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Neighbors calling CPS just to harrass us... - Page 2

post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post

Everything LROM said. Social workers see a lot of crazy, scary stuff. Having worked in the field, you never know what you will find when that door opens. You could have a lovely smiling mom in a nice house telling you how all is well and the door opens up to things you can't *unsee*. And when some little thing you are ready to "check out and cross off" turns into "get a warrant" 1.) There is not way I could see *not* getting a warrant/calling the police because the issue still stands and I have no additional information to discredit it. 2.) I get really nervous because I have *no* idea why I am being barred- Is it a boyfriend on the couch who has been skipping parole? Is is some other horrible thing? Or is it a concerned and educated parent exercising their rights? I don't know why, but it's my job to see the kids are safe, so I'm going to do what I need to for the door to open. 3.) Social workers have their own experiences that shape their ideas. So, you remember the child where you missed the signs. You remember the lovely mom you interviewed after "bogus" claims to find horrible things later. And it makes you promise to not let that happen again. So "get a warrant" sends up a million feelings that are not entirely related to what is going on with you (which, you don't really want).

 

In short, I could not *imagine* if someone said "get a warrant" that I would *not* do that and most likely, call the police (who CAN come in if there is reason to believe that the children are in danger).

 

So, while it may be within your rights, I would use that with great seriousness.


But police have to have probably cause, and third party "Someone called and said ....." doesn't constitute probably cause.  Yes, they would probably try to get a warrant, but that requires going in front of a judge and asking for one, and then you might get one, or you might not.  The CPS call on me was about "she doesn't respond to the baby's cries when someone else is holding him"  Ummm...I DO NOT think a judge would have granted a warrant based on that!


Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"

post #22 of 84

Right... I'ts gotta be something where  danger is involved.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post

Everything LROM said. Social workers see a lot of crazy, scary stuff. Having worked in the field, you never know what you will find when that door opens. You could have a lovely smiling mom in a nice house telling you how all is well and the door opens up to things you can't *unsee*. And when some little thing you are ready to "check out and cross off" turns into "get a warrant" 1.) There is not way I could see *not* getting a warrant/calling the police because the issue still stands and I have no additional information to discredit it. 2.) I get really nervous because I have *no* idea why I am being barred- Is it a boyfriend on the couch who has been skipping parole? Is is some other horrible thing? Or is it a concerned and educated parent exercising their rights? I don't know why, but it's my job to see the kids are safe, so I'm going to do what I need to for the door to open. 3.) Social workers have their own experiences that shape their ideas. So, you remember the child where you missed the signs. You remember the lovely mom you interviewed after "bogus" claims to find horrible things later. And it makes you promise to not let that happen again. So "get a warrant" sends up a million feelings that are not entirely related to what is going on with you (which, you don't really want).

 

In short, I could not *imagine* if someone said "get a warrant" that I would *not* do that and most likely, call the police (who CAN come in if there is reason to believe that the children are in danger).

 

So, while it may be within your rights, I would use that with great seriousness.


But police have to have probably cause, and third party "Someone called and said ....." doesn't constitute probably cause.  Yes, they would probably try to get a warrant, but that requires going in front of a judge and asking for one, and then you might get one, or you might not.  The CPS call on me was about "she doesn't respond to the baby's cries when someone else is holding him"  Ummm...I DO NOT think a judge would have granted a warrant based on that!

post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"



Yeah - and that idea makes some sense when you're talking about a breathalyzer (although I have heard of false readings, so I can kind of get it). It doesn't make sense when you're talking about not wanting a total stranger, who has the power to potentially take your children away, into your house. I think CPS workers (at least the good ones, which I'm forced to accept probably exist) look at this as "I'm a nice, well meaning person, so they must be hiding something awful if they don't want me around" and overlook the fact that the parents know nothing about them, except that they (the CPS workers) have all the power, and can use it on the single most vulnerable point the parents have. Turn it around. All I know about a person is that they work for the government and they have the power to take away my kids...and that's all supposed to be reason to trust them in my home?

post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post

Everything LROM said. Social workers see a lot of crazy, scary stuff. Having worked in the field, you never know what you will find when that door opens. You could have a lovely smiling mom in a nice house telling you how all is well and the door opens up to things you can't *unsee*. And when some little thing you are ready to "check out and cross off" turns into "get a warrant" 1.) There is not way I could see *not* getting a warrant/calling the police because the issue still stands and I have no additional information to discredit it. 2.) I get really nervous because I have *no* idea why I am being barred- Is it a boyfriend on the couch who has been skipping parole? Is is some other horrible thing? Or is it a concerned and educated parent exercising their rights? I don't know why, but it's my job to see the kids are safe, so I'm going to do what I need to for the door to open. 3.) Social workers have their own experiences that shape their ideas. So, you remember the child where you missed the signs. You remember the lovely mom you interviewed after "bogus" claims to find horrible things later. And it makes you promise to not let that happen again. So "get a warrant" sends up a million feelings that are not entirely related to what is going on with you (which, you don't really want).

