Advocacy & Community Organizing
Our belief is that advocacy is more than just helping families and individuals. Advocacy is also about building a community that empowers families and individuals to help themselves. Advocates champion the rights of individuals and communities with the goal of retaining social justice.
Community organizing is a tool used in all cultures and societies to rectify the imbalance between the powerful and the powerless. Community organizing and advocacy work with the power of numbers – many people thinking, working, and acting together – to counterbalance wealthy and powerful groups and the means they have to protect and extend themselves. Historically, community organizing and social work were responses to the many forces that created our society, with all its strengths and weaknesses, and they remain as necessary and effective as ever today.
Community organizing helps communities help themselves. Community groups are often formed around a specific problem or issue, such as education, health care, or welfare reform. Skills essential for the advocacy process include data collection and research, effective public relations and media skills, knowledge of the legislative process, and fundraising.
What does it mean to be an advocate?
An advocate speaks up – for a person, or for an issue that needs changing. Our name is “Community Advocates” for a reason. Advocacy has always been at the core of what we do.
How do we advocate?
• We strive to be a voice for the voiceless in society.
• We work to pass laws to change systems that make life more difficult for people living in poverty.
• We help people living in poverty take care of their basic needs
• We believe in, stand for, and work to establish the dignity of every human being.
• Housing Advocacy: Helping aged out youths secure or retain housing
• Public Policy Advocacy: Working to establish policy that supports and helps those living in poverty
Our advocates work with dozens of individuals and families every day, in so many different ways
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is an attempt to influence laws, public policy, and resource allocation within political, economic, and social systems and institutions—structures that directly and powerfully affect people’s lives. Advocacy consists of organized efforts and actions based on the reality of “what is” and on thoughtful, concrete proposals for coming one step closer to “what ought to be,” a just and decent society. Human rights—political, economic, and social—provide the overarching framework for these visions.
Advocacy enables social justice advocates to gain access to, and a voice in, the decision-making processes of institutions. It can change the relationships of power between these institutions and the people affected by their decisions, thereby changing the institutions themselves and revitalizing the culture of healthy democracy and civic participation. Indeed, advocacy organizations draw their strength not from the institutions of society, but from their own people.They must always strive to be accountable to people: their members, their constituents, and the members of other groups affected by the issues.
Because advocacy depends on people, advocacy depends on community organizing.
What is Organizing?
Organizing can be defined as the process of bringing people together to build relationships, identify problems, and develop the capacity—the power—to change the decisions and processes of institutions that contribute to those problems. Organizing leads to action that is planned and carried out through campaigns: periods of intense and focused effort, with a beginning and an end, designed to lead to a specific goal that makes a positive, incremental impact on a problem.
In contrast to some social modes that stress action as a way to build relationship, congregation-based community-organizing sees relationship as a way to build action. Action stems from the mutual regard and respect developed as we discover what values, concerns, and experiences we hold in common. Through the process of uncovering those stories, visions, and passions, we are able to weave together a common narrative, a common set of problems that we at FPA wanted to tackle. The process is inclusive and collective so that the issues chosen for campaign work have broad support in the congregation, and so that we can legitimately take positions on these issues as a congregation and advocate for our positions publicly.
Moreover, identifying the reasons why we care about what we care about allows us to approach our social justice work with our own self-interest—not in the sense of selfishness, but in the sense of knowing what was at stake for us, personally and as a community. We can see that partnering with other communities across barriers of race, class, and religion, on issues that both they and we care about, ultimately benefits us all.
Copyright © 2010 FPA-Foundation Inc. All rights reserved.
Parents-How to make a complaint against Judge or Lawyers
New York Judges Lawyers Complaints
How to file complaints against New York Judges and New York lawyers?
New York Judge Complaints
Contact the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. To file a complaint about a judge in New York: www.scjc.state.ny.us
New York Judicial Complaint Mailing Address
New York State Commission of Judicial Conduct
New York City, NY 10006
New York Lawyer Complaints
First Judicial Department Departmental Disciplinary Committee handles complaints about lawyers in New York. To file a complaint about a lawyer in New York: www.courts.state.ny.us
Lawyer Complaint Mailing Address
First Judicial Department Departmental Disciplinary Committee
61 Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10006
Complaints about New York Judges and New York Lawyers
Each State has its own procedures for filingcomplaints against judges. All states require a written and signed complaint. Some states have a form for you to fill out. Other States request a letter. Grievances of misconduct usually concern issues of conflict of interest or impartiality. Adverse rulings or judgments are not considered legitimate grievances. You must support the complaint about the New York Judge with sufficient documentation. Contact the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
All states maintain an agency to process lawyercomplaints. These disciplinary counsels can usually be found as a department of the state bar association or as a branch of the state supreme court. Complaints can be filed by filling out a form supplied by the disciplinary counsel or by writing a letter to First Judicial Department Departmental Disciplinary Committee. Check the New York web site www.courts.state.ny.us to find the requirements for a complaint about a New York Lawyer.
