City condemned my house and had DSS called in to take my kids. What can I do?

Asked over 2 years ago - Mauldin, SC

On May 1st daughter had to call 911 because my diabetic mother needed help. Policy in our city is that if a minor calls 911 the cops come with the ambulance. My daughter let the cop in who came and he made everyone go outside and wait, not allowing anyone to return to the house. They would not let my kids go to school, left my mother sitting in the heat with no medicine or water, and called the housing code person and DSS because our house was dirty. My minor daughter let the cops in, is that still grounds for them to take our rights away, since she did not know? The jj Det questioned my minor daughter without my consent, and DSS kept us waiting for over three hours. She and the det only gave us ten minutes to get someone for our kids. My kids are now at my neighbors. I need help ASAP.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Paul Dezso de Holczer

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service

    The Lawyer Referral Service is a public service of the South Carolina Bar offered by telephone and online. The telephone service operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To reach the telephone service, both in state and out of state, call (800) 868-2284. In Richland and Lexington counties, call 799-7100. The online service is available 24/7.

    The Bar can refer you to a qualified, prescreened attorney in one of more than 100 areas of law.
    The services offers a referral to a person by the area or location needed and by the type of law.

    Why should you use our service?
    Even if you are not sure whether your situation requires a lawyer, in many cases it is useful--and can be less expensive in the end--to obtain the advice of counsel early in your case. The lawyers signed up with our service are all in good standing with the South Carolina Bar. They must also maintain malpractice insurance coverage, which is not a requirement for lawyers licensed to practice in the state of South Carolina. The lawyers also agree to offer a 30-minute consultation for no more than $50. Thereafter, the fees will be the lawyers' normal fees.

    What is expected of me?
    When you contact the service by telephone or access it online, you are expected to provide the potential client's name and address. You will also be asked how you found out about the Lawyer Referral Service.

    If you contact the service by telephone, you will be asked to provide a brief explanation of your possible legal situation. You will also be asked the county in which you are seeking a lawyer. If you access the program online, you will select the county and the type of law, then type a brief explanation of your legal situation.

    Whether you use our service by telephone or online, you will be given the name and number of one attorney to contact who fits your situation. If the lawyer is unable to assist you, please either revisit the online referral page or call the Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 868-2284 and explain the situation to the operator, and he or she will try to assist you with another referral.

    Once you receive a referral, you will be expected to contact the lawyer by telephone to make an appointment.

    Other helpful contacts
    If you are indigent and unable to pay for a lawyer's service, you may want to contact LATIS at 1-888-346-5592 to see if you qualify for free or reduced-fee legal services. This program will screen you to see if you qualify. If you do not qualify, they may refer you back to the Lawyer Referral Service. To find out more about LATIS, you can visit Click here for a list of helpful phone numbers within the S.C. Bar, S.C. Judicial Department, legal services, state government and other agencies.

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Related Topics

Child protection services

Child protection services (CPS) is a government agency that protects children from abuse and neglect. This abuse could be from injury or other harm.

Condemned house

A condemned house is one that does not meet building codes, and is in such poor shape that nobody can legally live in it unless and until it is repaired.

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