Update pg 10. Yay!-The ever-present CPS fears have materialized for us - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have never posted in this forum, but most search results for CPS came up in this forum, so here is where I need to ask for advice.

 

I have 5 children. I stay at home with them/homeschool. I am an incredible advocate of Positive Parenting. We don't hit, "punish", or even yell if I can help it. I don't belittle the kids, use hurtful language, etc., etc. Not trying to brag, but literally everyone that knows us or observes my kids (doctors, dentists, other parents, old friends, etc) says they are exceptional kids and I'm the most patient parent they've even encountered (when I'm well).

 

That said, my housekeeping skills are not the best, especially when I'm not feeling well, like when I'm pregnant, or dealing with borderline chronic fatigue, as I am now. Therefore, I'm always dealing with a dread of CPS in the back of my brain.

 

I am back in college after my bachelor's 8 years ago, and the schedule is grueling, so I've not been getting enough sleep. Last week I was putting the baby down and fell asleep. My 4 year old was looking for me and, for reasons we can't figure, my 8 yr old told him I'd walked to the pool (at the leasing office of our complex). He walked alone to the pool. They found him outside the leasing office crying, couldn't remember his last name or where he lived, they called the police. They pulled the files for apartments and looked for his brother's and sister's names and found us. All this happened in a span of about 20 minutes. When they came to the door my mother answered (dh was at work). She thought he'd lain down with me, SURE that he would have NEVER done something like that (I'd have been equally sure of that until that day). She woke me up, I was immediately in shock, shaking and crying all the way to the office to pick him up, get a long VERY judgmental lecture from the leasing office manager, while still crying and got home to quickly clean as much as possible because the police would be there any minute. The police officer warned me she would have to pass this on to CPS. I cried all evening and night, terrified they were going to take my children for neglect, thinking of all the things that could have happened to my baby, etc.

 

Of course, once CPS is involved the leasing office has all sorts of tales to tell, about complaints from the neighbors (that we've NEVER heard from anyone) about my children playing in the van in the parking lot on a hot summer day (NO WAY! we keep it locked and I routinely tell them that pets and kids die in hot cars), or taking off and wandering the complex on other occasions (NO), the townhome was "disgusting", all blatantly false. There is NO way. This was a completely isolated, totally horrifying event.

 

Anyway, CPS officer came to the house first thing the next morning. I had read here to never let them in, so I tried to keep her out and stay strong. But she got very angry, said because there was a claim that the house was dirty she HAD to see it. If I didn't let her in she'd HAVE to get a warrant, and if I made her do that it wasn't going to be pretty. So, I caved, crying again, of course. She said the kids looked great, the house was far from disgusting, and the kids gave all the right answers to her questions. No, we never spank them or hit them, no we don't get drunk or use drugs, Yes they feel safe talking to us, etc. She saw no reason for concern, and loved that we'd already installed an alarm that goes off very loudly whenever the door is opened. However, she then ties a few strings.

 

"While the house certainly isn't disgusting, or even very cluttered for having 5 kids, it isn't really all that clean, either." She asked if I'd like a referral to a local program through some non-gov't group that will come out once a month (or week, can't remember) and help me develop a schedule for cleaning with little ones, etc. She kept stressing that she has no part in it, totally voluntary, etc. Perfectly willing to take all the help anyone is willing to offer, because I do have a lot of children/responsibilities, and because she was not involved, and because I didn't know how it would look if I declined, I said yes. Then she tells me that they send her a report after every visit, "but because the file is closed she won't even look at it, just put it in the file."

 

Now, on the surface, this seems harmless, but I'm still terrified of CPS. I've now got one half-strike against me. What if they send a bad report? What if I make some kind of mistake again in the future and the reports say I wasn't doing a good enough job? Is this something I need to worry about? I don't want CPS in my life. I want them gone. Forever. Is there a graceful, non-black-mark way to retreat from this? Help.


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#2 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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(((hugs)))

 

The only thing I can suggest (having been "referred" to similarly "scary" services myself) would be to (either at the first visit or scheduling phone call) to let them know that you've figured something else out to help you organize the house and that you won't be requiring their services. 

