May 22nd, 2008
02:00 PM ET

Court ruling: State had no right to take children from Polygamy compound

You can read the court's ruling on the legality of removing of 400+ children from a polygamist compound here.
You can read the court's ruling on the legality of removing of 400+ children from a polygamist compound here.

David M. Reisner
360° Digital Producer

This is just crossing the wires:

An Appeals court has ruled that the state of Texas should not have removed the more than 400 children it took from a polygamist sect's ranch

In its ruling, the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals decided in favor of 38 women who had appealed the removals, as well as a decision last month by a district judge that the children will remain in state custody.

The ruling stated:

"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 easure of immediate removal prior to full litigation of the issue."

The children were removed last month from the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch, owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy.

From our Ed Lavandera:

"This ruling out of Austin goes on to say the family and protective services division (the agency in charge of removing the children from the compound) did not prove the children were in danger and they needed to be removed from their homes."

"You can imagine what the reaction is going to be in the coming ours from those involved with the sect and those who live in the compound... "

"State officials are also saying they still need more time to investigate and they are still in that process. "

Watch 360° for in-depth coverage and share your thoughts here:

Filed under: FLDS court hearing • FLDS update • Polygamy
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. jackie

    I live in texas and it's enbaresing to have this kind of extrem child abuse going on in our state many of us( i cant speak for all of us) hope that they will just pick up and go leaveing us alone .

    June 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  2. Laura Marie

    Ann, conservative Jews do not have arranged marriages. I believe you are speaking of Orthodox Jews. This is a highly charged discussion, but it would be great if people were a bit more educated before they write things that are just not true..

    May 24, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  3. Laura Marie

    To Mai of Oklahoma, You say this is like the Jews in Germany? Are you joking ? Jews were murdered, millions and millions of them. The two situations are nothing alike!! There isn't even anything remotely similar between the two situations. Educate yourself a bit before making such ignorant comments!

    May 24, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  4. Christopher Estep

    I have been hearing a lot of references to *cults* (especially in terms of the FLDS) and attacks against the FLDS because they are not mainstream. Every currently-mainstream religion practiced today, without exception, could have been referred to, at some point, as a *cult*. (That includes all branches of Catholicism, Jewry, and even Islam and Buddhism; both Islam and Buddhism have more practitioners on a global basis than all Christianity.) Is that indeed the real issue in terms of the FLDS (and other breakaway religious groups within the United States); that the *losing* religious group or groups feel threatened by the newcomers and seek to stomp them into the ground, using the Court Of Public Opinion and the Sheeple Effect the same way they did to drum up the Crusades and the Inquisition? Laura Marie, who died and made you dictator? What is YOUR stake in this? Have you ever remotely considered what the non-senior WIVES get out of this? While not a polygamist, I can name three things right off:

    1. They don't have to compete for the all-too-limited supply of decent men. (While they don't have a *decent man* all to themselves, they do have access to one at least part of the time, and without having to compete for it.)

    2. The family's children are at least as well-taken-care-of as any traditional family. (In fact, because of the number of adults in the home, household stability is often higher than in a traditional two-parent household, where one or both parents often work.) Oftentimes, the only way a traditional family can create this same sort of stability is to bring in another person; the title differs, but the reason for the extra person is usually identical (to create family stability for the sake of the children). In what way is this *abusive* or *sick*?

    3. Dependence on welfare and other governmental-support programs is reduced, if not eliminated altogether. There was not a single person in the entire community living on the ranch that was drawing welfare or other governmental support prior to the raid by CPS and DPS. Of course, with all the families torn asunder as a result of the raid (whether that was the plan is irrelevant), that certainly is not the case now (this is, naturally, aside from the direct costs due to the raid itself, as well as court costs).

    Laura Marie: your issue with the FLDS appears to be a matter of a difference in beliefs. So much for religious tolerance, then.

