Since I have been asked by a handful of people to tell the rest of the story, I am going to continue. If you get bored, let me know…I do tend to ramble.
On Friday, May 9, 2008, Quinton and I had a hearing at 9 am. Only a few people knew we had left and even they did not know where we were going. Quinton and I felt it important to protect them. We did not want anyone to lie for us. We had broken no laws and did not want our friends and family to either. Not even our lawyer knew where we were that morning. He fully expected to see us.
I am repeating this account from what Tony, Diana and Quinton’s sister relied to me. I was not there. CPS had their side of the courtroom filled with officers and experts. Our lawyer, God bless him, caught on quick enough when Tony gave him an all telling look. I really wish I could have been a fly on the wall that day.
Before the court was called to order, the talk was all about a little video that someone posted on youtube earlier in the week. Our lawyer was called to the judge’s bench and actually questioned about it. Finally, Hollywood showed up and the excitement was ready to begin.
A little law note before I go on. A court order is not good if it is not served. Not to the lawyer, only to the person who’s name is on the order. It is definitely not valid if the serving authority did not sign it, place the time it was served and date it. Also, orders to appear only mean you have to show up and/or have someone show up on your behalf. You do not have to be present. The only reason we had to have a lawyer present is because Quinton was served properly.
CPS was ready to fry us. We were obviously criminals since we were not present. I mean, they had an anonymous (not really anonymous) call and the Graham’s had not cooperated with their office. It amazes me that they actually believe the load of crud they are shoveling.
Our lawyer was not having any of it though. There is a reason I wanted him…he is awesome. You know the fiery type; kicks butt and takes names. He is the Chuck Norris of Texas Law. He pointed out that his clients had not broken any laws and that Montague’s finest had failed in their job.
The court’s hands were tied but the judge took it personal that his orders were ignored. He contended that he saw the video and could clearly see that papers were given to me. He was also sore about the first set of papers, signed over 24 hours after the children left Texas, being ignored by the Graham’s; the papers ordering us to make the children available to CPS. He postponed the hearing until the following week. He signed orders demanding we be present with our lawyer.
Remember my note from above. When are orders good? That’s right, when they are served on the person being ordered to appear. Montague could not find us to serve the papers. Not that they didn’t try. They harassed our friends and family all week. They questioned them and pulled them over anytime they saw their vehicles.
Quinton’s sister and mother were packing our things and selling our house. Each time they were at my house, a CPS worker or officer would drive by slowly. A few times they stopped. It did no good. They could answer truthfully that they did not know where we were.
The next hearing came and I tell you, that judge was furious. He legally should have thrown the case out then and there but his ego was at stake. CPS had nothing but the testimony of a teacher. Hollywood was there but he was considered a joke; even by his peers. They are the ones to give him the nick-name Hollywood. What the judge did when he realized he ha not gotten his way should make you all tremble.
A note- It is NOT the judge’s job or responsibility to try a case. He is supposed to be neutral and only make sure the law is upheld.
Never should a judge be allowed to call before him friends and family of the accused that are watching the proceedings and question them. Never and I mean NEVER should a judge be allowed to threaten and intimidate these people under any circumstances. But this judge believes himself above the law and did just that. He made Tony, Diana, and Quinton’s sister stand in that court while he threatened them and told them he would see them in jail if he found out they knew where we were. Who gave him power beyond his scope?
He set another hearing date for a month later, I think. Montague Sheriff’s department had orders to detain us if they found us. They tried but God protected us.
Now I am all fired-up. I’ll have to stop for now. I’ll write more tomorrow. Peace, love and God’s will.