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Don't Take The Kids To Colorado

June 30, 2004

For well over a decade parents who home school their children in Colorado have been teaching their little people to go to another room and hide if someone comes to the door because it might be child protective services (CPS) case workers.

In El Paso County one Christian couple packed up and moved out of the United States after a single CPS visit.

In Eagle County recently a woman got a DUI. While she was taking the "cure" a CPS case worker and deputy sheriff took the couple's children from their home on a frivolous claim of child neglect even though there were two nannies looking after the kids while the father was at work. Nor did the case worker and deputy bother with court orders to remove the children. Simply went to the house and took them while the father was at work.

In October 2002, the Rocky Mountain News screamed that a Fort Collins judge had legalized the kidnapping of a woman's twin sons via Social Services. The public was appropriately outraged and you might think that was an isolated incident. Not in Colorado! Children are treated as property of the State — and having a "right" to your child is a mere delusion. The State will determine in all cases who shall raise a child and you can safely bet it won't be the father.

But such local prey for these vultures seems to be getting harder to catch. Parents are learning that the Colorado Dept. of Human Services (DHS-CPS) and the courts are more dangerous to their children than any mountain lion. So now DHS CPS case workers and the courts are apparently expanding their hunting license to include parents who have merely brought their children to Colorado for a visit.

Never mind that Colorado courts don't have jurisdiction over the custody of children who are residents of other states. Colorado judges and magistrates are trained to rule on the basis of any emotion or feeling that enters their little blonde heads. Proceeding without jurisdiction is a common theme encountered by the Equal Justice Foundation in Colorado court cases.


The People of Colorado v. Joseph Culpepper of Texas

Nineteenth Judicial District — Weld County — Case 00 JV 578



A child was born March 15, 1999, in Texas to Mystina Turner and Joseph Culpepper, who were then living near Galveston. Joe and Mystina had a stormy relationship and in September 2000 he gained temporary custody of the little girl with a Texas restraining order.

Following that, Mystina Turner came alone to Colorado, where her grandmother gave Mystina a place to live in Firestone in Weld County, and a job at the nursing home she managed in Louisville in Boulder County.

November 2000


Despite the restraining order, and against the advice of his relatives, Joseph Culpepper brought his daughter to Weld County, Colorado, from Texas for a visit with Mystina over Thanksgiving Day weekend in 2000. He had full custody and was demonstrating consideration for the mother by making the 1,200 mile (1,900 km) trip.

As in many of the cases the Equal Justice Foundation deals with, this one begins with false allegations of domestic violence.

Mystina Turner resolved that Joe wasn't going to take the baby back to Texas with him. The Denver Post (May 6, 2004) quotes her as stating "Over my dead body will Joe get her."

As Culpepper tried to leave to return to Texas, Mystina and her grandmother called Firestone and Louisville police to stop him. In 43 minutes, three calls concerning Joseph Culpepper were placed to two police departments.

On the basis of the Turner's complaint, Louisville police arrested Joseph Culpepper for alleged disorderly conduct at the nursing home Wanda Turner managed. His reported crime: yelling in the hallways for Mystina.

Culpepper was jailed November 28, 2000, and the little girl sitting in his pickup was handed temporarily to Weld County social services.

When Joseph Culpepper was freed days later his daughter was, and remains a foster child.

However, the call to the Firestone police department didn't quite work out as Mystina Turner planned. On December 3, 2001, they arrested her for slashing Culpepper's tires and falsely accusing him of stealing $600 from her. All charges against Joe were dismissed.

Because the father was in jail, safely "out of the way," the Weld County Department of Social Services happily took custody of the little girl to gain the funding bonuses associated with such State kidnappings.

In Magistrate Din Tuttle's court, Culpepper later testified that he told a Weld County caseworker about the Texas restraining order when he was released from jail.

"Do you remember what she said?" he was asked. "Yes," he replied. "This ain't Texas, this is Colorado. We do things a little different around here."

A petition in dependency and neglect was filed against both parents on November 30, 2000, in Weld County Magistrate Din Tuttle's court. Conveniently for the State, the social services petition did not advise the court of the Texas custody order, and the magistrate certainly didn't probe too deeply and ignored Joe Culpepper's testimony. Despite the fact that she didn't have jurisdiction over the child, Magistrate Tuttle gave custody of Joseph Culpepper's daughter to Weld County social services.

I suspect it won't be much of a surprise to readers of this newsletter to find that Ms. Tuttle currently serves on the Standing Committee on Family Issues in Colorado?

January 2001


On January 12, 2001, barely a month after taking the girl from a father who had custody under a Texas court order, and a restraining order against Mystina Turner concerning custody of the child, in direct and flagrant disregard of that order Weld County social services gave the little girl to her mother.

However, Mystina Turner said she was suffering from untreated depression, the trauma of separation from Joe, and the parenting demands imposed by a county caseworker, to say nothing of innumerable court appearances for slashing tires, drunken driving, felony assaults on peace officers, and probation violations. So two months later Weld County took the girl back and gave her to a foster home.