    May 24, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  5. Justin

    I believe that those children should have stayed with their parents. I don't know about in Texas, but the system in California is horrible. So many kids get molested and abused by their foster parents. I think that they are better of with their parents. Who is to say that their beliefs are wrong? If that makes them happy then why not. We live in a country where we should be free to believe what we want, as long as our beliefs don't harm other's and unless they raped those young girls, there was nothing harmful of their beliefs and lifestyles. However, if they do prove that this group was raping young girls, I suppose my argument might change a little bit, but for now, I'm taking it that they didn't do such things. I guess we'll find out.

    May 24, 2008 at 2:26 am |
  6. Laura Marie

    Why doesn't anyone question why almost every person's last name there is Jessop? Maybe it is not politically correct, but it is obvious there is a lot of in breeding going on at their ranch. It is obvious (sorry to say this) just looking at the people, some who have obvious signs of this. Also polygamy and incest are both clearly against federal law. How can the state put innocent children back into a society like this? Where woman are brainwashed from birth, forced to marry men older than them, and have multiple children to get to heaven? You can tell we live in a male dominated society when this community is allowed to go on practicing this. It has nothing, zero, to do with human rights!! Polygamy and incest are against the law!! I hope this goes all the way to the supreme court and the children are NOT sent back to this abusive sick situation.

    May 23, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  7. ann dubois

    I'm very pleased with the courts finding and hope very much that the children are returned to their mothers swiftly. I find the whole situation sadly tragically comical in its hypocrisy in that we live in a society of rampent and accepted serial polygamy, Divorced fathers who statistically are more likely than not to abandoned their off spring. Where a woman has a higher possibility of being killed ,while pregnant by the father of the child than any other cause of death. It wasn't until after the second world war that marrying as a teenager was frowned upon and or made elligal. Even now in most places if the parents give consent it's permitted. Arranged marraige at one time were not uncommen and still flourish among Conservative Jews for one. So all I can conclude is the government is taking what ever means it can to stop Polygamy. How very nasty, don't they have something better to do!!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:14 am |
  8. Alex Varga

    This is obviously a very highly charged and emotional issue for most. Nobody but nobody likes the idea of returning children to a potentially dangerous situation. The problem in this instance is that the Texas authorities used a "blanket" approach to "ALL" the children at the location, thereby broadly and NOT SPECIFICALLY saying everychild was in "eminent" danger of being injured or molested. Now I do not agree in the slightest with the FLDS and their lifestyle. I'd lock one of those folks up in a heartbeat just like I would any person I suspect of a crime. But a blanket approach without proof in a seizure is now and has always been a bad seizure. The problem started once the Texas authorities got onto the compound grounds and found they were overwhelmed in the magnitude of potential crimes. Whoever was the supervising authority at the scene simply made a bad call in seizing all the children. They should have done a more thorough investigation as time was on their side and they could have held the compound for as long as they needed it to do their investigation. Simply their intent was right, but they just went about business the wrong way.
    My greatest concern now is that the focus of the original investigation has been spun away from the molestation of children to the bad State of Texas depriving people of their Constitutional Rights. What a crock that is! But now that the Texas authorities do have substantially more information about whose who and who belongs to who and who are the "real" victims, they need to move forward with the investigation and expend their energy on prosecuting whoever needs prosecuting. You can't turn back the clock so move forward and learn from your mistakes. Law Enforcement, including DPS has always walked a fine line. They still have a responsibility to protect the innocent as well as those children who are the victim of abuse. I don't for one second believe no crimes were committed by some members of the FLDS. What the Courts said was that unless you can prove WITH EVIDENCE that crimes occurred and specific children are the victims, you can't accuse everyone in the joint for being bad guys because of their religious beliefs or strange lifestyles. I salute the Texas authorities for their efforts and still believe they have a case that can be made. After all, if the good FLDS people had taken care of business and policed themselves, none of this would have come to pass. I believe Warren Jeffs is the main cuplrit and person responsible for this entire situation. He is supposed to be the "ultimate" person in charge, so why did he allow anyone to be placed in harms way. Sorry Warren, this is ALL ON YOU!

