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Despite more than a decade of intended reform, the nation's foster care system is still overcrowded and rife with problems. But taxpayers are spending $22 billion a year - or $40,000 a child, on foster care programs.

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High-Ranking Officials in Tennessee Involved in Kidnapping Cover-Up

For Immediate Release

Tennessee Governor, Phil Bredesen attempted to deflect blame when he recently requested the resignation of Dept. of Children's Services Commissioner, Michael J. Miller, after contempt of court charges were levied against the state.

The fact that the state was out of compliance with a federal court order was brought to the governor's attention in early January, immediately after he took office, but the Governor refused to act and instead, turned over complaints to the commissioner's office, which also ignored the formal complaints.

However, in a Tennessean article, which ran on November 24, 2003 entitled "DCS problems took Bredesen by surprise," the governor went on the record stating his office wasn't notified about the problem until October of this year.

A petition to U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell states the evidence of contempt is "clear and convincing," citing a recent federal monitor's report showing that the department so far has complied with only 24 of 136 settlement provisions.

Documentation submitted to the governor, the former commissioner, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children and Families, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation by a family who's children were illegally removed by caseworkers proves that not only was the governor made aware of the fact that the state was in contempt of court, but this fact was covered up and ignored. This was after court records proved that caseworkers in Davidson County conspired to commit aggravated kidnapping.

DCS and juvenile court documents demonstrate that there has been a concerted and malicious effort on the part of high-ranking officials in Tennessee to cover up their illegal activities and to prevent the custodial parent from retrieving her children.

According to the children's mother, the state has known for over a year that multiple state and federal felonies have been committed in her case, and that officials at several levels have gone to extreme lengths to cover this up. Further, they have refused to press charges of any kind against the alleged perpetrators, despite mounting evidence.

"The state is well aware of what they did wrong, and have refused to acknowledge responsibility or try to correct their mistakes. They are holding my children hostage, because they know once I get them returned to my care, and they are safely out of the clutches of the kidnappers, they're facing another federal lawsuit. The state cannot afford justice in this case, and my children are the victims of their arrogance. None of this has been perpetrated by some faceless autonomy, but by elected judges, court-appointed attorneys, caseworkers and the lies go as high up as Governor Bredesen himself," said the children's mother, in a telephone interview from her home in Iowa.

The mother has asked that her identity remain confidential, because she fears for the safety of her children and expects retaliation.

Annette M. Hall,
Family Advocate
E-mail: Annette M. Hall

Posted: December 26, 2003


Reader Responses

In the article above you state:

"The state cannot afford justice in this case, and my children are the victims of their arrogance. None of this has been perpetrated by some faceless autonomy, but by elected judges, court-appointed attorneys, caseworkers..."

Ditto. I have urged Governor Ritter and Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado) to become active in my plight, with absolutely no response.

My story is a long one, and it entails another entity, the Weld County School District #6.

My free court appointed attorney quit three weeks before the D&N case. She pled that it was due to my lack of involvement, however, her and my emails prove differently. The case went forward despite my asking for a continuance (this same attorney requested a continuance a month before and was denied by Magistrate Tuttle). I told the judge no other attorney would touch the case, it was too difficult and there was not enough time they all said; and that my free court appointed attorney had never responded to my urging her to remain on the case.

Judge Lowenbach denied my request and the trial went forward. I never got to call any witnesses, have any previous knowledge of witnesses that were being called by the state, prepare, or be represented.

The state withheld all evidence of molestation from the previous custody trial that the molester lost, every shred. The Colorado state law practiced this day was a travesty like never seen before.

My two little girls were originally taken when the molester sent my youngest home with a broken arm (the molester won visitation to my youngest only, in the custody trial because of Judge Hartman's refusal to accept four-hours of testimony by this country's best therapists who said my girls were molested a lot). Before I realized her arm had a hairline fracture, the molester had duped Child Protective Services (CPS) and my children's grade school principal into thinking I had done it. The social worker and school principal extorted a confession from a six-year-old that her mommy had broken her arm before I, or the doctor who eventually cast it, were aware it was broken. After the doctor and I convinced social workers I did not break her arm, Social Services ordered a custom made psychological evaluation that said exactly what they wanted it to say.

It was no longer over a broken arm, it was about a psychiatric evaluation Weld county produced on me.

Weld county's custom psychiatric evaluation diagnosed a made up form of PTSD (not found in the recent DSM-IV) and illuded to Munchausen's by Proxy. I provided blood work that proved PTSD was not evident, and an additional (much better) neuropsych evaluation that strongly stated there was no evidence of depression. By illuding to and not officially diagnosing Munchausen's, a legal ploy was established and effectively exercised. Munchausen's was their chosen road to dispute my years of care for my youngest's years of asthma. My daughter was diagnosed with asthma at the age of two, when she was admitted to NCMC hospital for low blood oxygen. She had years of care by specialists for this condition. Munchausen's by Proxy is not defined in this manner, and was effectively abused by the courts.

There are so many Colorado state laws broken in my case that it is mind boggeling. The above details are a beginning to the very long and involved case I face. My community is stanced to remain apathetic to my plight despite significant exposure as I pass out flyers, speak with everyone possible, call in to radio news, report gag orders I've received to all newspapers in the area (including Denver), provide research into the subservience and abuse in my community, and rally as much support as I can.

You may gain further understanding at KathEase Tragedy and Comedy... I use humor to get through this instead of drugs or alcohol.

~Katherine Cherry

Posted: December 10, 2007


If you have had your children removed from your home due to false allegations or if you've been similarly treated unfairly by the courts where your children are concerned we need to hear from you. We want to tell the world the truth about how families are being torn apart in this country.

I'd like to share my story!