 

And I'm not saying you have to lie to them. Creating a cleaning schedule, declutter the house, enlisting the kids to help you tidy the house, or getting the help from friends or family to watch your children while you tidy(or waking up a couple hours before the kids), or, if you can afford it, hiring a cleaning service can all help you to keep the house tidy. I know what its like. At most times, I would be terrified to even find out that a friend was coming over in 5 minutes, let alone the police who may be thinking that I am neglecting my children!

 

But it looks like you are in a good place as far as CPS is concerned. Breathe.


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#3 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Easy for me or anyone else to say, but honestly, I would not worry.  I worked in child welfare for years, and what happened is pretty much exactly what should happen/is supposed to happen.  Complaint goes to CPS, they check it out, they determine that your kids are fine, *offer you resources to "strengthen" the family*, and close your case.  I would not worry that they had offered you services.  That is really a good thing.  Their purpose in doing so is to offer families they see as "at risk" services to help parents continue raising their children in their own homes.  I am not saying your kids are at risk, because you sound like a wonderful mom.  But, they don't know you.  They have a pretty good feeling that things are fine, or they would have kept your case open, yet they see that there might be areas in which they can help you, and so they are offering you that.  Truly, it is not a bad thing and their intentions are not to spy on you or catch you slipping up.  When the system works as it is supposed to, needs are identified within a family, and CPS works to help families meet those needs with the children in the home. 

 

If you don't want to keep dealing with them, I would clean my house up as much as possible, maybe do the services you agreed to for a month, and then call up your social worker and tell her that while you appreciate the help, you really don't feel you need it.  Invite her to come out again if she'd like and ask her to please close your case entirely, if she hasn't already. 

 

Also, don't worry too much about this "strike" against you.  I can't tell you how many "strikes" the average family who has their kids placed in foster care typically has.  My guess just based on experience and no real stats, is around 10 reports of abuse and neglect.  CPS fails all too often by not keeping children safe who are in terrible situations.  It is rare that they make the wrong call in the direction of pulling kids out of homes who should be with their parents. 

 

Also...you may want to consider moving at some point, just for your own sanity and peace of mind.  Why on earth are they making false accusations about your kids being in a hot car, etc?!?!  That would worry me more than CPS.  Good luck mama. 

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#4 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, we're SO moving. We were waiting out our lease (and our credit repair efforts) in April to buy a house. Now, we'll break our lease in order to buy a house. We were borderline on the credit, and I think when we pay off the ccs next week we'll be good to just go ahead and buy. And then we're SO gone! I HATE this place and all their crap. DH went to talk to them about what happened and they told him that he should get someone else to watch his kids. He was furious! He told me it made him so mad because I'm a really good mom (cried again because he's so sweet). They can take their overpriced rent, obscene privatley billed water bill, extra parking fees, garage fees, pet fees, satellite dish fee, etc. etc. and shove it.

 

Thing is, I think they're going to try to evict us. We get an eviction notice with 10 days to correct every time there is any minor infraction (we didn't pay our dish fee, for instance, because they NEVER TOLD US THERE WAS ONE until the eviction notice for non payment, 15 months after we moved in). Any lease violation is cause for eviction, and unattended children is a lease violation. They're horrible, so I fully expect them to pursue it. So, they may put a black mark on our credit and everything happen too fast for us to buy, but we're checking out rental houses, too. I WISH I cared so little about my credit that I could stiff them, but they'd probably sue us for $10.

 

Anyway, thanks for the reassurance. I really do hope this is not a way to trap me.


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#5 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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It sounds like for a visit from CPS, it went as perfectly as you could have wanted. The worker saw right away that the complaints were groundless. She told you as much, complimented you on your great kids and your prompt response to the incident by installing the alarm, and then gave you a referral to an organization that will provide support you need. I don't see any reason for you to be terrified of CPS or to consider that they have any strikes against you.
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#6 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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Oh, we're SO moving. We were waiting out our lease (and our credit repair efforts) in April to buy a house. Now, we'll break our lease in order to buy a house. We were borderline on the credit, and I think when we pay off the ccs next week we'll be good to just go ahead and buy. And then we're SO gone! I HATE this place and all their crap. DH went to talk to them about what happened and they told him that he should get someone else to watch his kids. He was furious! He told me it made him so mad because I'm a really good mom (cried again because he's so sweet). They can take their overpriced rent, obscene privatley billed water bill, extra parking fees, garage fees, pet fees, satellite dish fee, etc. etc. and shove it.