    May 23, 2008 at 11:08 am |
  9. Leti

    What were EX-FLDS members "ESCAPING" if they were always "Free to go at anytime"? Why do they practice pouring water in baby's faces upon them crying? Why is there a bed in their temple? Why do the women sound rehearsed in speech and in the media? After the mothers were released to return to FLDS Ranch initially, why did some mothers choose to stay and not go back? Why are the head men of the FLDS still absent and unwilling to back their belief systems and practices if there is nothing to hide? WOW, laws may be laws but there is still much to find out about here!

    May 23, 2008 at 2:58 am |
  10. Gary Evans

    Always follow the money. At first there were only two lawyers that were going to handle all these children. When over four-hundred showed up to get a slice of the pie the expenses started rising. They had a "Tiger by the Tail", and had to do something to let it go. Who is now going to pay the tremendous expenses they caused the parents. Why did they do this? Who knows?

    May 23, 2008 at 2:01 am |
  11. Jean V

    Oh for goodness sakes, those of you defending these nut jobs need your heads examined.

    Warren Jeffs has already been CONVICTED of arranging the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. He was so depressed after his house of cards came tumbling down that he tried to commit suicide. He's being brought up on more charges in other cases, as are his henchmen.

    There are a dozen former cult members who have carefully documented what goes on in the FLDS over the years. This isn't new stuff. Many of these victims have testified UNDER OATH in courts of law or to grand juries, and the abusers in question have been CONVICTED in more than one court of law, in more than one state.

    Stop pretending there is no evidence of a LONG STANDING pattern of severe, on-going child abuse within the FLDS. You're just making yourselves sound ignorant and, frankly, like pro-child-abuse perverts.

    What's hiding in YOUR closet, eh?

    May 23, 2008 at 1:48 am |
  12. Sherri

    Mike in NYC- did you not see the pieces recounting the issues of one recognized marriage. All the other 'wives' considered as single mothers, qualifying for welfare and food stamps. Another piece outlining the construction businesses where the young men of the sect worked, their wages paid to the sect leaders. Still another piece on some of those businesses having contracts with the US military- that's a whole other can of worms. It seems- a stretch- that one man could support multiple wives and tens of children. The women are not adequately schooled to have marketable skills to use outside the compound, nor would they be allowed to do so even if they did. I don't believe the compound is self sufficient in growing foodstuffs for all. I'm not certain they generate their own electrical power or natural gas or coal for heating, light, etc. Or, water- are there deep wells? Money is garnered in some fashion. I feel strongly that there are abuses rampant within the sect of the tax payer funded programs.

    May 23, 2008 at 1:12 am |
  13. Lance Douglas

    Sorry, one more short statement:

    Janet, no would should "have to" register their existence with you (the people). They are here in the country legally and are under no requirement to register thier liniage, race, creed, color, or preferences for the sake of ill-willed purpose.

    We ALL hate the thought of ill-treated children; but who's the aggressor, you (based on your stance) or their parents (based on the assumption their guilt).

    What if your children decided that because they were not allow chocolate cookies after bedtime that one of them called the police for abuse, and every child in your family were taken ( cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren) from their families.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies after bed vs. Polygamy = clear.

    What is happening vs. what is perceived based on a phone call = not so differnet, but also not so clear.

    May 23, 2008 at 12:29 am |
  14. Lance Douglas

    There needs to be a $Trillion lawsuit filed to set precedence of misappropriation of authority involving children removed from their families. If there is a law broken, then there needs to be repercussions. However, there is no possible way in the greatest country on earth that anyone should be taken from their lives on the assumption of guilt. I believe that everyone has the right to live their life (e.g. homosexual, polygamist, racist) as they see fit, but we can't hate those people, we can only hate their beliefs, and as such, only as their actions become illegal can we expect intervention.

    We have a significant amount of he-said-she-said and she-said-he-said that is completely unfounded in both cases, in respect to the law. But we must, yes must, never ever become an environment for a populous-defined legal system. We must return to the values that built North America, the ones that solidified the principals of strength, not the simple path of selfishness.

    Please return the children to “their parents”. The children have just been desensitised from the horror of rape, slavery, and false imprisonment through questioning and interference. No one, exactly no one, should have to learn that evil at the hand of the state. Stand down America; show the world that your emotions are still, and that your patience is full. But stand up America and demonstrate that your land is free from hatred, but free from duplicity of truth of law.

