Our New Jersey DYFS Lawyers represents hundreds of people / couples each year facing DYFS / DCPP investigations. We realized that there were just far too many to post in our Big Wins page and most of the cases were fairly similar. In all of these cases, DYFS / DCPP was bothering the client(s) and they wanted our lawyers to make them go away while at the same time preventing DYFS / DCPP from taking them to court. In all of these cases, we were successful. Just like our other list of Big Wins, this list will never even close to being complete. It will just give you an idea as to the number of people we have helped. As always, every case is different and there is no lawyer on this planet that can win every single case. However, our success rate is very high.
It is important to note that all of these people accepted these basic principles:
1. Hiring a lawyer will not make things worse
2. They would trust our advice and not make any assumptions
3. They didn’t think that it would just go away or that they could handle it.
Passaic County DCPP Lawyers help client get children back
This client had a different attorney prior to hiring us. She wanted us to get the job done and get her children back. Our DCPP lawyers fought hard and we quickly got her children back. A short time later, we were able to get the case dismissed. Had the client hired us sooner, our lawyers could have helped her get the children back much sooner. If you want to avoid that mistake, hire the right lawyer from the start of the case!
Sussex County DCPP Lawyers help client achieve reunification with her child
This was a strange case because DCPP really had it out for the client. The client had a serious drug problem but we got her the help she needed. In fact, her compliance was flawless. Despite that, DCPP still fought us every single step of the way for unknown reasons. Despite that, we were able to help the client achieve reunification. This shows that when you have a lawyer that will never stop fighting for you, even the most difficult cases can be won.
Morris County DCPP Lawyers helps client get her child back after relapse
This case started out easy enough. Like many clients, she had a serious drug problem. We got her into the services that she needed and the case was going fine. However, she relapsed rather late into the case and as a result, it looked like we would have to fight it out at the permanency hearing. When the going gets tough, we get tougher! Our lawyers fought hard and worked to avoid a permanency hearing. As a result, the client was reunified with her child and the case was closed well ahead of the permanency hearing.
Toms River DCPP Lawyer gets Order to Show Cause Dismissed
Our client was accused of assaulting his older son. However, the client indicated that he was defending his younger son who was being assault by the other older one. The two sons were from different mothers and as a result, this litigation only dealt with the younger son. The thought process here from the State is that if someone assaults one child, they will assault another. Of course, there is nothing to support that logic and Jef argued to the court that the case should be dismissed. The court adjourned the order to show cause to another date for further consideration. On the return date, the order to show cause was dismissed.
We get tons of calls each day about people dealing with DYFS investigations, DYFS in their life, DYFS just left my house, I got a call from DYFS, etc, etc. Whatever you want to call it, DYFS is bothering you, the case is not in court yet and you don’t know what to do. So as to help you make the right choice, what follows are some of the frequently asked questions we get asked almost every single day.
1. Should I comply with DYFS? Should I speak to DYFS? Should I submit to a DYFS substance abuse evaluation? Do I have to let DYFS in my house? Etc.
This is a tough question. DYFS cannot force you do do anything, only a Court can. The issue is whether or not you should do something. Every case is different and I do not offer cookie cutter representation. I generally tell my clients not to do anything until I tell them to do something but if you are not a client, that doesn’t mean you should do or not do anything. That brings me to the next question…
2. Do I need an attorney?
While you don’t “need” an attorney, you also don’t “need” a car. The issue is whether or not you should hire an attorney. In my opinion, handling any legal matter without an attorney is crazy. Even though we are attorneys, we still have to hire attorneys to help us with any number of legal issues. If we wouldn’t handle our own legal issues, why should you? Likewise, if you needed surgery, would you buy a scalpel and do it yourself or would you hire a surgeon to do it? Thus, if you are not ready to perform your own surgery, you shouldn’t try to be your own lawyer.
3. But DYFS says that the case will be closed; its an easy case; I don’t need a lawyer; they have to take the case to court if I get a lawyer; etc.
I have yet to meet a client that trusts DYFS and yet for some reason, people believe what they say when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Don’t you think they are just a little biased here? Why would you trust anything they say?
4. Will getting a lawyer upset DYFS and cause more problems?
Do you honestly think we would do anything that would harm your case? We have helped 100′s upon 100′s of people avoid court. In addition to saving them thousands of dollars, they didn’t have to deal with the nightmare that is a DYFS court case.
5. You are too expensive, I want a cheaper lawyer
Ok, this isn’t really a question, but I hear this every now and then because DYFS has a war on the poor. Look at it this way, why do you think we charge what we charge and why some other lawyers are cheaper? Wouldn’t these other lawyers put us out of business? Why would anyone hire me? Why would 100′s of people trust us with their safety? Ever hear the saying that you get what you pay for?
6. Why should I get a lawyer because I didn’t need one last time and/or someone I know didn’t need one?
Clearly, not everyone that encounters DYFS hires a lawyer and plenty of people wind up just fine. Of course, there are many other people that don’t and wind up in court. So many of our in-court cases could have been kept out of court if they had just hired us first. Almost all of our cases never see the inside of a court room. These cases are not that expensive. Are you really willing to roll the dice to save just a little bit of money when the downside is a very expensive in-court DYFS case where your children may be placed in foster care and in the worst case scenario, you’re parental rights may be terminated? Also, ready the “DYFS Trap” via the above link for more information.
7. Can you guarantee (fill in the blank)?
In my opinion, it is illegal for lawyers to guarantee you anything. What we can tell you is that our track record is clear and we have shown time and time again that we know how to win. 100′s of people have trust us to help them and their family.
8. Another lawyer told me (fill in the blank)?
I never really understand this question. If you are looking for us to help you, all that matters is our advice, not the advice of anyone else. If a lawyer gave you advice and you didn’t even hire that person, I don’t know how or why this other lawyer was even in a position to give you advice.
Jersey City, Hudson County Superior Court
This was a case that made news around the world. Its every parent’s worse nightmare: you hire a nanny to watch your baby only to find out that the nanny is abusing the baby! The client was caught via a webcam and soon after the incident, she was unable to be located for several months. As a result, she was declared a fugitive. The video of the client assaulting the baby was all over the news. Eventually the client was caught. This is an impossible case to defend right? Not so said our Hudson County Child Abuse Lawyers.
