As shared in our Parental
Rights Now! Action Packet (9/20/03).
Also available in
1) Restore the right to a trial
by a jury of their peers for parents who are threatened with
permanent separation from their children (otherwise known as
termination of parental rights or "permanency").
Note: For more
information, see our Issue in Focus: "Why
Are Jury Trials Crucial to Your Freedom?"
2) Require that parents be
proven guilty of actual, serious, and purposeful criminal
behavior or unfitness that renders them permanently unable to
serve as parents, before their children are permanently
Note: For items 2-7 & 9, see our alert, "Utah
Legislature Declares War on Your Family!"
3) Amend statutory definitions
of abuse, neglect, and unfitness — currently vague and subject
to broad abuses — to protect innocent parents from overzealous
DCFS agents and to include the freedom to
follow one's own dictates with regard to medical treatment.
4) Require that the burden of
proof be raised to the highest standard of "beyond a
reasonable doubt" in permanent termination cases, as is the
case with Native American families living on Indian nation
reservations (Federal Indian Child Welfare Act).
5) Refuse the perverse federal
incentives that are based upon the number of children DCFS
removes from their families.
6) Eliminate immunity to
government agencies and agents who, through omission or
commission, abuse innocent families, so that these families
can receive justice in the form of financial and other
7) Eliminate secret courts and
proceedings that restrict a family’s ability to expose errant
judges, state prosecutors, and other government agents.
8) Eliminate the State Office of
the Guardian ad Litem and restore the practice of allowing
judges to, at their discretion, draw from the services of
volunteer, unpaid attorneys in the area.
9) End the practice garnishing
the wages of parents who have been accused, but not convicted
of any crime, and provide them a competent public or private
defender at no charge.
10) Require an open hearing to
take place before a child is seized, allowing innocent parents
the opportunity to be heard and to face their accusers. Reduce
warrants to conducting investigations or interviews only, save
in immediate, life-threatening cases that cannot wait for a
11) Doctors and clergy should
not be forced, under threat of a Class B Misdemeanor, to
report all possible abuse or neglect ("reason to believe").
They should have sufficient latitude to use their own
judgment and to be able to do what is best for the family and
Note: See General
threatening letter to Utah doctors.
12) Extend, from 72 hours to 30
days, the time required for parents to file a claim for their
seized child. This time period should only commence when the
parent has been informed of this requirement and provided the
opportunity for free, competent legal counsel. If the parents
or guardians are deceased, the next of kin must be notified
before this time period commences.
13) Demand that the state
legislature impeach Utah judges who attack Utah families.
14) There are legitimate
arguments for different approaches to accomplishing the
comprehensive judicial reform required to force judges to be
accountable. We are inclined to recommend that judges
be elected in non-partisan races for two-year terms.
Note: See our article on
curbing the power of Utah's tyrannical judiciary.
Note: For more information on
these topics, see the
Parental Rights (Due Process) section of our Issues & Alerts
page, as well as our
Parental Rights Task Force.
recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their
information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine
the law and draw your own conclusions. If you have
comments or suggestions, please email us at