    May 23, 2008 at 12:14 am |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    What about the actual polygamy, which is illegal? What about these folks living off the welfare system? This is ridiculous that its the 21st century and this is going on right under our noses and law enforcement can't stop it. What are they waiting for, a 12 year old to be pregnant by her father or brother. It's sickening.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  16. KAB

    Ruth must be of a polygamist sect.
    How dare anyone say those young girls choose that life.
    At 14 my youngest daughter can't even choose what to eat for breakfast let alone choose to be the wife of some old pervert, or to be the mother of said perverts children. You people sicken me, there is nothing attractive about children. Not their looks or their minds, it is sick to even have the thought to even want a child as a spouse or sexual partner.
    FLDS is full of perverts and VERY weak-minded women who need to grow up and get some respect about themselves. Any other sect or religion that approves of this type of behavior is just as sick.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  17. Christopher Estep

    Nicole, whether or not polygamy is a violation of human rights is irrelevant. Whether polygamy is protected under the freedom-of-religion clause of the Constitution, however, is very much relevant. Family farms (true family farms, not the large-scale agribusiness farms prevalent throughout the United States today that grow most of our foodstuffs) all use child labor (typically, the children of the farm owner, both pre-teen and teenage alike); how many such farms are investigated for violation of child-labor laws? (I know of only three such investigations in my forty-six years of living throughout the United States.) If the family farm (which is still revered throughout the United States, despite such a creature being a hotbed of known illegalities, starting with child-labor laws) can be held up as a shining example of what is right with the United States, then what is the problem with a community of polygamists, where, other than that one law, the members are actually FAR more law abiding than any similar community in either rural Texas or rural America as a whole?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  18. Janet

    I have to follow the law everyday. Why shouldn't they be held accountable for their actions? If they can't prove they are the biological parents they should not expect them back. They should have to have birth certificates, marriage licenses and social security numbers just like all of us are required to have.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:05 pm |
  19. Christopher Estep

    The question in the FLDS case wil eventually boil down to religion vs. the law. Freedom of religion is, whether we like it or not, a Constitutionally-guaranteed right. No religion is exempted, either by name or by practice. The practices of the FLDS are not mainstream; however, because polygamy is a stated tenet of the FLDS, it falls under the freedom-of-religion clause of the Constitution. (For the same reason, the original practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), which included the same tenet, would also have fallen under the same clause of the Constitution, and would therefore also be sacrosanct.) I am not a member of the FLDS, or of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon); however, I am a firm believer in the Constitution of the United States. If the tenets of the FLDS can be legislated against with impunity (as was indeed done with the Mormons in the nineteenth century) then what religion is safe from similar assault under color of law?

    May 22, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  20. Taher

    For me, this case is not about polygamy, but rather the abuse and trampling of American parents civil rights by the state of Texas on a tip by a deranged individual. The state of Texas’s attorney general and the department of families did not properly vet the person who made the telephone call claiming rape by a member of this community. The state of Texas walked all over the civil rights of father and mothers whose children are thoroughly traumatized.
    Was this criminal behavior on the part of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services?
    Texas State officials must be held responsible.

    May 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    The children are the losers here in the long run. The court has just abandoned them to a life where for the girls a life of marriage to an older man and pumping out babies. Too bad the women who stood up to the state won't stand up to the men in their lives and give their children a better life.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 22, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  22. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Milke in NYC said
    nothing that made sense
    give your head a shake

    May 22, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  23. Nicole

    Their apparently "profitable" businesses are supported by unpaid or low-paid child labor and adults mandatoriliy "donating" much of their earnings back to the FLDS. I am required, as a taxpayer, to subsidize the activities of a polygamist who chooses to claim poverty after giving much of their earnings to the FLDS. Communist Russia and Pol-Pot's Cambodia were also able to demonstrate impressive outcomes built on slave labor.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  24. Ruth

    CPS has done nothing but lie and misrepresent facts throughout this whole escapade. It's about time a judge stood up for what was right. Judge Walther should be removed from the bench and all the CPS workers should be fired.

