From: Foster Care Justice Alliance
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 2:17 PM
To: Susan Muggoch
Subject: Langley case

 
Hi Susan,
 
By now you probably know that Judge Ferris tore Alisha Jackman apart in court on Wednesday.  I don't know how Ms. Jackman portrayed the incident to you, but the judge was livid.  The judge read all the documents herself wanted to know why CPS hadn't read them, too.  I would encourage you to look at the original documentation, in particular the reports from the medical and mental health providers which are fairly unanimous in condemning the department in no uncertain terms.  While she did not grant the foster parents' motions to intervene, she did grant every one of the backup motions, including 1) the children may not be removed from the foster parents without a court order, 2) there will be no more uncontested hearings, 3) the department may not bring this case to any other judge, and 4) the foster parents and their attorneys will be present at all future hearings.  She said the foster parents were justified in bringing the motion.
 
Amy was contacted by CPS with a request that the Family Preservation Specialist come observer her interactions with S.  Considering the very definition of the term "Family Preservation Specialist", this is not an appropriate observer, since the foster family is not the family she wishes to preserve.  In other circumstances I would assume the person could still be professional and objective, however in this case the person has already demonstrated considerable bias.  Frankly, this smells like a setup.
 
The department's response to this was to call for another reunification plan, which is pretty clearly not what the judge ordered.  We have now had two judges look at this, and both have ripped into the department for its handling of this case.  Apparently being publicly chastised in court has not brought the department into compliance.  Any further attempts by Ms. Jackman to circumvent the court will be viewed in a dim light.
 
Gary Malkasian