Post Termination Suits

If your parental rights have been terminated, or those parental rights of your adult children, grandparents, adult siblings, and aunts and uncles now have an avenue to fight CPS for custody of the child. The above relatives have 90 days after the parental rights have been terminated to file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to fight for custody of the child.

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44 Responses to Post Termination Suits

  1. cindy justinger says:

    I am looking for an attorney to file an intervention on behalf of our foster child in Angleton, Tx.
    How much do you charge?

  2. jketterman says:

    call my office for an appointment

  3. tautianna cofield says:

    What if its been since 2010 my rights were taken and they are trying to get them?

  4. jketterman says:

    Please contact my office at 713.652.2003

  5. Michele Kay Fields says:

    My parental rights were terminated on grounds of instability in 2008. I never flunked a drug test and was doing all required classes but had a wreck,lost my job, and was living in my oldest daughters basement. I never even spoke with my (so-called) appointed attorney. There were many discrepencies in my case. Is there a possibility that I could
    appeal this and regain custody of my daughter?

  6. Please allow me to introduce our family..we are a therapeutic foster/adoptive/respite family that is trained and experienced in caring for children from hurting places. We adopted our almost 5 year old little girl from the Department on National Adoption Day 2008. She was prenatally exposed to crack cocaine and alcohol but with the support of therapists, trainings by Dr. Karyn Purvis and other trauma experts as well as a support network of other foster/adopt parents she is thriving.and so is our family.

    Approximately two years ago, we met three children who had come into the care of the Department. Their foster mother attends our church and we have been blessed to have spent much time with them while they have been in foster care. They have been in our home hundreds of times and we have hosted their birthday parties, have celebrated holidays with them and have gone to parent-teacher nights as well. The children enjoy time spent with us and have bonded closely with our family. At a hearing in January of this year, all parental rights in regards to the children were terminated. There have been no appeals and the children have been legally free for adoption for some time now.

    We have had every intention of seeking the adoption of this sibling group and have even moved into a larger home in the same school district to accommodate their placement. Sadly, the agency we were working with was told by CPS that they would not consider our family for the children because we have already adopted children. Off the record, we have also been told that the children’s CASA worker does not care for our family because of our choices to home educate our children and because of our larger-than-normal family and because we have not respected the children’s privacy. It is noteworthy that our eldest son is a sophomore at Texas A&M University with a 3.5 GPA and he was home educated. It is also noteworthy that our adopted children are thriving and are overcoming their hurtful pasts daily. In regards to respecting the children’s privacy, we have only read what is published on the internet, which anyone can read.

    The children we are interested in adopting are not children who are considered “easy to place”..they are an almost 14 year old girl who is Cognitively Delayed and functions far younger than her chronological age. Additionally, she was continually sexually abused by her step-father who has been convicted and sentenced to four life terms. She suffers from PTSD and is on 4 psychotropic medications. Along with this young lady, is a little boy who is 5 and a little girl who is 3.5. The 5 year old was born prematurely and suffered some of the effects of his early birth for quite some time. He demonstrates all of the signs of having Attachment Disorder and ADHD. The 3.5 year old was born with a cranio-facial deformity which was surgically corrected but she is the size of a 1 year old. To be sure, all of the children have special needs..needs that we can and that we desire to meet.

    Despite the negative comments from CPS, we decided to pursue their placement with our family. However, today I learned from the agency we were working with that they will not approve our home study because we are a “liability”. This is a direct quote in that regard – “The liability is also what we have shown to be your strength, advocacy. It is well noted in all your past work in foster care and with your attempt for licensure with Arrow that you are very savvy within this system and you go to the lengths necessary to advocate for your kiddos . This is very noteworthy, but the concern/liability that comes into play with this can be agency reputation with funding source ect.” It appears that because we are educated advocates for our children, that we are not considered appropriate adoptive parents for children in DFPS conservatorship since our advocacy could negatively affect an agency’s cash flow.

    This is unacceptable, unethical and is, as our children would say, “Just plain wrong!”. We have had substantial past contact with the children to warrant Fictive Kinship status and we believe that it is in their best interests to be placed with our family. We are asking for you to consider assisting us with the matter. Many thanks for your kind consideration.

  7. jketterman says:

    Good for you in fighting for your family and for what is right. It’s absurd that your agency and CPS are not welcoming you with open arms. I would love to talk to you further. You have the law and public policy on your side.

  8. jketterman says:

    Unfortunately, the time period to appeal your case has long since expired. I’m sorry. It looks as though your only remedy is to file a claim against your attorney for ineffective assistance of counsel. This, however, won’t get your child back.