We took the emotion out of this case and broke it down to what it was, not what it seemed like. A careful examination of the facts and the law clearly showed that the client did not have the intent to harm the baby and that no harm was actually done. We were fully prepared to take the case to trial but right before jury selection the client agreed to accept a plea deal to a 3 flat. After the client was sentenced, she will be eligible to get out of prison in just a few months. While our Hudson County Child Abuse lawyers were ready to take the case to trial, we understood the client’s position. A few months in prison is much better than spending several years in prison if she was convicted.
How can our Hudson County Child Abuse Lawyers help you?
The Atlantic County DYFS Attorneys of the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq. have helped another client win a fact finding hearing. In an Atlantic County DYFS case, the trial is called a fact finding hearing. At this hearing, an Atlantic County Superior Court Judge will decide if the Title 9 abuse or neglect charges should be substantiated.
In this case, our DYFS attorneys were presented with a number of difficult facts. Many DYFS cases only involve one set of allegations but this case involved three. First, DYFS alleged that our client had committed acts of domestic violence against the mother of the children. Then he is alleged to have choked his daughter and smacked his son. This is classic child abuse but the technical term is excessive corporal punishment. Finally, DYFS also alleged that our client a substance abuse problem.
To many attorneys, this may seem like an impossible case to win since there are three trials in one. However, our Atlantic County DYFS Attorneys know how to fight. We took this case to trial and after the fact finding hearing was over, the judge had indicated that we won the case. Despite DYFS trying three different ways to nail our client, we still won the entire case!
The facts of this case represent a very common fact pattern that our Mercer County DYFS Lawyers often see. Mom gives birth to a child and at the hospital, it is discovered that mom used drugs while she was pregnant. This can be determined through a number of ways. Sometimes, the mom will admit during prenatal care that she has used drugs during the pregnancy. In other cases, either the mom or the baby will test positive for drugs. Sometimes it is the baby’s Meconium which may be tested by the hospital to check for drug use. Finally, in other cases, the baby may exhibit withdrawal symptoms.
In this case, our Mercer County DYFS Lawyers took the case to trial which is called a fact finding hearing. There, we fought hard for our client and argued that, despite the allegations, DYFS did not have the evidence needed to find that our client had abused or neglected or child. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge found in our favor and the child abuse charges were dismissed.
Our Trenton office is easy to get to from anywhere in Mercer County so call us at 732-773-2768 to discuss your case.
Middlesex County Superior Court
Our New Brunswick DCPP Lawyers have helped a client win a permanency hearing in Middlesex County. In a DCPP case, a permanency hearing is the final hearing in the FN litigation. DYFS will ask the Court to change the plan from reunification to something else such as termination of parental rights. In this case, DYFS was pushing to change the plan but our lawyers fought back! Our New Brunswick DCPP Lawyers helped our client get an extension so that he can continue to demonstrate compliance. If he does that, he will be reunified with his children and the case will be closed. We hope to report that our DYFS lawyers were able to do that for him in the next few months.
Ocean County Superior Court
This was a very interesting, yet complex case. The case involves a lot of different players as our client is both a parent to a young child and also a grand parent. Thus, there are two sets of parents in this case. The allegations involved a complex history of incest, sex abuse, kidnapping, drug use, etc. The complaint was rather lengthy and it took some time to unravel the entire story. Our lawyers excel at dealing with complex cases and that’s what we did here. We broke the case down to its individual parts and in the end, a complex case turned out to be a one issue case. We were fully prepared to tear apart the case at the fact finding trial but beforehand, we spoke wot the DYFS DAG. As a result, the fact finding hearing was avoided and the Title 9 child abuse and neglect allegations were thrown out. This was a huge victory and it will help our client fully regain her parental rights.
H.M. Hackensack DYFS (DCPP) case
This client originally hired another lawyer from a firm with a website that is filled with DYFS and other key words. Of course, anyone can hire a company to write such a website. That doesn’t mean that these lawyers have success with DCPP cases. Luckily for the client, he fired this firm shortly after hiring them and hired us. Our Hackensack DCPP lawyers fought the case hard. Even though the judge had already found that the client had a long standing drug addiction, our lawyers were able to get the client his child back. Since he split up with his wife, the judge had to choose between him and the mother and she chose him, our client.
If you want help in getting your child back, call our team of tough, smart Hackensack DCPP lawyers today to discuss your case.
In this case, our client was accused of making threats to harm his children. Although these threats were due to mental illness, DYFS still brought him to court. His prior attorney was able to get the case dismissed however, DYFS still substantiated him for child abuse and neglect. As a result, the client needed to file an OAL appeal. Since his prior lawyer didn’t have much DYFS experience, he hired us to make sure the case was dismissed. Recently, we received notice that the finding was reversed and thus, the client has been removed from the database. This was important because although the DYFS case was dismissed, the client still had problems with parenting time due to the finding of abuse and neglect against him. This reversal will help our DYFS lawyers help the client secure a proper parenting time schedule in his divorce case.
Call our DYFS OAL Appeal Lawyers anytime to discuss your case.
Our Toms River DYFS Lawyers pulled off a major victory today. Our client had been dealing with DYFS for about two years. She was going to hire us before the case went to court but then decided on another firm. Unfortunately for her, this was the wrong choice. DYFS brought the case to court. As the months went on, her case quickly spiraled out of control. Her parental rights were impacted and all of her parenting time had to be supervised. Eventually, she realized that she made the wrong choice and she hired us. We had a lot of work to do as the case was a mess. The client’s husband was the main one pushing the case. So we had three attorneys in the case working against us. DYFS was pushing for her to go in-patient which would have been a disaster for her case. The judge was a second away from putting her in but we kept it from happening. A few weeks later, we were able to get the entire case dismissed. This is just another example of what our Toms River DYFS Lawyers can do when we fight for our clients.
Please note that this is my opinion only. There are laws that DYFS has to follow and then there are internal policies or rules that DYFS has to follow but just like any other agency, it doesn’t mean that they always will. The Internet has made things difficult for lawyers because clients can get some information, some of which may be wrong, and then they twist it around to benefit their case. Even though the lawyer is the expert, they try to tell the lawyer that he/she is wrong because of something they read on the Internet!