    They knew ahead of time the call was a hoax, they knew for weeks now that most of the underage girls were really women, they admitted in court the only 14 year old they suspected of being pregnant was not pregnant, and on and on and on.

    I hope the FLDS sue over civil rights violations. The only shame in this entire debacle is if there really were underage girls being forced to marry those cases probably will not be prosecuted because of the illegal maneuverings by the state.

    Before we cast too many stones at the 5 or 6 underage girls of the FLDS who have children and live in stable, loving, environments that they CHOOSE to live in we might look at the fact that in the year 2000, in Texas, 1 of every 30 teen girls between the ages of 13 and 17 got pregnant. One out of every 30. How many of those live on welfare and have no clue how to care for their children? Think about it...

    May 22, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  25. Mike in NYC

    Sherri wrote:

    "...given that it’s [sic] monies appear to come from state welfare funds and programs."

    On the whole, they were productive and self-sufficient. They operated profitable businesses, and the facilities, farms, etc. built by the FLDS were quite impressive.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  26. Nicole

    NO!!!! Please don't let those children go back to that snake pit!

    Polygamy, in and of itself , is a violation of an individual's human rights. The rights of those women and children deserve to be protected from those religious pedophiles at all costs. The judge had it right when she said that the laws of Texas come ahead of anyone's religious "right" to commit criminal acts, including but not limited to: welfare fraud, tax evasion, dealing in stolen property, child labor, medicare fraud, theft from school district budgets, incest, child rape, child abandonment/neglect and sexual molestation.

    They even have a religious para-military group to enforce religious edicts and recapture attempted female runaways. Where is this? Iran or the United States of America? Those children are pawns within a criminal organization and deserve our help to have their bodies safe from predators, to have a decent chance at an education and, as adults, to make their own choices about whom to marry and when. They deserve to be free of the false threats and fears that this cult inculcates within their minds. The FLDS is the kind of organization that, if asked the time of day, would lie about it and congratulate themselves on how clever they are if we bought into the lie.

    The date of this appeal cannot be more poorly timed. The FLDS hopes to re-capture their victims before the results of the DNA testing demonstrates the rampant incest and child molestation that the organization fosters. The DNA testing would have proved that the fumerase deficiency causing a very high rate of mental and physical handicaps is the result of incest. The DNA would have also demonstrated that some of those women and men claiming to be parents aren't biologically related at all to the children of whom they are seeking to regain custody. There's a reason the FLDS creates their colonies along borders so they can skip to a new legal jurisdiction with their victims whenever they are at risk of paying the piper.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  27. Sherri

    Yet again a fine example of how little understanding of abuse of women an dchildren exists in the legal system. Again, another shining example of male dominance and the entrenched belief that if someone professes to have deeply religious feelings they must be a person of good moral fiber. It's absolutely despicable. Countless events have been told, evidence presented of emotional and physical abuse. In a insulated sect- what happens to a few members is happening to all of them. That's the tenet they live by. If one man is abusing underage girls, ostracizing boys as sexual rivals- you know al the men are. It's the very framework of how the sect is goverened. Total oppression and control of women by a small select group of men. Gee, how familiar! The Appeals court has in essence condoned the sect and legitimasized its' acts of polygamy, forced sexual acts, emotional and physical cruelty. It seems we have regressed back to the times where women and children were just so much chattel, and expendable. Perhaps the members of the appeals court would feel a ltitle different if they were made to turn over their salaries to support the sect- given that it's monies appear to come from state welfare funds and programs. If they feel nothing is wrong, then they should be more than agreeable to putting their money where their mouth is.

    May 22, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  28. Lanny R. North, Honolulu Hawaii

    The appeals court restored some sense. The state of Texas behaved in a manner that was absolutely unconstitutional. A warrant obtained on the basis of a hoax call, not being read to the people at the compound, and the seizure of women and children was a gross travesty worthy only of a facist regime. The subsequent fishing expedition and releases to the press only amplified the crime. The separation of mothers from children without cause almost demands a countersuit or at least a wholesale firing of the Authorities.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  29. Jenny

    Great!! Throw the CPS workers under the bus. That is ok we are used to it. I do not know why they workers took the kids but they felt it was necessary and apparently so did the judge who approved the court orders. But hey forget the judge lets just throw the CPS workers and their supervisors under the us. they are expendable.

