NOTES ON DOMESTIC CASE
Selby Home Destroyed by Enemy
Why did the state REALLY take our children?
As you read the following story you may find yourself asking the same question about this case, as we the parents have wondered- "is there another (disguised) reason that the state, and judges (really) took our children"? and/or, like our attorney's have wondered (because), there is NO way that the evidence that the state did use, and presented, rises to the threshold of the required proof- that of being "clear and convincing".
It is true that I, and my previous wife, love children, and I admit that I enjoy playing with children. It is also true that we believe in spanking our children and that we wanted to, and had started to homeschool our children- but not because (as the state says) we were "hiding" something. However, to be falsely accused of even perverted things, as the state has, is incomprehensible to me, totally contrary to my nature and beliefs and makes no sense whatsoever...There is no way our children were abused in any way, malnourished or over-disciplined! We dearly loved and cared for our children and these accusations must have been fabricated by the state for other reasons.
After what we have gone through we are now rather convinced, based on a certain disclosures, that the allegations the state used, and the REAL reason they and the court found us guilty are two entirely different things- and that the reasons (excuses) they used to take our children away were actually a cover-up for their real reasons- (which real reasons would not have been constitutional grounds or given them the right to deprive us of our children and our children of their parents).
For one, on more than one occasion during the trial in juvenile court (under Judge Susan Melton) the state brought up my website and asked many questions regarding my views on government!.. and what does that have to do with their allegations of abuse? For two, At the end of the appeal trial in circuit court (Judge Royce Taylor) upon rendering his decision, he surprisingly produced a personal letter I had written my wife and (only) asked questions from it- and only regarding my warnings to her about the "system" and the end-time antichrist government etc., that I feel is rapidly approaching- . Again I ask, what is the relevance of that to their allegations, and what bearing should that have on his decision? Unless, as we now firmly suspect, that my religious beliefs ARE their genuine concerns, (that they think that I am some kind a cult and would influence and/or was influencing my children accordingly- (however they could not legally remove our children because of our beliefs, but would have to fabricate other allegations instead- as they did). And further, what does the following reveal as to the state's real motives for taking our children:? My, now ex-wife, Maria, had been visiting the children regularly for over three years during these proceedings, (I have not been allowed to visit them once since the state's abduction), and she was suddenly denied ANY further visits for ONLY the following 2 reasons: 1) They accused her of mentioning their father (me) to our children, and 2) the other reason was because she talked to them about JESUS!
Background of Case
I first met Maria (Knepper) when she was a young girl in the summer of 1974 when I moved to Fulton County Pa from the Philadelphia area with my then wife Bernadette (Albertinas/Olfano) Selby and our first born Christina being about 2years old at the time. Bernadette and I had purchased some property there and I was building us a home- the kneppers were our closest neighbor having a farm nearby. We only lived there a couple years during which time our second child Angelyn was born, but soon Bernadette became discontented and wanted to return to the Philadelphia area- which was very disappointing to me- so we split up temporarily- she returned to Philadelphia and I took a trip to Israel. Without getting into the details of that marriage, suffice it to say we had two more children by that marriage, Nathaniel and Joseph and finally divorced around 1987. On a visitation with my children we went out to Fulton County to visit and show Angie where she was born and visited the Kneppers and soon after Maria and I began dating. (About 13 years later- Maria was about 22 then). Our first of four, Jedidiah, was born in 89, Obadiah in 93, Abigail in 95, and Christian in 97. We moved to TN in the early 90's, purchased some property on a mountain above Spring City and built a cabin. After the cabin burned we moved several times, including back to Pa for a while and finally to the Woodbury TN area. (see overall biography pg16) We were doing pretty well there, going to a conservative home church, started home-schooling our children, though Jedidiah had been enrolled in a public school for a while, and I was working putting in electrical at a neighbors greenhouse. We were essentially Mennonite and 'home' everything, it seemed, was pretty much the way to go- for example, Christiana was born at home in Dayton TN before we moved to Woodbury.
