Does CPS Have More Authority Than The Cops? Some Say Yes!

When the police show up at your door for whatever reason – whether it’s to interview you, arrest you, or simply break some bad news to you, they have rules and regulations they have to follow. Every police officer’s actions are managed by a code of conduct, and by the law. There are things they’re allowed to do and say, and things that they’re not allowed to do and say. But those rules and laws that regulate the cops don’t apply to CPS workers. That has led some to believe that CPS has more authority than the police. But is that true?

A close up of the light bar on the top of a police car. This article questions who has more authority - the cops or CPS.

In some ways yes – CPS can get away with more than the cops!

Under Michigan law, CPS workers have very different regulations about what constitutes “evidence” against a parent, and how they can go about collecting it.  That’s why the police are often very happy to step back and allow CPS to take over an investigation into a possible child abuse situation. Why? Because it’s a win-win for them – they have one less case to work on, and the situation can now be handled by someone who isn’t bound by the same legal constraints when it comes to collecting evidence. 

What are the differences in how cops and CPS workers handle cases?

For example, a CPS worker doesn’t have to Mirandize you before they speak to you (and try to get you to confess!) And the police have to worry about things like chain of custody when collecting evidence, while CPS doesn’t. Cops also need a warrant to search your home, while a CPS worker just needs you to invite them in! Why? Because the constitutional rights which protect you from things like illegal search and seizure, don’t apply to CPS. Another factor to consider is that CPS is not required to have a court order to remove a child from their home. They only have to claim that the child’s surroundings “are such as to endanger his or her health, morals, or welfare . . .”

But CPS doesn’t always have more power than the police…

CPS workers may sound like they can do and say whatever they want, but that isn’t the case, although they’d like you to believe that! For example, CPS workers can’t arrest you, can’t open a criminal investigation into your life, and can’t take retributive action against you besides petitioning the court to terminate your parental rights. They can’t send you to jail, and they can’t threaten you with imprisonment if you don’t follow their “orders”. However, that’s never stopped them threatening all of this and more when people don’t comply with their “orders”.

An experienced CPS defense attorney can make a huge difference to your case!

We can’t stress this enough – when a CPS worker shows up at your house unless they have a court order in their hand that they can show you, DO NOT let them in. Don’t talk to them, don’t answer their questions, don’t let them take your children, and don’t allow them into your home. They might threaten all kinds of things, but if they don’t have a signed order from a Judge, they can’t force you to do anything. So all you need to do is tell them to call your lawyer and give them our number. Then be sure to call 866 766 5245 and talk with one of our aggressive and helpful CPS defense attorneys. We’re standing by to help you defend your family and your parenting rights.