  9. Tina Gentile says:

    My niece whom lives in harris county texas had her two sons taken into cps area 5 custody in march.2012. My sister their grandmother had them placed in her home until august 23 2012. she was in the hospital and had no one two watch.the.children. she called the cps caseworker for help and.instead.they came.and picked.up.the kids and put them with a foster family with . I being the maternal great aunt asked for an interstate home they placed with me in illinoiswhere the.majority of our family.lives. my homestudy was sent back and was denied. I have filed an appeal with my state however now that the parental rights have been terminated. I now have to become licensed in illinois before illinois can approve placement in my home accordinh to illinois childcare act. Can I still file a suit in Harris county to petition for custody or can my sister still.file suit even if cps took them.from her. The cps supervisor did confirm with me and during the trial on 1/31/13. That if another home study was sent or an amended one was sent with approval from Illinois they would place the childten with me. Do you recommend I retain legal counsel in texas and will I need to get an adoptive homestudy done asap. The current foster parents have expressed their wish to adopt the children. placement hearing is set for 2/21. Can

  10. jketterman says:

    I believe that we talked on the phone. But in case we didn’t. Yes. I can help. A grandparent has 90 days to file a suit for placement of the child — including adoption — after the termination of parental rights. You have an absolute right to have your grandchildren placed with you. If we haven’t talked, you’re welcome to call me at 713.652.2003. If you do not call me, call someone in Harris County who can help you file your suit. There are very good lawyers that can help. The clodk is ticking, though.

  11. Michelle Emerson says:

    I am 14 years post parental-rights severance and only add this comment as a THANK -YOU for the awesome news you share. I would’ve given my own life, were it an option, to see my daughter placed with a maternal relative. I battled Phoenix’s CPS and paternal grandparents for 3.5 years. I struggled through the decline of my relationship with my daughter due to loss of time spent together. From Unsupervised visits at the onset of CPS’s intervention, to one hour per week at CPS’s office; my child became a stranger to me. Let me just add this (wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t lived it) one fact; the original complaint filed by my daughter’s paternal grandparents was contrived (by their own admission) due to concern with my decision to move back to my home-state of Ohio. I can’t possibly get into the years of Foster Care Reviews (recomending return to parent), U/A’s 3x’s weekly (never a positve for drugs), Hearings, Reviews by couselors, Parent Aid assignments (while my oldest son finished college and middle son made honor roll and became involved in student government.. a true reflection of my parenting abilities, if anyone really had any doubts) and on… and on…! My parents suffered miserably over their powerlessness to change the situation. Bravo to anyone who supports family members remaining an active part of a child’s life. My father died without seeing my child after my parental rights were severed. He loved her dearly and she will never know this.

  12. jketterman says:

    I’m sorry for what you had to go through. I wish you all the luck.

  13. Qouwanna Howard says:

    My parental rights was terminated do to a false postive hair folicle. I payed for a diffrent test that went back 180 days but the court didn’t allow it into evidence cause my court appointed attorney forgot to file it. Do i have a good chance of appealing the courts decision. If so how many times can i appeal

  14. Qouwanna Howard says:

    The test i paid for was negative

  15. jketterman says:

    Termination cases are accelerated appeals. You have 15 days to file your points of appeal and your notice of appeal (it’s really 20 days but there are some technical issues and it’s safer to file within 15 days). It sounds like you do have a good “ineffective assistance of counsel” argument on appeal. There is an appeal process. From the trial court you can appeal to the court of appeals. If you lose there you can then appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas (assuming this is a Texas case).

  16. jketterman says:

    Your attorney should have made sure that the test was admitted in to evidence.

  17. jane says:

    So My parental right Were terminated years ago In Alaska , My Mom adopted THE Kids ,In Washington and Now she just Gave me My Son Back . There dad was brutally murdered and he wants to be with me . Can CPs take him from me?

  18. jketterman says:

    First, did your mom give your son to you legally? If so, then no. CPS can only take him from you if there is a new referral/allegation and proof that you have put your son in harms way.

  19. jessica benitez says:

    my bfs ex had lost the children in Texas about 3/4 yrs ago and her rights were terminated. at the time he was in prison in Calif where we live and had spoken to a social worker and nothing else ever happened. he is out of prison now and doing well. he can support and take care of the children. what if anything can he do? we requested the file from Texas months ago and no one seems to be able to tell us anything. mom hasn’t had any contact with them for awhile. maybe 2 years now. he was never contacted by anyone other then during investigation of the case. thank you.

  20. jketterman says:

    If dad’s rights were terminated also, there is nothing that can be done.

