According to ruling by the Appeals Court on Thursday, the state of Texas should not have removed the more than 460 children it took from a polygamist sect’s ranch. In the ruling, the Lone Star State’s 3rd District Court of Appeals decided in favor of 38 women who had appealed the removals and the decision by a district judge that the children will remain in state custody.
“The existence of the FLDS belief system as described by the department’s witnesses, by itself, does not put children of FLDS parents in physical danger,” the appeals court panel said. The state’s Department of Family and Protective Services “did not present any evidence of danger to the physical health or safety of any male children or any female children who had not reached puberty,” the ruling went on to say.
“The legislature has required that there be evidence to support a finding that there is a danger to the physical health or safety of the children in question and that the need for protection is urgent and warrants immediate removal.”
“Evidence that children raised in this particular environment may someday have their physical health and safety threatened is not evidence that the danger is imminent enough to warrant invoking the extreme measure of immediate removal prior to full litigation of the issue.”
Stay tuned for what will follow in this potential child molestation case against the men in the polygamy sect.