Successfully Fighting False Neglect Allegations at a DCF Fair Hearing

Successfully Fighting False Neglect Allegations at a DCF Fair Hearing

Hello, and thank you for joining me here today.

My name is Kevin Seaver and I am an experienced trusted lawyer since 1991, successfully fighting and winning against the Department of Children and Families more commonly referred to as DCF throughout the entire state of Massachusetts, whether you are in court or out of court. We turn negatives into positives.

Today, I want to talk about a DCF Fair Hearing. The facts of the case was that I represented the mother, this mother had two children ages 4 and 9. They were born out of wedlock and the father had serious drug problem. He was addicted to heroin. He had been arrested a few times for it and every time mom and dad had any disagreements it was always about his drug usage. DCF alleged that there was some domestic violence between them and that mother was allowing the children to see the father unsupervised. The mother told me she never had any disagreements of any kind was about his drug use unfortunately. The father was arrested at one point and had gone to a drug treatment program, doing urine screens during his probation. One day he showed up unannounced and uninvited to one of his sons football games. He sees the child and at the end of the game, the child ran over to him and said, “Daddy, daddy.” “and said to the mother, “Mom, I want to go with dad today, can I see dad, I have not seen him in a while. I want to be with dad, dad” and what is mom to do? She caught between a rock and a hard place. She’s damn if she does and she’s damn if she don’t.

So, she makes a deal with the dad that if the sister supervises the visitation, you can have your son for the afternoon. Well the father takes the child with the sister, and calls later and tells mom, “Hey, the child is throwing up, he is sick and tired. Can he stay overnight tonight and that his sister was going to stay here and supervise” said the father. So again, what is the mother supposed to do, she is caught between a rock and a hard place again, and she allows it. So, the next day the father doesn’t take the child to school, and the sister leaves because she must go to work and now the child is alone with dad unsupervised unbeknownst to my client.

The school files with DCF because they learned that the child was alone with father. The father called the school and told them that his son would not be showing up to school that day. DCF filed a neglect allegation against my client for allowing the child to be who, with the dad. The father has a drug problem. Well, that’s not what really happened. What was proved at the fair hearing was that mother had an agreement with the sister to supervise the child. So, it wasn’t the mother’s fault, she put a custodian in place, a caretaker, an adult that did not have a drug problem, did not have a criminal record, or did not have a DCF history who was supposed to watch the child. DCF still blamed the mother again. She’s damn if she does and she’s damn if she don’t. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

But much credit to the Fair Hearing Officer, they saw through it all and saw that mother was trying to do the right thing and she was trying to do the right thing, the case was reversed. If you’re involved with DCF, a family member, neighbor, a friend or anyone you know with the Department of Children and Families, call me, call Kevin Seaver at (617) 263-2633. Thank you.

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