    If his rights were not terminated, then he needs to determine where the children are and file a modification to have them returned to him. I will say, though, that after this much time has gone by it will be very, very difficult for him. His best bet is to try for visitation rights.

  21. Sandy says:

    My rights was terminated in 2011.The court never gave us any paperwork letting me or the father no we have 90 days for grandparents to get the kids out of foster care.The case have been going on for a while under appeal.I lost the appeal.Now the kids just got adoption about 6 weeks ago is any change that the grandparents can file for a Motion to intervene in stop the adoption process.

  22. Norma G. says:

    My friend had her children taken away and placed with her aunt around 5-6 years ago. Her rights were then terminated and she has never seen them again. The aunt happened to work for CPS so I’m sure there was some fast tracking going on. The aunt refuses to let my friend see them and the oldest is probably around 14 now. Is she destined to have to wait til each child turns 18 to see them again? Will she be in contempt of anything if she attempts to make contact? Can she counter sue for at least visitation? Is she allowed a copy of the CPS case if its closed? I don’t know if she was informed that she could have a court appointed attorney for her case because I know at the time there was no way she could afford hiring her own. Is there a statute of limitations on her time frame if she wasn’t aware of that?? Sorry for all the questions but as a mother I feel for her and would like to help her as I see the changes in her life she has made. Thanks.

  23. jketterman says:

    If this case is in Texas:

    Yes, your friend must wait until each child is 18. She no longer has any legal relationship with her children; she is a legal stranger.

    If she makes contact she can’t be held in contempt, but the aunt could cause her problems.

    Based on what you’re telling me, she can’t sue for visitation, she doesn’t have standing to file suit.

    It would be very difficult to get a copy of the CPS case. I do believe that she’s entitled to it, tho.

    There is no statute of limitation when it comes to a Bill of Review to determine if her case was properly handled. But it doesn’t help that she’s waited so long.

  24. PHILLIP says:


  25. jketterman says:

    Wow. What a cluster.

    First, a county can not get jurisdiction of a case if there are no parties, no children, or no acts in that county. If this is the case and a court in that county issued orders, those orders are void and can be set aside.

    A case can’t be transferred to another county unless a request is made and all parties are given the opportunity to file controverting affidavits objecting to the transfer.

    Usually, if a CPS allegation comes from a county different than the county of the child’s residence, CPS will transfer their case to the court of exclusive continuing jurisdiction (CCJ). This is mandatory.

    Unfortunately you do not have a civil case against CPS of the OAG for any 14th Amendment violation. Both CPS and the OAG are governmental entities and both are immune from civil lawsuits. There are some cases that meet the requirements of a 1983 Action (Civil Rights violation) and can be filed in federal court. I do not personally handle 1983 actions, as they are extremely paper intensive and complicated. My fight with CPS is on the state level. If you feel your constitutional rights have been violated I would recommend that you contact an attorney who specifically handles 1983 actions. Don’t hold your breath tho. Very few cases meet the statutory requirements.

    Habeas Corpus means “bring forth the body”. One files a habeas corpus writ when they are asking a court to return a child, etc. This case would not be a habeas proceeding, in my opinion.

    The if CPS allegation came from Bee County, that is where I would start in my investigation.

    Good luck.

  26. larhonde nabors says:

    i was born in louisiana. i have lived in texas for 8 years now. i had five children that was removed and my rights have been terminated on april 2014 . the judge said that he needed to talk with my oldest before a decisoion could be made. but i havent had no visit or told whats what. i was told by the judge to do what i got to do to get my kids back home. my two year old had grabbed a bowel of noodles off the table and burn his self. the hospital said it was an accident but cps said different. they tried to charge me but the criminial judge got the hospital papers and said cps should have investagated it more so the criminal judge couldnt charge me. so cps got mad and said they state they do what they want.. i have did their classes and everthing i want to know how do i appeal for my children come home.

  27. laura says:

    If I need to take a case to the Supreme court, how much will it cost me? On a CP’s case.

