AUSTIN— Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Texas granted the Pardo family’s petition for emergency relief concerning the wrongful removal of their son and ordered the immediate return of the child to his family pending a final ruling in the case.
“We are thrilled that Drake is going home to his family where he belongs,” said Andrew Brown, Director of the Center for Families and Children at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The Court’s ruling is not only a victory for the Pardos, it is a victory for the fundamental rights of all Texas families. It’s now time for the Legislature to enact comprehensive reforms to rein in DFPS overreach and protect other innocent families from the horror that Drake and his family endured these past four months.”
The Court’s order highlighted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services failure to show any evidence that Drake was at substantial risk of danger if allowed to remain with his parents. In issuing this ruling, the Court sent a clear signal that the state of Texas will protect the constitutional rights of families against unnecessary interference by DFPS.
The Center for Families and Children filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of Texas on behalf of 12 members of the Texas Legislature highlighting the failure of DFPS to follow state and federal law in the conduct of their investigation and urging the Court to reunite Drake with his parents.
“The Center for Families and Children is at the forefront of protecting children from abuse and defending the rights of Texas families against unconstitutional interference,” said Brown. “We are actively working with legislators to improve evidentiary standards and court processes governing the removal of children into state custody. These reforms will enable DFPS to better carry out its important and difficult job of protecting children by focusing resources on those children who are in actual danger of abuse or neglect while ensuring that innocent families do not suffer the trauma of unnecessary separation.”