Court Rules Texas No Right to Seize Children

Breaking News: “Appeals court rules Texas had no right to seize hundreds of children from polygamous sect.”

You don’t say?


A state appellate court has ruled that child welfare officials had no right to seize more than 400 children living at a polygamist sect’s ranch. The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the grounds for removing the children were “legally and factually insufficient” under Texas law. They did not immediately order the return of the children.

Child welfare officials removed the children on the grounds that the sect pushed underage girls into marriage and sex and trained boys to become future perpetrators. The appellate court ruled the chaotic hearing held last month did not demonstrate the children were in any immediate danger, the only measure of taking children from their homes without court proceedings.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. joe says:

    It seems this is a case where law enforcement and attorneys ran away with themselves. They obviously didn’t know the full extent of what was going on in this compound, and while the religious practices were quite strange, removing the children from their mothers was not putting the needs of the children first. This is another case where the state flexed its muscle and was surprised that its law-breaking wasn’t taken well by the public or the courts.