Removal From Home

Michigan Emergency Removal of Children
from Home

Michigan Child Protective
Services Defense Lawyers

There are two circumstances where the state of Michigan can take custody of a child:

Taking kids with a court order

The first involves a written order from the court that allows a child to be taken into custody if there are “reasonable grounds to believe that conditions or surroundings under which the child is found are such as would endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the child and that remaining in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child.” This language comes from Michigan Court Rule 3.963(B). In this first scenario, the person taking the child into protective custody can be a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker, an officer, or another person deemed suitable by the court. For purposes of this court rule, “officer” means a governmental official with the power to arrest or any other person designated and directed by the court to apprehend, detain, or place a minor. Usually, this type of taking custody follows allegations of neglect or abuse and an investigation by CPS.

Taking kids without a court order

The second circumstance where the state of Michigan can take custody of a child is when there is no prior written court order. This emergency removal process is governed by Michigan Court Rule 3.963(A) and Michigan Compiled Law 712A.14. In general, this can occur only if the investigating officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the health, safety, or welfare of the child is endangered. However, if taking custody of the child involves a warrantless entry into the child’s home, there must also be “exigent circumstances” that allow for this warrantless entry. The reason for this is that the United States Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. Though the term “exigent circumstances” is not defined in the court rule, there are many court cases—such as O’Donnell v. Brown—that have helped define this term. Essentially, there must be immediate real and serious consequences that would occur if the officer were to wait to get a warrant. There are no exigent circumstances when there is no evidence that indicates the child is in immediate threat of death or severe physical harm.

Once the officer removes the child without a written order, the officer will then contact the court to notify the court of what occurred. If the court is not open at the time a child is taken into custody, the officer must contact a designated on-duty person at the court for instructions regarding placement of the child pending a hearing. The on-duty court official may then give permission to temporarily place the child or children at a location pending a preliminary hearing. Temporary placement can include a shelter or foster care. The preliminary hearing must take place immediately or within 24 business hours from the child being taken into protective custody. The officer must attempt to notify the child’s parents, guardians, or legal custodians that the removal occurred, that the hearing is taking place, and that they have a right to attend such a hearing.

Your CPS defense lawyers

As you would expect, the emergency removal process goes quickly. Before a parent knows it, they may be knee-deep in a Child Abuse or Child Neglect case. They may be fighting against CPS and prosecutors to show that they are good parents and that they provide adequate care for their kids. The first thing to do when faced with such a situation is to contact an experienced Child Protective Services defense lawyer who deals with CPS daily and knows the ins and outs of cases like yours. We will fight to reunite you with your children and to protect you from the intrusions of CPS workers, police, and prosecutors.

Contact the attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright today if you are dealing with Children’s Protective Services: 1 (866) 7-NoJail.

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