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On 14 July 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. handed down an unprecedented judgment J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 1216. This is the first case in Canadian legal history in which child protection workers are found liable for misfeasance in public office, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the standard of care. Findings therein confirm our views and support the merit of our cause. Continuous litigations between JP and the MCFD are summarized in JP Aftermath. Our commentary on the Plecas Review Part 1: Decision Time was published on 4 January 2016. If you have evidence of misfeasance or abuse of children in foster care, please come forward and contact us.
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    1. "CPS Makes Shocking Allegations at 2 Moms Part 1 of 3"
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  12. "Child Protective System WLKY Louisville Part 1"; and
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  13. Documentary on the Ministry of Children and Family Development Part 1 and Part 2
  14. "The Negative Effects of Foster Care on Removed Children" (Wikipedia)
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  17. "Death of a foster child Dontel Jeffers, Dorchester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (Part 1)" "(Part 2)" ABC News
  18. U.S. Republican Senator Nancy Schaefer spoke on "child protective service" (CPS) corruption video
  19. "Children's Aid Society workers should be reined in" National Post
  20. Wrongful Removal of Christina Harrison's Baby
  21. Jessica Laboy case
  22. Removal of the 13 Gates Children in Texas, U.S.A.
  23. "Married to the State: How government colonizes the family"
    by Professor Stephen Baskerville (September 2009)

Brenda Burns goes into hiding with baby Naomi after CPS continues to demand home visits

Background

Brenda and Joshua (Josh) Burns are a typical white American couples living in Brighton, Michigan. Josh was a commercial pilot and Brenda was a registered nurse. Their daughter Naomi was born in early 2014.

Two months after Naomi’s difficult C-section birth, the baby slipped off Josh's knee one day. In the tumble, the 10-week old infant suffered only a faint bruise on her cheek. Naomi started projectile vomiting next day. Josh and Brenda rushed her to the emergency. The attending physician said she is suffering from an infection or virus.

Later, a doctor at the University of Michigan found subdural hematoma (bleeding in the area between brain and skull). Retinal hemorrhaging was also discovered. There were no other signs of trauma on the child. The doctor suspected Josh and Brenda of abuse. Both adamantly deny they ever harmed their baby.

Brenda Burns went public in September 2015 on the persecution of her family.

By law, every person is obliged to report suspected child abuse. Child protective services (CPS) worker from the Michigan Department of Human Services (MCFD's counterpart in that state) was called. Brenda and Josh were interrogated separately. Despite experts said the bleeding inside Naomi’s head happened at birth and was caused by trauma during her delivery, child abuse charges were laid on the Burns. Brenda describes the accusations as, “devastating, humiliating, and terrifying.” CPS put Naomi into foster care. Josh was convicted by a jury in January 2015. Brenda was ultimately cleared and Naomi was eventually returned to her.

As of March 2015, Josh has not seen his daughter in nearly a year. “We were shocked. We had been in the hospital for 10 days, trusting these people with our daughter’s life. We brought her back to these same people. It was like somebody threw a hand grenade into our room and walked away,” said Josh.

In the night of Josh’s conviction, a CPS worker Melinda Chamberlain showed up with 5 Brighton police officers at Brenda’s house unannounced and without a search warrant. They wanted to see if Josh was violating a court order that prevents him from seeing Naomi. The encounter was captured on a nanny cam inside the home. Charles Burns, Naomi’s grandfather, allowed them to search the house. Brenda’s attorney, Elizabeth Warner, said they had no warrant to search the home.

Warner said this police raid is one of the reasons she sent CPS a letter last week telling them that Brenda was moving. CPS was told that they could write to Brenda at a post office box, or they could call Warner. CPS filed a new court petition against Brenda, demanding that she provides them with Naomi’s new address. Brenda went in hiding with her baby to evade CPS persecution, fearing retribution. Warner called CPS actions "legal terrorism"

The Burns created a web site (embedded below) containing media reporting, evidence and a time line of events transpired.

The Burns' problem with CPS is far from over. Despite the fact that a jury found Brenda innocent, CPS put her name on a secret list labeling her a child abuser. The letter from CPS stated that Brenda is on the central registry as person responsible for “Severe Physical Injury, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Physical Abuse." The date of the entry notice is 2 April 2014. The CPS case worker did not notify Brenda in writing until January 2015. Law requires that notice of putting a person's name on such list is 30 days after the entry in the child abusers central registry. Statutory requirement of notice did not occur until 9 months later. With her name on the registry, Brenda probably will not be able to work as a registered nurse and will suffer financially since her husband Josh is in jail.

CPS retaliated and put Brenda's name on state's secret list of child abusers, which could prevent her from working as a nurse.

“I am in fear. I have nightmares at night,” said Brenda Burns during an interview in January. “I don’t feel good about my country, I don’t feel like it’s a safe place.” “I have lost all faith in the judicial system.”