One recent example involves a client who thought that she didn’t have to speak with DYFS because they only have 60 days to complete their investigation. Since it has been more than 4 months, the client wanted me to confirm that she could just tell them to go away. So, besides the client calling me with not even a thought of ever hiring me, she wanted me to confirm that she didn’t have to speak with DYFS and was then upset when I told her that she was wrong. DYFS doesn’t always follow their own rules and when they don’t, it doesn’t mean that you benefit.
The surest way to make sure DYFS goes away is to call a lawyer that knows what he/she is doing. As I have said before, plenty of people have made DYFS go away without a lawyer but plenty of people have also screwed up their case by handling it on their own and as a result, they wound up in court. Click on the “DYFS Trap” link above to learn more about why this happens.
Call our DYFS Investigation Lawyers today to discuss your case and how we can help make sure you don’t go to court.
One of the most frustrating aspect of my job is dealing with clients that make assumptions about their case. This often comes up when the client receives a letter from DYFS that the allegations were unfounded. They then call me only to ask me if they need a lawyer and then they proceed to tell me that they don’t need a DYFS lawyer because the allegations were unfounded. Or the other scenario is a couple where one wants a lawyer but the other parent doesn’t. Of course, the first question that comes up is why call a lawyer only to convince yourself you don’t need one? Putting that aside, I wrote the DYFS Trap so that people would understand why this thinking can get them in trouble. I didn’t invent this. I see this happen all of the time. I am attempting to share other people’s horror stories so that you can learn from other people’s mistakes. Unfortunately, not everyone does. I get several calls a week from people that just don’t get it.
Compounding this problem is that there are plenty of people that handle DYFS cases without an attorney and they come out fine. So, if they talk to another attorney or they talk to a friend, they will say “see, I don’t need an attorney because of ….”. This is only bolstered when the parent receives an unfounded letter. However, what they don’t understand is that when DYFS says that they “will be providing services to your family” is a huge sign of danger. As I indicated in the DYFS Trap, many people wind up in DYFS court because of their interaction with DYFS after the initial allegation and not because of the initial allegation itself. Thus, just because you don’t think that DYFS will substantiate you for the initial allegation or if DYFS has already given you an unfounded letter does not mean that you can breathe easily. Instead of assuming you are out of the woods, you should assume that you are in for big problems. Its much cheaper to stay out of court than to roll the dice and wind up in court.
If you received an unfounded letter but DYFS still wants you to do services, call our team of tough, smart DYFS Defense Lawyers to discuss your case.
Right before Christmas, DYFS took our client’s children from them. Of course, the timing for this couldn’t have been worse. However, our DODD removal lawyers couldn’t have imagined what we were walking into. The client didn’t mention that there were two prior DYFS cases in which the children were removed before. Thus, this was the third time that DYFS removed the children. Clearly, this case was much tougher than what our lawyers first thought. Making the situation even worse is that the judge handling the matter was the emergent duty judge, not the normal DYFS judge. It would have been understandable if this judge, having little to no DYFS experience, would have just kept the children in foster care until we could come back to court at a later date. This really wasn’t looking good.
Our Southern New Jersey DYFS Attorneys never let the pressure get to us. When the facts are tough, we get tougher. We worked with the law guardian and our co-counsel to team up against DYFS. However, Jef Henninger, Esq. Led the charge against DYFS. As a result of Jef’s hard-hitting argument, the judge sided with us and our client was given her children back. This was the day after Christmas, so although it was a little belated, the family was still able to have a great Christmas.
If you need our Southern New Jersey DYFS Lawyers to help you, call us today.
Client’s wife had a serious drug problem but little did DYFS know that our client had a bad drug problem as well. He was ordered to supervise her parenting time. However, he failed some drug tests and then the Bergen County DYFS office would up removing the child all together. Of course, if the client would have hired a lawyer from the start, he may have stayed out of court, but DYFS did bring him to court which is when he hired our law firm. We fought hard to make sure that the client gets parenting time even over the objection of DYFS. Despite his wife’s problems, the judge granted our application for unsupervised parenting time. In fact, we made so much progress that the case could soon be dismissed.
Being in compliance with DYFS (DCPP) is a tricky subject. DYFS will often ask you to sign a safety protection plan and then afterward use that to hold your feet to the fire. However, safety plan or not, DYFS wants you to be in compliance. In other words, they want you to do whatever they want you to do. By complying with DYFS, you are likely helping them build a case against you. Of course, if you don’t comply, they can bring you to court for your lack of compliance. Thus, this is a big catch-22. There is a way to avoid this. Instead of dealing with DYFS on your own, have a lawyer handle the DYFS investigation for you. Our track record has proven that a quality team of lawyers can help you fight DYFS and get your life back.
Freehold DYFS Attorney helps client avoid suspension of parenting time due to false positive drug test
As detailed in the “DYFS Trap” (see above) too many people get caught up with a DYFS problem because they think they have nothing to hide and/or they think that getting a lawyer will make them look guilty. This is one of those cases. The client actually called DYFS and offered to take a drug test to prove that the claims from his ex-wife were ridiculous. Like so many of these stories, it blew up in his face. He failed after eating a poppy seed bagel because the DYFS drug test didn’t use any cut off levels. As a result, he was now looking at losing his parenting time. Luckily, our team of tough, smart Freehold DYFS Lawyers helped the client avoid disaster. We had 48 hours from the time the judge issued her tentative decision to the time of the motion hearing to change things around. We fought hard and worked fast to help make sure the judge changed her mind. It took a lot of work in such a short period of time but by the time we got to court, we were able to get the evidence before the court that showed that the client’s test was a false positive. As a result, the client got his parenting time back.
It sounds crazy but its one of those things that you never really know is true. It turns out that the answer is “it depends”. Using a crude drug test, MythBusters proved that eating a poppy seed bagel or just poppy seeds in general can cause you to come up positive. See the mini-clip here. Not only did the test come up positive, but it came up so fast. Of course, MythBusters is more entertainment than science so looking at a 1998 study published in the Forensic Science International journal is better. The study found that eating two poppy-seed rolls with an average of about .76 grams of seeds each caused positive test results for up to six hours in one person, ranging from 47.9 ng/ml to 832 ng/ml, depending on a variety of factors. The same study found that eating a poppy-seed cake (which contained an average of 4.69 grams of seeds) caused all four people to screen positive for up to 24 hours—four times as long as the rolls—with one person’s results ranging between 83.8 ng/ml and 302.1 ng/ml.
Now I said it depends because most tests have cut off levels to account for this problem. Eating a bagel will not give you the same level as doing heroin. Unfortunately, DYFS of course may use tests that have no cut off levels! A friend of mine just failed a drug test because he ate a poppy seed bagel because there was no cut off level. As a result, eh was looking a having his parenting time suspended. The judge had issued a tentative decision doing just that. However, we were able to prove to the court that this positive drug test was bogus and as a result, his parenting time was not suspended. Don’t let a DYFS drug test ruin your life. Let our team of tough, smart DYFS Defense Attorneys help you.
This case became very personal for our office because the system really seemed out to get a great family. The mother was facing felony criminal charges (which we later got dismissed) and at the same time, was facing a DYFS case. The mother was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation with one of the worst DYFS experts ever. This guy was horrible and thankfully, this case is one of the reasons why he is pretty much out of business. This DYFS psychologist wanted the mother to discuss her criminal charges (which could have been used against her in both cases) but pursuant to her advice, advised him that she could not since her criminal case was pending. His response was that if you don’t talk about your criminal charges, he will make it so she never gets to see her child. This just sounds so crazy that it couldn’t be true but this client actually recorded the conversation. Needless to say, this tape was sent to a lot of people. Within a few months, the expert had his DYFS contract canceled. Unfortunately, not every expert is dumb enough to specifically tell the client what they are going to do like this.
Don’t let a DYFS psychologist break apart your family. Let our team of New Brunswick DYFS Lawyers fight back for you!
This case upsets me more than the average case. It goes to show how corrupt our system in New Jersey can be. DYFS received an anonymous call (although its obvious who called it in) about my client using drugs. There is no evidence that she has ever used drugs, ever abused alcohol or ever failed a drug test. For some reason, she decided to go to a DYFS substance abuse evaluation instead of hiring an attorney first. Now most people in this situation figure, I don’t need a lawyer, I have nothing to hide. How could I possibly fail a substance abuse evaluation with no drug or alcohol history? Well, this client had a mother that apparently had some alcohol problems although it debatable as to how serious they actually were. The DYFS evaluator was not happy with the client’s denials of the drug and alcohol abuse and as a result of her denials and family history, the evaluator thought that the client was minimizing her problems. As a result, she was referred to out patient substance abuse treatment. When she refused, DYFS took her to court.
Luckily, our Camden County DCPP Lawyers stepped in to prevent this, but none of this should have ever happened. She did nothing wrong and this is the last person that DYFS should be focusing on. So, before you tell yourself that you did nothing wrong and thus, taking a DYFS substance abuse evaluation can’t hurt, read this over carefully.
This case really upset all of the lawyers in our office. A DODD removal is serious and should only be used in emergency situations. As a result, some lawyers who are not as aggressive as our lawyers believe that there is nothing you can do at a DODD removal hearing in New Jersey because the judge will always go along with whatever DYFS/DCPP says. This clearly is not the case. We have had many cases where we were able to win the DODD hearing hearing get the children back.
Our attorneys hear all the time, “I didn’t do anything wrong, why do I need an attorney?”. This case makes it clear that you don’t need to do anything to get your children taken away. In this case, the simple fact of having a criminal record was enough to get the children removed. If the parents had handled the DODD hearing wrong, the children may have been placed in foster care for a lengthy period of time. Luckily, that didn’t happen to then but don’t let this happen to you!
One very common DYFS / DCPP scenario is when you leave your child in the car unattended. Usually someone will see your child in the car alone and then call the police. The police will then call dyfs /dcpp who can turn your life upside down. This case could have been tough because the father had also served time in prison. However, the parents did the right thing by calling a DCPP defense lawyer right away. Our Toms River DCPP lawyers jumped right on the case and worked to close it out. Within about 24 hours of being retained, our lawyers secured a resolution of the case so that it would be dismissed as soon as the case worker did a closing visit. Thus, would could have turned into a complex DYFS investigation turned into a case in the process of being closed.
Call the Toms River DCPP Lawyers anytime to discuss your child neglect matter.
This is one of those tough cases because there were a number of allegations against the family. It started with the child claiming that he was hit by a belt by his father. The mother also admitted to a very severe domestic violence history which is always problematic. Add drug use to that and this could be a very challenging case for most lawyers. Luckily, our client hire our team of tough, smart Morris County DCPP lawyers. The lawyer for DCPP (formerly DYFS) did not want our client to have any parenting time at all. Nevertheless, our lawyers fought hard to make sure that he would be able to spend time with his family. Our lawyers also made sure that he wasn’t subject to a schedule set by DCPP. For some reason, DCPP likes to prevent clients from having parenting time but we never let them get away with that. If the child is with a relative, the schedule should be up to the relative, not DCPP.
If you are facing a DCPP is Morristown, call our team of tough, smart Morris County DCPP Lawyers today to discuss your case.
Our South Jersey DCPP Lawyers were faced with a very contentious case between two divorced parents. Although the father was not a lawyer, he was a law school graduate so he was a unique pro se adversary. Our client, the mother, was alleged to have been engaging in pornography around the children. Not exactly your normal child abuse complaint. The father complained to DCPP (formerly DYFS) but he was shut down. As a result, he filed a Private Title 9 complaint. Such a move is rare, but not unheard of for our firm. In fact, our child abuse defense lawyers have filed these complaints on behalf of our own clients. The father hired expert witness (so he claimed) and he was ready for trial. Luckily, we were ready for this case and at a very lengthy oral argument, the judge granted our motion to dismiss the Title 9 complaint. As a result, our client’s custody rights were not impacted. She remains the parent of primary residence.
If you need help with any custody matter, call our team of NJ Child Custody Attorneys today.
In New Jersey, DYFS has a big problem with people that home school their children. DYFS has big ties to public schools and when your child is not in school, they cannot spy on your family and cannot interview your child. However, our team of tough, smart NJ DYFS Lawyers know how to respond to these cases. Our team hit the case hard and worked to make sure that the client never lost custody. She was able to keep custody of her child the entire time. Our next goal for our lawyers was to close the case out and make sure DYFS gets out of her life. Although the case had only gone on for a few months and there were still other things that had to be done, we were able to get the case closed out.
If you have a DYFS case in any court in New Jersey, call us today to discuss your matter with one of lawyers to see how we can help you.
Client has not had parenting time with her children in many months due to an on-going custody dispute with the father of her children. Today, our Camden County DYFS Lawyers helped the client not only get parenting time, but she was able to get unsupervised parenting time. We worked with all parties involved to craft a fair and reasonable parenting time schedule. Thus, just in time for the holidays, our client will get to spend a lot of time with her children.
If you are facing child abuse charges in Camden County, call the team of tough, smart DYFS lawyers today to discuss your case.
Hospitals, like schools, work hand-in-hand with DYFS (DCPP). If they suspect that you have been using drugs, they will scrutinize everything about you including everything you say or do. Besides testing your blood to determine recent drug usage, they will also test your baby’s meconium for drug use during pregnancy. Meconium is your baby’s first bowel movement. Its a dark, sticky and odorless tar like substance. It is one of the key tests use to bring a case against you.
If there is any talk about anyone at the hospital suspecting you of drug use, testing the baby’s meconium for drug exposure or calling DYFS, you should call a lawyer ASAP. The hospital will likely place a hold on your baby so that it cannot leave the hospital. DYFS will then issue a DODD removal and force you into court. Anything you say to anyone will be used against you. Thus, allowing an attorney to do all of the talking for you is highly advisable.
Keep in mind that the hospital will not just be testing for illegal drugs. Prescription drugs are more of an issue these days and if you do not have a prescription, the hospital will consider this as abuse. Of course, a DODD removal does not mean that all is lost. Our lawyers have been successful in helping clients get their babies back from DYFS right away. If the hospital has a DYFS hold on your baby, call our team of tough, smart NJ DYFS defense lawyers and let us help you get your baby home.
Today’s public schools have DYFS on speed dial. DYFS knows that they can depend on the school to drop the dime on you at all times. Its one of the reasons that I believe that DYFS has a big problem with homeschooling your child. If you home school your child, there is no one to call DYFS on you. Another reason that DYFS loves schools is that it gives them unfettered access to your child. They can interview your child at just about anytime without any prior notice to you.
Because of this, I’ve actually had to suggest that some client’s keep their child out of school for a few days. That is because the answer to the above question is yes, they can and they often do. You need to keep this in mind when you are dealing with a DYFS case. Of course, you shouldn’t take any action without first consulting with a lawyer.
Client’s children were taken away from due to the husband’s mental health problems. She hired us for the DODD hearing in Monmouth County and were made sure that we were ready. One of our touch, smart DYFS defense lawyers were there to fight and as a result, we were able to get the children returned to her. Furthermore, we do not believe that DYFS will be seeking a finding against her. Thus, she will likely be dispositional only. Although the case will continue, most of it was already won at the first court appearance.
If you are facing a DYFS case in Freehold or any other town, call the team of tough, smart DYFS defense lawyers today to discuss your case.
Thankfully, DYFS doesn’t act on every allegation that they get. When they don’t, the other parent could get upset and bring their own action to restrict your parenting time. This can be a tough situation because its not technically a DYFS case but the other parent is using the DYFS allegations (that they may have called in) as the basis for bringing their motion. As a result, some people may hire a New Jersey lawyer that knows nothing about DYFS and as a result, they could do a lot of damage to your case. Our New Jersey DFYS lawyers also handle many child custody cases. Thus, our team of tough, smart attorneys can handle your child custody case regardless of the content of the DYFS allegations.
I hear way too often that people are scared to get a lawyer for a DYFS / DCPP investigation in New Jersey. The case worker may say that if you hire a lawyer, they will bring you to court. You have the right to an attorney at any point and I think it is insane to deal with DYFS / DCPP without an attorney. Often times, when confronted about this, the case worker will deny ever saying this. Thus, I don’t think you’ll ever find anyone to say that this is some type of DYFS policy. Instead, my personal opinion is that the case workers are scared of dealing with an attorney that handles DYFS cases because they know that they will not be allowed to bully you. I’ve even had attorneys for DYFS try to bully and threaten me and I find these threats to be BS. About 90% of the time I have been threatened, it turned out to be all talk. Even if they follow through with their threats, my team is fully prepared to defeat the case against you.
A client recently called me and indicated that another lawyer they spoke with was charging 5 times what I was charging but he could guarantee that he could get the child back. Luckily the client didn’t fall for that and she hired us. However, I’m sure many clients do fall for that. After all, if someone can guarantee something like that, wouldn’t you pay anything? (Notice how the guarantee cost so much more) We always tell clients that we can’t guarantee the sun will come up tomorrow so thus, we can’t guarantee results. What we can guarantee is that we will fight for you as if we were fighting for our own case. Our passion for our clients is the reasons why we get such good results. You case will always be our top priority.
Child Abuse, DYFS and CPS Consultants
If your criminal or family matter involves allegations of child abuse or neglect, you need a team that can stand behind you and fight against every threat to your freedom and your family. These threats can come from law enforcement, CPS workers and agencies, the other parent’s lawyer and the judge. Our team of tough, smart lawyers back down to no one.
However, not everyone has a team of attorneys behind them. Either they chose the wrong lawyer from the start or they didn’t realize that the case would get complicated. Our team of lawyers are available to consult with no matter where you live in the country. Our consulting practice is very flexible. We can work with just you, your lawyer or both of you. We can come to court with you or just review documents remotely. No matter what you are looking for, our team of consultants can work with you to help you achieve the results that you want. As you can see from our Big Wins, we know how to get results.
To see how we can help you, call us today. Let us know what your concerns are and we will tailor a strategy that conforms to your desires, your case and your budget. If we have to come to you, please be advised that we do not charge travel time in most cases.
False Sex Abuse Allegations
Conventional Wisdom says that children don’t lie. Thus, if a child makes a sex abuse allegation against a parent, it has to be true, right? This could not be farther from the truth. A number of studies and famous cases have clearly shown that children can and do lie. The reasons are endless and some are just unknown. However, one of the more common reasons children lie is because they are coached, often by the other parent. Children are great mimics and will often repeat anything. Often times, law enforcement doesn’t care about how obvious this coaching may be. As a result, people have been brought to trial and many have been convicted for false sex abuse allegations.
