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Parental Due Process Act of 2005 (PASSED)



Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 22:49:30 -0000
From: "topshelfstuff" <topshelfstuff@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Recent Law

Had to do some googling and will do more. Here's what I've got and, yes, I want the Bill number too. If nobody finds it by tonight, I'll search the entire 109th session. This link prints it out differently and I'll include the "heads up" as it snuck through:



Parental Due Process Act of 2005 (PASSED)
1st Session

To protect the fundamental due process rights of a parent in proceedings to terminate parental rights. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This shall be cited as the "Parental Due Process Act of 2005."


(a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

(1) Parental rights are so fundamental to the human condition so as to be deemed inalienable. Termination of parental rights equals or exceeds the detriment of criminal sanctions.

(2) The "liberty interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests" recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. Troxel v. Granville, 527 U.S. 1069 (1999). Moreover, the companionship, care, custody, and management of a parent over his or her child is an interest far more
precious than any property right. May v. Anderson, 345 U.S. 528, 533, (1952). As such, the parent-child relationship is an important interest that undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection. Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 452 U.S. 18, 27 (1981).

(3) State and local family services, child protective agencies, and courts have not recognized the rights of parents as inalienable, and, as a result, have failed to provide fundamental due process rights in the investigation and legal proceedings to determine abuse, neglect, and the termination of parental rights.

(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to provide core fundamental due process rights to parents whose parental rights are subject to termination.

(c) SCOPE- The scope of this Act applies to any case in which parental rights are subject to termination in a program or activity that receives federal financial assistance.


As used in this Act:

(1) "Hearing" means any judicial or administrative hearing;

(2) "law enforcement officer" means an employee, the duties of who's position are primarily the prevention, investigation, apprehension, or detention of individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws, including an employee engaged in this activity who is transferred to a supervisory or administrative position, or serving as a probation or pretrial services officer;

(3) "agency" means any state or local government;

(4) "Duress" consists of:

a. Unlawful confinement of the person of the party, or of the husband or wife of such party, or of an ancestor, descendant, or adopted child of such party, husband, or wife;

b. Unlawful detention of the property of any such person; or,

c. Confinement of such person, lawful in form, but fraudulently obtained, or fraudulently made unjustly harassing or oppressive.

(5) "Actual fraud" consists of any of the following acts, committed by a party, or with his connivance, with intent to deceive another party thereto, or to induce him to enter into an agreement or to rely upon it to his detriment:

a. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true by one who does not believe it to be true;
b. The positive assertion, in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it, of that which is not true, though he believes it to be true;

c. The suppression of that which is true, by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;

d. A promise made without any intention of performing it; or,

e. Any other act fitted to deceive.

(4) "Undue influence" consists of:

a. In the use, by one in whom a confidence is reposed by another, or who holds a real or apparent authority over him, of such confidence or authority for the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over him;

b. In taking an unfair advantage of another's weakness of mind; or,

c. In taking a grossly oppressive and unfair advantage of another's necessities or distress.

(5) "Malice" means conduct that is intended by the person described in subdivision (a) to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct that is carried out with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others;

(6) "Emergency" means exigent circumstances in which immediate action is required to prevent the imminent physical injury or death of a child.


(a) Upon the request of a parent, guardian or custodian, the right to have proceedings open to the public shall be guaranteed in the following circumstances:

(1) any hearing for the purpose of terminating parental rights;

(2) any hearing for the purpose of determining if a child is or has been deprived.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a judge may, upon consideration of written motion and papers filed in opposition, exclude the public if it is determined, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the safety of the child would be in jeopardy by a public hearing.

If the public is excluded from the hearing, the following people may attend the closed hearing unless the judge finds it is not in the best interests of the child:

(i) the child's relatives;

(ii) the child's foster parents, if the child resides in foster care; and,

(iii) any person requested by the parent.


Upon the request of a parent, guardian or custodian, the right to a trial by jury shall be guaranteed in the following circumstances:

(1) any hearing to terminate parental rights;

(2) any hearing to determine if a child is or has been deprived.



In placing the legal custody or guardianship of the person of a child with an individual or a private agency, a court shall take into consideration the religious, cultural, moral and ethnic values of the child or of his/her parents, if such values are known or ascertainable by the exercise of reasonable care.