 

Thing is, I think they're going to try to evict us. We get an eviction notice with 10 days to correct every time there is any minor infraction (we didn't pay our dish fee, for instance, because they NEVER TOLD US THERE WAS ONE until the eviction notice for non payment, 15 months after we moved in). Any lease violation is cause for eviction, and unattended children is a lease violation. They're horrible, so I fully expect them to pursue it. So, they may put a black mark on our credit and everything happen too fast for us to buy, but we're checking out rental houses, too. I WISH I cared so little about my credit that I could stiff them, but they'd probably sue us for $10.

 

Anyway, thanks for the reassurance. I really do hope this is not a way to trap me.



That sounds terrible :(.  I really do not believe CPS is trying to trap you.  Besides being a social worker myself, the majority of my friend pre-kids were/are social workers, and I have never known any colleague, co-worker, or friend try to "trap" a family or a parent by offering them services.  Truly the main goal is child safety *within* the biological family home.  I have seen some really wonderful and creative ideas offered to families who were truly struggling with a variety of stressors to help them continue to parent their children.  I'd be shocked to find out that they are offering you services for any other reason that to help you with any stressors that could be impacting your family.  (Again, NOT that a messy house is impacting your family, but they don't know you and they like to offer help before things get desperate). 

 

As for breaking your lease, I don't know if we just got lucky, but DH and I broke our lease on a terrible rental property with a billion safety and other issues and our landlord took us to court and we essentially lost (had to pay 2 months rent but not the 6 months remaining in the lease in which we bailed).  Anyhow, we have since bought two houses and two cars and it hasn''t ever come up on our credit report.  Not to say it won't in your case, because I really don't know, but it might not.  Also, it takes time for it to show up too, so you might be able to stick around until you buy a house and then break the lease.  It is *not* easy for landlords to evict people either.  The courts tend to rule more frequently in favor of tenants even in crazy situations...we have a few family members who are landlords and they are always complaining about how bad it is for them. 

 

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#7 of 192 Old 09-07-2011, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That sounds terrible :(.  I really do not believe CPS is trying to trap you.  Besides being a social worker myself, the majority of my friend pre-kids were/are social workers, and I have never known any colleague, co-worker, or friend try to "trap" a family or a parent by offering them services.  GOOD!

 

Also, it takes time for it to show up too, so you might be able to stick around until you buy a house and then break the lease. That's the plan. The "penalty" for breaking your lease is a fee of 200% of your rent, not the remaining lease's rent. We'd rather not, but we can handle it right now. We like to believe things happen for a reason. We were waiting to buy a house and figure this whole thing must have happened right now to push us to get a house now. Positive thinking! :)

 

It is *not* easy for landlords to evict people either.  The courts tend to rule more frequently in favor of tenants even in crazy situations...we have a few family members who are landlords and they are always complaining about how bad it is for them. GOOD again! We've always paid rent on time and in full, so hopefully they'd have a hard time winning.

 



 


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#8 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Even as wary as I am about CPS, having been on the wrong side of a false allegation and a really terrible case worker, I would simply accept the offer of help, keep in contact and ask them to close things finally for you in a month or so.  It sounds like they looked and saw what they needed to and everything came out perfectly for you. (When they WANT to find something, they will.  Even if it's manufactured, sadly.  However, most caseworkers really are more interested in keeping kids with their parents than taking kids away from intact families. The power-hungry vindictive types are NOT the norm, though they do sometimes exist.)