  28. Maria Celestino says:

    Hello, I was seeking some help. About 3 years ago the state placed my 3 children in foster care with my sister and brother in law. I was told by CPS to go to classes, do random drug testing, make all my visists with children, hold a 40 job, attend councling for myself and family as well and find a place for my ans my children if I wanted them back. I did every thing I could. The only thing that I was unable to do was get a place on time due to the fact that I have a broken lease, and an eviction on my credit. I applied for housing and at the time I applied, they had a freeze. Finally after attending court hearings, I was told before our final court date that I “had” to sign over my right or the judge would take them from me. So of course I felt helpless. I could not face the fact that at my next court date I would hear the words that my children would no longer be with me. So I left to Houston to help me gather myself. Finally I returned to San Antonio about mid April of 2013. Recently my daughter, who is now 14, had been asking to see me and wanting to come back home. About 3 weeks ago my daughter called me to tell me that she could no longer take it and ran away. I picked her up and begain to ask her why she had ran away. She begain to cry and tell me that about a year ago. My sister who has all my 3 children, had planned a trip to Houston and left her, my daughter and my son , at home with my brother in law. That evning he begain to drink and got drunk. He walked into her room and placeed his hands on her legs and asked for sexual favors and in return he would give her back her cell phone, and other items along with buying her new thing if she would let him. Once she told me this I did the resaonable thing and called SAPD and made a report. I was told since my sister lived in another area, that I would have to call Bexar County and make a report and contact CPS to let them know what happen. Once I made the reports, my daughter was taken back to my sisters home. Since them my sister has decided that she no longer wants my oldest daughter and she had her placed in a foster home. My heart is broken that this has happen and that CPS has told me that I can not do anything since I no longer have rights. Can I regain my parental right back? I mean alot has changed in the past 3 years, I now have a fulltime 80 hurs a week job, which I’ve held on to going on year now, and have a place to bring my children?

  29. Kimberly Price says:

    I actually have a cold case of parental rights taken away. The father left Texas to come to Virginia because his brother was in acoma from a serious accident. The father was paying child support through the divison of child support, the court had his address yet he was never served any paperwork & didn’t even know he had lost his rights until they stopped taking the child support out of his paycheck & he called to see why. How can that happen? How can I obtain court documents for all this when it was in 2003-2004 time frame? I believe there is a dirty little secret of some type of fraud coming from the child’s mothers side & it’s time the truth come to light. Even though the child is an adult now he feels the need to know what happened. Where do I begin?

  30. Kelli says:

    Hi, I am contacting you in regards to my niece. She has 3 children that were placed in CPS custody in 2014. She has done EVERYTHING required to regain custody of her children….drug classes, parenting classes, negative hair follicle, is working, has a dependable vehicle & stable home. She has court June 16th and the CPS worker informed her yesterday (6/9/14) while she was visiting with the kids that they are wanting to terminate her rights and adopt the kids out because they think she is still dating the guy that she was when the kids were taken away. She is really needing to have a lawyer with her when she goes but needs to know if she can give you about $500 down and pay you weekly until she finishes paying. This is her only hope of getting her babies back.

  31. Kay says:

    I was sign my rights away to four of my five children through mediation… I was not notified of a certain time to appeal but was told I had to wait 3yrs to file one… now I just recently f OK and out that by a case worker that I only had 3yrs to file. 11/11/15 will make 4yrs am I still within the time frame? What do I do? I’ve been lied to and feel like my world is ending all over again…. please help me please

  32. Kay says:

    Found out*

  33. Yea my name is Victoria I have signed my rights over on June 5th I was accused of abusing drugs and smoking in front of my kids I never have my mother and step father are the ones that do everything for them and keep them financial but I didn’t do none of my services by the end date I have my brother that 21 and was willing to take them and adopte them when they did the home stead he didn’t pass to get them do to low income I feel like there is something very wrong with my situation I know that they are trying there best to take them from my family members can u please help me

  34. Janie says:

    I don’t understand why my home study was dinied I called the case worker on the case and asked her if there was any news and she said it was dinied I ask on what grounds she said because of fictive kin I don’t unserstand can someone please tell me what I need to do,

  35. jketterman says:

    There is really nothing that you can do if your home study is denied unless you are a party to the suit. You can become a party by intervening into the suit. Once you are a party, your attorney can argue the home study to the judge. Just because CPS doesn’t approve a home study doesn’t mean that the judge won’t.

  36. maria freeman says:

    In Texas when your parental rights have been terminated do you lose your future children automatically.

  37. Kassy says:

    My rights were terminated last year in may of 2016..while i was in rehab i now have a 3 month old daughter i have in my custody legally..ive been clean and can i get my rights back to my oldest son?

  38. Kassy says:

    Please help me with legal the only parent he knows n hes just turned 9 .

  39. jketterman says:

    The time period for filing an appeal to a termination suit in Texas is 15 days. I don’t know what state you are in but you should first find out what the appellate time table is in your state. If the time period has passed then your options are limited. In Texas, you can hire an attorney to do a Bill of Review. That’s where an attorney reviews the entire CPS case — from investigation until termination — and determines if any errors were made. If so, the attorney can have the trial court review the case and the potential errors (this, of course, is the Cliff Note version of a Bill of Review). It’s a long shot but it sometimes works.

  40. jketterman says:

    See my response to your previous post

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