Find information and updates here about those cases where the parent-child relationship is being challenged by the infringement of the rights of parents and where we are providing legal services. We are not able (yet) to accept all requests for help. With your help through your membership and.or donations, we can do more. Please join and.or donate.
PARENTS DIVORCE, ONE REMARRIES. THE STEPPARENT SHOULD ADD TO A CHILD’S LIFE, NOT REPLACE ONE PARENT!
The National Association of Parents is representing Victoria A., a mother of two boys. Victoria and the boys’ father were married, but divorced in 2009, and, in their divorce decree, they agreed Victoria would be the “custodial” parent. By 2011, the father had remarried and through relentless legal wrangling, he became the custodial parent and controlled their boys. In 2013, the step-mother petitioned the court to remove Victoria forever and to name her the boys’ only mother (legally, the stepparents wanted to adopt the boys and terminate Victoria’s parental rights). The judge refused to hear from the boys, by then 11 years old and almost 9 years old, refused to appoint an independent advocate for the boys, and refused to permit a psychologist to interview them to determine how they were doing and what they wanted.
Fighting hard through her attorney, Victoria lost her parental rights and the stepmother managed to cast her aside. Currently on appeal, with the help of the National Association of Parents, Victoria contends that the trial court was wrong not to get input from the boys, wrong to bar these boys from reuniting with their mother, and wrong not to require that the stepmother (and the father who, horribly, wanted this, too) to meet the Constitutional burden before terminating Victoria’s parental rights. Kids can love their father, stepmother AND mother!
WHO DECIDES IF AN ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL IS EXCUSED OR UNEXCUSED, ADMINISTRATORS OR PARENTS? Another case of criminal charges AND juvenile court just because children miss school!
Tricia Rescigno, a married mother in Pickens County, Georgia, was issued two criminal citations in May 2016, and also received a summons to appear in Juvenile Court, because her two children, both honor students with all A’s and B’s, had accumulated more unexcused absences than the school district allowed. The boys’ parents notified the school they would miss a few days to attend a family function out of state. After the fact, the school officials decided these absences (each day being a separate absence) were unexcused resulting in the Sheriff issuing the criminal citations and the Juvenile Court issuing the summons (presumably to determine if the children are being neglected or are “deprived”). The National Association of Parents is defending Mrs. Rescigo from the criminal charges that could land her in jail as well as cost her family fines, because parents, if not harming their child, have the right to decide. We also are representing her in the Juvenile Court. This isn’t about whether or not school is important. By these children’s grades, this family knows school is important. The State has a mandatory “attendance” law, not a mandatory “education” law. The State, arguably, has a right to require parents to ensure their children become minimally educated, but the State does not have a right to require parents to ensure their children attend . . . anything!
CHILD OUTDOORS ALONE. IS THIS CHILD NEGLECT? NO, SO STOP ARRESTING PARENTS AND CHARGING THEM WITH A CRIME!
Sue Terrillion and her two children went to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and stayed in a rental property. After ordering food to-go from a nearby restaurant, she called the kids to go with her to pick up the food. They wanted to stay behind with the family dog, so she left to get the food. Her son let the dog out (the dog had to “go”) but didn’t use the leash. The boy went after the dog, a stranger saw them and contacted the police.
The police took the boy (and the dog) to the rental unit and interrogated the boy and girl, had dispatch call the mother, who came to the property. Sue was gone less than 45 minutes. She was charged with child endangerment! (Police did permit her to come to the station and turn herself in after other family members arrived). “Endangering the Welfare of a Child” under Delaware Law occurs when a person caring for a child “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of the child[.]” Title 11, Section 1102(a)(1(a)(emphasis added).
Did she hurt her children? No. Were her children likely to be hurt? No. Because we contend that a child is not likely to be injured (Delaware law) by the mere fact that a parent is not nearby, the National Association of Parents is providing the legal defense for Sue.
Is the Rehoboth Beach Chamber of Commerce really telling vacationers “don’t you dare leave your child alone on the beach, at a play area, walking the dog, or anywhere or our police will arrest you, charge you with a crime and make you come back for a trial in court?” In this case, the answer is “Yes!” that is what Rehoboth Beach is telling Sue and all of you!