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Jeffrey Patrick Bassett

Jeffrey Bassett’s Answers

456 total

  • Can cps take my child because they suspect that I smoke weed ? If they ask me for a ua do I take it ?

    I live in Washington state and marijuana is legal here

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Because of the enactment of recreational marijuana laws, the answer is no longer a simple one. So long as you are of legal age to smoke marijuana, the fact that you may smoke is not a clear ground to remove the child. The issue is one of safety, so (as with other legal mood-altering substances such as prescription drugs and alcohol) an investigator would have to look at how much you are smoking and how it affects your ability to parent. Judges are struggling with this question as much as we attorneys are, so it's not a cut and dry yes or no. Before taking a UA, I would consult with an attorney. You'll want to be up front about your use (i.e., how much).

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  • What can I do to gain custody of a 15 year old foster child that keeps running when CPS takes him back. His worker will not help

    My sisters boy was taken due to abuse by his dad and they are treating my sister like she is the abuser when she tried to get him away from the bad situation. Cps did nothing when she called and while waiting for her court date dad was arrested fo...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    If you are truly interested in taking custody, you should present yourself in person to the local department and ask to fill out paperwork for approval of placement. If you pass, your sister could move the court to consider placement with you.

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  • Is it legal for Child Protective Services to ignore on going cases for one person while choosing to hand them a child?

    I am a father to a new born son of five days old, the mother has a child whom is 5 years old. She has a 7 page history of state care takers, medical personel, and child protective service workers stating she is unfit, with three different sexual ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It is "legal" to place the child with the mother. The wisdom of such a decision depends on the specific facts. One question would be where the five year old child is. If that child is still with the mother (and considering that the goal on a dependency case almost always starts out as reunification with parent(s)), there is incentive to place the newborn there as well. I agree with other counsel that you should seek to get counsel (parents are entitled to ask for court-appointed counsel) in order to protect your rights.

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  • My cps case has been closed for about 3 years what do i have to do to get my case reopened

    Cps got involved in my life in 2009 . I never once received any court date or anything to know to show up for court. The last i knew i had supervised visitation with my kids, but the lady who has them had done nothing but keep them away from me. T...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    How you proceed (and whether you can) depends on how the case was closed. The first thing you need to do is to go to the clerk of the court and find out the specifics: WHEN was the case closed, HOW was it closed. Putting aside why you never got notice (I'm sure DSHS's position on this is different from yours, and I can assure you that the court would have required documentation of efforts to notify you and/or the publication of legal notice in a local paper) and questions a to what efforts you made to get involved in any court proceeding over a three year period, the most important question here is the case's (and children's) status on closing.

    You don't indicate who this "lady" is who has your children. She could be a relative, a family friend, a foster mother. And you state the "cps case has been closed". Does this mean the court case is closed? If so, the crucial question is HOW it was closed. If not reunified with a parent, a child may find permanency in several other ways, depending on the age of the child. This could be via a guardianship or third party custody with a friend/relative (depending on the State provisions), long-term foster care and independent living (usually only for late teens), or adoption.

    Your ability to reopen this case depends on the manner in which it was closed. In general, if a child is in long-term foster care, the parent may petition the court to reopen and review the same. For guardianships/3d party custody, there may be specific requirements (i.e., in addition to showing that a parent has addressed things like drug issues, there may be the need to show that the continued guardianship is no longer in the child's best interest--this all depends on the specific State's rules). Finally, if adopted, the chance to reopen the dependency is slim to none.

    In any case, you should gather whatever information you can from the court clerk as to the date and manner in which the case was closed and take this, with whatever proof you have of service compliance, for consultation with an attorney.

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  • If i am an ex felon how are my chances of getting custody of my daughter as her mom lost custody of her other daughter

    the mother of my daughter is currently uin a custody battle with her other daughter fromm another father. She has allready lost custody temporarily because oif drug use and neglect., I want custody of my daughter. I am an ex felon and I am a st...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    No one can truly answer as to your chances. There are, however, factors which will determine how a court could look at this issue:
    1. What was/were your felony charge(es)?
    2. How did you complete your sentence (i.e., did you violate probation or comply totally?)?
    3. What courses/services did you engage in to address the felony (e.g., if you had drug charges, did you complete treatment)?
    4. Are you still on any probation/community control?
    5. Is the State involved in a dependency action based on the mother's drug use? (if so, you would need to contact the appropriate social worker and find out what he/she wishes you to comply with in order to prove your fitness)?
    6. Are you current on any child support obligation?
    7. Have you been consistent in visiting your child?
    8. Do you have a bond with the child?