How to file a complaint against an attorney or Judge in New York
How to Complain about Lawyers and Judges
Complaint about Professional Misconduct
Lawyers admitted to practice in New York State are held to the standards in the Code of Professional Responsibility. These are high standards. A lawyer who violates the Code may be charged with professional misconduct. Some examples of professional misconduct are:
Neglect – A lawyer fails to pursue your case and the action is dismissed or barred because of your lawyer's delay.
Mishandling of Money – A lawyer takes your money and uses it for a purpose that was not agreed to by you or mingles it with someone else's money.
Fraud – A lawyer lies to you about any aspect of your case.
Conflict of Interest – A lawyer represents both sides and does not explain fully what problems may result.
How to Complain
One need not have been a client of a lawyer in order to complain about the lawyer's conduct. Telephone the appropriate committee to determine whether it uses a form for filing complaints. If the committee uses a form, it will mail one to you. If the grievance committee does not use a form for filing complaints, you should include:
full name and address of the lawyer;
a brief summary of the facts which you believe show misconduct by the lawyer;
date(s) of the action(s) complained of;
copies of any records, such as letters, documents, etc., which help explain the complaint you are making.
The grievance committees are appointed by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court. They operate on a regional basis, and their jurisdiction is based upon the location of the office of the attorney against whom a complaint is being made. You should make your complaint or inquiry known to the grievance committee that covers the county in which the attorney’s office is located. The following is a list of the grievance committees and the counties over which they have jurisdiction.
New York and Bronx Counties:
Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Department
61 Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10006
Kings, Queens and Richmond Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts
335 Adams Street, Suite 2400
Brooklyn, NY 11201-3745
Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District
399 Knollwood Road, Suite 200
White Plains, NY 10603
Nassau and Suffolk Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District
6900 Jericho Turnpike
Syosset, NY 11791
Albany, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Madison, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren and Washington Counties:
Committee on Professional Standards
40 Steuben Street
Albany, NY 12207
Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Fifth Judicial District
465 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Seventh Judicial DistrictAttorney Grievance Committee
50 East Avenue, Suite 404
Rochester, NY 14604-2206
Fax: (585) 530-3191
Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genessee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming Counties:
Grievance Committee for the Eighth Judicial District
1036 Ellicott Square Building
Buffalo, NY 14203
What Happens After You File A Complaint?
Review and Investigation
The Committee will do an initial review of the case in order to determine whether it describes a possible violation of the law. If it is determined that no law has been broken, you will be notified by a letter.
If the Committee determines that your case does contain a violation of the law, it will begin an investigation. The review and investigation process should take about 3-4 months.
After the investigation, the Committee may do the following:
Dismiss the Complaint
A complaint is dismissed when there is not enough evidence to prove misconduct.
Send the lawyer a Letter of Caution
If the violation is found to be a minor or technical one, the lawyer may be sent a Letter of Caution. This letter is not a formal disciplinary action and remains confidential. However, the letter indicates disapproval of the lawyer’s conduct and may be considered if other complaints are made against the lawyer.
Send the lawyer a Letter of Admonition
If the violation is more serious, the lawyer may be sent a Letter of Admonition, stating that any further misconduct will result in formal charges. This letter is a formal disciplinary action but remains confidential. However, if the lawyer is found guilty of professional misconduct at a later time, the fact that a Letter of Admonition was issued in response to an earlier complaint will be considered in determining punishment.
Conduct a Hearing
If the investigation reveals the possibility of serious misconduct, a hearing is held before a panel of lawyers and non-lawyers. Currently, these hearings are not open to the public. After the hearing, the outcome may be:
Dismissal of the case
Letter of Caution*
Letter of Admonition*
Reprimand issued to the lawyer**
Referral of the case to the court (the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court)
* Applicable to Grievance Committee
** Applicable to DDC. A Reprimand, issued by a hearing panel of the DDC, is a formal disciplinary action, but it remains confidential. However, if professional misconduct, the Reprimand will be considered in punishing the lawyer.