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#9 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got a call from the worker. "After talking to the leasing office" angry.gif "and the length of time the said he was in their office, 45 minutes" 20 minutes, tops, if I fell asleep the second I went upstairs, "the case will have to stay open for 3 months with weekly visits." I started shaking again as soon as I picked up the phone, and crying as soon as I put it down. I DON"T WANT THEM IN OUR LIVES! I'm stuck. And with hoping to move in a month or so it's going to be a disaster in here! Does anybody know if it's a scheduled visit or if they just show up? She's sending it to "an ongoing worker", so I'm up in the air on the attitude of the new person. I'm so tired of being scared.


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#10 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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You are living my worst nightmare.

 

I have a hard time keeping up with the house. I worry all the time that someone will find fault with our semi-crunchy lifestyle and report us and the messy house will get us in trouble. Then if anyone digs a little deeper they will see some of the unconventional choices we have made and we will be in the same boat.

 

I've had at least 2 night time scares, where I was in the bath and DH was on duty. When I was ready to be on duty again I asked where are the kids and he was like, Ahhh, in the living room? and the kids were really outside, once, down the street playing. This was when we lived in a neighborhood where my kids were the youngest and nobody else allowed their older kids to play outside because they felt it wasn't safe (it totally was safe!)

 

What really bothers me about your situation, is that your mother was there to watch over the kids while you nursed/napped, and made a mistake. How were you suppose to know something was wrong until you woke up? It's like getting in CPS trouble because your kid missed the bus home from school, nobody called you, and when you showed up at the school looking for him 45 minutes later the police had been called and you had been reported for not picking up you kid.

 

hang in there OP. Get a lawyer, cooperate with CPS the best you can and get the heck out of that apartment complex as soon as possible.


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#11 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately it's also my worst nightmare. Well, them actually TAKING the kids or losing them any other way, but still. I called a lawyer. He said I basically have to just take it (which I already knew), be my polite self, and try not to let the door hit them on the butt at the end of the 3 months. Also said, though, that if they start being really critical, or extend the "probationary" period to call him back. So, guess I'm just bending over and holding my breath for the next 3 months.


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#12 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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I just got a call from the worker. "After talking to the leasing office" angry.gif "and the length of time the said he was in their office, 45 minutes" 20 minutes, tops, if I fell asleep the second I went upstairs, "the case will have to stay open for 3 months with weekly visits." I started shaking again as soon as I picked up the phone, and crying as soon as I put it down. I DON"T WANT THEM IN OUR LIVES! I'm stuck. And with hoping to move in a month or so it's going to be a disaster in here! Does anybody know if it's a scheduled visit or if they just show up? She's sending it to "an ongoing worker", so I'm up in the air on the attitude of the new person. I'm so tired of being scared.



That sucks.  Just remember though that they are really looking at very very basic things.  They want to see that your kids don't have a billion unexplained bruises, that there aren't any glaring safety issues in your home, that you're not using drugs, and that your kids are generally well cared for.  Well cared for is a loose term...and their standards are probably a *lot* lower than your standards.  Well cared for means you're not starving them for 12 days while you buy beer and let piles of feces sit on your kitchen floor.  Seriously.  Relax, mama.  You'll be okay...  Before you know it this will just be a really bad memory. 

 

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#13 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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And by the way.... you should ask your lawyer if the 200% penalty for breaking your lease is even legal.... I haven't ever heard of that and am really wondering if that would stand up in court. 

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And by the way.... you should ask your lawyer if the 200% penalty for breaking your lease is even legal.... I haven't ever heard of that and am really wondering if that would stand up in court. 



I'd guess it would be legal..  200% of rent, as the OP stated just means that they'd have to pay 2 month's rent (at least that's how I interpreted it).  That seems pretty reasonable, actually.  At a minimum it might mean them also retaining the deposit.  That's standard for breaking a lease early.

 

OP - I know you are saying that every single thing has been taken out of context by the people of the apt. complex, but in your OP, you mentioned that you are a good, patient parent "when I am well".  What does that mean?  Do you sleep a lot?  I know you mentioned having difficulty with housekeeping when you're pregnant.  Are you pregnant now?  If not, are you on medication for your fatigue that might make you sleepy, for example and not get housework done?  These are all things that you could either discuss with your case worker, or that perhaps you really do need help with if you are not able to manage things.  I don't think CPS is out to "get" people or to "trap" people.  I'm looking at this from the outside and just from what you are saying, I don't see that CPS is overstepping their bounds.  I wish you luck, but I also hope that you avail yourself to the help they're willing to give if you feel that you do need it.  And if you don't need the help that they get out of your life asap.  Stay strong.

