Investigators: Judge considering legal first in Poca’s case
By SUSANNAH FRAME / KING 5 News
A huge battle brewed both inside and outside a courthouse in Everett Tuesday over a tiny 4-year-old foster child.
The KING 5 Investigators have been exposing the case of “Poca” for weeks, shining a light on the state’s poor decision-making and red tape that led to the child being taken from the people who’ve raised her – her foster parents. Tuesday, the foster parents went before the judge to ask if they could be granted the right to request that Poca come back to their home.
It was an explosive hearing.
Outside the courthouse friends and strangers alike rallied for Poca. They’re angry the state and a judge had her taken from the family who raised her since infancy – her foster parents, Amy and Dick Langley of Snohomish County.
After nearly four years with them, she was taken away last month.
The state accused them of meddling in the case to deliberately keep Poca from ever going back to her birth parents, and the judge agreed. CPS took Poca away from her parents when she was a few months old because of abuse and neglect concerns.
In court Tuesday, the Langley’s asked Judge Anita Farris for something nearly unprecedented in Washington state: to allow them –not the biological parents, but the foster parents – to officially weigh in, or become a party to, the custody case.
Historically, foster parents do not have such rights.
Deane Minor, their attorney, says the Langleys should be given the rare opportunity because after so many years, they should be able to present evidence to the court on why Poca should be allowed to go back to their home.
“We have a huge problem. This child has spent not just her formative months, but formative years in one family home (the Langleys). And a legion of experts agree that she’s done well there,” said Minor.
While the attorney for DSHS, Assistant Attorney General Shara Delorme, agreed that the Langleys should be officially heard in court, everyone else involved said: no way. The birth parents’ attorneys, Adam Ballout and Monty Booth, and Poca’s court-appointed advocate, Chris Desmond, said the Langleys aren’t fit. The attorneys accused them of lying about Poca’s special needs, such as a seizure disorder, and about her difficult behaviors stemming from neurological problems, including having a hard time with transitions. They say that she’s doing much better now in her brand-new foster home with people she’s only known for a few weeks.
“None of these (difficult) behaviors are being seen, so I can only conclude that either the Langleys have been lying about her behavior or they have created an environment in their home such where (Poca) was displaying those behaviors. In my view it’s not in the best interest for the child to return to that environment, ever.Now, or in the new future or the far future,” said Desmond.
After months of studying the case, the KING 5 Investigators have found the Langleys in the past have been mislabeled as liars and troublemakers, and that Poca was unfairly removed.
Judge Farris said she is troubled by the Langleys’ actions in the case. “There is evidence in this case that is very, very concerning, said Farris.” Despite that, she ruled she will take the rare position of considering the Langleys be able to intervene in the court case so they can answer to criticisms and present evidence.
“I’m glad the judge is going to consider it. Frankly, I’m not real hopeful that the judge is going to rule in our favor in this, but I’ll be praying about it,” said Dick Langley.
The judge is expected to make her decision sometime soon.
Since the KING 5 Investigators started asking questions, the governor has intervened in Poca’s case. She’s called for a thorough independent investigation of exactly what has happened.
The new DSHS secretary, Susan Dreyfus, tells KING 5 they are finally working to legally sever the biological parents’ ties with Poca.The state is expected to ask the judge to sign off on that change in the case on June 12
My Thoughts On This Issue:
I notice that there is no mention of Taylor in this news article!!! I am sure the judge’s concerns has something to do with him and the how the Langley’s “allegedly” treated him.
The point I would like to make is that biological parents are treated like this by CPS all of the time. They are lied about, documents are forged, perjury is committed and their children are removed based on absolutely no evidence…where is all of the support for them. Where is the outcry for the families that CPS is destroying with this behavior. A foster family speaks out and suddenly the behavior of CPS is wrong, but when biological families speak out about the same issues…no one listens to them.
I know of other cases where the biological parents were cleared of the CPS charges against them, (see Kit and Nancy) yet the courts refused to return their children because they had been out of the home for too long and it would be “too hard” on the children. Too hard on the children??? Like being ripped away from their families by lies, and thrown into a home with strangers wasn’t hard on the children, like having their ties with their biological family severed by CPS and the courts isn’t traumatic in and of itself. I think it is more damaging to a child to be removed from their parents based on lies, then it is to be reunited with their family after the mistake or illegal action has been realized. What this shows me is that CPS and the courts are going to keep the kids no matter what is found…”Opps, my bad, but I am not going to give the child back, it would be too traumatic.”
This behavior reinforces CPS God like self-worship of “we can do what we want with no accountability what-so-ever!”
The fact of the matter is that biological parents are speaking out across this country about the illegal and unethical practices of CPS….they are demanding action by the government for the illegal removal of their children by an agency that abuses its power on a daily bases, yet no one listens to their cries of injustice…but let one foster family come forward with the same complaints of illegal and unethical behavior and the country is in an uproar….
Why? It is not the foster families who are afford constitutionally protected parental rights, it is the biological parents who are supposed to have these rights. These rights are continually being violated by CPS and the courts, children are being ripped from their parents based on lies…the public outcry should be for them, the American family that is being destroyed by this corruption!