Action by the Appellate Division
When a case is referred to the Court, the Court may order a new hearing or decide the matter on the record already established. The Court may dismiss the case, or in the Second Department may refer it back to the Grievance Committee for issuance of a Letter of Admonition, or take one of the following disciplinary actions against the lawyer:
Censure (this is a public reprimand, but the lawyer may continue to practice law)
Suspension (this means the lawyer cannot practice law for a period of time)
Disbarment (this means the lawyer can no longer practice law)
The punishment imposed by the Court is disclosed to the public.
If your problem with your lawyer is a dispute about the fee, you may get help from the bar association in the county in which your lawyer’s office is located. In the event of a fee dispute between an attorney and client, in most civil matters, where the representation began on or after January 1, 2002, the client may seek to resolve the dispute by arbitration. The attorney's participation is mandatory at the client’s election. Arbitration awards become final and binding by operation of law if neither party seeks a trial de novo within 30 days. In cases where the representation began before January 1, 2002, the lawyer is not required to participate in the fee conciliation processes or arbitration processes described below, except in matrimonial cases.
Manhattan & The Bronx
Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation
14 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10007
(212) 267-6646 ext. 132
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Joint Committee is supervised by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York County Lawyers’ Association and the Bronx County Bar Association.
To file a complaint about a fee, call the Joint Committee. You will be sent a form to fill out, sign and return. A copy will be sent to the lawyer for a response. The Committee will try to bring you and your lawyer together to achieve a voluntary settlement of the fee dispute.
Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island
State of New York Grievance Committee for the 2ndand 11th Judicial Districts
335 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
phone number: 718-923-6300
open M-F from 9am -4:30pm
Should you have a complaint regarding the fee charged by a lawyer, you should contact the Grievance Committee, which will supply you with a set of forms to make a formal complaint. After the Grievance Committee has established a file, if appropriate, the Committee will refer a fee dispute for voluntary arbitration to the appropriate bar association. At that time you will be contacted for a hearing, which is purely voluntary. The arbitration process is not binding and the attorney may refuse to appear before the Arbitration Committee.
Committee on Conciliation and Fee Disputes
Queens County Bar Association
90-35 148th Street
Jamaica, NY 11435
The Queens County Bar Association will contact the lawyer. If you and the lawyer agree, you may submit the dispute to the Committee on Conciliation and Fee Disputes for a hearing and determination.
Fee Arbitration Committee
Richmond County Bar Association
2012 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
The Bar Association will contact you and your lawyer. If you both agree, the matter will be submitted for arbitration by a panel of members of the Arbitration Committee. The panel will make an award resolving the dispute.
Nassau County Bar Association
15th and West Street
Mineola, NY 11501
Suffolk County Bar Association
560 Wheeler Road
Hauppauge, New York 11788-4357
(631) 234-5511 ext. 222
Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Putnam
Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District
399 Knollwood Road, Suite 200
White Plains, NY 10603
All other Counties
Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program
Board of Governors
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street, Room 855
New York, New York 10004
Lawyer Referral Service
If you originally found your lawyer through a lawyer referral service, you should contact that referral service. Often there are requirements that any fee disputes be resolved through arbitration by the organization that sponsors the service.
Claims for Reimbursement
The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is an organization that was created by the State Legislature in 1981 to reimburse losses caused by the dishonest conduct of New York attorneys in the course of their practice. An individual need not be represented by a lawyer in order to submit a claim to the Fund. For more information on the operations of the Fund and the filing of a claim with the Fund, you may write to the Fund at
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 11210
Complaints Against State Court Judges and Court Officers
Complaints against New York State judges may be filed with the
Commission on Judicial Conduct
801 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Complaints against other court personnel may be filed with the
Office of Court Administration
270 Broadway, Room 1005
New York, NY 10007
Complaints against Judges and Other Court Personnel in Federal Court
If you have a complaint against a judge in a federal court in New York City, you should contact:
Clerk of the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
United States Courthouse, Room 1702
New York, NY 10007
The Clerk’s office will tell you the procedure for filing a written complaint.
