were taken, the two caseworkers that showed up with my attorney, because we were finally able to organize that, if they had just waited a couple of days, said that it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was, and came into court that Monday and recommended my children be returned.
The guardian ad litem opposed that for eight weeks. The guardian ad litem is the reason my children were in custody for eight weeks. Even Todd Pate sat on the stand that day and said, they’ve broken no laws, I see no reason the children shouldn’t come home, but yet the guardian ad litem kept saying, well, what about this, and let’s check this, we need to look for this, we need to look for that, and for eight weeks, went on witch-hunting. When she finally saw how much it was breaking down my children, not that she ever met them, she never once met them, but when she saw the reports of the caseworkers reporting how it was affecting my children, she finally agreed, if we bought that stupid prefab cabin, wasted our money buying a prefab, instead of waiting until we could build a better one, cause CPS only said by the time winter comes, and my rule was before the baby was born, so it would have been way before their deadline even, but we had to buy that prefab to get our kids home.
And even then, after that, she kept pushing to have things dug, and have things dug, and have things dug, and she still, she still pulls up things, like she’s concerned that our non-conformist life is endangering. We’re concerned that because we don’t live like everybody else there might be some damage done. Like, now, not conforming is some form of child abuse or something.
And she wants everything looked into to make sure. So if you’re even a little bit different, you do things a little bit different, and when asked about it, when my attorney said we have a right to not do these things, we have a right to seek medical treatment how we want, we have a right to educate how we want, we have these rights, she said, not when you’re in front of the court.
So that’s going to presume that we’re getting to a point in our society where we, um, getting to a point in our society where your rights exist only until they get you into court somehow. And it’s not hard to get someone into court. Even with basic criminal charges, in Kentucky. Um, like for example, the harassment charges on my husband.
You have a pre-trial conference with the county attorney. The county attorney has no interest in looking at the evidence. She just wants to make a plea deal. Are you gonna take our deal or not? No, we’re not. Would you like to look at the evidence? No, she says. She doesn’t want to look at the evidence. She just wants to know if you’re gonna plea deal.
I talked to three attorneys that we looked into hiring for our case. All of them said it’s almost impossible unless you take it to jury trial to get charges dropped in this manner because all they care about is plea deal, plea deal, plea deal. Well, what they do is they just keep resetting your court date, so after the third or fourth court date, most people say, fine, I’ll take the plea deal, cause I can’t afford to miss any more work. Well, Joe doesn’t work and I’m self-employed, so missing work isn’t an issue. We just reschedule our business. So, we can fight things, and we’re gonna fight things.
But back to our case, that’s how they pulled it in the case, they just kept holding things over our head, using pressure of, um, more criminal charges, and other issues that had nothing to do with our children, um, such as the contempt charges. We don’t even know what they would have been but we know they would have filed them, and we could have fought them, but we would have had to fight them from jail. We would have had to fight them without our kids. And that wasn’t, that wasn’t an option anymore.
I don’t know what will happen, um, it’s very strange right now that our CPS case is open and we do not have a pending court date, um, sorry my phone keeps when I turn, if they just kept resetting for a while, we’d go back, and they’d be oh we need to look at this more, and we need to do this now, and we need to do that now, and just dragging it out and dragging it out and um whatnot and, but now there’s no court date. We’re just waiting for somebody to decide to do something and figure out what’s going on. We have petitioned to have our case closed, and we get ignored, we get the run-around, but today marks two years. Today, two years, done. We need to be done with this.
So, I’ve been kind of leery about releasing recordings because I know the retaliation (starts crying yet again), not only from the courts but from people the courts have, um, rallied and organized possibly, I don’t know if I want to go that far to say that, I don’t if that’s exactly what it’s been, but it’s not, it’s not unreasonable. I know how some of these people work.
But the social aspect of how people view our case, well, they must be doing something wrong if their case is still open, so I’m justified in my actions in assuming that these people are abusive parents, because otherwise the CPS case wouldn’t be open, which is anything but the truth.
So this week we will start releasing our recordings. Um, we have recorded everything except for what happens in closed family court. Kentucky is one of fourteen states where family court is closed. Um, all other states, um, like neighboring Indiana, their family court cases are open, so they can be open to the public, so the public can know what’s going on. But here, in Kentucky, that’s not. So we have all of the documentation from everything except what happens inside court where we’re not legally allowed to record.
So, those recordings will be start coming out this week. Um, I don’t know what day or time. I’m trying to get them uploaded to a good source. If anybody knows of any good source that we have, we were going to put them on Youtube, but I’m just not sure I want to use Youtube, maybe something else. Um, suggestions are welcome.
But, and I know I sound worse than I usually do because my nose is congested, my throat is sore and I was crying and I’m tired and that’s just where I’m at. Take it or leave it.
But anyways, um, I’m gonna sign off here, just talking while I was driving to work and we’re at work, so I will update again, probably tomorrow, if not Sunday with some more info and I should have, I’m hoping by then that we have the, um, the audio recordings from the first CPS visit, um, the first CPS phone calls, actually, I’ll start with the phone calls of the May 6 and, May seventh we went to court, May 6 we had, um, May 6 in the evening the older two boys were taken. May seventh in the morning my husband had to, um, bring the other children to the sheriff’s office, and then he went and bailed me out of jail and we went to court late, we were like ten minutes late to court because I was in jail
But we got to court and so we have recordings we had on the phone calls up to those times with any workers and then Friday morning, because that was Wednesday, Thursday court, Friday morning my attorney and the two caseworkers came out to the house, and then that weekend we organized, my caseworkers were able to organize a visit to where my children and us could be together at a neutral home for the weekend, and
CPS had actually thought that, um, and actually had told us, and whatnot, that they fully expected the children to be returned on Monday.
So when we went to court on Monday (crying again), we had full, we walked away thinking we were just going to see them that afternoon and we didn’t. Obviously. So that was really hard. But, um, like I said, I’m gonna sign off, I’m gonna continue this story, I’m gonna try to blog it some, I’m really bad at writing these days, I just don’t have the energy to do it and videos are a little easier even though I get really emotional but they are easier, so I will update the rest of the story. I think I want to go a little more in detail because it’s still, because the case is still open, um, I think it’s important that we really start addressing these things and really bring these issues to light, not only for ourselves but for so many other families that the CPS corruption in all states, not only CPS, but family court corruption in all states is getting to the point where everyone is vulnerable. I’m hearing more and more stories of, of people’s kids being taken, um, just this morning, I was reading one of an infant who was taken because her mother declined a voluntary procedure and the mother declined it, and CPS took a baby from her.
[grabs a roll of toilet paper and tears some off and wipes eyes with it]
And um, this happens every day. You bring your kid to the doctor because they’ve got, you know, they’re ill, and the next thing you know you’re being charged with child neglect and child abuse because your child got sick and now parents are afraid to bring children to the emergency room for, um, you know, bumps and bruises because they know CPS is gonna accuse them of something or take them or something. The incidence of this is so high that it’s now become a risk in parenting, you know, what do I do.
There was a video just yesterday of a Delta agent saying if you don’t comply, foster care is gonna take your kid. I mean that’s the threat level that we’re at. It’s just a default, do as I say or we’re gonna take your kids. And um, it’s not right, and um, I’m gonna be a lot more vocal about that and I’m gonna be exposing a lot more of our recordings and our side of the story in hopes that not only it helps our case, but it helps somebody else’s.
So anyways, I will talk to you later.