 

In short, I could not *imagine* if someone said "get a warrant" that I would *not* do that and most likely, call the police (who CAN come in if there is reason to believe that the children are in danger).

 

So, while it may be within your rights, I would use that with great seriousness.


But police have to have probably cause, and third party "Someone called and said ....." doesn't constitute probably cause.  Yes, they would probably try to get a warrant, but that requires going in front of a judge and asking for one, and then you might get one, or you might not.  The CPS call on me was about "she doesn't respond to the baby's cries when someone else is holding him"  Ummm...I DO NOT think a judge would have granted a warrant based on that!


Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"


 

Can they arrest if you refuse a sobriety test or a breathalyzer?  I know that when we get a drivers license we sign away our right to refuse a breathalyzer, but a sobriety test is a different thing altogether. 

 

And, for the police to show up at your house, and rely on a social worker, telling them what a person said (when they didn't even talk to that caller themselves), that does not amount to probably cause.  Even if they deny the officer's request to enter the home.  An arrest also does not allow the police to search your home, if you have denied them entrance - they may reasonably search your person, but not your home.  Our 4th amendment right protecting us from unreasonable search and seizure doesn't allow that.  It also wouldn't allow a third party to search our home - which would be the social worker.  To enter, the social worker needs to speak with a judge to get a warrant allowing - a police officer is not allowed to make that decision.

 

Whether it happens or not is a different story, but it would not be an acceptable use of "power".

 

I hope that made sense.  I'm exhausted.

post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"



Yeah - and that idea makes some sense when you're talking about a breathalyzer (although I have heard of false readings, so I can kind of get it). It doesn't make sense when you're talking about not wanting a total stranger, who has the power to potentially take your children away, into your house. I think CPS workers (at least the good ones, which I'm forced to accept probably exist) look at this as "I'm a nice, well meaning person, so they must be hiding something awful if they don't want me around" and overlook the fact that the parents know nothing about them, except that they (the CPS workers) have all the power, and can use it on the single most vulnerable point the parents have. Turn it around. All I know about a person is that they work for the government and they have the power to take away my kids...and that's all supposed to be reason to trust them in my home?


But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.

post #26 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"



Yeah - and that idea makes some sense when you're talking about a breathalyzer (although I have heard of false readings, so I can kind of get it). It doesn't make sense when you're talking about not wanting a total stranger, who has the power to potentially take your children away, into your house. I think CPS workers (at least the good ones, which I'm forced to accept probably exist) look at this as "I'm a nice, well meaning person, so they must be hiding something awful if they don't want me around" and overlook the fact that the parents know nothing about them, except that they (the CPS workers) have all the power, and can use it on the single most vulnerable point the parents have. Turn it around. All I know about a person is that they work for the government and they have the power to take away my kids...and that's all supposed to be reason to trust them in my home?


But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.


exactly. it's a chance you're taking that has a lot of variables.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post

Everything LROM said. Social workers see a lot of crazy, scary stuff. Having worked in the field, you never know what you will find when that door opens. You could have a lovely smiling mom in a nice house telling you how all is well and the door opens up to things you can't *unsee*. And when some little thing you are ready to "check out and cross off" turns into "get a warrant" 1.) There is not way I could see *not* getting a warrant/calling the police because the issue still stands and I have no additional information to discredit it. 2.) I get really nervous because I have *no* idea why I am being barred- Is it a boyfriend on the couch who has been skipping parole? Is is some other horrible thing? Or is it a concerned and educated parent exercising their rights? I don't know why, but it's my job to see the kids are safe, so I'm going to do what I need to for the door to open. 3.) Social workers have their own experiences that shape their ideas. So, you remember the child where you missed the signs. You remember the lovely mom you interviewed after "bogus" claims to find horrible things later. And it makes you promise to not let that happen again. So "get a warrant" sends up a million feelings that are not entirely related to what is going on with you (which, you don't really want).