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#15 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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yikes mama!!!! what a nightmare.

 

it seems like your nosey neighbors have made it difficult for you.

 

i know this sounds hard to do but dont freak out over your babies being taken away.

 

they have to make a paper trail. if you get the help, clean out your house you wont have anything to fear.

 

i had the same issue with neighbors (not so aggressive though). they accused me of leaving my 3 year old home alone and sooo much more. this is the same person who was doing drugs in her apt and didnt want her landlord to know.

 

anyways we were in the process of moving and we did. went to a nicer place. with nicer neighbours who were truly supportive instead of rumors.

 

and cps came and closed their case. that was 8 years ago and we havent had any problems since then. but yes i have now been tagged by the system. so if anyone says anything, they will come out to check things out. however worker was v. nice and noted in the file that it was exh issue.


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I'd guess it would be legal..  200% of rent, as the OP stated just means that the'd have to pay an extra month's rent.  That seems pretty reasonable, actually.  At a minimum it might mean them also retaining the deposit.  That's standard for breaking a lease early.


I think we read it differently now that you point that out.  OP-- Does 200% of rent mean that if you have six months left on your lease that you have to pay them 12 months rent?  (which is what I was thinking you meant when you said that which sounds like it might not be legal).  Or, did you mean that you just have to pay one month of rent doubled and then you're out of the lease?  That I am sure is legal...
 

 

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#17 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, no. Lease is up in Apr of 2012. If we leave now we pay the equivalent of 2 months rent. I think that's fine, just more than we wanted to pay. Luckily we have it, because usually we wouldn't.

 

No, my baby is 11 mo old and dh has had a vasectomy. I just meant that I didn't like the kind of angry parent I was last summer, hot and super irritable all the time. Since then I've found traditional foods and proper nutrition has made all the difference in my health and attitude. So, back then I would be patient and so on on my "good days". Now it's very infrequent that I have bad days. But, if I'm sick (once a year) or super tired because of the adrenal fatigue/too much to do, etc., I can be snippy. Others see this and STILL say that I'm more patient than they would have been, I just feel like I'm not at my best. That's all I meant. I'm not on anything but Armour Thyroid, so no worries about drugs or anything. :)


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I'd guess it would be legal..  200% of rent, as the OP stated just means that they'd have to pay 2 month's rent (at least that's how I interpreted it).  That seems pretty reasonable, actually.  At a minimum it might mean them also retaining the deposit.  That's standard for breaking a lease early.

 

OP - I know you are saying that every single thing has been taken out of context by the people of the apt. complex, but in your OP, you mentioned that you are a good, patient parent "when I am well".  What does that mean?  Do you sleep a lot?  I know you mentioned having difficulty with housekeeping when you're pregnant.  Are you pregnant now?  If not, are you on medication for your fatigue that might make you sleepy, for example and not get housework done?  These are all things that you could either discuss with your case worker, or that perhaps you really do need help with if you are not able to manage things.  I don't think CPS is out to "get" people or to "trap" people.  I'm looking at this from the outside and just from what you are saying, I don't see that CPS is overstepping their bounds.  I wish you luck, but I also hope that you avail yourself to the help they're willing to give if you feel that you do need it.  And if you don't need the help that they get out of your life asap.  Stay strong.


I highly doubt a 200% penalty is legal.  Breach of contract is neutral in legal terms, and penalties for breach aren't legal.  Keeping a deposit is legal b/c its a liquidated damages thing, but a penalty on top of that is generally not legal.

 

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I highly doubt a 200% penalty is legal.  Breach of contract is neutral in legal terms, and penalties for breach aren't legal.  Keeping a deposit is legal b/c its a liquidated damages thing, but a penalty on top of that is generally not legal.

 

 

How do you figure that?  They are breaking a contract.  It's 2 months' rent.  I don't think any small claims court would argue about that, but I don't know Michigan law, so who knows.  It's not really the issue at hand, anyway.