    Your chances of custody increase where time distances you from that felony conviction, where you've complied promptly with any sentence, where you've engaged in remedial services to address any deficit, and where you've shown yourself to be a fit parent.

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  • Another charge within a couple months of DUI charge, on diversion, Jail time?

    Lewd conduct (peeing in public) charge 8 months after getting a DUI charge, on diversion for two years and cant get into any trouble. Went to court for my new charge and my attorney didn't clue me in to what can happen, i paid him 2,500 to help wi...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Attorneys are hired for specific cases, so I would expect he'd want to be paid to handle the new charge. Yes, this COULD violate your diversion. Depending on the county/city, many would choose to set over any potential violation to see what happens to the lewd conduct charge. If your diversion is revoked, you would be subject to being sentenced on the DUI and, depending on whether you have any priors, could look at at least a day or two in jail, up to the max of a year. Hard to really say based on the info you provide above. While my first thought is WHY would someone with a DUI hanging over his head pee in public at second thought is that I hope no alcohol is involved. The court COULD simply read the docket notes about that charge and find cause to revoke your diversion, especially if alcohol was involved and you are on a diversion for DUI. The decision to go with private counsel or court appointed counsel depends on your level of comfort. You can choose your private attorney while you can't choose your court appointed attorney, but in many cases, the court counsel (being in court most every day) truly know the ins and outs of the system.

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  • I was just charged in washington state for my 3rd dui. However, my last dui was more than 7 years ago. will this help my case?

    i spoke with an attorney that said this would count like a first due to my last conviction being more than 7 years ago. is this true?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The attorney was correct in that this COULD count like a first DUI. However, whether it WOULD be treated the same is a matter of debate. The farther away your last DUI the better, but two priors on your record could have the prosecutor and/or judge considering more than just the mandatory minimum of one or two days in jail (depending on your BAC or whether you took it).

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  • My 11 yo son is phys. threatened, verb/mentally abused by his mothers boyfriend & she does nothing. How do I get custody quick?

    BF has been in & out of the house many x's over the years & they have a 1yo. She neglects my son on many levels & he has requested for years to live with us & his 5yo bro/2 yo sister, here. She refuses & says it is only so I don't have to pay sup...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There are two routes: (1) call in an abuse report to DSHS or (2) file for custody. I definitely recommend the latter. You should NOT involve DSHS unless you have absolutely no way to fight for custody. While I believe they try to work to a better end, their involvement is usually more trouble than it's worth to the nonoffending parent. Your best bet, then, is to file for custody of the child. But caution: without extrinsic proof, your 11 yr old may actually have to come to court to testify. Not the best idea, but neither is leaving him in an abusive environment. If you cannot afford an attorney to file for custody, you may still wish to check with the courthouse and/or your local bar association to see if there's help for indigent parents.

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  • My children were taken from me beacuse of my ex, And i was at work, now they are trying to say it was failure to protect.

    The father of my children abused them while I was at work. CPS took them away from me even with no warning nor did they give me a chance to fix the problem. They are stating it was failure to protect although I was the one who threw the fathers be...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You've only discussed what the Department has or hasn't done and not what you've done to comply with court orders, so one can only make assumptions as to why you haven't gotten your children back. Further, if it's been almost two years, I would have to assume you either consented to the dependency, or lost the trial. In either case, if the children were adjudicated dependent and you didn't appeal within thirty days, it's too late to contest the adjudication at this point. Moving past that issue, permanency for a child is supposed to be reached within one year, not two. But not knowing what each of the court review orders state to date as to your compliance with services and the Department's efforts to reunify, no attorney can truly answer this question. Basically, though, if you feel the Department hasn't been doing its job, you (or your counsel) need to have the court make that finding. Any finding that is against you should be reviewed for possible appeal to the Court of Appeals.

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  • Collection Agency broke Federal Law?

    A collection agency has been calling me to try to collect on a debt. I believe this agency has broken 4 federal laws and 1 state law. I have no clue how I should procede at this point, because all I really want is for the debt to be marked as sa...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Here is a link to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
    It's pretty straightforward reading and should answer your questions as to what are and are not fair practices and what you can do if they fail to cease and desist. If, indeed, they are not complying with the act, I would (if I were you) start with a certified, return-receipt letter to them outlining the situation, your satisfaction of this debt, and the pertinent provisions of the Act under which they are on notice that they may be liable for civil damages. That should be sufficient to stop the harassment. If not, you may have to report them.

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