 

In short, I could not *imagine* if someone said "get a warrant" that I would *not* do that and most likely, call the police (who CAN come in if there is reason to believe that the children are in danger).

 

So, while it may be within your rights, I would use that with great seriousness.


But police have to have probably cause, and third party "Someone called and said ....." doesn't constitute probably cause.  Yes, they would probably try to get a warrant, but that requires going in front of a judge and asking for one, and then you might get one, or you might not.  The CPS call on me was about "she doesn't respond to the baby's cries when someone else is holding him"  Ummm...I DO NOT think a judge would have granted a warrant based on that!


Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"


 

Can they arrest if you refuse a sobriety test or a breathalyzer?  I know that when we get a drivers license we sign away our right to refuse a breathalyzer, but a sobriety test is a different thing altogether. 

 

And, for the police to show up at your house, and rely on a social worker, telling them what a person said (when they didn't even talk to that caller themselves), that does not amount to probably cause.  Even if they deny the officer's request to enter the home.  An arrest also does not allow the police to search your home, if you have denied them entrance - they may reasonably search your person, but not your home.  Our 4th amendment right protecting us from unreasonable search and seizure doesn't allow that.  It also wouldn't allow a third party to search our home - which would be the social worker.  To enter, the social worker needs to speak with a judge to get a warrant allowing - a police officer is not allowed to make that decision.

 

Whether it happens or not is a different story, but it would not be an acceptable use of "power".

 

I hope that made sense.  I'm exhausted.



 I'm a pretty stubborn individual and I don't like to back down (even when I should), but this is one of the things in my life that I am not willing to take a chance on. It's true that it's not an accaeptable use of power, but standing up to an apparent injustice might cost me my kids.

 

The whole thing confuses me. I've had a police officer come to my home to do a "welfare check" and he came into the house without knocking. I didn't know he was there until he knocked on my bedroom door. I tried to tell him I didn't want to open the door and he told me I HAD to and that he had already seen me through the window. This upset me even more because I was undressed, lying across my bed, and ds was in only underwear. It creeped me out that he had been looking at me unclothed through my window and then proceeded to let himself into the house through an unlocked door.

 

It seems to me that there is a HUGE disparity between what is supposed to happen and what actually does happen.

post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.



But I'm not convinced that police officers are allowed to enter a home just b/c they think they have probable cause.  I haven't taken Criminal Procedure, but I'll check with a friend to satisfy my own curiosity, but I'm almost certain that when officers have probable cause to arrest, they can only search the person and their immediate surroundings - which, would not necessarily include the home if they are standing outside it.  And an officer would not be able to grant that authority to a third party - that would be an abuse of power.  And officers do abuse their power in some situations, but thats a different thread.

post #28 of 84

And then there is always the question - is this a battle that I can win, and if so, will I lose the war?

 

Having your kids taken from you, for any length of time, regardless of the circumstances, is terribly traumatic to the children. I think the bigger question is, what will protect your children in the immediate and long term? Being resistant to someone who has been ordered to investigate potential harm being done to your kids is not necessarily a good policy, when that person is mandated to make sure your kids are not being harmed by YOU.

 

Please note, I am not saying roll over and do everything they say. But refusing to let them in or requiring them to get a warrant to take it to the next level, WILL most likely result in the investigation being taken to the next level. Pick you battles, is my advice.

 

I liked the gossipy neighbor idea - very good at letting it be known that there will be consequences for bs behavior.

post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post




 I'm a pretty stubborn individual and I don't like to back down (even when I should), but this is one of the things in my life that I am not willing to take a chance on. It's true that it's not an accaeptable use of power, but standing up to an apparent injustice might cost me my kids.

 

The whole thing confuses me. I've had a police officer come to my home to do a "welfare check" and he came into the house without knocking. I didn't know he was there until he knocked on my bedroom door. I tried to tell him I didn't want to open the door and he told me I HAD to and that he had already seen me through the window. This upset me even more because I was undressed, lying across my bed, and ds was in only underwear. It creeped me out that he had been looking at me unclothed through my window and then proceeded to let himself into the house through an unlocked door.

 

It seems to me that there is a HUGE disparity between what is supposed to happen and what actually does happen.