If you have a complaint against court personnel in a federal court, write a letter to the Chief Judge of that court. You may simply address the letter to the Chief Judge at the address of the courthouse, even if you do not know the name of the Chief Judge.
New York General Assembly
To effectively battle judicial corruption, you must have a good handle on the various techniques that judges use to break the rules, favor the other party, and commit crimes. Keep these techniques in mind as you analyze what has been done to you. I suggest that you prepare a document listing each of these techniques that are applicable to your situation, and then gather the evidence that yoiu have of each. You will be able to use this information in many of the things that you do to battle corruption and expose the evildoers.
Judges regularly commit the crimes of obstruction of justice and perjury. They obstruct justice by using various techniques to render decisions and issue orders that are intended to deny justice. They do this to favor certain parties and law firms. They may do it for money or other considerations, or they may do it simply because they favor certain attorneys....
For our purposes now, why they do it is not as important as the fact that they do obstruct justice. They all belong in prison.To pursue criminal charges against judges, you need to document everything that is improper. It is my opinion that a pattern and practice of this wrongdoing can establish the crime of obstruction of justice.
These are some of the techniques the judges use:
Ignore the Law
One of the primary techniques used by corrupt judges is to simply ignore the law. One party cites the law and overwhelming case law. The favored party doesn't have the law on their side. The judge simply ignores the law and rules against the party that was legally right. In one instance, I presented literally thousands of cases that proved that I was right. In fact, there had never been a case in any court where there was a ruling other than one that would be in my favor. But Judge Orinda D. Evans had one and only one motive, so she ignored the law and ruled against me. The same is true with Judge William S. Duffey, Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Judge Joel F. Dubina, Judge Edward Earl Carnes, Judge Rosemary Barkett, Judge Frank M. Hull, Judge James Larry Edmondson, Judge Stanley Marcus, Judge William H. Pryor, Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat, Judge Susan H. Black, and Judge Charles R. Wilson. To know that judges ignore the law, you must carefully research the legal issues in your case.
Cite Invalid Law
Sometimes a judge will feel like citation of case law is needed to support their ruling. So, they claim a case applies when it doesn't. Judge William S. Duffey has done this a number of times. He cites a case in his orders, and then when I review those cases, I find that they actually proved my position. But he ruled against me because he needed to in order to shield his good friend, Judge Orinda D. Evans, from criminal prosecution and impeachment. Always review the cases cited by judges so you can identify the invalid cases that are cited.
Ignore the Facts
Judges donâ€™t address points raised by parties who arenâ€™t favored. I find appellate judges are even more dishonest than lower court judges when it comes to ignoring the issues, facts, statutes, and case law. Lying about the facts in orders and lying under oath both constitute perjury. Judges are always under oath, and a judge is supposed to never say or write anything that isn't true. So, when a judge knowingly lies in orders for the purpose of ruling against a party for the judge's criminal reasons, it is a criminal violation of perjury. Each such instance is a separate count. In my case, Judge Orinda D. Evans has committed hundreds and hundreds of counts of perjury. The record filed with the Court proves that she lied, but she gets away with it because the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appealsâ€™ judges will lie to protect their fellow judge. I have many counts of perjury against Judge William S. Duffey and Judge Thomas W. Thrash as well.
Another favorite technique is to simply ignore issues in orders. Judge Orinda D. Evans has not responded to motions on a timely basis, and then she takes many motions at once and rules on them. This buries the fact that she ignored motions where her ruling could not possible be explained. So, rather than make up an explanation, she just ignores those tough issues. Judge William S. Duffey often ignores the issues, and Judge Thomas W. Thrash always ignores the issues.
A really dishonest judge like Judge Orinda D. Evans will simply conceal evidence. In my case, she has two documents that will prove fraud by the other party and their attorney as well as obstruction of justice by her. She simply conceals that evidence and refuses to allow it to see the light of day so her criminal efforts are not exposed. Approximately 12 other judges have aided and abetted her in this concealment.
Say Nothing in Orders
One of the favorite techniques of Judge Thomas W. Thrash and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appealsâ€™ judges is to say nothing. They corruptly call an appeal "frivolous" and dismiss it with no explanation whatsoever. Sometimes the Eleventh Circuit writes a page or two simply reciting history of the case, so it appears it is a real order, and then they write one sentence dismissing the appeal with no valid reason or explanation.