    Jeny Sills Rome GA

    May 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  30. Jodie Republican from Idaho

    This makes me so mad. Because of little twists in the law, they can not take the children who are pregnant. Why have a government or laws if children can't be protected?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  31. Kim

    At least this should result in a closer monitoring of this community to prevent the enforced spiritual marriage of underage girls to older men, the physical abuse of children and the abuse of young boys as a cheap slave labor force.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  32. Nancy Graham

    Despite the fact that the State of Texas learned of these terrible atrocities being committed against children by what seems to be a "hoax" phone call, the State of Texas must investigate when there is an allegation of abuse. To the best of my knowledge, and from my experience working in the child welfare field in Maryland for many years, every state allows individuals to make anonymous reports to CPS. I have never heard of an investigation of the source???? Once the state begins their investigation, if the state discovers that crimes are being committed against children, they MUST immediately remove the children and provide a safe environment for the children while the investigation continues. I have no idea how these child molesters and breeders of predators "legaleezed" their way out of this one. I am thanking God there are higher courts, and praying the State of Texas gets some "Bull Dog" representation to make sure these children are not returned to their families until they are certain the children will no longer be victimized. Shame on the courts, or maybe shame on the State of Texas for their poor legal representation.

    Nancy, Maryland

    May 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  33. Mike in NYC

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, California wrote:

    "I had a feeling this would happen, especially when the tip proved to be a hoax call. "

    The hoax was obvious from the start. The question is, what purpose did all this serve? It was not about "the children."

    Gary Chandler in Canuckistan wrote:

    (some kind of trust the gov't blather)

    Canada is not a free country, so don't give us any advice.

    cj,ca wrote:

    "Just because someone writes something in a book does not make it a fact. There were a lot of personal agendas and vindictive personalities involved in this."

    Not to mention government agenda(s).

    May 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  34. Mai Oklahoma

    The State of Texas should be required to pay a million dollars per child for this act. It was an action against a religion rather than any child actually abused. They acted like the Germans against the Jews.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  35. Jacqueline

    The court ruling is right pending further investigation.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  36. cj,ca

    I blogged it before and I'll blog it again: They never had any proof of anything. Just because someone writes something in a book does not make it a fact. There were a lot of personal agendas and vindictive personalities involved in this.

    Do not jump to conclusions and condemn others based on hearsay.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  37. Tracey Anderson - Boston, MA

    What about the physical abuse?

    Weren't there signs of YOUNG children (plural) with broken bones?

    Did the court have the medical records of the children since there removal?

    May 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  38. Jo Ann

    Looks like another "Short Creek" in the making.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    May 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  39. Cindy

    I knew if these women pressed the issue in a higher court that the court would rule in their favor seeing as the phone call that started all of this mess was a hoax!! Now what will happen!? I wonder if the children will have to be given back? Hopefully you all can give us some answers to my questions on 360.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  40. Gary Chandler in Canada

    okay, they can't take the children, but their education and work load should be monitored!
    It must be some type of crime to teach polygyny to children, stop them from leaving the compound to visit, and work them wityhout paying minimum wages,

    May 22, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  41. Kim

    I read the court did not order the immediate return of the children though... What does that mean now? And what about the five mothers who were definitely underage? That probably also means there can be no conditions set for the parents to leave the ranch before they get there children back.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  42. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    That is total BS. Texas has an express lane to the death penalty but we give 400 abused and rescued children back to the abusers.
    To Texas Governor Rick Perry: What are thinking?
    How embarrassing and a sad day for those molested babies~

    May 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  43. Marge

    State had no right to take the children? Are we referring here to the under-aged raped and pregnant children?

    May 22, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  44. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    I had a feeling this would happen, especially when the tip proved to be a hoax call. If the case all falls apart, hopefully the attention and exposure will not go away. Right now it's a mess of legal questions and it looks like the losers will be the children one way or another.

    May 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm |

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