 

A welfare check is different b/c someone called the police concerned about you, asking them to check on you - that gives them probable cause and they are then required to make sure you are living and breathing - that requires talking to you.  Yes, its a little creepy, but it is what it is (my mom has called the police to do welfare checks on my brothers - they don't answer the phone when they go off to college the first time, and then they learn that if they don't talk to my mom she will call the police!)

 

I'm not saying that people should deny CPS entrance to their home just based on principle - just explaining that they have the right to, and trying to shed some light on how that works. 

post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"



Yeah - and that idea makes some sense when you're talking about a breathalyzer (although I have heard of false readings, so I can kind of get it). It doesn't make sense when you're talking about not wanting a total stranger, who has the power to potentially take your children away, into your house. I think CPS workers (at least the good ones, which I'm forced to accept probably exist) look at this as "I'm a nice, well meaning person, so they must be hiding something awful if they don't want me around" and overlook the fact that the parents know nothing about them, except that they (the CPS workers) have all the power, and can use it on the single most vulnerable point the parents have. Turn it around. All I know about a person is that they work for the government and they have the power to take away my kids...and that's all supposed to be reason to trust them in my home?


But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.


I get that. It is what it is. I simply completely disagree with it. There's really no good reason for a sober person to refuse to do a breathalyzer. There are good reasons why people don't want CPS in their homes.

post #31 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Refusal to comply with a police request is often considered probable cause. That is the reason they can arrest you for drinking and driving if you refuse a sobriety test. It's the idea of "if you have nothing to hide then why refuse?"



Yeah - and that idea makes some sense when you're talking about a breathalyzer (although I have heard of false readings, so I can kind of get it). It doesn't make sense when you're talking about not wanting a total stranger, who has the power to potentially take your children away, into your house. I think CPS workers (at least the good ones, which I'm forced to accept probably exist) look at this as "I'm a nice, well meaning person, so they must be hiding something awful if they don't want me around" and overlook the fact that the parents know nothing about them, except that they (the CPS workers) have all the power, and can use it on the single most vulnerable point the parents have. Turn it around. All I know about a person is that they work for the government and they have the power to take away my kids...and that's all supposed to be reason to trust them in my home?


But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.


I get that. It is what it is. I simply completely disagree with it. There's really no good reason for a sober person to refuse to do a breathalyzer. There are good reasons why people don't want CPS in their homes.


The reason a sober person might refuse a breathalyzer is the same reason that someone doesn't want CPS in their home when there is nothing going on, they consider it a violation of privacy.

post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.



But I'm not convinced that police officers are allowed to enter a home just b/c they think they have probable cause.  I haven't taken Criminal Procedure, but I'll check with a friend to satisfy my own curiosity, but I'm almost certain that when officers have probable cause to arrest, they can only search the person and their immediate surroundings - which, would not necessarily include the home if they are standing outside it.  And an officer would not be able to grant that authority to a third party - that would be an abuse of power.  And officers do abuse their power in some situations, but thats a different thread.


Police are permitted to search a private property without a warrant if they have the reasonable belief of illegal activity. And yes, refusal to let them in and a CPS complain would be enough that they can argue probable cause. They can't just walk up to a random house and ask to enter and call it probable cause if you say no, but if CPS calls and says "we have this family that has been reported for suspected abuse/neglect and they won't let us in" and said family refuses the police request to enter the premises, that would be probable cause.

post #33 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post




 I'm a pretty stubborn individual and I don't like to back down (even when I should), but this is one of the things in my life that I am not willing to take a chance on. It's true that it's not an accaeptable use of power, but standing up to an apparent injustice might cost me my kids.

 

The whole thing confuses me. I've had a police officer come to my home to do a "welfare check" and he came into the house without knocking. I didn't know he was there until he knocked on my bedroom door. I tried to tell him I didn't want to open the door and he told me I HAD to and that he had already seen me through the window. This upset me even more because I was undressed, lying across my bed, and ds was in only underwear. It creeped me out that he had been looking at me unclothed through my window and then proceeded to let himself into the house through an unlocked door.

 

It seems to me that there is a HUGE disparity between what is supposed to happen and what actually does happen.


 

A welfare check is different b/c someone called the police concerned about you, asking them to check on you - that gives them probable cause and they are then required to make sure you are living and breathing - that requires talking to you.  Yes, its a little creepy, but it is what it is (my mom has called the police to do welfare checks on my brothers - they don't answer the phone when they go off to college the first time, and then they learn that if they don't talk to my mom she will call the police!)

 

I'm not saying that people should deny CPS entrance to their home just based on principle - just explaining that they have the right to, and trying to shed some light on how that works. 

