Health Impact News
California civil rights attorney Shawn McMillan recently sat down and spoke with Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child show regarding his work in litigating against corruption within Child Protection Services (CPS).
McMillan gained national headlines at the end of 2016 in a case against Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) when a jury awarded his client, Rafaelina Duval, $3.1 million in damages for wrongfully seizing her child. See:
In this interview with Tammi Stefano, McMillan explains how he makes his living by exclusively suing county and state agencies that are involved in child abuse investigations, and violate parents’ and children’s Constitutional rights by misrepresenting facts to the court, either when they remove the children from the home, or afterwards.
He states that he does his work reluctantly:
Because I make a business out of [this], that’s a bad thing. People like me should not be able to exist in a free society.
McMillan states that the handful of attorneys like him in California that make their living from suing CPS because they are violating the civil rights of children and parents are all busy, and that this is indicative of a very deep rooted problem. McMillan believes that the problems in CPS are symptomatic of problems in all government agencies:
Because they just have too much unchecked power, and nobody can do anything about it.
County Agencies in California Oppose McMillan’s Work
While there is always more work than McMillan’s firm can handle, he stated that some cases require a lot more effort than others, and he referenced Rafaelina Duval’s case that he had just finished at the end of 2016:
The county put a line in the sand, and they just said “we are not going to resolve this case, or any more cases [with you].”
It was a personal issue, which was fine with me. When I get into a fight, I am going to fight. And that’s why I am there…
So when they draw a line in the sand, and say “oh, no more,” that’s good. Because then we all know where we’re going and what we’re doing. There’s no more playing Mr. Nice Guy.
At one point in the interview McMillan admitted that when he first started his work, Orange County was not happy with what he was doing, and he had concerns that they would come after his kids. They actually had plans to quickly leave the country if the government came after his family. His children are older now, and he no longer has that fear.
“They’re Stealing Kids” – Corrupt Social Workers the Norm – Good Social Workers Don’t Last
When Stefano asks McMillan why he does this, why he is so passionate about it, McMillan states:
They’re stealing kids.
He goes on to state that he knows there are some good social workers out there who are truly needed, and are doing their best to look out for the interest of abused children.
But these are not the types of social workers he comes across in his practice. According to McMillan, the good social workers don’t last. The good ones only last a year or two, and McMillan said that when he deposes social workers in a lawsuit, he can usually tell within the first 20 minutes which ones are new and will be gone in a year or two, and which ones are “lifers” who will stay in the system long term, and he states that this later group is “rotten to the core.”
You can’t stay there and not be tainted. And those ones generally… I’ll get them. They don’t know – they don’t prepare well, and they don’t know what’s coming. And we’ll get them. We’ll lay little traps for them, and they’ll step right into them, and we’ll nail them.
CPS Agencies Inherently Corrupt
He explains why the system is difficult for good social workers to stay in the agencies:
What we have is a system that is inherently corrupt, in that the entire funding scheme, where all these county agencies… are funded by the same federal funding schemes. And those federal funding schemes are tied to the number of kids in the system… If they don’t take children [into custody], their agency dies.
Stefano asks McMillan:
Are children on a daily basis removed wrongly from their parents? Is it a daily activity of the agency?
In my view it is. And this jury (Duval case), and this part of the verdict was unanimous, all 12 jurors agreed that the County of Los Angeles, as a matter of custodian practice, regularly snatches children from their parents [illegally] without a warrant when there is no emergency. So, yeah, it happens every day!
(See: Medical Director of LA Child Welfare Testifies Under Oath That He Does Not Know the Law Regarding Seizure of Children which is a recorded deposition taken by Shawn McMillan in the Duval case.)
Watch the entire interview:
Medical Director of LA Child Welfare Testifies Under Oath That He Does Not Know the Law Regarding Seizure of Children
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