San Angelo: The state of Texas exceeded its authority in removing some of about 460 children from a polygamist compound last month, pronounced an appeals court in San Angelo, Texas, on Thursday. The ruling came as shock for the state authorities, who raided the polygamist ranch over the reports on adolescent brides and teen pregnancies.
Texas Child Protective Services and Police last month raided the isolated compound in west Texas and removed the children in response to allegations of abuse, but the appeals court stated that the state had not proven that the children were in immediate physical danger, and therefore were improperly separated from their parents.
The court asserted, "The department ... failed to establish that the need for protection of the children was urgent and required immediate removal of the children.”
In a brief statement, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said, "We just received this information from the Court of Appeals and it is being reviewed. We are trying to assess any impact this may have on our case and decide what our next steps will be.”