Elizabeth Warner sent a letter to CPS telling them that Brenda was moving. If they need to talk to her, CPS could go through Warner. In response, CPS filed a new petition against Brenda, demanding she give them her new address. “It has all the makings of a personal grudge. Somebody in that Livingston child welfare system is upset at losing the civil trial against the mother. And they just won’t let it go,” said Warner. “So they’re trying to destroy her (Brenda), emotionally, financially, legally, any way that can.”

A hearing is scheduled after mid March 2015 to litigate the issue of Brenda’s address. That hearing will be held on the same day of her husband’s sentencing, and it will be held in front of the same judge who will be sentencing Josh Burns. The Burns family members and attorneys are concerned that the CPS actions will hurt him in court.

A spokesman for the Department of Human Services, which oversees CPS, said no comment on individual cases can be made due to confidentiality laws. Bob Wheaton of CPS indicated in an email that “the standard for being listed on the Central Registry is different than the standard in court. By law, DHS has the responsibility to place an individual on the Central Registry when the department substantiates that individual as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.”

A federal lawsuit is underway challenging the constitutionality of that process. Some lawyers allege there is no due process because parents can be labelled an abuser on the Central Registry without a conviction in court and, at times, without being duly notified on time as required by law.


Lessons Learned From This Case

  1. The Baynes of Surrey, B.C. experienced similar abuse in 2007
    This case is similar in nature with the Bayne's case in Hope and Surrey, British Columbia, Canada in 2007. After the news on the right was aired on 20 May 2008, all the Bayne children were removed shortly after. Retaliations are common when parents go public or stand defiant against CPS. The mother lost her job because MCFD told her employer about the child protection concern. Due to the loss of income, they failed to pay the mortgage and lost their family home. During the persecution, the parents worked as night janitors so that they could see their children during the day. After a few years of massive oppression, the Baynes children were returned and are now silent. CPS-created atrocities continue around the world.

  2. When CPS is involved, husbands are often found to be the perpetrator of domestic violence and child abuse, mothers are considered weak and unable to protect children from abusive and violent fathers. Therefore, children are theirs to keep. That said, an unprecedented judgment J.P. v. British Columbia (Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 1216 is an exception of the foregoing.

  3. “I am in fear. I have nightmares at night,” said Brenda Burns during an interview in January. “I don’t feel good about my country, I don’t feel like it’s a safe place.” “I have lost all faith in the judicial system.” Most parents whom CPS called clients share the same feelings after experiencing the oppressive nature of CPS. Losing all faith in both government and the judiciary is natural and justified after witnessing corruption of this magnitude. The most disturbing fact is elected officials choose to do nothing to stop the racket. Rare birds like Nancy Schaefer conveniently died after publicly denounced CPS.

    Ironically, CPS-infested countries often speak highly of human rights and rule of law. Unfortunately, most Canadians and Americans are not aware of how vulnerable they are when scrutinized by the powerful CPS and how harmful CPS is to children and society until they encounter them first hand. In most cases, it is already too late.

  4. universal rights
  5. The Burns case is not an isolated incident. Persecution on families and parents of wanton cruelty are happening more often than what Canadians and Americans would believe in nations that ardently speak of freedom and democracy. This is a disgrace to humanity. An elected assembly could trample a man's right as much as a tyranny.

  6. Oppressed parents often live in fear and anxiety even after their children are returned by court. CPS will not leave them alone and continue to find excuses to remove their children. Supervision orders are often imposed after children are returned. CPS workers will look for anything under the sun to justify a breach and a re-removal. Fishing expeditions like the unannounced police raid without a warrant at inconvenient hours are common CPS ruses.

  7. Some readers may not understand why Brenda still has to face a civil trial from CPS after she was cleared in the criminal trial of child abuse.

    In law, these are two separate issues. Most child protection litigations are civil in nature. This effectively eliminates all charter rights protection in child protection hearings because such protection only applies in criminal trials. Furthermore, civil child custody litigations launched by CPS require a much lower standard of proof (often a reverse onus of proof in many cases) and hearings may be as informal as a judge may allow (often in favour of CPS). Parents accused of child abuse often face criminal charges and civil litigations of child custody from CPS. Even if courts rule return of children to parents, it does not mean that their problem with CPS is over. CPS could continue harassment under the pretext of child protection, especially in high profile cases or in cases where court decisions limit their power, scope of activities and financial interests.

    What the Burns are going through is typical in CPS scrutiny.

  8. Unannounced home visits without search warrant are common CPS fishing expeditions. What they are after is to catch a breach of court order (often supervision orders or bail conditions) so that they could remove children. They could come around the clock escorted by a team of police officers to intimidate parents and to embarrass them by creating a scene in the neighborhood.

  9. Obviously, Naomi has a grandfather Charles Burns who CPS does not have a child protection concern. Most child protection laws (for instance Section 71 of CFCSA in B.C.) oblige child protection agencies to give priority to relatives when placing removed children. Why Naomi was placed in foster care after removal? The child protection industry (hereinafter known as the industry unless otherwise specified) is a self-serving racket that has little respect of laws and often puts the financial interests of its service providers ahead of the best interests of children.