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#20 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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I am so sorry. We dealt with them a few years ago for an unfounded claim that was proven wrong the second they got to my door. Luckily they were out of our lives in a few weeks, but I now live in fear. nothing like someone showing up to your door unannounced to inspect and accuse and tell you they can take your kids from you for even minor things.

As far as cleaning-your oldest two at least are old enough to help out more around the house and keep it "respectable" for CPS. Even if you have to pay them to keep it spotless until the CPS deal is over with. (((Hugs)))

As far as people saying they're just doing their jobs-I can see that sometimes. I have seen times when CPS rightfully did a great job. But I also had experience with my own case and that left me jaded about them. I was 100% pro-CPS before that. Having someone stick their nose in your house like they have the power of God and snooping in all of your stuff to find any possible evidence of anything at all-even things benign like cosleeping and homeschooling (for us) and then make it seem like you're a child abuser when there are really terrible evil parents out there who really shouldn't be in charge of children...it's just aggravating and humiliating and depressing.

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#21 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post



 

How do you figure that?  They are breaking a contract.  It's 2 months' rent.  I don't think any small claims court would argue about that, but I don't know Michigan law, so who knows.  It's not really the issue at hand, anyway.



It's what I was taught in law school.  Certainly different states have different practices, but damages clauses are put in contracts very frequently, and when challenged are usually found unenforceable.  Any dispute between a landlord and tenant would be in housing court btw, not small claims.

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#22 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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OP, I wonder, does CPS have a court order allowing them to continue their investigation?  Unless they've taken you to court I don't think you are required to allow them into your home.

 

BUT - if I were you, I would enlist all of your friends, and family, to help you get through this.  See if you can get some people on a rotating babysitting schedule so that you can clean clean clean.  With 5 kids there is sure to be some clutter, and some toys strewn about, but the more often you are sweeping, mopping, and making sure all the dishes are done and everything is spotless other than toys, the better you will fare.

 

Good luck!  I had my own issues with CPS when my ex and his mom called them on me in an attempt to get custody.  It was ridiculous, and he lost (thank god), and it sucked.

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#23 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post





It's what I was taught in law school.  Certainly different states have different practices, but damages clauses are put in contracts very frequently, and when challenged are usually found unenforceable.  Any dispute between a landlord and tenant would be in housing court btw, not small claims.



From personal experience, when our landlord took us to court, it was held in small claims court.  Also, we ended up having to pay 2 months rent on top of losing our security deposit which was equal to a third month rent.  We did not however have to pay out the remainder of the lease which was several more months. 

 

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#24 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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Not trying to be strange, and I am so sorry to all of the mommas who are dealing with this....  but, why not just keep your house cleaner.  *ducking and hiding head*  I am not trying to stir up a pot, but if all of this really is scaring you to death isn't easier to clean then live in fear?  I have three small kids, I homeschool, I teach online course, and we have two boxers and a cat...  my house is mostly clean.  At any moment there are dishes in the sick from lunch that I didn't have time to load into the dishwasher, etc...  but NOTHING that would ever make me think about CPS!  Also, we are all talking about a large sum of money to move.  Instead of that, why not hire a cleaning lady to come twice a month instead? 

 

Seriously, not trying to offend anyone, but let's log onto fly lady and get in gear!  LOL!

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#25 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Landover View Post

Not trying to be strange, and I am so sorry to all of the mommas who are dealing with this....  but, why not just keep your house cleaner.  *ducking and hiding head*  I am not trying to stir up a pot, but if all of this really is scaring you to death isn't easier to clean then live in fear?  I have three small kids, I homeschool, I teach online course, and we have two boxers and a cat...  my house is mostly clean.  At any moment there are dishes in the sick from lunch that I didn't have time to load into the dishwasher, etc...  but NOTHING that would ever make me think about CPS!  Also, we are all talking about a large sum of money to move.  Instead of that, why not hire a cleaning lady to come twice a month instead? 

 

Seriously, not trying to offend anyone, but let's log onto fly lady and get in gear!  LOL!


