In Kentucky, a blank check for child snatching

“Kentucky social workers are failing to have courts properly scrutinize and approve the drastic step of taking some children from their homes, relying instead on blank removal orders with pre-signed judges’ signatures, which is illegal according to several attorneys and judges.” The practice, now ended following an investigation by local broadcaster WDRB, was rationalized by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services as a way to speed things up on evenings and weekends when family court judges are not sitting, although on-call judges are supposed to be available during those times to review removal orders. The practice raises grave due process concerns, since it means that judges had not (and perhaps would not have) signed off on removal orders after individualized review, and if need be questioning, of the underlying allegations. It also permits allegations to be filled in after a child is taken, perhaps tailored to whatever household conditions were or were not discovered during the seizure. “In addition, cabinet workers have allegedly called judges after hours and told them about the need to remove one child from a home, but then used multiple copies of pre-signed emergency custody orders to take more than one juvenile.” [Jason Riley, WDRB via Robby Soave, Reason]


  • What I find most amazing is that the judges have colluded in this. Surely signing blank removal orders is serious misconduct on their part.

    • Not amazing at all. Judges are supposed to be a check on overzealous cops, prosecutors, and other state agents. They have been consistently failing at this for decades,accepting the word of police that anonymous “trusted informers” provided information and failing to punish obvious perjuries when they are exposed. Far too many judges see themselves as being on part of the same team as law enforcement, with resulting decay of any meaningful oversight.

  • And let’s see how the Kentucky Supreme Court deals with the wayward judges here . . ..

    And what of the DCFS lawyers who bought into this nonsense . . . .

    and as for the instance where more than one kid was grabbed? Isn’t that kidnapping? Hmmm. Shouldn’t that be prosecuted.

    And if the sheriffs knew about this? Shouldn’t there be prosecutions too?

  • but they were doing it “for the children”…

  • Is it too cheeky to refer to this process as “robo-signing”?

    • Yes, unless the judge gave CPS an autopen with a master of his signature so they could put his signature on the blank forms themselves, in which case, robo-signing would be appropriately descriptive.

      • Maybe, but pre-printed signatures aren’t much different from robo-signing.