  10. The objective of destroying the livelihood of parents is to exact punishment for standing defiant against an oppressor and to create financial difficulty which could be used as a reason for removing children and put them in care.

  11. Legal duty to report suspected child abuse stipulated in most child protection laws establishes a very powerful witch hunt network. Many innocent parents fall prey after good Samaritans or malicious informants call CPS.

  12. CPS agencies around the world all cite confidentiality and refuse to comment on individual cases. All they will say to reporters are that child safety is of paramount importance and will only return children when it is safe to do so. Who are they really protecting? Themselves and their financial interests or children, some of whom end up dying in care? This self-serving response is another way of saying it is none of your business, don't ask.

  13. At the point of writing, only Manitoba and Nova Scotia have child abuser registry in Canada. Whose names should be entered are often at the discretion of child protection workers, not the court. It could cost parents huge amount of legal fees to have their names removed. Brenda Burns' problem of having her name unduly entered in the child abusers registry is not an isolated incident. Gary and Melissa Gates of Texas had the same problem. They spent $175,000 in 8 years to have his name removed from the child abuser registry (the news video on the right). This suggests that the more power we give CPS, the more oppressive they could become. If they cannot incriminate or to plunder parents at one angle, they will try other options open to them.

  14. Child protection is a noble cause. But when service providers with absolute power to remove children motivated by job security and financial interests create a self-serving industry, it opens government to corruption and racketeering. Often, children are at higher risk when service providers are more preoccupied with aggrandizing. Social problems created are clearly demonstrated by long term poverty, inability to live independently, over representation in foster care and in prison, addiction to harmful substances and mental illnesses found in Aboriginal families who had gone through the residential schools. Modern child protection is a derivative of this oppressive child removal regime. The only difference is that people of all ethnicities are at risk.

  15. Characterizing the oppressive CPS modus operandi as legal terrorism undermines the negative impacts of state-sponsored child removal on society. In our view, this is legalized crimes against humanity as state-sponsored child removal results in enforced disappearance of people at times causing death and other CPS-created atrocities such as sexual and physical abuses.

  16. Tax laws dictate that donations to assist distressed parents with children removed are not tax deductible. Donations to the Burns and to non-profit organizations like us are of course no exception. This suggests how various levels of government work in collaboration to mitigate fund raising against an oppressive racket that spawns under government protection.

Conclusion

Despite the cause(s) of Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) are not fully known in medical science, SBS is often used by CPS as an indisputable evidence against parents. Based on the testimonies of doctors and child protection workers, courts and juries often find parents guilty of child abuse, impose heavy penalties and remove children from the custody of parents.

We are not suggesting that all parents of children exhibiting SBS are innocent. However, medical misdiagnosis (incorrect diagnosis) and undiagnosis (where a medical practitioner ought to have diagnosed but fails to diagnose health problems over a period of time) are not unheard of. If medical science cannot definitively explain the cause(s) of all child injuries, parents are entitled to the benefit of a doubt. Yet CPS takes the position that either one or both parents must have committed the crime of harming their own children. Erring on the side of caution is an irresponsible excuse of injustice.

While the proof of motive of parental abuse is often unfounded or not established, the motive of CPS is obviously for job security and financial benefits. A good portion of tax dollars allocated for child welfare ends up supporting the lifestyle of service providers in the industry. Removed children are often worse off in care. Few of them are placed with relatives. Some are physically or sexually abused. Some are murdered. Some commit suicide. Most of them cannot live independently after they reach adulthood. Many become addicted to harmful substances and involve in crimes. Society and taxpayers take a heavy toll on taking care of the aftermath created by state-sponsored child removal. Yet the industry uses every atrocity they create to get more funding. The death of Alex Gervais on 18 September 2015 is an example of the foregoing.

Unlike parents who receive serious penalties in child abuse allegations, few child protection workers, foster parents or service providers are held responsible for their negligence, malice, abuse of power and breach of trust. Lopsided law and judicial failure to provide sufficient scrutiny to uphold accountability render CPS the most powerful government agency. Despite their lack of law enforcement training, child protection workers act as plain clothes law enforcers in charge of child protection law. They have tremendous power over parents with children and have no fear of repercussion if they abuse their power. Supported by various bleeds of service providers in the industry, they form a formidable cartel whose job security, livelihood and main source of income derived from state-sponsored child removal. They have strong influence, if not direct control, of government's child welfare policy. Under the pretext of child protection, whoever disagrees with them is smeared as biased, uncooperative or seditious.

The Burns atrocity is another wake up call to parents living in CPS-infested countries. Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they are ratified into law. Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency. Revoke general child removal authority before your loved ones fall prey.

References

[This page was conceptualized on 4 November 2015, added on 4 November 2015, last revised on 7 November 2015.]