This case started in early 2000. Abigail (about 4 at the time), had been feeling sick- abdominal pains and some fever. Maria came over with the children to where I was working concerned about Abigail. I made inquiry with the family (Warner's) than I was working for and they suggested some home-remedies and a woman that could probably help her- feeling pretty sure it was a common urinary tract infection, (I wish to God I would have listened to that advice!) (but being naïve of the system and having no fear- it never even crossing my mind that I would be accused of anything!) I told Maria just to take her to the clinic in town to confirm it and get some antibiotics to treat it. Towards evening I had heard nothing from them and was getting concerned what was delaying their return. The nurse confirmed the illness as to what we had felt as well- But according to Maria (fact of the matter- she has mental issues) the nurse said this type of sickness is caused by 'bubble baths and the like- or 'sexual abuse' (we later found out that is not even close to all the causes) but Maria said- "well we don;t use bubble baths- so it must be the other", which brought about the DCS's whole fabricated case. (Dates subject to ere-This background added 4-21-13)
Normally in a case of alleged sexual abuse or neglect, if there is GENUINE evidence- would automatically been handled criminally as well as in the juvenile court, however, in this case there is/was NO physical evidence of abuse, and the only (supposed) witnesses of alleged abuse are the inconsistent statements of my mildly impaired, and now- confused and traumatized (4) young children, , made, (according to DCS) AFTER- they were taken into custody and continually interrogated, with suggestive and leading questions, by the authorities and their psychologists/therapists etc.-
Further, according to the DCS, the children have been abused by approximately 10 different people- and we the parents supposedly allowed it!( however, that allegation should have been to our favor and caused the court question the DCS"s techniques and the reliability of what they "say" the children have said, but of course they didn't see it that way- for they manage to twist everything against you some how.
Therefore the case remained in juvenile court for 2 1/2 years and then another year in circuit court on appeal, relative to the custody of the children. The reason the children have been in state's custody so long without resolution, is that the "adjudicatory" hearing (that is supposed to be conducted within the first 30 days or so of when the state removes children), didn't happen initially because the parents were told that if they would go along with a simple "Permanency plan" they would soon get their children back. However, after a year and a half the court finally realized that the parents never did agree, understand, or sign the "Agreed consent order" (admitting their guilt) and so that order was vacated, and now finally, an elongated adjudicatory hearing is in progress, (meanwhile the children are languishing in foster care and the parents are beyond description in heartbreak and distress).
2/4/02 The following pertains to the incident that brought our household to the states' (octopus') attention:
If they (or the judge) would just honestly ask themselves this simple question, the only logical answer would/should be/have been enough to dismiss the allegations-
Why did I take Abigail to Doctor Nelson?
My initial reaction when this happened is probably what any reasonable person would have done in that situation- You take your sick child to a doctor (or nurse in this case) for an exam, and youíre suddenly accused of abuse- well of course your offended beyond measure, and outraged-and you know itís a false accusation, that the nurse is wrong about her allegations- so what would any normal person do?
Obviously- you would immediately want to take your child to another doctor to prove those suspicions are unfounded- (which you know they are, so you are anxious to do so)- not just to clear yourself but also to be sure the child gets proper treatment as well! (Am I missing something here?)
Did I do something irrational that I and my family should be suffering so? And wouldnít you also think, that when you returned from the second doctor, (a specialist),with what you knew would be NO indication or evidence of what the first had accused- that that would have been the end of it- and with an apology from those making such accusations?
Imagine my astonishment, when I returned with those results from Dr.Nelsonís- ("NO indication of abuse of any nature") that they *(Dept.of Children's Services) didnít even care! And in fact- just the opposite- made me fear they were now going to come and traumatically remove all my deeply bonded, sensitive, innocent children from their home!-*(Because I had not stayed away and instead taken my daughter to another doctor)
Did I then, after realizing that, react irrationally! Would not any parent have reacted the same way? And think these people are crazy! And immediately flee with their children? And now, after two years, I am not at all ceased to be amazed at what they have and are still putting us through and still pursuing this. May God please soon grant some relief.
*Texts in italics for clarification not in original email.
Note: When I felt the state (of TN) was going to come and take my children I fled to Pa, and shortly thereafter, while visiting my in-laws there, the state discovered our whereabouts, and while I was away working came and traumatically abducted our four young children from their grandparents home and returned them to TN where they have been in foster care ever since for over 3 years.
