Contributed to TLB by: Health Impact News and Medical Kidnap
Tammi Stefano interviewed Amy Duran on Friday August 28th on The National Safe Child Show. Amy is a mother who had her son taken by Los Angeles County’s Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) with the help of the Police Department. Vindictive people used DCFS and local law enforcement to kidnap Amy’s son, and to put Amy into a holding cell in a detention center where she was told she would spend the next 12 years, even though she had violated no laws and was not convicted of any crimes. During this time, Amy fainted several times, and could not tell the difference between night and day as there were no windows in the cell.
Amy never gave up, however. She fought back, and over three and a half years later she won her case and had her son returned to her custody. Her son was kidnapped by DCFS when he was 11 months old, and at age 4 he has now spent half of his life away from his mother and in foster care with strange people.
Here is Amy’s story, showing an example of how LA County DCFS does not protect children, but destroys families.
Police Forced Their Way in Without Warrant
“You had some problems with extended family members and you addressed by seeking law enforcement’s help. Your extended family then turned on you with a whirl wind of allegations against you to Child Protective Services. You are at home one evening,”
“I was home one evening, it was right after the holidays. I was cooking dinner and my son was sleeping. I used half a bottle of wine to marinate a turkey and put it in the refrigerator and pre-heated my oven. And who throws away the rest of a good bottle of wine? I poured the wine for myself and my son had went down for a nap. His father was planning to fly in that evening.”
“But instead of his father coming to the door, someone else came to the door right? And who was that?”
“The police. I had a metal screen door and it was locked. I asked them through the screen, ‘do you have a warrant?’ I told them it wasn’t a good time, my son was sleeping.”
“And you asked them if they had a warrant? And did they have a warrant?”
“No, they forced their way in claiming they did not need a warrant because they smelled gas.”
“They smelled gas, so they said they don’t need a warrant in this case because this is an emergency,”
“They came in and searched my home for half an hour and they never evacuated myself or my son from the home. We sat together in the living room. I don’t know what they were searching for, but they found an unopened bottle of anxiety medication on the counter that I had picked up that morning.”
“What happened after that?”
Police Officer Admits He Has Power to Use CPS to Gain Custody of Children
“The search was really wild. I actually tried to stop them and I asked them again, do you have a search warrant to search my home? And they again responded, ‘No.’ I told them I was not OK with this. The head officer, the lead officer, his name is Officer Gray, proceeded to tell me that he was going through a divorce and he was using CPS to successfully negate a costly custody battle. And he had his wife charged with alcohol and prescription pill abuse. He even told us her name, Audrey Gray. He said she will never see her children again, and I want to let you know I have that kind of power.”
“Well, that is really concerning. We hear so many cases like this, but to have a police officer come in your home and tell you this about his situation and how he’s using this, it’s really emotionally horrific. You must have been on a psychological roller coaster thinking why is this man telling me this? You had a glass of wine, you didn’t hide it from them. Your oven was going. Did they call the fire department?”
“They did, actually, it was probably a half an hour after they had searched my home. And prior to calling the fire department, Officer Gray and another officer had a disagreement in my living room with each other, regarding, I could only get bits and pieces, but why should we call the fire department?”
“One wants to call the fire department to cover their butts, and the other one says, the heck with it we don’t have to call the fire department because we rule the roost,”
“In fact, on the police call log, they called in code 4, which means that everything is OK,”
“And you have that call log?”
Mother Cleared by Drug and Alcohol Tests but Loses Son and is Incarcerated Anyway
“Yes, I do. And at some point, things just went from bad to worse. I never resisted, I just went along with whatever they told me to do, because at some point I figured that this would just go away. They asked me to take a drug test and I said sure. They drove me to the hospital a few blocks away, where they did a blood test which came up negative for any drugs. I was within the legal limit of drinking alcohol. They still proceeded to take my son into care and myself into the jail that they have there, what is it called? The holding cell.”
“Fire department came though? They used their decimeter to measure the gas content?”
“Oh, yes, they did,”
“Here’s when I became involved, some of the questions that I asked, just hearing it, maybe you’re asking the same questions. Did the fire department come in – did they use their decimeter to measure the amount of gas that was in the interior of the home? – Number one. Number two – let’s not forget the door was never shut, the screen door has ventilation, so if there was gas in there how strong could it be? Number three – this is a single family home and who could be near there, who’s going to smell gas? Along with the fact that you had gone to the police department that very morning, hadn’t you?”