Our team of tough, aggressive false sex abuse defense lawyers don’t have to rely upon books or studies to know that this is the case. Consider just two of our recent examples. In the case of D.L., DYFS received an allegation that he was molesting his daughter. When interviewed, the child denied all allegations. An hour later, the child changed her story without explanation. You would think that the detective from the Prosecutor’s Office would want to know what happened in that last hour, who the child spoke with and why she changed her story. Of course, none of that was done. They were just happy that the child was now accusing dad. It took us over a year, but all charges and cases against the client were dismisse when the Court granted Jef Henninger’s motion to dismiss.
In the case of F.A., the client just finished a four month visitation battle with the mother of the child. Exactly a week after the court denied the mother’s motion to deny the father parenting time, the child made accusations that the father molested her. After a year of battling back, we finally got DYFS to realize that it was the mother who engaged in emotional abuse by coaching the child to say that she was molested. Mom was represented by an attorney that is ranked in the top 100 in the country.
Of course, we have had many other cases as well. Thus, if you are facing false sex abuse allegations, call our team of tough, smart defense lawyers and let us fight for you.
Divorce Cases involving Child Abuse Allegations
Most people don’t realize that their divorce lawyer may not know anything about DYFS or child abuse. Thus, when the other parent makes an allegation that gets DYFS involved, you may be left unprotected if you don’t have the right lawyer. Some lawyers are honest and they have told their clients to find another lawyer to help them. However, others have made a mess of the case and it was only later did the client realize that they needed to make a switch. If your New Jersey divorce case involves DYFS, make sure you have the right lawyer backing you.
When the other parent makes a child abuse or neglect allegation against you, you must act fast! Thus our team of tough, smart divorce attorneys are available 24/7
As we indicated elsewhere on this blog, this law firm is set up so that we can handle all of your DYFS related matters. Thus, we don’t just understand how to handle divorce cases, we have the experience of hundreds of divorce cases over many years to back us up. Thus, you do not have to sacrifice performance. Furthermore, we strive to get our divorce cases done faster and cheaper than other law firms. Our initial retainers are often lower and do everything we can to make sure our final bills are lower too.
Thus, if your divorce case involves DFYS allegations and you want to do everything you can to make sure that you have the right New Jersey Divorce Attorneys backing you, call us today to see how we can fight for you.
Child Abuse Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Unfortunately for some, they don’t hire a good child abuse defense attorney before they are arrested. While there are a number of crimes that can fall under child abuse, they are all serious. Our team of tough, smart criminal defense attorneys have seen smaller cases such as simple assault to very serious cases such as aggravated sexual assault. No matter how small or how complex your case is, our team of attorneys is ready to fight for you. By using the team approach, we can cover your case quicker and we can attack it from a number of different angles at the same time. This allows us to work to not only get you a better result, but to get this result as soon as possible.
Just some of the charges you could be facing include the following:
-Criminal Sexual Assault
-Aggravated Sexual Assault
-Endangering the Welfare of a Child
As we have indicated elsewhere on this blog, there are number of things that make this firm unique. First, we have a state-wide practice. Thus, you don’t have to ask if we go to one court or another, we do and we have been there. We can also handle every single aspect of your DYFS case including criminal charges and family court issues such as custody. Thus, you don’t have to hire a number of attorneys. We are the one firm that can do it all.
If you are facing any child abuse charges, call our team of tough, smart New Jersey criminal defense lawyers now to find out how we can fight for you.
New Jersey Child Abuse Investigations
Allegations of child abuse can be investigated by both DYFS and the local police. Most people don’t realize that anything they say to DYFS can be used against them. Make no mistake about it, DYFS and law enforcement work very closely together. Thus, you cannot assume that just because you are speaking with a DYFS case worker means that you will not face criminal prosecution. You have the right to remain silent but saying nothing may also lead to problem. Only an experienced child abuse attorney can advise you as to how to proceed. Since every case is different, our team of tough, smart child abuse defense lawyers will craft a strategy that is unique to each case.
Another issue people don’t realize is that hospitals also work closely with DYFS and law enforcement. Thus, anything you say to hospital staff, doctors and social workers can also be used against you. They will often call DYFS and police right away and before you know it, you are sitting down in a room being interviewed by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office. Most people don’t go into there expecting to admit to anything but many leave in handcuffs as they get buried by their own statements.
Don’t make any assumption about needing a lawyer. Before you do anything, call our team of tough, smart child abuse defense lawyer to discuss your options and how we can protect you and your family.
New Jersey Child Custody Cases involving DYFS
A few years ago, it seemed like most DYFS court cases were in DYFS court where they were the Plaintiff. However, our New Jersey child custody lawyers have noticed a disturbing trend has been increasing. when parents are separated and DYFS receives a report of abuse or neglect, they are not filing a court case against one of the parents. Instead, they are advising the other parent to file an Order to Show Cause to seek custody of the child. In other words, DYFS backs the other parent and provides them with advice. Even worse is that they will write reports and provide them to the court. However, they are not a party to the case and may not even show up to court. This leads to a number of problems.
One major problem is that because this isn’t a “DYFS Case” the parent who is fighting to protect their rights does not hire an attorney that knows how to handle DYFS cases. This can lead to huge problems when DYFS and other parents pushes them around the court room. Our lawyers have seen it way too many times when people fire their previous lawyer and then hire us to take control of the case.
Another problem is that although this custody case will function a lot like a DYFS case, there are important procedural safe guards that you will not have. For example, you will have to fight to get access to the DYFS file whereas in a regular DYFS case, you will automatically get access to the entire file. Furthermore, with the case worker not present in court, it may be difficult to challenge the report that is forwarded to the court. Also, attorney are usually given court reports before court but with these cases, reports may only be given to you after you arrive at court given the attorney no time to prepare.
Our team of tough, smart New Jersey custody lawyers know how to handle these difficult cases. We know how to both defend a custody case and a DYFS case. Thus, when the two are put together in these hybrid cases, we know how to fight for you. We will hold the entire system accountable so that DYFS and the other parent do not push you around. Call us now to discuss your case.
DYFS / DCPP OAL Appeals following receipt of substantiation letter
Most DYFS / DCPP cases are brought to court in the Superior Court of New Jersey in the county where the parents live. However, some cases do not proceed to court for a number of reasons. Nevertheless, DYFS / DCPP will still complete an investigation and provide you with a letter indicating their findings. If the letter says that the case is unfounded, this means that they did not find that abuse or neglect occurred.