This date I had occasion for some business at the Woodbury Court House. Upon entering the building I caught a brief glance of a child being shuffled quickly into a room, and I thought- could it be one of my children? I finished my business, and out of curiosity and sensing something, took a walk about the building. It further happened that my attorney was also at the court house on other business and approached me outside. I asked him if my children were here and he informed me that indeed they were- and that the authorities from social services were very upset that I was there. He advised that it would be best if I left, and not wanting to create any problem, I went and sat in my vehicle on an adjacent street- but within eyesight of the court house... I felt, "if I could just see them from a distance- for the first time in over two years"!
But even that was not to be allowed. An officer soon approached and threatened that if I did not leave immediately he would arrest me for harassment, and even though I tried to explain that I would remain in my car, and just wanted to see them for the first time in so long...
but no, even that was too much consideration to be hoped for or expected (in this "Free country"?).
Saw a mini-van on the way home like the one we had as a family. a maroon Dodge caravan... and the pain has fallen so hard upon me once again. Oh how I loved those four babies, and how they loved me. and they think I abandoned them, and what can I do, it hurts so bad, that family torn out from under us, so unexpectedly, and I know they're out there somewhere, and I can't see them, or hold them, or talk to them, when I came home they would always drop whatever and come running out to me, calling- "My Daddy,my Daddy!" and now, after 2 years the pain is still unbearable., Surely this has got to be one of the most severe pains one can suffer, and where is the medicine, and even if they are returned, nothing can repair the damage or replace those precious years lost.
I wish the state knew they were wrong, oh God please hear my cry, and let me hold our babies again.
When you boil it all down and the smoke clears
all you have left for the state's evidence is one thing-
what "they" say the children have said.
And these statements are obviously flawed, ambiguous and inconsistent.
To deprive these children of their Father, and a man of his home and family, and effectively- his life, based on that-
would be nothing less than an absolute travesty of justice.
On Friday, June 7, 2002, Judge Susan Melton, for the Juvenile Court of Cannon County Tennessee, (after 2 1/2 yrs. waiting for the "adjudicatory" hearing), found the parents, Jonathan and Maria Selby, (jointly): "guilty child abuse" and retained their children in foster care pending appeal in circuit court.
It's all so preposterous! To say their evidence meets the criteria required of "Clear" is to say our children SPEAK CLEAR, and unfortunately they simply DO NOT (or this whole thing would have never even happened to begin with), and if their speech is NOT "Clear", and it is not, how can it either meet the law's criteria of "Convincing"?
Nevertheless, it seems the only parental right I have left is the right to continue to fight for my rights- and that they want me to pay for or lose as well! Here are my tax returns for the past 3 years so the court can determine the amount of ransom payments they will demand. (Which they call "child support- for our children that we do not have, nor may never have again (God forbid))-
Can such a cruel injustice happen in America? I pray this is disguised persecution because of my faith, for this ongoing heartache is as unbearable as day one of this tragedy, and otherwise what would be the value this suffering? and to even forbid the grand parents to see the children?! This can only be coming from evil effected people who would have likewise crucified Christ and easily aligned themselves with Hitler as well.
In October, 2002, my adult daughter Angelyn's children were likewise abducted by the DSS system in North Carolina. She had wanted to give the children interimly into the custody of their natural Grand Father, Jonathan Selby, However this was not granted due to the poison from Bernadette (Angelyn's Mother) (Jonathan's previous wife to the one in this case) which now came into this situation as well,
She has finally admitted to Angelyn that these lies of abuse were totally blatant lies that she vindictively had fabricated to separate me from my children (and this was likewise the same poison that she had spread to my present (most recent) marriage with Maria and that contributed to the decision in that case which has destroyed my recent home and life with those children.
These proceedings are set for appeal in mid February 2003 in the Cannon County TN under another judge.(see latest update)
Thursday, Dec. 12,2002
Just a few things I thought I would tell you about.
I guess you heard that my daughter Angelyn and husband Cliff were arrested (alleged drug charges) and the DSS took custody of their 3 children?
