Appeals Court Overrules Decision Placing Sect Kids in State Custody
An appeals court ruled today that Texas didn't have the authority to keep dozens of children from a polygamist sect in state custody.
The Third Court of Appeals in Austin, in response to a motion from 38 sect mothers, ruled that Child Protective Services did not present enough evidence at a hearing last month that the children were at risk of abuse to justify keeping them in state custody.
The court said that the state had not demonstrated that the children were in immediate danger and that Judge Barbara Walther abused her discretion in failing to return the children to their families.
The impact of the decision was not immediately clear, but it likely means that the children of the 38 mothers will be returned to their families at least temporarily. The state could also appeal the decision to the Texas Supreme Court.
"We just received this information from the Court of Appeals, and it is being reviewed," Child Protective Services said in a statement. "We are trying to assess any impact this may have on our case and what our next steps will be."
I think any child being raised in this type of environment is being abused, regardless of what evidence could or could not be presented to court. It's unfortunate that the children now have to go back to this place. And I had so much hope that they could break away.