However, the letter may indicate that the Division’s investigation determined that abuse or neglect is substantiated. It will then indicate who they believe abused or neglected the child. The letter will then indicate that:
“If you want to appeal this decision, you must contact the Administrative Review Officer within twenty (20) days of the date of this letter to request a Regional Dispositional Conference”.
If you don’t appeal this finding, it will remain on your record forever. You don’t need this following you around. Besides possibly impacting your employment, it may also cause further problems from DYFS or from the other parent if they seek to take action against your custody or parenting time rights. Too many people have done nothing only to find out years later that their failure to act has had a big impact on their rights.
The Office of Administrative Law or OAL court is a completely separate court facility than the superior court. The rules are also different. Your DYFS OAL lawyer will know how to handle this matter, but if you don’t hire a lawyer, you may never see the inside of a court room. That is because DYFS will likely file a motion for summary disposition against you. If successful, you’ll never see a judge. Thus, it is important to hire a lawyer right away. Waiting can cost you!
Once your court dates comes around, your case will proceed to a bench trial which is a trial without a jury. Testimony will be taken from a number of DYFS’ witnesses and you will also get to testify as well. Again, your DYFS OAL attorney will handle all of this for you.
Our team of tough, smart lawyers know how to handle DYFS OAL appeals. Our lawyers have handled some very tough cases including one case where our client was accused of molesting his child 100′s of times. Instead of seeing the case as impossible, out team of DYFS defense lawyers fought hard and we won the case! Thus, we back down to no one. Call us today and let us fight for you!
Most DYFS / DCPP cases do not start with DYFS removing your children and taking you right to court. Instead, many people get a knock on the door by a DYFS case worker. This is called an out of court DYFS case or a DYFS (DCPP) investigation. The case worker may want to look around the house, speak to the children, interview the parents and/or ask you to sign a number of forms. Before you know it, you have already made a number of admissions that could harm your case and you have signed a number of documents that could be used to gather evidence against you. Of course, ignoring DYFS is not going to just make everything go away. Thus, parents facing this situation are in a real catch 22. However, you do have rights when DYFS knocks on your door. The primary right you have is to hire a lawyer ASAP. That is why our lawyers are available 24 hours a day because DYFS is 24 hours a day. What many people don’t realize is that they are setting themselves up for the DYFS trap and by failing to take action immediately, they could wind up in court even if the case worker says its no big deal. Before you know it, you are locked into evaluations and treatment and months have gone by and DYFS will just not go away. Eventually, your children could wind up in foster care while you fight to get them back.
That’s why our team of tough, smart New Jersey DYFS lawyers will help you fight back! we will help you end the harassment! We have helped many clients quickly get DYFS out of their lives. You do not need to be pushed around. Even better is that you can hire a great team of DYFS attorneys without spending a lot of money because there is no court case yet. Lawyers bill based upon time spent on a case. Court cases, especially DYFS court cases, take a lot of time to handle. Since there is no court appearances, there is much less for the lawyer to do. As a result, you save money and you can still get great, quality representation. While we make a lot more money if your case goes to court, we are a busy law firm. We are no desperate for money and we cannot stand to see a great family go through the heartache of a DYFS court case when it could have been easily avoided if they would have called us early on. Countless numbers of clients have told us “I wish I would have called you sooner”. Don’t be that client.
For more information, check out our DYFS Investigations F.A.Q.
DYFS Cases in Superior Court
When most people think of DYFS cases in New Jersey, they think of DYFS cases in Superior Court. Each county in New Jersey has one Superior Court where a number of matters are heard including DYFS matters. There are three types of cases that people usually call our lawyers about. They are:
- Order to Investigate
- Care and Supervision
- Custody, Care and Supervision
These cases are brought under an FN docket number. Even if DYFS did not take custody of your child, it doesn’t mean that they won’t at some point in the case. They can amend the complaint any time to move for custody of your child. All DYFS matters both in court and out of court should be treated seriously. With custody cases, the parents generally have one year to get the children back. If they fail to do so and if DYFS wins the permanency hearing, they will change the plan and move for termination of parental rights. The case then turns into a guardianship action under an FG docket number.
There are two types of guardianship actions in New Jersey: Kinship Legal Guardianship and Termination of Parental Rights. Kinship Legal Guardianship (otherwise known as “KLG”) is an option that is somewhere between temporary custody and adoption. A person who has KLG of a child has more rights to the child than if he just had temporary custody of the child, and less rights than if he adopted the child. Thus, a KLG arrangement allows the parent to some parental rights. For example, you may have visits with your child and have the right to refuse to allow your child to be adopted or to change his name. With termination of parental rights, you lose all rights. You will essentially be a stranger to the child.
If you are facing any DYFS matter in any court in New Jersey, call us right away.
Our NJ DYFS Lawyers scored a huge victory in Hudson County this week. This was a case that should have been easily won. In fact, we were just weeks away from winning it earlier this year. The case was almost over. However, the client really screwed up the case by getting back involved with the child’s father after previously saying she would stay away from him. In fact, it was more than just interacting with him, she actually wound up allegedly assaulting him with a car. She then lied to the DYFS case worker on numerous occasions. As a result, we went from almost winning the case to losing the permanency hearing. DYFS filed an FG complaint and they were moving to terminate her parental rights.
Even when it looks like the case is hopeless, our team of tough and aggressive DYFS lawyers never give up. We fought hard to get the client back on track and advocate for her in court. As a result, DYFS dismissed the FG complaint against her. If everything goes well, she should be reunified with her child shortly and the case will be dismissed shortly after that. If you have a DYFS matter in Jersey City, call us anytime.
Dealing with DYFS involved custody cases in New Jersey
Our lawyers have noticed a disturbing trend in New Jersey over the last few years. Instead of DYFS filing a Title 9 complaint against one of the parents where there are accusations of abuse and neglect, DYFS helps one of the parents fight against the other. This presents a whole host of problems. The first problem is when there is a divorce or custody case already in progress or at least contemplated. In those cases, the parent at issue may already have a lawyer involved. However, it is unlikely that that lawyer will have any experience in DYFS matters since most family court lawyers rarely handle such cases. We know because we have seen this issue many, many times. Without the ability to make key moves early on in the case, the parent’s rights suffer greatly.