Last week the court gave the 2 two older children to that mountain man from TN! Michael Blevins who now lives in Alabama and he went there with them. And Bernadette got the youngest and went to virgina. You see how North Carolina is very concerned to put children with family, friends or church people right away- but TN couldn't care less what they do the children!
They would have let me have temporary custody of the children until Bernadette (Angies's mother) heard about what had happened and told DSS about the Tennessee case.
Angie was very upset about that and confronted Bernadette about this whole matter (and according to Angie) Bernadette Finally CONFESSED to Angie that she had totally made up all those lies about me ever abusing them. Even that she had lied to all of her children, and to Maria as well. This is also the reason Angie wrote me that letter that Maria heard about and things that Angie said to Maria when this all happened- that caused the suspicions that (may have) caused DSS pursue this to begin with.
There is no doubt in my mind that all of this heartache and trouble has (probably) resulted from the influence of this ONE very evil and vindictive woman.
Please pray that she would be convicted under the power of God to come clean about all these lies and repent to the point of even coming to court (in TN)and confessing all this.
I'm sure it could make a big difference.
I pray you are all well,
Please write and let me know,
PS: Have a blessed Christmas
Thursday, March 27, 2003
It was good to hear from you after so long, and after what the system has done to me and my family, even Angie, it shouldn't surprise me what they've done unwarrantedly against you. I think there are a few factors as to why we receive unusual punishment. one is because being "chosen vessels" we can not expect to get away with, or not make our Father more angry, and not be more severely chastised for our failures than others, and be held more accountable based on our knowledge, illumination and amount of faith bestowed upon us, and as it is also our plight as teachers that we desired and volunteered to be. Besides all this, we know that the trying of our faith worketh patience. After realizing your greater fervency and strengthened spiritual relationship now, during your chastisement, I now see how you further challenged God to do this to you by Him foreknowing that is what He could/needed to do, to restore the love relationship he pitifully desired with you. And further it stands as a warning to me to have that relationship with Him without putting Him in that same or similar position.
Regarding the restoration of my children, I would like you to again (prayerfully) consider the help that your children and wife could be accordingly in early June. I have few witnesses in my defense, especially any children that have been in a home environment with me, except for the Kilmers who (as friends and not family) I can not impose upon or expect to come such a distance and with the extent of commitments they are involved with having such a large family.
Your points are granted, that 1) We call upon the Father (who we DO KNOW by His manifestation in Jesus), and that we have three auspices of appeal to God interacting on our behalf. 2) I like your: "Living simply so others may simply live" makes total sense to me! Thank you for your continued agreement with me on this subject- ("Covetousness") and the acceptance of this teaching (so much that it makes me feel like its a mystery to the church!) is getting MORE difficult! and what does that tell you about the direction of the church, when even the few bastions of separation, like the Mennonites, are going headlong in the same direction?! Again putting God in the position that He has no choice other than chastisement/judgment and/or persecution to bring His people into the relationship He desires with Him.
Regarding the Sabbath, I think its a fine idea to do such, within the context
and admonition of our dear brother Paul, in Romans 14. (who we know has the
Spirit of God),
Pertaining to the affairs of Caesar's system, they are of course blind and such is their purpose, however, as believers, I think we should have NO part in the injustice and bloodshed they are called to perform under the old testament jurisdiction, to which we have been freed from. And worse, oft times we become likewise the victims of their obvious blindness to the grace and compassionate nature of our Savior and His Spirit that now dwells in us who are truly saved.
May our Lord continue to uphold you in such an unfair prolonged time of testing and growth, that upon completion will no doubt produce a fruit sufficient to sustain you for the balance of your physical life.
With much love,
Your brother forever,
June 2003, Circuit court judge Royce Taylor of Cannon County (said he agreed with the juvenile court judge) and found Maria and I both guilty of child abuse and retained our children in foster care, as the state pursues termination of our parental rights and our attorneys prepare an appeal to the TN state appeals court in Nashville. There are several major procedural errors which we are hoping will overturn the states case on this next appeal. One is that the judge wrongfully admitted into evidence the hearsay statements of our oldest child, Jedidiah, which when a child is over 13 years old they are NOT permitted to do according to law, (for any of his testimony must be live, if either side would choose to call him to testify. For two, the judge referred upon rendering his verdict to the preceding decision made in juvenile court, which is also contrary to law in that the later hearing was a "nova-contende" (new- as if the previous had not occurred at all), and at least a third more major error was that the judge allowed argument that certain of the children's activities occurring after the state took custody was evidence that something must have occurred in the home prior to the children's removal, and in fact said that those actions after removal "weighed the most heavy" in his decision of the parents guilt, whereas in a preceding supreme court ruling, it was ruled essentially that post-removal behaviors are NOT admissible for they can not be separated from "post-traumatic stress" reactions such as the removal itself would cause.
On August 27, in the Juvenile Court of Cannon County, the state has scheduled a hearing to "Terminate" our parental rights based on the recent guilty decision of child abuse, (in spite of the fact that there is an appeal pending in the Tennessee Supreme Court regarding the legitimacy of that decision).
To make matters worse, coming up on this most critical hearing, (though our financial situation as a result of the states' actions has only gotten worse than it was out the outset of this over three years ago), Ms.Susan Melton, the juvenile judge, has suddenly denied our previously court appointed attorneys, leaving us without any representation in what is probably the most important trial thus far- possibly determining IF WE WILL EVER SEE OUR CHILDREN AGAIN!
On this date in the Juvenile court of Cannon County TN., at Woodbury, Judge Susan Melton agreed with the TN state DCS (Attorney Mark Tribble) and guardian ad-litem, Dale Peterson (who was supposed to be defending the children but all along only acted as co-council for the state), that Jonathan and Maria had abused their children and terminated all their parental rights.
Maria did not bother to appear (in that the verdict was foregone anyway based on the obvious predisposition of the judge), however Jonathan did testify in his own behalf that he "NEVER VIOLATED HIS CHILDREN IN ANY WAY", that it was a travesty of justice to deprive these children of their parents and parents of their natural children based only on the unclear ambiguous hearsay statements of his impaired children (made only since they've been in custody and manipulated by the state for over 3 years). He further stated that the state had "Destroyed his life" and "taken away his reasons for living".
Jonathan intends to appeal this decision (to terminate his rights) based on (1) the pending appeal of the adjudacatory hearing upon which this decision was largely based, (2) not being advised that his prior appointed attorney (Keith Siskin) had been recently discharged by Judge Melton, nor (3) had Mr.Selby been advised of his rights (regardless) to have an attorney at this later hearing, and (4 ) that the reasons he could not perform the DCS "Permanancy Plan" for the "Return of the children to the parents" was that he would have to admit he abused the children which he has steadfastly denied.
Comment on Attorneys for the State
The attorney for the state (TN DCS: Dept of Children's Service) Mark Tribble, I believe was sincere- however, sincerely WRONG, but nevertheless tried to present his case (against us the parents) with relative objectivity. However, the guardian ad-litem, Dale Peterson, (who is "supposed" to be representing the children), I hate to say it, was nothing more than a babbling-blow hard, who only tried to assist the state in prosecuting the parents. The problem is that his position, from my understanding, is that that is NOT his job with such an appointment, and he was to instead try to remain essentially neutral and be concerned with what the children felt, actually experienced, or wanted- (and NOT to be instead ONLY a CO-prosecutor for the state).
To my knowledge, though paid well for his services, he never took the time, especially any quality time, to personally one on one, sit down with his clients individually, (our dearly loved children) and try to get to know them, understand for himself what may or may not have happened to them, and to get a grasp of what their desires might be in all of this, (and then defend their interests accordingly- and not his own opinion on the case).
Instead he appears to have only and simply jumped on the bandwagon of the erroneous assumptions of the state from the outset and then throughout the entire over 3 year period that this was drawn out, cared only to harangue the parents based on his own unfounded conclusions. This was indeed a great injustice to not only us the parents but to the children he was "supposed" to be representing, and that have now probably lost the parents they love forever.
Pursuant to a motion filed by Jonathan in the TN Supreme court, the Cannon County Court was ordered to review their (previously declined) indigency status of the Selbys, and having been thereby called into account by the higher court's scrutiny, Judge Susan Melton, this date, reappointed the Selby's attorneys.
Subject: "Welcome Back!"
