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What to do if Social Services* Comes to Your Door


*Department of Social Services or DSS. This also includes the Childrens Services Department and Childrens Protective Services (Secret Police).


Demand a copy of the search warrant.

You do not have to speak with a Government Agent - meaning a DSS agent or a police officer - or allow them to enter your home without a search warrant! If a DSS agent comes to your door to check out your home, particularly if she comes with a gun toting policeman, you will be tempted to panic. Don't. They cannot come in without a warrant. Remain calm. Say something like:

I understand your concerns and I'm happy to cooperate. May I see your search warrant please?

The police officer or the DSS agent may try to tell you that a search warrant isn't required. Wrong. It IS required. However, if you give voluntary consent for them to enter, you have lost the right to appeal the issue, so object for the record.

The agent might tell you have to allow her into your home, by saying, "I'm required by law to come into your home to investigate." In fact, they may DEMAND to come in. If there is a policeman with a gun, and he is going to use it, let them in, but again state your protest for the record, so you can challenge it later in court. If it is only a DSS agent(s), without a policeman with a gun, tell them they may not come in without a warrant.

The only exception to that rule is if the policeman (not the DSS agent) sees a crime going on, or has probable cause to believe that there are "exigent circumstances", meaning that they know some serious crime has occurred inside. They will often say that there is an 'emergency' to get around the warrant requirement. However, there rarely is. They are usually trying to illegally break in to your house because your cranky old biddy of a neighbor complained to DSS, or, more likely, your child's government school teacher saw a bruise that the kid got from falling off his bike. That is NOT an emergency.

Also, do not answer any questions without seeing the search warrant and making sure it is real. Don't even answer simple questions such as your date of birth, name, number of children, etc.

Courts are finally starting to back up parents who demand a warrant.

The 9th Circuit Court (the Federal Appeals Court for the western states) recently ruled:

Any government official can be held to know that their office does not give them an unrestricted right to enter peoples' homes at will. [It is] settled constitutional law that ... police could not enter a dwelling without a warrant even under statutory authority where probable cause existed. The principle that government officials cannot coerce entry into people's houses without a search warrant ... is so well established that any reasonable officer would know it.…appellants' claim, that "a search warrant is not required for home investigatory visits by social workers," is simply not the law. [N]owhere is the protective force of the fourth amendment more powerful than it is when the sanctity of the home is involved. … Therefore, we have been adamant in our demand that absent exigent circumstances a warrant will be required before a person's home is invaded by the authorities."

-- Calabretta v Floyd, 189 F.3d 808 (9th Cir. 1999)

In the Calabretta case, a social worker and police officer coerced entry into the Calabretta home by threatening to break the door down. Even though the mother ultimately opened the door and allowed them to enter, she was unlawfully coerced. Thus, the DSS agents were held personally liable. You can find this case on the web at

This is welcome news. The issue has not been fully tested in the Commonwealth, but there is one case that supports a ban on entry without a warrant, called: Parents of Two Minors v. Bristol Division of the Juvenile Court Department, 397 Mass. 846 (1986). You can find this case on the web at This case stated that a Juvenile Court cannot order a warrantless entry into a home. It means that the DSS can't even obtain a warrant from a Juvenile Court, so that is pretty good protection. However, the Court did not make it clear that the State Constitution would never permit such a thing, and in typical statist fashion, said that the legislature could pass such a law going around the Constitution.

Despite this case, it doesn't mean that the DSS agents won't try to convince you to allow them in. Right now, you do not have to. It also doesn't stop a Probate and Family Court from ordering entry, since the case didn't decide that issue.

We need to return to a strong respect for the privacy of the home. The old saying was: "Every man's house is his castle; and even though the winds of heaven may blow through it, the King may not enter." For now, neither the King nor the DSS may enter, without a warrant. Stick to your position unless they stick a gun in your snoot.

Do not even allow the agent to peer inside of your home or view your children.

If this happens to your, your children will likely come to the door to see what the excitement is all about. Shoo them away to their rooms quickly. The DSS goon will often try to talk to them, going around your authority, or to see them to see if they are hurt or abused. Do not open the door enough for that, and do not let them look around.

If they do get past you and come inside, they will try to get the children alone, to obtain "disclosures" from them. Do not let this happen. Insist that the children stay with you, and all stay together. It will mess up their plan, which is based on a 'divide and conquer' strategy. Only if they can break the children off from you, can they coerce the children, and then lie about what they said while you were not able to listen. That is their plan - don't let them do it.