Except in the case of an emergency, any law enforcement officer, agent or employee for a state's health and welfare department or child protective services, or mental health professional, who interviews a child for the purposes of investigation, shall electronically and/or digitally cause to be made an audio and visual recording of all planned questioning of, and planned interviews with, children. All recordings made pursuant to subsection

(a) shall be made available to the parent, guardian or custodian of a child not later than ten days prior to any hearing to terminate parental rights or to determine if a child is or has been deprived.


(a) Only evidence that is competent, material and relevant may be admitted in a fact-finding hearing.

(b) Any determination at the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing that a respondent did an act or acts must be based on proof beyond reasonable doubt. For this purpose, an uncorroborated confession made out of court by a respondent is not sufficient.


(a) In that removal of a child from a home for even brief periods is an extreme hardship on families, upon the request of a parent, guardian or custodian, the right to a speedy trial shall be guaranteed in the following circumstances:

(1) any hearing to terminate parental rights;

(2) any hearing to determine if a child is or has been deprived.

(b) A hearing, as described in subsection a, shall be conducted within thirty days of any type of removal of a child. In the event that the thirtieth day falls on a legal holiday or other day when the court is not in session, the hearing shall be conducted prior to the thirtieth day. In no event shall a hearing be conducted beyond the thirtieth day after the removal of a child if the right to a speedy trial has been


The rights of a parent or guardian as described in this Act cannot be waived, neither can parental rights be terminated, if said waiver is due to:

(1) mistake;

(2) fraud;

(3) undue influence; or

(4) duress.


(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the civil immunity of juvenile court social workers, agents or employees of a state's health and welfare department or child protective services or law enforcement official authorized to initiate or conduct investigations or proceedings shall not extend to any of the following:

(1) Perjury;

(2) Fabrication of evidence;

(3) Failure to disclose known exculpatory evidence;

(4) Obtaining testimony by duress, fraud, or undue influence.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any prosecutor, investigator, agent or employee of a state's health and welfare department or child protective services who induces a parent to waive any of his or her rights under this Act by

(1) fraud;

(2) undue influence; or

(3) duress shall be subject to civil liability.

SECTION 12. DAMAGESIn the case of a determination by a court or jury of any violation of a parent's rights under this Act, damages shall be presumed.


Subsections (b) and (c) of section 722 of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988 (b) and (c)) (concerning the award of attorney's and expert fees) shall apply to cases brought or defended under this Act.


If any provision of this Act or of an amendment made by this Act, or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be a

While a Governmental Offical may issue laws, they have no lawful authority to issue any order which violates the Supreme Law of the Land.

PARENTAL RIGHTS: Two legislative proposals seek to minimize the ongoing war on families by the courts, radical feminists, assorted "child rights" advocates, and state "social and protective services." The Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2005 (PRRA) would protect the constitutional rights of parents by intrusive state agencies. Some parents are probably unaware, while other parents know full well, of renegade state-based "social services" bureaucracies that canon the basis of unsubstantiated rumor or hearsay-show up at your child's elementary school and interview your child at length about her home environment, parental discipline practices, eating habits, home life, etc., without notifying the parents in advance based on little more than innuendo or unsubstantiated third-party complaints. As some state agencies now operate, parents under investigation of child neglect or abuse often are forced to prove their innocence when hearsay complaints of neglect or abuse are reported. This guilty-until-proven-innocent scenario would be unconstitutional under PRRA. The Parental Due Process Act of 2005 would serve to protect the "due process rights" of parents who are subjected to the threat of interrogation or home invasion without the constitutional protections afforded others under our system of justice, e.g., a trial by jury, right to a fair and speedy trial, etc.
--- In CourtWatchers@yahoogroups.com, TIDDYBEAR@a... wrote:

In a message dated 12/31/2005 2:10:26 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
topshelfstuff@h... writes:

Parental Due Process Act of 2005 (PASSED)

Oh my gosh!!! This absolutely sounds TOO good to be true!!!
Can you give me the bill # for this? I would like to write
my "it's
out of my jurisdiction" congressman!!