This was the point I reached after someone tried to make a false allegation against me.  However, you can't assume that clean will be seen as clean. The initial report against me was completely fabricated by a caseworker on a power trip. When I saw the road she was trying to go down, I contacted the police to have them document everything while she was still there as well- and that is the ONLY thing that saved my butt. 

 

In my case, we're not talking stretching the truth, she outright LIED through her teeth. 

 

1. There were animal feces all over the house.  She took a picture made to look like a pile of animal poo on a couch.  It was a plastic hamburger from my child's play kitchen. 

 

2. DD was playing with drugs in the upstairs hallway.  First, there were no drugs in the house, second, she spilled out a box of baking soda I kept in the upstairs bath and directed DD to play with it. 

 

3. Filthy laundry was piled all over the house. She took a photo to demonstrate this, when it was zoomed out, you could see that she'd taken a picture of a load of laundry in the dryer.  She zoomed in on JUST the laundry and stated that it was piled all over the house. 

 

4.  DD was filthy and covered with lice.  Nope, she did have some powder in her hair (remember, the caseworker had directed her to play in baking soda....) but I had to get a forensic examination the next day to disprove the statement about lice/filth.

 

 

In this instance, the complaint she had been told scared her, and she was creating reasons to take my daughter first and ask questions later. Obviously, it all came out ok but only because I'd had the presence of mind to stand up for myself and I had called the police to help me. 

 

This caseworker also tried to tell me that if I didn't sign papers agreeing with what she found she would terminate my rights that moment.  If I hadn't known better, that might have scared me into signing something that would have completely screwed my chances. 

 

It was horrific and frightening, but very much an anomaly. This is not a matter of all caseworkers, or even some- it was a situation of a very warped woman who should not have had the job she did. 

 

It took about 5 years to get past the terror of someone at the door.  I still can't tolerate having anything out of place in my home, because someone might twist a bad day against us, but I do much better.  I keep my house MOSTLY spotless for peace of mind.  Once I got into the habit of it, it wasn't too hard, but it is daunting to manage before you have decluttered and gotten into a pattern of keeping things just so.  At the moment, it's a bit of a mess as I am on my own and pregnant and today was a really sick/tired sort of day.  There is a blanket on the couch, the blocks are out of their bin (and have been for about 10 minutes now) and I'm just getting around to asking DD to unload the dishwasher so I can wash the lunch dishes.  For the most part though I simply don't allow messiness to happen in our house precisely for reasons like this. If something happens, it will always happen at the worst possible time. 

 

 

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#26 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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insidevoice, may I ask at what point you realized you needed to call the police? And did you dial 911 or a non-emergency number or what?


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#27 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




I highly doubt a 200% penalty is legal.  Breach of contract is neutral in legal terms, and penalties for breach aren't legal.  Keeping a deposit is legal b/c its a liquidated damages thing, but a penalty on top of that is generally not legal.

 

Oh, they made sure to word it in the lease that it is NOT a penalty, but the reasonable costs for getting the apartment ready to rent again, or some other such nonsense. As if they don't have the same costs if we move out at the end of our lease. eyesroll.gif

 

kittywitty, yes my oldest 2 have been helping with cleaning since they were 4, and now together do as much work as I do. And my 4 yr old is now beginning, as well. He picks up toys and dries dishes. The big cleaning isn't that hard, it's the maintenance that is. Everyone loses their oomph after about a week and the backslide starts. Can't allow that now...

 

Last week when I was washing the cabinet doors from grody fingerprints I turned around, then turned immediately back around to the cabinets. Literally 1-2 seconds. dd had reached into the bag of baking soda and put 2 new hand prints on the door and a pile of it on the floor. That's honest-to-gosh how EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY is here. 1 step forward, 2 steps back with a 2 yr old and 1 yr old. I feel like I have quadruplet toddlers!

 

Plus, what's considered "appropriately clothed"? It is HARD to keep clothes on my 4 and 2 yr olds at all, and when the 4 yr old complies he's hotter than everyone else, so he'd happily wear shorts inside all year round, and never wear a shirt. Is that acceptable? It was to me, but I don't know about to big brother... Sigh...
 

 


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#28 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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When she started taking pictures of laundry INSIDE my dryer, I realized that something was wonky. I called the non-emergency number and a couple officers showed up within minutes. The officers called in two more officers as witnesses when they couldn't get through to her- and had one come in who specialized in documentation of crime scenes. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't been able to obtain help through the police.  I had tried to take pictures of her as she was 'documenting' but she took my camera and claimed she was keeping it to make sure there were no pornographic photos of DD on it. 

 

It was also very disturbing that she kept trying to tell my daughter that she would never have to worry about being with her mean mommy again.  She was never going to 'let Mommy do mean things to her'.  She did opt to take DD with her when she left, and became very angry when an officer followed her and forced her to take her to the safe house instead of this woman's own home. 

 

As I said, this was not a simple CPS investigation, it was an incredibly warped woman who should never have been in the position she was in. Sadly, because of the system, I had to watch her take my child and then I had to fight to get her back. (Which did happen rapidly.  I agreed with this woman's boss to sign DD over to kinship care with my parents as the mess was sorted out- mostly to get her out of the immediate area. I had her back within less than 48 hours.) This woman kept working with CPS for over a year after this happened.  

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#29 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When she started taking pictures of laundry INSIDE my dryer, I realized that something was wonky. I called the non-emergency number and a couple officers showed up within minutes. The officers called in two more officers as witnesses when they couldn't get through to her- and had one come in who specialized in documentation of crime scenes. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't been able to obtain help through the police.  I had tried to take pictures of her as she was 'documenting' but she took my camera and claimed she was keeping it to make sure there were no pornographic photos of DD on it. 

 

It was also very disturbing that she kept trying to tell my daughter that she would never have to worry about being with her mean mommy again.  She was never going to 'let Mommy do mean things to her'.  She did opt to take DD with her when she left, and became very angry when an officer followed her and forced her to take her to the safe house instead of this woman's own home. 

 

As I said, this was not a simple CPS investigation, it was an incredibly warped woman who should never have been in the position she was in. Sadly, because of the system, I had to watch her take my child and then I had to fight to get her back. (Which did happen rapidly.  I agreed with this woman's boss to sign DD over to kinship care with my parents as the mess was sorted out- mostly to get her out of the immediate area. I had her back within less than 48 hours.) This woman kept working with CPS for over a year after this happened.  

 

OMG!... OMG!
 

 


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#30 of 192 Old 09-08-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Last week when I was washing the cabinet doors from grody fingerprints I turned around, then turned immediately back around to the cabinets. Literally 1-2 seconds. dd had reached into the bag of baking soda and put 2 new hand prints on the door and a pile of it on the floor. That's honest-to-gosh how EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY is here. 1 step forward, 2 steps back with a 2 yr old and 1 yr old. I feel like I have quadruplet toddlers!

 

Plus, what's considered "appropriately clothed"? It is HARD to keep clothes on my 4 and 2 yr olds at all, and when the 4 yr old complies he's hotter than everyone else, so he'd happily wear shorts inside all year round, and never wear a shirt. Is that acceptable? It was to me, but I don't know about to big brother... Sigh...
 

 


The first paragraph, yeah, I only have ONE toddler and thats what my days are like.  Yay!  Do the best you can, enlist the neighbors, friends, family, people from church or school or wherever to help you as much as possible. 

 

Appropriately clothed, well, don't worry about that.  If the 4 & 2yo's don't like clothes, keep some clothes handy, and if she shows up act like they JUST took off their clothing and make a fuss about putting it back on.  And really, as long as they aren't wearing shorts outside in the snow, who cares.  My ds wears shorts in my apartment in the winter b/c its kept so ridiculously HOT in my building that even I don't wear many clothes inside - but we change to go outside b/c its COLD outside.  Just be sure to have clothing on hand (I know you do), and offer it to them - its not worth the power struggle to force them to wear clothing, but you also don't want the social worker to think that you don't HAVE appropriate clothing, kwim?

 

Also, if you are worried about her lying about this stuff, keep a tape recorder handy.  In most states its legal to tape record conversations, even if one party doesn't know about it (check the laws just to be sure), and you can tape record the visits. 

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