Mass Child Seizures Were Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

An appeals court has ruled that Texas had no right to seize hundreds of children from a polygamous sect.”  The children were seized after someone pretending to be a teenager in the sect made an anonymous (and apparently fabricated) allegation of abuse.  I earlier criticized the seizures, pointing out that the children were seized absent evidence that they faced imminent harm, and that the government should thus not have taken them from their parents prior to a full judicial hearing at which individual parents could be heard and present exculpatory evidence, and at which the government would have to produce hard evidence to justify seizing each child.  The state appeals court has now agreed with that objection, noting the lack of evidence that the children faced any immediate danger that would override the parents’ right to a full court hearing prior to any seizure.  I earlier wrote about how even temporary seizures of children without a prior evidentiary hearing can ultimately become permanent in some jurisdictions, even if the allegation of abuse leading to the seizures is later disproven in court, and how children can be gravely harmed by even temporary seizures.