Block Filing of Motions and Evidence
By allowing the favored party to file anything they choose and blocking the filings and motions of the pro se party, judges commit the worst form of obstruction of justice. The pro se party is denied the information needed to defeat the other party, and there is no record of this evidence and these arguments on appeal. Judge Orinda D. Evans, Judge William S. Duffey, and Judge Thomas W. Thrash have done this to me repeatedly.
Tamper with Evidence
Tampering with evidence is a crime. Judges commit tampering with evidence by causing evidence submitted for filing to disappear and not get added to the court record. Judge Orinda D. Evans, Judge William S. Duffey, and Judge Thomas W. Thrash have done this to me repeatedly, in cahoots with the staff of the Clerk of the Court. I have proof that orders have been backdated. I suspect that we will discover that the two documents filed under seal in 1:06-CV-0714-ODE Docket #168 have been tampered with or destroyed. Maid of the Mistâ€™s attorneys did a lot of tampering with evidence, and Judge Orinda D. Evans ignored it all.
Deny Constitutional Rights
The Constitution is meaningless to corrupt judges. They simply violate Constitutional rights with no regard for the people they damage. All of the judges who I have encountered have violated my Constitutional rights. I have been raped of my rights to due process. I have been denied the right to call witnesses, to testify under oath, to cross-examine witnesses, to introduce evidence, to file answers to motions filed by the favored party, to file lawsuits, to contact witnesses, and much more. It is very important for you to know the Constitutional rights that judges routinely deny.
Violate and Ignore the Rules of Civil Procedure
By violating and ignoring the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence, judges commit obstruction of justice. They allow the favored party to break rules and get away with it. For example, in my cases, the opposing parties have not filed a single affidavit as to facts for the last three years. The Local Rules of Civil Procedure require that all alleged statements of fact in motions and other filings must be supported by affidavit. This has not been done by the opposing parties since 2008, but every motion that I file has an affidavit or a sworn verification. Other rules are ignored as well so the favored parties can get away with just about anything.
Automatically Rule against Certain Classes of People
Judges automatically rule against certain classes of people. The concept of fair and impartial judges is a fairy tale. I have proven that people who represent themselves as plaintiffs in the federal courts in Atlanta always lose. We have a right to represent ourselves in court, but we automatically lose. Judges are simply attorneys in black dresses, and they seem to uniformly hate parties who arenâ€™t spending a fortune with attorneys, so they screw them.
Order Monetary Sanctions against Parties they want to Damage
The criminal judges inflict damage on parties who arenâ€™t favored by ordering monetary sanctions against them. They inflict financial punishment to break people. Judge Orinda D. Evans has done this to me several times, and judges of the Eleventh Circuit have done it to me as well. Judge William S. Duffey has done the same to me.
Refuse to Disqualify Themselves
The Constitution and case law clearly provide that we are supposed to be entitled to a fair and impartial judge, but the corrupt judges simply ignore the law. They refuse to disqualify themselves so they can inflict damage on parties who arenâ€™t favored. This has happened with Judge Orinda D. Evans, Judge William S. Duffey, Judge Thomas W. Thrash, and every judge with the Eleventh Circuit.
Violate their Oath of Office and the Code of Judicial Conduct
Like the rules of civil procedure, a judgeâ€™s Oath of Office and Code of Judicial Conduct READ great. But the judges pay no attention to the Oath or Code. When they intentionally violate their Oath and the Code of Judicial Conduct, they are intentionally damaging a party.
Conspire with Fellow Judges and Judicial Employees
The corrupt judges commit conspiracy with their fellow judges and judicial employees. They often need help from other judges as well as law clerks, the employees in the Office of the Clerk of the Court, and others.
Dishonest judges allow a favored party to lie and cheat. The felony of perjury is ignored. This is an excellent way for a crooked judge to allow a favored party who is dishonest to obstruct justice. When the judge knows the testimony is perjured, the judge is suborning perjury when he or she does nothing about it and accepts the perjury as if it was fact. Judge Orinda D. Evans and Judge Thomas W. Duffey have done this to me as have the judges of the Eleventh Circuit.
In the federal courts in Fulton County, it is extremely difficult to get a hearing. In six years, I gave never been granted a hearing. Hearings are dangerous for dishonest judges as courtroom observers, media, and the transcript of the hearing will force the judges to be a little more honest.
