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Can I appeal my cps case and seek the return of my children, monetary compensation, and sue judges and cps workers, etc.

Sacramento, CA |

My children are 13 & 15 are they old enough to decide where they want to live without interference from cps.

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Attorney answers 3


Children do not get to make that decision. When CPS removes children it is based on safety concerns. Ordinarily you can appeal your case either at the time the children are adjudicated dependent, at the time you are denied reunification if the case is closed, or at the time your parental rights are terminated, if the case goes that far. If the children were placed in a guardianship, and things have changed...that is, you have completed your case plan tasks and it would now be in the children's best interest to be returned, you can write a letter to the court asking them to reopen the case, and the children can express their opinions about where they want to be, but that would not be determinative.

In most states, you can't sue CPS for doing their jobs, you can only sue if children suffer injury in foster care. I don't now what the law is in CA on that. You can't sue judges for doing their job. If you had a trial and the children were removed, you were given due process. If you lost, and failed to appeal in a timely manner, then legally that issue is resolved and no longer subject to challenge.

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft


Likewise, if you chose to forego a trial and consented to dependency, you also had due process. Basically if you went through court and didn't appeal the judgment in a timely manner, you're done on those issues.


The answer provided by Ms. Morcroft is correct. Unlike a family law matter, minors don't get to decide where they get to live if they have been removed pursuant ti a dependency action. The removal is done for their safety and concern for their well being. You cannot sue CPS or judges for doing their job either. As for appealing the court's decision, you should talk to your dependency attorney. Unless your parental rights have been terminated, there is probably nothing to appeal. Although I don't currently handle dependency matters, I have handled a fair amount in the past in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties. As much as I don't care for CPS' heavy handed tactics, sometimes they need to step in when children are not being properly taken of, such as living in squalid and deplorable conditions, are not going to school or are being physically or sexually abused.


Your children were not taken away unless your behavior/care/treatment fell WAY below the level of acceptable safety. Usually that involves drugs/alcohol/mental illness/filthy living conditions/physical abuse/emotional abuse/child abandonment. I don't know how you were adjudicated to be a danger to your children, but you do. If you do NOT understand why your kids were removed, than you probably are not far enough along to seek their return.

You cannot sue anyone in the government for attempting to protect you children. You can petition for their return if you have received necessary medical or emotional treatment for the underlying issues. The legal analysis involves reviewing the facts, and considering what situation is in the best interests of the children. What is best for you is not the criteria.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

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