Judge Persists in One Household Approach

State of Texas 36, King George 28

36. Even though the appeals court explicitly rejected the CPS interpretation that the YFZ Ranch constitutes a single household, Judge Walther persisted in treating the FLDS in a manner that remained, essentially, a one-household approach.

The appeals court wrote:

The notion that the entire ranch community constitutes a “household” … and justifies removing all children from the ranch community if there even is one incident of suspected child sexual abuse is contrary to the evidence.

The district judge, Barbara Walther, added her own conditions to a deal worked out between lawyers representing the parents and lawyers representing CPS, including a request that all families “give state agents around-the-clock access to homes at the YFZ Ranch.” However, one attorney questioned why one of her clients would need to give twenty-four hour a day access to her 9 month-old son, stating that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by any of her clients. Other lawyers complained that the “same ‘global’ claims of wrongdoing rejected by the Texas Supreme Court and Third Court of Appeals” were being perpetuated. The added conditions requested by the district judge caused negotiations to fall apart Friday.

However, lawyers worked out a new deal on Sunday (1 June), and Judge Walther says she will sign this deal if the parents do. It’s a hopeful sign that resolution of the impasse is nearing, but I’m not brave enough to hold my breath…

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