“I actually had gone to the police department that very morning and requested to file a harassment,”
“Against your extended family. They knew your extended family, didn’t they? They were friends? So folks, they were friends. There was an acquaintance of some sort. Some sort of a friendship, or they were acquaintances and it ended up that they wouldn’t take your report from you and soon thereafter, all of this happens. Now, who else comes in? Did anyone else come into your home besides law enforcement and the fire department?”
CPS Takes Custody of Child
“CPS gets called and they come in and this little boy is being taken away and watching his mother. And even at 11 months it’s traumatic and there are studies that show this. There are an abundance of studies that show that children remember these events, even very young infants. They took you away, they took your son away. And the next thing you know, you are in a holding cell. They accused you of being on drugs and being intoxicated. Your alcohol level was below the legal limit.”
Mother Put into Holding Cell in Detention Center to Serve 12 Years
“I was taken to the Bob Wiley Women’s Detention Center,”
“What did they charge you with?”
“I was charged with felony child endangerment and that I was not getting out. I was serving 12 years – it was a lot for me to process, I fainted a few times. I was denied phone calls.” Tammi continued, “They never gave you a phone call. They never read you your rights. They kept telling you over and over, what?”
“You’re not going to see your child ever again. I fainted and they put me in a padded cell right next to the infirmary for five days. I couldn’t see light or day. The most hurtful part of it was I had no idea where my son was.”
“This is why we do this show, this is why UBN advocates for children.”
Drug Testing Required for 3.5 Years – Results Were Falsified
Amy goes on to state that she had to go for drug testing randomly every week for three and a half years, even though there were no drugs found in her system originally. According to Amy, she had two dirty drug tests. Amy states that,
“The first dirty test, the CSW (Child Social Worker) called me and said you have a dirty drug test, you need to come into the office and meet with us. I spent the whole night looking at the paperwork. How can this be? I found that the driver’s license number and the social security number were not mine, but it was my name at the top of the test.”
Amy said that she contacted the social worker and said, “This isn’t me.” Most parents in this situation feel so victimized and might not question an error like this, but rather accept their fate. Tammi advises that parents should always demand their paperwork or contact the lab testing facilities, if they know the test is not correct.
Amy had to attend a six month outpatient treatment program, and two and a half years of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, even though she was not taking drugs or drinking in excess. Amy also graduated from numerous parenting classes. If she did not do what they demanded, she would not get her son back.
Mother Goes through 7 Judges – Where is the Justice?
“You went through how many judges?”
“I think I had seven judges, commissioners and judges – at Edelman Children’s Court.”
Amy continued to do everything that DCFS asked of her, until finally, after completing three case plans she had enough.
“This case is so horrific. That when they make a decision that they don’t like you, that they have a friend that doesn’t like you, they call the department or law enforcement.”
“Once they target the parent, there is no changing the course.”
“You’re in this courtroom for three and a half years. Your son has lost his mom for two years and he doesn’t have his dad through dad’s choice. But the judge’s last words to you, do you remember what they were?”
“Yes, she said I don’t think that the attorney from Minor is going to change her position. And I think Ms. Duran that you will be back here in this courtroom again.”
“’I think that you will be back here again.’ Did you consider that a little bit of a threat?”
“Yes, I did.”
“People don’t understand that we really need an army, we need forensic auditors for the courts and what’s going on. I actually have an advocacy group that focuses on the court fraud that is going on. This needs to come out and be exposed. Your sworn affidavits for your audio tapes. You can find these templates in any of my groups on Facebook. There was a young lady who you gave the template to and she filed this template and the template was, I know that you have audio recordings, as you know you are paying top dollar for the transcripts.”
“People can’t afford it, so what happens, you’re not allowed to the right to justice because you don’t have your record. Amy is saying you don’t need your transcripts, the real record would be the audio. It is available for a fraction of the cost.”
Amy stated that she is trying to make these templates simple, so you can understand. Write up and notarize and send by certified mail to courts, attorneys, case workers.
3 1/2 Painful Years Later, Innocent Mother Got Her Son Back: “Do Not Give Up”
There is hope, three and a half years, almost four years and Amy got her son back.
Last words from Amy Duran,
“Do not give up. If you’re in a case, never miss a visit. Demand all of your records. You have a right to all of your records, your media records, there is a media form you can fill out in the court for your audio tapes and transcripts. The playing field is not fair and my coalition is about making the playing field fair. They are not providing positive services to the community, the children or the families. We need to be adamant about what is positive and what will work and push those things.”
Amy is now filing charges against the police department.
Watch the entire interview:
More on LA County DCFS Corruption: