We need your help today to pass SB 181, a good bill to require notice of parental legal rights in child and family services cases. SB 181 has been introduced by Senator Dennis Lenz, and will provide numerous Constitutional due process protections to families when Montana Department of Child and Family Services investigators are conducting an investigation regarding abuse or neglect investigations.
SB 181 is based on our model bill.
SB 181 has been scheduled for a hearing today at 3:00 PM in Room 317 of the Montana Senate, before the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Safety.
There are several ways that you can help pass this bill. You can visit the Montana Capitol in Helena and testify briefly in support. Or you can call or email your Montana State Senator using this Find My Legislator tool.
Your message can be as simple as the following:
“I urge you to support SB 181, which will add several due process protections into Montana law to protect the rights of innocent parents and caregivers when faced with a Child and Family Services investigation regarding alleged abuse or neglect. These will include notifying the family of their legal and constitutional rights during an investigation. These protections are required by the US and Montana Constitutions, and will serve to protect innocent families, while still allowing Child and Family Services investigators and law enforcement to protect children who are truly at risk of abuse or neglect.”
If you decide to send an email to your state legislator, you can include an Amicus Curiae (“friend of the Court”) brief we submitted in a federal lawsuit several years ago, which documents the harm that innocent families and children face when going through a child abuse or neglect investigation. SB 181 will provide needed protections in these types of investigations in order to protect innocent families. You can read our brief here: https://parentalrightsfoundation.org/doe-v-woodard/
Very truly yours,
President, Parental Rights Foundation and ParentalRights.org