Also that. Police are operating under the assumption that something is wrong to begin with. Someone is hurt, or dead. So they have different rules to follow there. Though the first part is knocking, and if there is no answer announcing their presence as a police officer and stating they intend to enter the residence.

post #34 of 84

Random Disclaimer: I am in Canada and the course I took was Introduction to Canadian Law, so this is not necessarily the way it's done in the US.

post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


The reason a sober person might refuse a breathalyzer is the same reason that someone doesn't want CPS in their home when there is nothing going on, they consider it a violation of privacy.


I've heard that before. I don't get it. The only information revealed by a breathalyzer is your BAC. Since it is illegal to drive with a BAC above a certain amount (even if the provincial government seems a little iffy about what that amount actually is), there's good reason to gather information. In the case of CPS entering my home, there's a lot of information available to them, and it's not information they have any need to have. (And, this could be something really simple, like what colour my undies are, because I have clean laundry on the couch.) They're not looking at my BAC - they're looking at my life.

post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


The reason a sober person might refuse a breathalyzer is the same reason that someone doesn't want CPS in their home when there is nothing going on, they consider it a violation of privacy.


I've heard that before. I don't get it. The only information revealed by a breathalyzer is your BAC. Since it is illegal to drive with a BAC above a certain amount (even if the provincial government seems a little iffy about what that amount actually is), there's good reason to gather information. In the case of CPS entering my home, there's a lot of information available to them, and it's not information they have any need to have. (And, this could be something really simple, like what colour my undies are, because I have clean laundry on the couch.) They're not looking at my BAC - they're looking at my life.


And in the case of a complaint against you, your life is what they need to know about. Not the colour of your undies, but are you feeding your kids? Keeping them clean and dressed (or as clean and dressed as possible)? Are you beating them? Doing drugs or selling them from your living room while your kids watch TV? And just because you don't think a breathalyzer is invasive, it doesn't mean that other people don't. It's all about personal comfort. I personally would have no problem letting a social working take a walk through my house to make sure the kids are fine.

post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


The reason a sober person might refuse a breathalyzer is the same reason that someone doesn't want CPS in their home when there is nothing going on, they consider it a violation of privacy.


I've heard that before. I don't get it. The only information revealed by a breathalyzer is your BAC. Since it is illegal to drive with a BAC above a certain amount (even if the provincial government seems a little iffy about what that amount actually is), there's good reason to gather information. In the case of CPS entering my home, there's a lot of information available to them, and it's not information they have any need to have. (And, this could be something really simple, like what colour my undies are, because I have clean laundry on the couch.) They're not looking at my BAC - they're looking at my life.


And in the case of a complaint against you, your life is what they need to know about. Not the colour of your undies, but are you feeding your kids? Keeping them clean and dressed (or as clean and dressed as possible)? Are you beating them? Doing drugs or selling them from your living room while your kids watch TV? And just because you don't think a breathalyzer is invasive, it doesn't mean that other people don't. It's all about personal comfort. I personally would have no problem letting a social working take a walk through my house to make sure the kids are fine.



 the problem is that one (BAC) is very cut and dry (either you're over the limit or not) while the other (CPS) is very much subjective and open to interpretation, which is quite possibly going to be colored by the individual worker's own bias or experiences. I don't have anything to hide, either, but that doesn't mean I would be comfortable with a CPS worker showing up and touring my home at this moment.

post #38 of 84
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



But someone who fails to stand on one foot or touch a finger to their nose is not by default drunk. Refusing a Breathalyzer is considered enough cause to arrest because the risk of letting someone who is drunk drive is considered to great a risk. The same mindset is going on with cops and CPS. The risk of a parent hiding serious abuse is considered too great a risk.

 

In the end, the point is that cops can and do use refusal to comply as probable cause to enter a home.



But I'm not convinced that police officers are allowed to enter a home just b/c they think they have probable cause.  I haven't taken Criminal Procedure, but I'll check with a friend to satisfy my own curiosity, but I'm almost certain that when officers have probable cause to arrest, they can only search the person and their immediate surroundings - which, would not necessarily include the home if they are standing outside it.  And an officer would not be able to grant that authority to a third party - that would be an abuse of power.  And officers do abuse their power in some situations, but thats a different thread.