Please consider the following issues regarding our appeal, thank you
1) The deprivation of the rights of a US citizen that they suffer actual punishment at the hands of the state (Be it the result of criminal or "Civil" actions)- even the deprivation of their basic liberty, (the fundamental enjoyment of their home and family, essential reasons and motivation for living) Without the Benefit of a Jury.
2) The state (including DCS) requiring a defendant, and US citizen, to perform any actions based on a "presumption of guilt" (especially before any court has made such a verdict) in order for the defendant to maintain a fundamental right (Such as to having their children) as the state admittedly required with their "Permanency Plan".
3) I have no knowledge of, nor find any documentation in the transcript that we were Advised of our rights to council at the termination hearing.
4) Further, I feel we were forced to proceed in the Termination (of our Parental rights) hearing without council WRONGFULLY, especially in that the circumstances, (after review by court order of the appellate court), were found to be essentially the same as previously in June when we were denied rights to appointed council.
Subject: "John Stoll Case"
"I can remember the last time I was with my son," said Stoll, "I can remember him telling me 'I love you daddy'
This case was JUST overturned and has drawn a lot of (hopefully timely) awareness about interviewing techniques regarding children and their testimonies etc. I heard a really good report about this on CNN just a couple of nights ago that sounded so much like issues in ours! I will keep you posted on anything new I see- but i think you would find this site interesting regarding this- and I'm sure there will be more soon- and I sure hope some of the appellate court judges hear about this as well: http://users.erols.com/mpeters5/kstoll1.htm
The Appeal in the TN State Appellate Court was held Sept. 9, 2004
Another valiant effort was made in this continued struggle on the above date. The state's attorney's brief was too disturbing, and depressing for me to persevere reading, and I wish there was someway to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the truth to any and all concerned.
Could you imagine how you would feel if you were innocent- hearing ugly things said about you? Is there anyone that that would not be devastating to? and this pain to be resurrected so often and inescapably. and, to imagine that some have even been imprisoned as well for crimes they never committed?
What ever happened to the concept of it being better for a number guilty to go free, than for one innocent to suffer wrongfully? I surely understand that philosophy.
And that is not to say that there are not things I'm am guilty of, however, that does not soothe being falsely accused. Both of our attorneys did a good job, but I did not get a good feeling from the judges based on the questions they asked that they were leaning our way. I appreciate my attorney's methodical presentation (Mine and my ex-wife's attorneys had just 15 timed minutes in which to present their oral arguments) and yet there was something so flowing in my ex-wife's attorney's manner (A woman attorney).You know, the formation of words, in one way can be like a fine tuned efficient running machine (or not) and they can be like a flowing brook, of poetry (or not). There something about the way she would be humming along- then the judge would just jam a monkey wrench into the gears, her motor would sputter just a little, she'd pull the wrench out and fire right back up to speed without hardly a missing beat?! (man- I wish I could have heard their presentations with out those abrupt interruptions- but I guess that's the nature of those hearings).
But will it make a difference remains to be seen...
Try answering the following question- "generically" that is aside from this case: (Answer this philosophically NOT relative to ANY particular case) and before reading down to my answer:
Is it possible to have (sufficient) "Clear and convincing" evidence- of something which in FACT never occurred?
(yes or no first please?)
I think the answer should obviously be: "NO" however, If the answer is "NO" then it leaves me without excuse for those who have perpetuated this.
But maybe the correct answer is "Yes"? If there is enough circumstantial evidence, and you add to this, confusion, distortions, exaggerations, out of context statements, and predisposition etc.?
Now take this case...Here's how it boils down: You have a case built almost exclusively on the verbal testimony of a Mother and children who:
1) Do not understand questions correctly, and
2) Can not express themselves clearly.
Then you add to this the translations and interpretations of those hearing it, add to that the "whisper down the lane" syndrome, and you end up with a runaway train of not actually "clear and convincing evidence"- but "confusing and concocted evidence" but yet sufficient to destroy a man's life!
Further, these 2 points were brought forward: 1) About the state not rendering us appropriate services (for reunification of the home) which seemed in the one of the appellate judge's opinion to be "moot" because the state finally decided I was guilty- That's like saying, "yeah we do have this standard (procedure) of "innocent until proven guilty", but he turned out to be guilty so it doesn't make any difference how we handled them/him".
