SB 1440 Veto

After the 81st Legislature in 2009, Parent Guidance Center lead the campaign to ask for a veto of SB 1440.  Below is information surrounding that veto and subsequent victory.

PRESS RELEASE THAT STARTED THE VETO CAMPAIGN

Press Release

Parent Guidance Center

9600 Escarpment Blvd, Suite 745-255

Austin, TX 78749

Released by:  June 4, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FLDS-STYLE RAID COMING TO A HOME NEAR YOU

COMPLIMENTS OF THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE

Austin, Texas:  The Texas Legislature passed a new law, SB 1440, on May 30th which will potentially suspend 4th amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure during the investigation phase of child protection cases.

Activists, advocates, and parents across Texas are calling for Governor Perry to veto SB 1440 to protect families’ Constitutional rights.

All families are at risk in the state of Texas if the governor signs this bill.  The FLDS case, where Texas took over 400 children based on the “umbrella of beliefs” held by their parents and no tangible evidence of abuse or neglect, demonstrated the sweeping power that the government wields against families, even when reports are false.  Rights are ignored in the name of “child protection.”

If SB 1440 is not vetoed, Child Protective Services will be able to gain access to people’s homes and children by merely presenting an affidavit to the court asking for a court order to “aid in an investigation.”

This dispenses with a search warrant based on probable cause or a hearing during which parents can defend themselves and CPS must prove “good cause” for obtaining access to children and their medical and mental health records.

“If after being served this order, parents assert their 4th amendment rights, they may be held in contempt of court!” said Johana Scot , executive director of Parent Guidance Center , an organization that helps parents involved in CPS cases.  “How can this be in the best interest of a child in the United States of America ?”

The original bill (SB 1064 by Kirk Watson) died on the floor but was revived by Patrick Rose as a last minute amendment to Watson’s SB 1440 and seeks to get around obstacles to information gathering with merely a court order issued for “aid in an investigation” when accusations of abuse or neglect are made “based on information available” which in the case of the FLDS was a hoax phone call.

Parents who do NOT agree to let their children be questioned, transported, or traumatized by strangers could then be presented with a court order sworn by “an investigator or authorized representative of the department” who could then gain access to their property, records, and children.  These court orders can also be obtained without a family’s knowledge that they are being investigated.

The new law goes even further by striking the term “for good cause shown” and lowers the evidentiary bar by only requiring “fair probability that allegations of abuse or neglect will be sustained if the order is issued or executed.”

A search warrant requires probable cause; CPS investigations will no longer require good cause at all.  Anonymous reports and lack of a hearing will place all families in jeopardy.

“It is disappointing and disturbing that the Texas Legislature would seek to get around court rulings that kept families’ rights in place,” Scot said.

“This bill puts families between a rock and a hard place with confusing language that makes the law harder for ordinary citizens to understand rather than clarifying it.”

The Department of Family and Protective Services has already made great strides to change their policies and procedures after these court rulings.

###

GROUPS TO THANK and SUPPORT FOR HELPING SAVE THE FAMILIES OF TEXAS FROM SB 1440

These groups/persons/organizations were instrumental in organizing AND carrying out the massive SB 1440 Veto Campaign

Texans for Accountable Government

www.tagtexas.org

(Special thanks to Chuck Young-you are the organizing guru!  You made this campaign your mission and we will be forever grateful!)

Texas Libertarian Party

www.tx.lp.org

Texas Campaign for Liberty

www.campaignforliberty.com

Texas Republican Liberty Caucus

www.rlctexas.org

Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights Texas

www.cchr-texas.org

Constitution Party of Texas

www.cptexas.us/

Texas Eagle Forum

www.eagleforum.org

Free Market Foundation

www.freemarket.org

Texas Home School Coalition

www.thsc.org

Texas Right to Life

www.texasrighttolife.com

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform

www.nccpr.org

Home School Legal Defense Association

www.hslda.org

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D.

www.garloward.com

Chris Branson, Esquire

www.bransonlegal.com

Robert Morrow, Grassroots Activist Extraordinaire

David Cary, President-Family Focus

Dr. Steven Hotze, M.D.

www.drhotze.com

Cecilia M. Wood, Esquire

www.ceciliawoodlaw.com

Texas Center for Family Rights

www.txcfr.org

Katherine Albrecht Radio Show

www.katherinealbrecht.com

Rule of Law Radio

www.ruleoflawradio.com

Alex Jones Radio Show

www.infowars.com