Friday, May 23, 2008

Texas court exceeded discretion in ordering children removed from FLDS ranch

Well, we posted about this last month, so I figured I better give an update. I have been waiting to hear what the courts had to say and it looks like they have spoken…

A Texas appeals court ruled yesterday that a San Angelo judge (Barbara Walther) exceeded her discretion when she ordered the state to take custody of more than 460 children from a polygamous sect.

In its ruling, the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals decided in favor of 38 women who had challenged the removals and appealed a decision last month by a district judge that the children will remain in state custody.

The order said State District Judge Barbara Walther abused her discretion when she ordered the children seized and gave her 10 days to vacate her order.

Child welfare officials removed the children alleging that the sect pushed underage girls into marriage and sex and trained boys to become future perpetrators.

A spokesman for Child Protective Services (CPS) said attorneys were reviewing the order and a decision regarding an appeal would be made later.

In the decision, the court ruled that CPS failed to provide any evidence that the children were in imminent danger and acted hastily in removing them from their families.

"The existence of the FLDS belief system as described by the Department's witnesses, by itself, does not put children of FLDS parents in physical danger," the court ruled.

All I can say is, if there are underage girls who are being forced into marriages with adults (who should know better), and are forced to have children before they are ready, then I have a problem with the situation and believe the children should not be returned to the compound. The state of Texas needs to stay involved and protect the rights of these children. I think that this case is far from over . . . Texas has really opened up a can of worms with the FLDS this time.

For commentary on the ruling, click here

This just in . . .(from Texas appeals ruling on sect children

No comments: