The judge slowed things down, scheduling another hearing for a few months later after noting that he knew there was a mother out there somewhere trying desperately to find her baby.

Phoenix attorney Danny Ortega, who has helped many a Latino immigrant in trouble over the years, got wind of the unusual dependency case and offered his services for free.

In the interim, Arizona officials learned from the Mexican consulate about Maria's plight and soon put two and two together.

Illustrations by Ryan Sealock

The state took possession of the woman's DNA, compared it with Carlos', and confirmed a match.

Judge Reinstein devised a game plan: He would grant temporary custody of Carlos to the consulate if the Mexican government would fly the baby back to his mother at its expense.

At a hearing attended by New Times, officials from Mexico and Arizona agreed to do as Reinstein had asked.

Within days, Maria cradled Carlos at the Mexico City airport.

Such happy endings are unfortunately the exception in Dependency Court.

Far more often, judges retire to their chambers wondering what will become of the children whose young lives already have been so badly damaged.

One of these children, Michelle, lost trust in just about everyone before Judge Reinstein ever heard her name — and with good reason.

Her dependency case came to the judge when she was 10, after Avondale police responded to a report of child molestation at her paternal grandfather's home.

Michelle, her older brother, and her parents had been living with her grandparents for some time because of family financial problems.

Police had asked Michelle's father if he knew of any "inappropriate behavior" between Grandpa and Michelle.

Remarkably, the man said that on two occasions he had seen his own father rubbing Michelle's groin area, but, according to a police report, "he could not confirm if [the grandfather] was actually touching his daughter's groin."

The dad also admitted that his niece (Michelle's cousin) had told him that she had seen Grandpa rubbing up against Michelle in bed. He said he had been told of the older man's "sex play" with other granddaughters.

The father conceded that it was not unusual for the children to sleep with Grandpa, because Grandma worked as a night security guard.

In his 60s and working as a part-time preacher, the grandfather was not immediately arrested.

But CPS, which had learned from police about the occurrences at Grandpa's house, instructed Michelle's parents to keep their daughter away from the man.

The couple and their two children moved out.

A few months passed as the Avondale police investigation continued.

But officers responded one night to a "welfare check" at the grandparents' home and found Michelle there with Grandpa and her parents.

Michelle's mother told police that an unnamed "someone" at CPS had said it was okay for the girl to return to Grandpa's home.

Within an hour, CPS took the two kids from their parents and put them into foster homes.

A county grand jury later indicted Grandpa on several counts of child molestation. It also issued indictments against Michelle's parents for child abuse, with prosecutors alleging that the couple had done nothing to keep their daughter out of Grandpa's vile clutches.

Later, Dad would confess that he had known about the sexual abuse of his daughter for at least two months but had not reported it to authorities.

Both parents later pleaded guilty and were put on probation.

Grandpa was sentenced to 17 years in prison and will not be eligible for release until 2022, when he would be 84 years old.

It might seem that a father and mother who had, in a sense, pimped out their young daughter to her granddad in return for a place to stay would have forfeited their right to be parents.

But CPS never sought to sever parental rights in this case. Instead, it continued to push toward "family reunification" for Michelle and her brother.

Both children continued to express love for their birth parents, though.

Michelle refused to speak to anyone in detail about the awful things that had happened to her.

For more than a year, Judge Reinstein closely monitored how CPS was handling the case and was not altogether pleased:

Though Michelle did receive some counseling, it was not specific or intense enough for the judge's liking. He ordered CPS to use respected Scottsdale therapist Diana Vigil to work with the distressed youngster.

But there were positives: In court, the judge repeatedly expressed thanks about kindnesses Michelle's foster mother showed the troubled young girl.

Reinstein also kept an eye on how Michelle's parents were faring with their own therapy, which proved to be an up-and-down proposition, in part because of the dad's hot temper.

But CPS' family-reunification plan stayed in place.

Finally, almost two years after the agency took the kids, the agency was ready to give them back.

Michelle's parents would not get back full custody of their kids overnight. The judge first approved supervised weekend visits with Mom and Dad, which increased over the next months to all-day visits.

But then a lawyer for Michelle's father told the judge at a status hearing, "This family is snake-bit when it comes to housing and any kind of good luck."

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Friedland Law Centeris a setup of trained mitigators work extensively with all major banks to reach resolutions on mortgage modifications and foreclosure matters.i strongly recommend to get their services.


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Juvenile's Rights
Juvenile's Rights

This should give the public an idea of what is going on in the juvenile and family courts:

Editorial: Judges SentencedKids for cash

The setting is Pennsylvania coal country, but it's a story right out of Dickens' grim 19th-century landscape: Two of Luzerne County's most senior judges on Monday were accused of sending children to jail in return for kickbacks.

The judges, Luzerne County President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, and his predecessor, Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, will serve seven years in jail under a plea agreement.

They're alleged to have pocketed $2.6 million in payments from juvenile detention center operators.

When a federal judge reviews their plea, though, the question ought to be whether the punishment is adequate - along with the judges being bounced from the bench, disbarred, and losing their pensions.

If the allegations are true, Ciavarella and Conahan were involved in a disgraceful cabal far worse than one that merely lined their pockets.First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff.Many of the kids were railroaded, according to allegations lodged with the state Supreme Court last year by the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy group.

In asking the court to intervene in April, the law center cited hundreds of examples where teens accused of minor mischief were pressured to waive their right to lawyers, and then shipped to a detention center.One teen was given a 90-day sentence for having parodied a school administrator online. Such unwarranted detentions left "both children and parents feeling bewildered, violated and traumatized," center lawyers said.

"Very few people would stand up" to the Luzerne judges, according to the law center's executive director, Robert G. Schwartz.Fortunately, Juvenile Law Center was willing to do so, along with backing from state Attorney General Tom Corbett's office and the state Department of Public Welfare.

The blind justices on the state's high court, though, took a pass. Only last month, they offered no explanation in declining to take up the law center's request that the court step up.

Now, the state Supreme Court should revisit the issue, since the scope of corruption alleged at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre could further undermine confidence in the courts statewide.Authorities need to redress running roughshod over juveniles' rights - a process also likely to bring damage suits. While the local district attorney pledges to "do our best to right the situation," this calls for an independent, outside review.

The two judges' downfall may have rooted out the worst perpetrators of this evil scheme, but the abuse of power alleged in Luzerne County is so startling that it should send shock waves for reform around the state court system.

Comment by Juvenile's Rights from East Valley on Feb 1st, 2009, 17:47 pm

Family Court Needs Independent
Family Court Needs Independent

This comment from above says it all --"Now if we can just get Paul Rubin to do a story on the cesspool that is "family court" in Maricopa County"

This destructive court needs independent investigation and the relationship of the judges to the county attorney's office and the use of the legal system, trumped up serious charges to throw the other spouse's life away, one step short of a gun. Family lawyers who get rewarded with Judge positions in the Family court and how they are linked to cases they handled. Those who abuse the family court system in this way should be given harsh mandatory sentencing like that the "other side" is facing. How many family court / child custody / child support cases end up with the other parent in jail / prison silenced for years and isolated from their children. The public is very uniformed about the abuses going on in the family court. The parent with the most money wins -- it's obvious why.

Follow the money, the pay-offs, the destruction to the children by vengeful spouses.

Keep up the great series, Paul, the family court needs it's own series. It's a place of destruction of families, the children's lives and the future of the society.

A parent
A parent

Now if we can just get Paul Rubin to do a story on the cesspool that is "family court" in Maricopa County.

Tom Mixx
Tom Mixx

An Inconvenient Truth about Child Protective Services, Foster care, and the Child Protection "INDUSTRY"

Child Protective Services Does not protect children...It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even killed at the hands of CPS.

every parent should read the free handbook fromconnecticut dcf watch...


Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the USThese numbers come from The National Center onChild Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

Perpetrators of Maltreatment

Physical Abuse CPS/Foster care 160, biological Parents 59Sexual Abuse CPS/Foster care 112, biological Parents 13Neglect CPS/Foster care 410, biological Parents 241Medical Neglect CPS/Foster care 14 biological Parents 12Fatalities CPS/Foster care 6.4, biological Parents 1.5

Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per 100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a bunch of social workers.


Currently Child Protective Services violates more constitutionally guaranteed liberties & civil rights on a daily basis then all other agencies combined, Including the National Security agency/Central intelligence agency wiretaping programs�

"It is the closest agency we have to the Gestapo in our society."-District Judge R. Darryl Mazur

THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICESBY: Nancy Schaefer Senator, 50th District of Georgia


The Business of Child Stealing in Florida

This is Child Protection?By Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

Mercenary Motherhood: "Memoirs of a Babystealer."

FOSTER CARE IS A 80 PERCENT FAILURE:. A Brief Analysis of the Casey Family Programs. Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. By Richard Wexler


Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the MadnessDSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up familiesBy Nev Moore Massachusetts News

Ted Gunderson Speech to Congressional Hearing on Child Protection 3/13/04

Phoenix New TimesOutrageous FortunePrivate lawyers in Maricopa County child-dependency cases are soaking us for unbelievable bucksBy Paul Rubin

When The State Becomes Parent by Mollie Martin.

A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster care:

30% of the nation�s homeless are former foster children.27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated33% were receiving public assistance37% had not finished high school2% receive a college degree50% were unemployed

Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems, including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment than the general population.*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support

80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.

The highest ranking federal official in charge of foster care, Wade Horn of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a former child psychologist who says the foster care system is a giant mess and should just be blown up.

Four rigorous studies have found that at least 30 percent of America�s foster children could be home right now if their parents had decent housing.

These studies found thousands of children already in foster care who would have done better had child protection agencies not taken them away in the first place.Read the studies online.

Front-page story in USA Today.

Casey "alumni" study: "Improving Family Foster Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study,"

MIT study: "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care,"

Texas comptroller's "Forgotten Children" reports:

Chosen Children: how the Foster Care and Adoption industries fuels the Prison industry.

Billion Dollar Babies in America's Foster Care, Adoption & Prison Systems by Lori Carangelo



Statistics of Adoption-2005 Edition-Compiled and edited by Lori Carangelo

The bottom line? - Child Protective Services and the Foster Care system for the most part turns out young adults that are nothing more than Walking Wreckage...






how true! I just listened to one thing alex jones may be right about on his show Friday May 18.2012 I just could not believe it cps and peoples poor little children and I know for a fact that kids can be hurt from both sides of the situation. I sugest people listen to that one day about the middle of the show it is worth the time spent God Bless all the Children and the people who are really help to all! The evil ones may Gods Rath come to you and the devils lies.

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