Well- just throw the principal out the window then! why have it at all? Are they saying its like in a civil case where if there's no monetary loss then therefore no harm or contest? This is a little bit different and grave of a situation (not?
Same with our final argument- that the original petition for removal of the children was signed by a DSS case worker and NOT by an attorney as legally mandated, We have these procedures and guidelines in place for a reason- that fairness and justice prevails- and if these can be so easily discarded, considered insignificant and/or unnecessary- then we might as well throw the whole constitution out the window with them!
Who knows that God's grace and power might not still intervene and turn this around for a great day of rejoicing for us.
The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court (except that the termination of parental rights was dismissed pending the outcome of their decision and then to be retried with rights to council this time) which unfortunately turns out that the appeallate upheld the previous decisions.
The Mother, Maria Selby, in early 2005, voluntarily gave up her parental rights, and currently the Father is asking appeal to the TN supreme court which their granting of seems to be the last hope and a remote possibility.
Permission to Appeal
This is pretty much the last chance. If some federal question were involved, it might be possible to involve the federal courts, but in a state custody case, I doubt that is an option. Pray that the TN Supreme Court can look past the shocking allegations, and consider the legal issues. However it is very rare for that Court to accept an appeal of a custody/abuse case.
This may be the absolute last option for whatever venues that may be available. Maybe the terri shivo has even opened some new precedences or recourses? The State has 15 days to file a response.
Considerations: Iam uncertain what constitutes a "Federal question" however it would seem that an issue regarding a constitutionally guaranteed right- such as to be secure in our homes against unreasonable search or seizures, the right to life land liberty (without intrusion) or something should apply. nevertheless, something that strikes me to my limited knowledge as a more likely federal issue relates to the first question of our petition to appeal. and that is if a matter involves multiple states or goes across state lines. You might remember that we had a home in Pennsylvania 2 years preceding this and I had come back down to TN for several months to retrieve Maria (who had attempted to join a cult in Etowah) when this happened, after which I fled back to Pa with the children. My point is, and it would seem to me, that if we are correct (that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in this cause to begin with) that likewise the custody order- which permitted them to remove the children from another state (Pa.) was likewise invalid and therefore a violation of states rights or protocol, as well as our right to be secure with out family once back in Pennsylvania. Further, for the children to be removed from Pa. without any opportunity for judicial process, review or intervention from the state of Pennsylvania- especially stemming from an affidavit signed only by a social worker- seems horrendous to me and likewise a Fed matter and of state's sovereignty as well. Im not sure, but i assume that states have more or less only a "courtesy" based reciprocal agreement regarding these custody matters where there is an presumed/assumption of validity on the part of a state releasing children to another, But when it could be argued, as with our case, that the order was found faulty in its essence to begin with, that other recourse should be available- You might also remember that children were physically removed from their natural grandparents home in Fulton county Pa. where they have been lifetime citizens of for generations, and where Jedidiah had lived in that same home for the first 2 years of his life.
The TN Supreme court refused to hear our appeal, so the trial court of Woodbury was free to conduct the termination hearing of my parental rights (Jonathan Selby, Father of the children) The Mother, Maria, had voluntarily surrendered her parental rights some time previously, with a promise, to her understanding, that if she did that the state would release her information to the children when they become 18 that she might see them again.
A termination hearing was scheduled for 12/20/05 but was continued one week due to a motion on the fathers part for a trial by jury that he had requested at the outset and never received, but at the hearing of 12/27/05 that motion was denied and the hearing proceeded. After almost exactly 6 years of fighting for the return of the children, all the fathers rights were terminated on that date. Further, our attorney feels also that there are no grounds for appeal remaining and that this is therefore the 'end of the road for me ever seeing those children again, however hope remains that at least when they become of age there might be some reconciliation with them.
Needless to say this was a horrendous travesty of justice, for these parents lost all rights to their children based entirely on the interpreted hearsay testimony of the very young mentally and/or speech impaired children and similarly and uncredible varying testimony of the mother.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE RETURN OF THESE CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS
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"Out of Control" by Brenda Scott "Who's watching our child protective agencies?"
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