CPS PROBLEMS IN STATES OTHER THAN CONNECTICUT
All states have a child protection system (CPS) that has the same general function as DCF. However, laws and actual practices vary widely from state to state.
Nearly every week, I get an e-mail from someone outside of Connecticut who needs help in dealing with his or her state’s CPS. Most say the same thing: “I cannot find a lawyer to help me.”
Unfortunately, I cannot help you directly, as I am licensed in Connecticut only. However, I will do what I can to try to find you a qualified lawyer in your state.
There is, at present, no national organization of CPS defense lawyers for adults. This is an incredible fact. There are two likely reasons: it is a relatively new field of law; and it has traditionally been practiced by low-paid state-contracted lawyers. Virtually every other branch of law has an organization of some kind; but not CPS defense for adults. I attempted to start one in September, 2011. It fell apart on Dec. 10, 2011.
I was recently able to help a woman in Florida, by locating a qualified CPS defense lawyer. It was a gratifying experience. Here is a portion of the woman’s final e-mail to me:
It appears safe to say that there is a shortage of lawyers willing to help adults with CPS problems. Again, I will try to find you a lawyer if you need one; but until and unless we get a solid national organization, it will be rough going in some states.
One good idea is to log on to lawyers.com. List your state, and for “area of law”, list the name of your state’s CPS (whether DCF, DCYF, ACS, or anything else). Even if that lawyer cannot help you, he or she may be able to refer you to someone who can.
Whatever you do, avoid lawyers who have no trial experience with CPS. CPS defense is totally different from divorce or criminal matters.