Police are permitted to search a private property without a warrant if they have the reasonable belief of illegal activity. And yes, refusal to let them in and a CPS complain would be enough that they can argue probable cause. They can't just walk up to a random house and ask to enter and call it probable cause if you say no, but if CPS calls and says "we have this family that has been reported for suspected abuse/neglect and they won't let us in" and said family refuses the police request to enter the premises, that would be probable cause.


This could very well be true.  However, the officer would not be allowed to permit the CPS social worker to search the house or to do an investigation - different standards for police officers/CPS workers.  The PO may be able to assess for immediate danger, and if there is none, write a report, but the social worker would still have to see a judge to get their own warrant.

 

And, Canadian laws are definitely different, although I don't know in what ways since I'm in the US!

 

And as far as breathalyzer's go, in the US if you have a drivers license you have signed away your right to refuse one - probably cause or not.  In Canada that may not be true.  If you refuse a breathalyzer in the US, you are not being arrested for drunk driving, but for refusing something you consented to when you signed your license (and since an unsigned license isn't valid....).  I'm not sure exactly how it works, but its not fair, its an invasion of privacy, and its dumb.  Our govt has decided to make drunk driving a priority however, and so it is what it is.

post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


And in the case of a complaint against you, your life is what they need to know about. Not the colour of your undies, but are you feeding your kids? Keeping them clean and dressed (or as clean and dressed as possible)? Are you beating them? Doing drugs or selling them from your living room while your kids watch TV? And just because you don't think a breathalyzer is invasive, it doesn't mean that other people don't. It's all about personal comfort. I personally would have no problem letting a social working take a walk through my house to make sure the kids are fine.



People can consider a breathalyzer invasive if they want to. The simple fact is that the only information that can be obtained from a breathalyzer is the information needed to determine if the law has been broken. That is not the case for a house visit from CPS.

 

I would definitely have a problem with a social worker coming into my house. I'd go along with it, because I've seen what happens when they get vindictive, but I would find it invasive, and they absolutely have access to information that has nothing to do with what they need to know. I'm aware that they wouldn't be there to find out what colour my undies are - that's kind of my point, actually. I don't like having strangers in my house. I especially don't like having strangers who could potentially take my kids away in my house. No - I've never seen them take kids away from "good" parents...but I've certainly seen them take kids from parents who were not abusive and not neglectful. They give me the creeps.

 

ETA: They can't tell if someone is selling drugs if there doesn't happen to be evidence at the time. They can't tell if you're beating your kids by touring your house. They can't tell if you're feeding your kids by touring your house (yes - I've seen the "fridge is empty" thing used as evidence that kids aren't being fed - it happened to be that woman's shopping day, and her kids are all visibly well fed...actually, probably overfed, but definitely not starving). They also can't tell if your kids are dressed adequately by touring your house. My kids are frequently naked in the house, which would only be an issue if htey went outside naked in the cold or something...which they don't, and which you also can't tell by coming into my home. Sure - there are things you can find only by doing a home visit - but most of what you've listed doesn't qualify.

 

The whole point is that they can consider a refusal to let them into the house to be "probable cause" that something abusive/neglectful is going on. But, it's not. Some people are afraid of CPS with good reason...including me.

post #40 of 84

As a LLL Leader, I had to defend a divorced mother's right to nurse her 4 year old when the dad called CPS.

It went on for a long time. Was it CPS or the dad driving it? Dad felt the mom was using nursing to keep him from having equal custody...a fair enough stance. I've seen moms dominate the relationship with nurslings.  I know the actual case worker I communicated with was open to being educated and tried her hardest to understand. Ultimately, the divorce court dealt with the issue...I somehow ended up involved the whole time. Uhg.

The point I'm trying to make is the case worker was faced with something she was unfamiliar with but she really had the kid's best interest as her main objective.

While the workers sometimes make mistakes and the departments are grossly underfunded, I try to  give them the benefit of the doubt that they have child safety as their first priority.

I think as AP parents, we have been conditioned to have this distrust of CPS simply because what we do is out of the mainstream. We also hear the horror stories that are the exception...family bed families separated, non-vax kids taken away.

Yes, these things happen and need to be stopped. But they are not the norm.

Children being harmed or dying at the hands of their caregivers because no one wanted to be the nosey neighbor is far more common.

I would much prefer to invite a CPS case worker into my home and tell them about some of less than mainstream practices than refuse entry and start a frickin nightmare for my family.

It's not out of capitulation but confidence in what I do as a parent and my trust that these are well meaning folks who want to make a difference in the world.

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