Another big problem is that DYFS is like the unseen enemy. They are causing a lot of problems, they are writing reports and they are communicating with the other side but they may never be in the court room! Thus, trying to fight this unseen enemy can be very tough. In a normal DYFS case, the lawyer for the parent has access to the entire DYFS file. In a case where DYFS is just involved, you have access to nothing unless your attorney files a motion. In addition, DYFS cases allow you to have trials where in a DYFS involved case, the judge has the power to create their own rules. Its a very tough situation to be in and as a result, a lawyer will little to no experience in such matters can cause a lot of problems.
That is why our team of tough and aggressive DYFS / DCPP lawyers know how to handle all aspects of a DYFS case from DYFS investigations, divorces with DYFS allegations or custody trials where DYFS is involved. We can also handle any and all criminal allegations related to the DYFS allegations. Call us today to discuss your case for free.
Dealing with false DYFS allegations in New Jersey
Most people that call us about DYFS / DCPP matters in New Jersey are very upset that DYFS is bothering them about false allegations. What most people don’t understand is that their innocence is irrelevant. Many innocent people have lost their children because they didn’t handle the case the right way. Likewise, many innocent people are sitting in prison right now because they didn’t have quality legal representation. Just look at the Innocence Project and how many people have been freed by DNA evidence. Just imagine how many more people are in the same situation but cannot be helped since DNA is not a factor in their case?
Another way to look at is would you want your lawyer to put in less than full effort because you are in fact guilty? Of course not. We get paid to do a job and we don’t judge our clients. Thus, guilt or innocence in and of itself is not the key issue in the case. The issue is evidence. You could be the most innocent person in the world but if you can’t deal with the evidence against you, you will likely lose your case. The converse is also true. If you are the most guilty person in the world and the State does not have enough evidence to prove it, you will likely win your case.
Whenever I tell someone this, the response is often the same: well they don’t have any evidence against me. Is that possible? Sure. Is that likely? Almost never. Your idea of what evidence is and DYFS’ idea of what evidence is are two different things. If they are bringing a case against you, they likely have evidence against you no matter how false or flimsy it may be. It doesn’t mean that you will lose your case but it also doesn’t mean that it will go away instantly. We have shut down many cases very quickly but the vast majority of all DYFS cases take at least six months to handle with a good portion of those taking up to twelve months.
Finally, there is a difference between evidence of guilt and evidence of personal issues that require services. We have been very successful in getting the abuse and neglect charges dismissed but even in that case, the Court can keep the case open for services under Title 30. Usually, the case can get shut down shortly after that. Thus, don’t get too concerned or emotional about guilt vs. innocence.. Let your lawyer handle the case for what it is and trust that he or she will shut it down as soon as possible regardless of how guilty or innocent you may be.
What to do when DYFS / DCPP requests a substance abuse evaluation
DYFS loves nothing more than to request substance abuse evaluations. Most people, thinking they have nothing to hide, agree to participate in the evaluation. This is often where cases go down hill. See, you probably won’t get a choice and where to go for the evaluation. The DYFS case worker will likely force you to go to one of their places such as Preferred. Often times, the evaluator works in DYFS’ office. Thus, while they claim that their agencies are separate, it seems rather odd that they are in the same exact office.
The other odd thing here is how different the results of their evaluations are from anyone else that I use. I work with some of the top evaluators in the state and they are not “hired guns”. They will call it like they see it. DYFS’ people may send someone to drug treatment for smoking one joint over 10 years ago. I know because I helped a former neighbor get out of long term drug treatment for that exact issue. DYFS and their providers seem hell bent on getting people in the system for long periods of time. While their exact motive is unclear, DYFS’ motivation may be to keep you involved as long as possible to see if you screw up. Even people that don’t use drugs often or have been sober for a while use drugs due to the stress of dealing with DYFS. I’ve seen it countless times. People that had 10 years sober have cracked under the pressure. The result is a DYFS complaint being filed against them. For the provider doing the treatment, they obviously get money for keeping the person there as long as possible.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all evaluations are biased, but it certainly seems that many are for one reason or another. It could also just be a prejudice against people with DYFS cases since personal opinion may play a big factor in the ultimate decision even though it shouldn’t. As I have said in other posts, outright refusing to go through with the substance abuse evaluation could land you in court and your children in foster care. The best way to handle a request by DYFS / DCPP to undergo a substance abuse evaluation is to call an attorney before you even respond to the request. Let the attorney talk for you and guide you as to how to handle this. If your case worker is asking you or your family members to participate in a substance abuse evaluation, call our team of tough, smart defense attorneys right away before you do or say anything.
Dealing with a divorce in New Jersey with DYFS allegations and investigations
During the course of a divorce case, one spouse may decide to make DYFS / DCPP allegations in an effort to gain an advantage. The problem here is that many New Jersey divorce lawyers have little to no experience with DYFS. Quite often, these lawyers either make the wrong moves or make no moves at all. This can lead to disastrous results in both the divorce case and the DYFS case or investigation. The moves made at the early start of the case can have a lasting impact on the rest of the case.
Thankfully, most attorneys are honest enough to admit that they have no ability to help you with the DYFS aspect of the divorce case. At that point, you have to find another attorney to help you with the DYFS case or the DYFS aspect of the case. While you can have two attorneys or even ten attorneys, you could have use handle all of your family court matters. Our team of tough, smart DYFS / DCPP can handle your divorce case along with any DYFS allegations or cases that go along with it. If you want one law firm calling all the shots, our team will do that for you. Call us anytime.
FAQ – do I need a lawyer to help me with my DYFS / DCPP case or investigation?
This is another question that gets asked all the time when people call me. My answer is always yes. I make it a point to emphasize that I’m not trying to twist their arm and tell them that they need to hire us but I always say they need to hire someone. Dealing with any legal situation on your own is crazy. Of course, many people have handled a wide variety of situations on their own and everything turned out great. Thus, some people think that they can handle everything without an attorney. This is like a game of Russian roulette. While some people may win, some people will lose and they will lose big. There is no reason to risk it. If all you have is an out of court DYFS investigation, the cost for the attorney will be minimal. Call us anytime, day or night to speak with one of our NJ DYFS defense lawyers.