Scott and Nicole Gilmer* were looking forward to a nice dinner with their pastor and friends at a local restaurant. They left their two oldest children at home with their babysitter but decided to take their seven-month-old daughter, Sofia, with them to dinner.
The evening began cheerfully, and time passed quickly. Sofia’s head began to nod, and it was clear she needed a nap. The group was dining outside and happened to be sitting right next to the Gilmers’ car just a few feet away with nothing between. The temperature was very pleasant, so Scott thought it would be a good idea for Sofia to take a nap in her car seat while the group finished fellowshipping.
When the waiter brought their check, she asked them where the baby was. When Scott told her, she left without saying anything. Shortly afterwards, though, two police officers arrived at the restaurant. Scott explained to them that their car was right next to them and the temperature was very mild. The officers were very understanding and said they would recommend to their supervisor that no CPS report be filed.
The next day, Scott and Nicole called Heritage Defense and informed them of what had happened. In spite of what the officers said, the Heritage Defense attorney told them that law enforcement departments typically refer to CPS any report involving children, even when the officers do not actually believe any abuse or neglect occurred. The Heritage Defense attorney informed the Gilmers that Heritage Defense would go ahead and contact a local attorney to be ready in case something happened.
The next morning, Nicole’s phone rang with an unknown number. After listening to the voicemail with dread, Scott and Nicole realized that it was CPS. They immediately called the Heritage Defense attorney and informed him of the call. The Heritage Defense attorney told Scott and Nicole that the local attorney’s fees would be entirely covered by Heritage Defense. Heritage Defense then got the local attorney involved, who reached out to Scott and Nicole.
Soon after, Nicole heard a knock at the door. Nicole immediately called the Heritage Defense emergency line. The Heritage Defense attorney told Nicole to tell the social worker that she has an attorney and to give the social worker the local attorney’s info. Nicole stepped outside and spoke with the social worker and gave her the local attorney’s info, telling her that he would be contacting CPS on their behalf.
Scott and Nicole called the local attorney and filled him in on what had happened. The local attorney told them that he would give his best effort to make sure they would not have to speak with CPS again. This would indeed be the last contact Scott and Nicole would have with CPS. The local attorney spoke with CPS several times in the following weeks. Before long, CPS contacted the local attorney, saying that they had found the allegations to be false and that they would soon be closing the case.
The Gilmers expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Heritage Defense:
If you are a member of Heritage Defense, we hope it is an encouragement for you to know that your membership is going to help families like the Gilmers. While we cannot guarantee outcomes, if your family is ever falsely accused of child abuse or neglect, we are ready to fight to defend you and your rights.
If you are not yet a member, please join today to have 24/7 access to experienced attorneys ready to defend your family.
*Names changed for privacy