Category: CPS/DHS

Case Dismissed

OK DHS Takes Both Kids [Rogers County, OK]

Criminal Charge:
Case: ITIO E.C. and L.C., Alleged Deprived Children
Court: [JD-22-39][Rogers County, OK]
Case Dismissed

What you are about to read is the kind of abuse that plagues families in the juvenile court system.  We cannot publish the evidence of this abuse because the courts, OK DHS and prosecutors exploit the “confidentiality” of juvenile proceedings. 10A O.S. 1-6-107.

Two kids were seized from their parents when the 6 yo boy’s Anglo teachers called OK DHS claiming he said his dad hit him in the eye. The bilingual boy had serious speech issues, scoring in the 1%-6% in communications skills while in therapy. While examining his phantom black eye, these women decided to strip him and spread this child’s cheeks. And photograph it.  Meanwhile, mom immediately complied with DHS’ demand she come to the school with her infant daughter – where OK DHS unceremoniously claimed her birthmarks were signs of abuse and took her, too. Then they filed a petition to adjudicate the kids “deprived”. Typical DHS.

The parents called Haslam seven months into the case desperate for an aggressive defense. Haslam immediately rounded up years of medical records showing the boy had a congenital tear duct obstruction that caused seasonal eye blowups. He also exposed a serious material falsehood in the OK DHS investigator’s report.  Then he got a court order returning the kids to the parents because the State – despite all its claims about abuse and neglect – failed to try the case within the obligatory 180 days. 10A O.S. 1-4-601[B][2].

Nonetheless, the State still planned to try the case and take the kids back.  After running headlong into several troubling pretrial decisions by the judge with only four months in a black robe, Haslam filed his motion to disqualify the judge for conducting unlawful ex parte communications with opposing counsel and other violations of the Oklahoma Code of Judicial Conduct.  Hours later, the judge signed an order granting the State’s motion to dismiss the entire case.

Case Dismissed

ITIO of “S” Children [Lamar County, TX]

TX DHS [Lamar County] claimed this mother medically neglected and neglectfully supervised her young son. He had a significant congenital brain malady and the caseworker decided that she had a drug problem and wasn’t adequately caring for him.

With only several days’ notice before the hearing on the merits of this claim, Haslam rounded up affidavits from the caseworkers’ “witnesses”, including the boy’s school principal and guidance counselor who the caseworker claimed told her that mother had a drug problem. Indeed, Haslam showed these two witnesses the caseworker’s earlier testimony about what they told her that formed her basis for the claims of neglect.

The principal minced no words. His declaration under penalty of perjury testified that the caseworker lied under oath in her earlier testimony and that, in fact, he was present when she interviewed the counselor and that neither of them even intimated mother had a drug problem.

The judge also wasted little time. He promptly dismissed the case. The family had the young son in brain surgery literally days after this hearing and he is now healthy and strong – and his family is together.

Case Dismissed

Alleged Deprived Children and DHS Takes Them from Parents [Rogers County, OK]

Civil Matter: Alleged Deprived Children and DHS Takes Custody of the Children
Case: In re Hall children
Court: [JD-05-123, Rogers County]
Result: Case dismissed when Rogers County Trial Judge Erin O’Quinn Reversed by Oklahoma Supreme Court


Read stories about this case from the Claremore Daily Progress:

Because juvenile matters are confidential by Oklahoma statute, the docket sheet and the identity of the 5 children in this “juvenile deprived” matter cannot be revealed, but Haslam represented their natural father in this Rogers County case that experienced unusual interest by the press and local community. On May 30, 2007, after 2 years of litigation, this case was dismissed outright and the children returned to their father.

The Bizarre Investigation and Charge

The Rogers County District Attorney alleged Mr. and Mrs. Hall deprived their children in McIntosh County. The Halls lived in McIntosh County, and the McIntosh County DHS office investigated and refused to find abuse. Nonetheless, Mrs. Hall was escorted from her home by family members to a Rogers County shelter. Mr. Hall knew nothing about their new location.

About one month later, Rogers County officials took the children from Ms. Hall because of concerns she was depriving them. Yet after another month, the Rogers County DA filed its deprived petition against both parents. Incomprehensibly, it based its petition against Mr. Hall on the very McIntosh County claims against him that had been investigated and declined earlier by McIntosh County officials.

The Rogers County Trial and Successful Appeal

Mrs. Hall admitted she had deprived the children, but Mr. Hall fired two attorneys before hiring Haslam to fight the charge. The local judges refused to allow Mr. Hall ANY visits with his kids for 10 months – not even SUPERVISED visits – while Ms. Hall was granted visitation. In a January 2006 bench trial, Judge Erin O’Quinn ruled that Mr. Hall had deprived his kids. The children did not testify, and hearsay statements were unlawfully admitted over Haslam’s objections.

In the first of two abrupt appellate reversals of Rogers County trial judge Erin Oquin, the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned her ruling denying Mr. Hall transcripts of his trial and an appellate attorney at court fund expense.

Then, adequately equipped to lodge his appeal, Claremore attorney Greg Laird persuaded the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals that Judge O’Quinn had committed error in the trial. The appeals court reversed her finding that Mr. Hall had deprived his children and remanded the case for a fair trial.

After Mr. Hall’s Appellate Victories: The Case is Dismissed and His Kids Returned to Him

After the appellate courts returned the case to Rogers County for retrial, prosecutor Jenny Sanbrano’s drummed up still more charges against Mr. Hall: this time with threatening Judge O’Quinn and her. This exercise of Rogers County’s vindictiveness was based on a phone call Mr. Hall allegedly made to DHS asking for the return of the kids to him pending the retrial, and in which he allegedly promised that Rogers County would be “…less one prosecutor and judge when he and his lawyer got finished.”

Haslam immediately, successfully moved to disqualify the Rogers County courts and prosecutors from the case. The case was reassigned to Mayes County Judge Gary Dean and the Ottowa County DA. After assessing the case history, Judge Dean removed the Rogers County DHS workers, the CASA workers and the childrens’ lawyer, Leslie Ellis-Kissinger, from the case.

On May 30, 2007, Judge Dean completely dismissed the case against Mr. Hall and returned all of his children to his custody. On December 7, 2007, the Court issued its final order. The order is candid in its findings: “…Based upon the record, the claims of Crystal Hall as to abuse appear to the Court to have been manufactured or fabricated….” [See the final order here]. As the order’s first paragraph relates, the Court took the extraordinary step of making its final order public record. Judge Dean also completely dismissed the “threatening phone call” charge involving Sanbrano.