Practice Simulated Litigation
Dishonest judges donâ€™t issue valid orders, and they donâ€™t maintain legal dockets. I guess this makes it easier for them to manipulate things. Judge William S. Duffey and the Clerk of the Court have done this to me. None of Judge Thomas W. Thrashâ€™s orders are legal.
Dismiss Cases or Grant Summary Judgments
Dishonest judges ignore the law and violate the law by dismissing cases or by granting summary judgment. This is done regularly. This keeps the honest party from the right to have a jury make the decision.
Deny Jury Trials
Judges corrupt the judicial process by depriving parties of a jury trial. Juries canâ€™t be controlled by the judges to ensure that their favored party wins, so judges end cases before the people who should win can reach a jury. Judge Orinda D. Evans and Judge William S. Duffey have done this to me, as has Judge Thomas W. Thrash.
Don't Publish the Improper Orders
The Eleventh Circuit has NEVER published one of the orders in my appeals. When they are violating the law, they have protection by not publishing the order. This keeps it from the eyes of attorneys and other judges who would identify the wrongdoing. Publishing would also make their erroneous decisions precedents for other cases. The whole legal system would be turned even more upside down if this were to happen.
Judges are Corrupt
Corruption is the abuse of power by a public official. As I see it, judicial corruption is dishonesty by a judge. Corruption does not have to be economic in character. A police officer who fabricates evidence against a person he believes to be guilty of paedophilia is not committing an economic crime; and he might do so because he believes the accused to be guilty, and does not want him to go unpunished. Economics is not necessarily involved as an element of the officer's crime or as a motivation. When police do wrong they are often motivated by a misplaced sense of justice, rather than by financial reward. Again, a person in authority motivated by sadistic pleasure who abuses her power by meting out cruel and unjust treatment to those subject to her authority, is not engaging in an economic crime; and she is not motivated by economic considerations. Judges and many of those who occupy positions of authority are motivated by a desire to exercise power for its own sake, rather than by a desire for financial reward. That said, bribery is generally regarded as the most serious form of public corruption. Informaton provided by Bill Windsor
What Parents Need To Know
No one has the right to deny your right to have a advocate on your case. No One can deny your right To have A Advocate. Office of Advocacy,Foster care Agencies,or Family Courts. If this happens- Please Make a complaint at the Public Advocate's office for Agency violation of your due process rights as a parent .
Parents,Fosterparents,Foster Youths all have a right to have a Advocate assigned to your case. The advocate does not half to be with the fostercare ageney that you are with.Your advocate has the right to attend your FTC meetings and attend court and obtain information about your case. Parent must sign a consent form given the advocacy group permission to reach out to all parties involved such as your attorney,caseworker,therapist, and other professionals. You have a right to have a outside advocate not with your foster care agency.You have a right to participate and join any advocacy association or parent support group. That is your Right to do so. Do not fight this alone join a group. Call FPA-Foundation.
Do Families have a Right to file Suit Against Foster Care Agencies,ACS,Family Courts
YES, Under the color of law when they are violating your civil rights and due process under the ASFA LAW. Citizens affected by the child welfare have the right to hold them accountable and file a suit against any foster care agency,ACS, or family courts that violates your due process right and treats you unfairly.If They demoralize and destroy the developing mind of our children during their most tender years and our vulnerable parents during their twilight years turning the beginning and end of their lives into nightmares, leaving shattered and distraught families in their wake.
Your family has the right to take action agaInst anyone that does not follow policy and procedure according to the ASFA LAW. Here is the guidelines under the ASFA lAW
The Rights of Parents and Children in Child Maltreatment Cases
The court system accords both parents and children certain legal rights and entitlements, depending on the type of proceeding in which they are involved, including:Working with the Courts in Child Protection
• The right to family Integrity
Public policy has long recognized a right to family integrity, and there has been ample case law defending that right. The legal framework regarding the parent-child relationship balances the rights and responsibilities among parent, child, and State, as guided by Federal statutes. It has long been recognized that parents have a fundamental liberty interest, protected by the Constitution, to raise their children as they choose. This parent-child relationship grants certain rights, duties, and obligations to both parent and child, including the responsibility of the parent to protect the child’s safety and well-being. If a parent, however, is unable or unwilling to meet this responsibility, the State has the power and authority to take action to protect a child from significant harm.
