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CPS Seized Her Kids. She Got Them Back – And $700,000, Too

CPS Seized Her Kids. She Got Them Back – And $700,000, Too

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Officials in Riverside County, Calif., have agreed to pay a family $700,000 as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit that was filed after Child Protective Services (CPS) seized a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl.

“CPS just took my children,” Vanessa Wilson told Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA) attorneys back in April 2013 after CPS investigator Francisca Russo alleged that the mom was not properly tending to the diabetes needs of her four-year-old daughter.

CPS, with the backing of police, seized both kids.

The son was in state custody for 29 days, the daughter for 50 days.

The controversy began after Wilson took her daughter to the hospital when she experienced flu-like symptoms and lethargy. It was at the hospital that doctors told her that her daughter was diabetic. The daughter was discharged five days later in the care of the mom.

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Wilson followed the treatment plan for her daughter, but three months later a case worker showed up at her door, accompanied by other CPS workers and a police officer. The case worker asked Wilson to administer a blood glucose meter test to the daughter, which the mom did. The reading of 261 was “within the acceptable blood glucose range” that the doctor had given Wilson, according to the lawsuit. And it was “significantly less” than the reading of 435 when the daughter was first administered to the hospital. But that didn’t matter to Russo.

“On her own authority, without asking a doctor about the readings and without seeking a court order, [Russo] took the girl into custody,” HSLDA said in a news release. “After learning that Vanessa homeschooled her seven-year-old son, Ms. Russo asked him a few math questions, asked him to recite the ABC’s, and to read from a book—all while the deputy would not let his visibly distraught mom come to him.

Other doctors, including the girl’s own physician, said her condition was fine.

“Russo made these determinations without any appropriate medical training, degree, or license,” the complaint stated. “… Russo made these determinations without consulting Daughter’s pediatrician, Dr. Swanston, or any other medical professional who possessed appropriate medical training, degree, or license to opine as to the normal blood sugar range of a four-year-old child with new-onset type 1 juvenile diabetes.”

The kids were returned after HSLDA uncovered evidence that CPS had hidden evidence from the courts and them. That evidence convinced a prosecutor to drop the legal case against Wilson.

HSLDA then filed a lawsuit, which included a video deposition of Russo.

“There was simply no better way to reproduce or accurately represent the investigator’s facial expressions, body language, or pregnant pauses,” HSLDA reported in a news release. “Watching her squirm while she tried to explain that a pediatric endocrinologist with 30 years’ experience was wrong—and that she was right—was considerably more effective than reading a transcript.”

Riverside County initially offered only $10,000, but during mediation – and after the video deposition was seen by everyone – agreed to a $700,000 settlement.

“Each of the children have an investment of $100,000 that they can start drawing on when they turn 18,” according to HSLDA. “Vanessa invested part of her money in a new traveling home so that she and the kids can cross the country visiting friends and family; learning while on an unforgettable adventure. Money can’t bring back the lost 50 days, or cure the trauma that all three are still dealing with from the unjustified seizure and separation. But Vanessa is doing her best.”

HSLDA said it acknowledges that CPS investigators “have an important and difficult job” – but asserts they must be held accountable.

“There are rules they have to follow for the safety and protection of those they investigate,” HSLDA said in its release. “And sadly, the CPS system is so wrapped in confidentiality that abuses by officials rarely come to light—except in civil-rights lawsuits like this one.”

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  1. It’s going to take a lot more lawsuits and awards like this to end what is going on in our formerly free country.

  2. These results need to be spread online as Boobus Americanus will NOT see it on the Faux news?

  3. This is another fine example CPS I do honestly do be leave the people who end with this job title are weak minded . With no interest in kids safety they get away with to many not only illegal but also a huge number of things against we the people rights with help form the law. With this said STAND UP and fight for your freedom people it may be violent and a bit of blood lost but we have no other choice !

  4. All part of the bigger plan to get to the bonus money: The law actually encourages a ‘conspiracy’ in the local community ( without accountability or balance of powers) to band together and defraud the government of “grant” monies. This
    law appears to be responsible for over 90% of family law nastiness and “buzz”
    words used. an “accusation” apart from its credibility is all that is needed
    to convert “We the People” into the ‘cash cow’ to support local government by
    defrauding the State and Federal government. It even creates a new class or
    minority and by design discriminates against them…the “offending family” while
    giving massive privilege to the “nonffending family” ( is that even a word?).
    After 11 years in court and studying the epidemic I do classify it as a
    ‘national security’ issue and it appears everyone in government already knows
    for they designed it.
    42 U.S. Code § 13001a
    (7)the term “multidisciplinary response to child abuse” means a response to
    child abuse that is based on mutually agreed upon procedures among the
    community agencies and professionals involved in the intervention, prevention,
    prosecution, and investigation systems that best meets the needs of child
    victims and their nonoffending family members;(8)the term “nonoffending family
    member” means a member of the family of a victim of child abuse other than a
    member who has been convicted or accused of committing an act of child abuse;
    and (Pub. L. 101–647, title II, § 212, as added Pub. L. 102–586, § 6(b)(2),
    Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5029; amended Pub. L. 114–22, title I, § 104(1), May
    29, 2015, 129 Stat. 236.)
    42 U.S. Code § 13001b
    (a)Establishment of regional children’s advocacy program The Administrator, in
    coordination with the Director and with the Director of the Office of Victims
    of Crime, shall establish a children’s advocacy program to—(1)focus attention
    on child victims by assisting communities in developing child-focused,
    community-oriented, facility-based programs designed to improve the resources
    available to children and families;(2)provide support for nonoffending family
    members; (2)Grant recipients A grant recipient under this section
    shall—(A)assist communities—(i)in developing a comprehensive,
    multidisciplinary response to child abuse that is designed to meet the needs
    of child victims and their families; (iii)in preventing or reducing trauma to
    children caused by multiple contacts with community professionals; (iv)in
    providing families with needed services and assisting them in regaining
    maximum functioning;
    – “families” is always defined as “nonoffending” in the system and making the
    system ‘all powerful’ and parents and children in to lifetime ‘victims’ to be
    – system = “grant recipient”
    -“multidisciplinary response to child abuse” means a conspiracy by the local
    – “…accused of committing an act of child abuse” the means of causing billions
    of dollars in litigation for government sanctioned fraud that cannot be
    defended against.
    – “Grant” is an invite to defraud the government without oversight or
    accountability and a motivation to create “nonoffending families” & offending
    families, even where none exist so as to support the existing ‘Frankenstein’
    local system that grows without real purpose.
    – “that best meets the needs of child victims and their nonoffending family
    members” is the false guise to hide the debauchery and fraud behind, create
    discrimination and favor, removing the balance and blindfold from the
    judiciary, while giving them mafia like motivation and purpose to defraud both
    sides of the family for gain ill-gotten from the State and Feds without
    accountability… ultimate power corrupts ultimately reigns again. God help U.S.

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