You have the right to remain silent.

If you choose not to remain silent, each and every word spoken by you will be used against you. Police, courts, and social workers operate on information. If they don't have any information, they can't interfere in your life. The Constitution prohibits the government from obtaining information from individual citizens, and prohibits the government from withholding information from the public. These prohibitions lie at the heart of the Bill of Rights. The wall protecting private information and guaranteeing public information cannot be breached except by specific legal means that are themselves subject to public review.

But, but, but . . .

Private information (like your name, your address, the names of your children, their ages, their school records) cannot be obtained without a subpoena or a search warrant. This information is protected by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and Article XIV of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which is the first part of the Massachusetts Constitution.

But they get it anyway! How can they do that?

They just do. But there's more . . . Public information (like court records, caseworker records, the names of accusing witnesses) cannot be withheld unless the government can show that the secrecy of the information is more important than the danger of government misconduct. This right of the public to watch what the courts are doing is guaranteed by the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments.

But juvenile courts are closed to the public, juries are prohibited, and federal law prohibits revealing the names of witnesses in child welfare cases!

That's right. The courts and legislatures will not protect your constitutional rights. But that does not mean those rights do not exist. It means you must know your rights and assert them on your own.

What does that mean?

It means you do not speak to caseworkers, you do not let them in your house, you train

your children, in an age-appropriate manner, to never discuss family matters outside the home, and you do not sign releases of information if you can possibly avoid it. It means that where you can't stop the flow of information, you politely direct state workers to obtain that information from your attorney. That way you control the flow of information: "I'm sorry Ms. DSS agent. I don't mean to be rude, but my attorney has advised me not to let you into my house or to speak with you. If you have any questions, I'm sure he can help you. Here's his card."

But I have nothing to hide.

Yes, you do. It's called your privacy. Remember, they're not looking for the truth. They don't care about the truth. And they are not neutral, disinterested parties. They have an agenda, and they are looking for any word they can get out of your mouth, and they will turn it against you, no matter what you intended. Jesus had nothing to hide either, and look what they did at trial with His words

Who can I trust?

The only person you trust is YOUR OWN LAWYER, and only if YOU ARE PAYING HIM, or are sure that he/she will not sell you out. Many state appointed lawyers work for the person who is paying them - the DSS! If you see your lawyer yukking it up with DSS agents at court, or not fighting the DSS, but just giving in to their program, get a new one fast. To everyone else, you say, "please talk to my lawyer", unless he/she specifically gives you permission to talk to the person. Again, every word you say will be used in court to take away your children.


I'm a good parent, haven't done anything wrong, and they have no legal reason to take my child.

It doesn't matter. Once they have physical possession of your child, they can create a case against you. This is because once they have your child, THEY have a monopoly on the flow of information. They can program your child to say anything, and you can't disprove it. They can get their doctors to accuse you of anything, and you can't stop them. And you can't get any more information to or from your child. You can't hug your children or tell them you love them. They will cancel your visitation, then tell your children that you cancelled because you don't love them.

Once the court has taken custody of your children, it is illegal to take them and run.

Some parents do anyway, at their own peril. Before the state gets your children, consider what price you are willing to pay to keep them in your possession, and get your life in order now. Because once they're gone, they're gone.

But they told me I couldn't get my children back unless I made my husband move out.

That is a tough call. You may have to choose between your husband and your children, Sophie. Sometimes you don't. Your choices may be bad or worse. Once it comes to that decision, get a lawyer immediately, so you can weigh your choices with some expert advice.

But that's not right!

No, it's not. Nor is it right to subject you to random inspections when your home was

always spotless, or to make you do anger management counseling when you never argued, or

to make you do random urinalysis when you never did drugs. It's certainly not right to order you to divulge personal information to a therapist who will turn around and testify against you. Unfortunately, once the state has hold of your children, you can't argue those issues anymore. Otherwise, you may win the battle and still lose the war. Just get your priorities straight and get the kids back. Then you can argue, if you care to stick around.



Thanks for the information.

Oh and I have to say this.  The decision posted here notwithstanding, the 9th circuit court is a joke.  The most overturned court in the nation.  Lets hope this decision won't be one that's overturned as well. :P


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