The Right to Notice of the Proceedings
Parents or other custodians of a child have the right to “notice” of any petition filed regarding that child and to be notified of any hearing regarding that petition. The right to notice encompasses the right to be formally given the petition, which also must state what the parent has done or not done that makes court involvement necessary. The right to notice is a fundamental element of the constitutional right to due process. Due process specifies the right to be present in court, representation by an attorney, and
• The right to hearing
Another fundamental element of due process is the right to a hearing on the merits ofa petition, including the right to cross-examine or to question any witness called by CPS, by the other parent, or on behalf of the child, as well as the right to present evidence on one’s own behalf.
• The right to council
Most States provide court-appointed lawyers for indigent parents in child maltreatment cases, but there is no Federal constitutional right to counsel in such cases. A constitutional right to counsel (i.e.,
Meeting the child;
Exploring the facts ofthe case;
Obtaining medical, educational, and other records;
Determining the child’s perspective and needs; Identifying appropriate services and resources;
Monitoring the progress of the case; Promoting the child’s interests.
National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA) promotes and supports volunteer advocacy in juvenile courts for children alleged to be maltreated. NCASAA provides money and technical assistance to start and expand programs, disseminates performance standards, produces training manuals and other publications, and trains program leaders and volunteers. For more information on NCASAA and GAL, go to http://www.casanet.org.
Where both an attorney and a GAL are appointed, it is with the expectation that they will function as a team in performing those tasks and in advocating for the child, as well as in making the child’s own views known to the court. These advocates can be valuable sources ofknowledge and information and important allies when they and the CPS caseworker concur on how the case should be resolved.
• The right to a jury trial
A few States grant parents the right to a jury trial in child maltreatment cases, but the right is usually “waived” or “voluntarily given up” by the parent. In criminal child maltreatment cases, by contrast, the U.S. Constitution gives adult defendants in every State a right to trial by jury.
The CAPTA requirement ofa Guardian ad Litem or court-appointed special advocate;
• The entitlement to reasonable efforts. Parents and children must not only be informed oftheir rights, but they also must understand the protections those rights afford them. Court representatives and CPS caseworkers can educate families about their rights and help them feel empowered in an otherwise intimidating process.
The Right to Family Integrity- Public policy has long recognized a right to family integrity, and there has been ample case law defending that right. The legal framework regarding the parent-child relationship balances the rights and responsibilities among parent, child, and State, as guided by Federal statutes. It has long been recognized that parents have a fundamental liberty interest, protected by the Constitution, to raise their children as they choose. This parent-child relationship grants certain rights, duties, and obligation to both parent and child, including the responsibility of the parent to protect the child’s safety and well-being. If a parent, however, is unable or unwilling to meet this responsibility, the State has the power and authority to take action to protect a child from significant harm.
CHILD AND FAMILY WELL BEING:
Needs and services ofchild, parents, foster parents.
Courts ensure that agencies conduct thorough assessments and provide services to meet the needs of the child, parents, and foster parents.
Courts review case plans submitted to the courts by the child protection agency to see if needs are being met through the provision ofservices.
Courts address barriers to service provision and delivery.
Attorneys and advocates identify and address their clients’ needs and advocate appropriate services.
Attorneys, advocates, and judges have sufficient training, experience, and resources to advocate effectively for child ren’s service needs (e.g., special education, medical, and mental health needs).
Judges and attorneys are sufficiently knowledgeable about confidentiality laws to help ensure that information on children’s and family’s needs is available to the court and agency
The Entitlement to Reasonable Efforts
Except in certain aggravated circumstances, parents and children are entitled under the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (P.L. 96—272) and ASFA (P.L. 105—89) to have State agencies make reasonable efforts to keep them together, or if a child has been removed from the family, to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family. ASFA also states that children who are not going to be reunited with their families are entitled to reasonable efforts by State agencies or departments to secure a permanent placement for them.
Federal law further requires that judges decide at each critical stage of an abuse or neglect case whether the agency has complied with the reasonable efforts requirement. The obligation to make reasonable efforts applies to CPS alone, not to the parents, any other individuals, or service providers.
“Reasonable efforts” is not defined in Federal law. Some States, however, have attempted to define it, and caseworkers will need to familiarize themselves with any definition in their State’s statutes. Information about the application of reasonable efforts in a State’s appellate court should be provided by the CPS agency’s attorney to the head of the agency for dissemination to caseworkers and other pertinent staff, along with clarification of the decision’s impact on their responsibilities.
You should seek out a legal attorney if you feel your family rights have been violated by the child welfare system.
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