Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been talking about the rights that incarcerated parents have, and how CPS tends to overlook those very important issues. As we mentioned in the previous article, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on this in 2010, making it illegal for CPS to terminate a parents rights to their child simply because they’re in jail.
What happened in the end for the Mason family?
The Supreme Court was very critical of the negligible efforts made by Mr. Mason’s CPS worker, to reunite the family. In the end, the Supreme Court decided that no parent should lose their rights to their child simply because they’ve been incarcerated. Which means that if CPS wants to terminate your parental rights they have to prove three things first:
- That your imprisonment will result in your children not having a normal home for at least 2 years.
- That you’re unable to provide proper care and custody for your children.
- That you likely won’t be able to properly provide for your child in a reasonable time.
What exactly are the rights of incarcerated parents?
Parents who are serving time, whether they’re in jail or in prison, have certain rights here in Michigan. One of those rights is that they cannot have their parental rights terminated, just because they happen to be behind bars. Another has to do with parental hearings, and the fact that parents are allowed to participate in every single hearing that affects their parental rights.
Mr Mason was denied this right!
In the case of Mr. Mason, there a total of seven parental hearings that took place while he was behind bars, which affected his children and their placement. He specifically told his attorney that he wanted to be involved in all of those hearings. And he had a right to! However, CPS allowed him to participate in only two of those hearings, and then later tried to claim that they hadn’t violated his rights.
Parents have a right to participate in ALL of their parental hearings.
Under MCR 2.004, a parent has the right to participate in each and every hearing held by the court, that could affect their parenting rights. Even incarcerated parents have the right to attend these hearings if they choose to. Failure to let them know when and where the hearings are taking place is a violation of their rights. And CPS isn’t allowed to violate a parent’s rights.
Don’t let CPS strip you of your rights!
If you have been accused of abusing a child, or the state is trying to terminate your parental rights while you’re behind bars, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. Our skilled child abuse and neglect defense attorneys are standing by, 24/7 to help you! Don’t let CPS take away your parental rights. Fight for your children, and let us help you protect your family!