When Joe Culpepper found out his daughter was in a foster home, he went to pick her up and discovered that he had "no right" to do so. Relying on the courts to back them up, Weld County social services told Culpepper that they now controlled the fate of his daughter. By this immoral and degenerate process, foster home couple Jodee and Jody Rupple in Greeley apparently acquired standing to argue that Joseph Culpepper should not have his own daughter.

Culpepper, who had never done anything wrong, was forced to try and meet demands by Weld County Department of Social Services by completing a parenting program and passing a drug-and-alcohol evaluation in Texas. Sometimes he drove 1,200 miles (1,900 km) north to Greeley to spend 45 minutes with his daughter while a caseworker watched them interact in a supervised environment for which Culpepper had to pay an hourly fee.

February 2002


Weld County Magistrate Din Tuttle terminated the rights of the little girl's biological parents even though her court did not have jurisdiction over the child.

Culpepper sought review of the magistrate's decision and in August 2002 District Court (now Chief) Judge Roger Klein adopted the blonde magistrate's illegal order terminating the father's parental rights, still without jurisdiction to do so.

In his motion for review of the magistrate's order of termination, Culpepper asserted that Magistrate Tuttle erred and exceeded the bounds of her temporary emergency jurisdiction. In denying that motion, District Judge Klein found that Culpepper failed to file any Texas orders establishing that the Texas proceeding constituted a custody determination. However, it was later noted that Judge Roger Klein had received into evidence a copy of the Texas restraining order and simply ignored it in his finding.

Joseph Culpepper appealed. Slowly the case proceeded from courtroom to courtroom. Birthdays passed.

April 2004


Normally in Colorado our moribund Court of Appeals simply rubber stamps trial court decisions, particularly in family cases, and especially if a father's rights are involved.

However, the actions of the Weld County magistrate and district court judge were so egregious and so obviously in violation of Colorado law that even the Court of Appeals couldn't excuse them. So in an April 2004 ruling in case 02 CA 1888 they found that:

"Accordingly, we conclude that the magistrate and the district court exceeded their jurisdiction by not limiting the period they exercised temporary emergency jurisdiction. This error was clearly not harmless, because it resulted in termination of father's parental rights without affording him the opportunity to litigate custody issues in the child's home state of Texas.

Accordingly, we reverse the judgment terminating father's parental rights...."

But the Court of Appeals still won't give the little girl back to her father and ruled:

"However, given the length of time that the child has now resided in Colorado, we remand this matter to the district court to make such temporary protective orders as are necessary for the welfare of the child. See E.P. v. Dist. Court, supra (although Colorado court did not have jurisdiction under UCCJA, it could enter temporary protective orders for the child's welfare)."

Thus, the appeals court further alienates the child from her father. And one might bet those champions of parental rights, District Judge Roger Klein and Magistrate P. Dinsmore Tuttle, will delay, obfuscate, and deny Joseph Culpepper at every possible step. Culpepper's attorney expects the case to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, by which time the little girl will be a teenager.


Justice delayed is justice denied


After a three-and-a-half-year court battle, the Colorado Court of Appeals has finally acknowledged that Joe's parenting rights were violated and placing his daughter in a foster home was "an error."

You would think there could be nothing left to decide — that Joe takes his daughter home — but that's not the case. As noted above, the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Weld County District Court (the court that approved of the degenerate acts perpetrated by social service's case workers) for a determination on whether Joe gets to have his daughter back.

To make matters worse for the little girl and Joe Culpepper, the foster parents are fighting to keep his daughter using the demented logic that the little girl is settled in their home and it would be traumatic to move her. On April 15, 2004, just seven days after the Colorado Court of Appeals handed down its ruling that Colorado did not have jurisdiction, Jody and Jodee Rupple of Greeley filed a petition for custody in Weld County District Judge James Hartmann's court, case 04 DR 357.

How does a child reestablish a relationship with her natural father under such circumstances?

Well, it would seem that the State of Colorado and Weld County created the mess, they should fix it. They should buy Joe a house next door to the foster parents out of the 19th Judicial District budget and allow the child to be reacquainted with her dad. Certainly this would be the least the State of Colorado should do for stealing a child.

Anyone care to bet that the State will offer to act in such a humane fashion?

What will certainly happen is that Colorado taxpayers will be asked to fund larger budgets for the judiciary, social services, and district attorneys to deal with the increasing number of cases where the State steals our children.

For additional details on the case of the People (of Colorado) v. Culpepper In the Interest of M.C., a Child see Case 00 JV 578.

Incredibly, in 2004 Weld County attorney Mark Rapp argued that Culpepper abandoned his Texas custody case before his arrest, which was based on false allegations, and therefore Colorado appropriately kept the little girl. One can only assume that any parent who brings their child to Colorado for a visit thereby surrenders custody to the State.

Under the circumstances, it would seem prudent not to come to Colorado with, or without, your children.

The skiing is better in Utah and the national parks and monuments are far more spectacular. Plus you are less likely to be arrested and have your children stolen by that state while visiting. Take Interstate 80 to the north, or Interstate 10 to the south, and avoid our redfem paradise.

In addition, as a leading citizen I would like to express my deep personal disgust with the abhorrent behavior of the Weld County justices and social service workers involved in this mockery of the rule of law.

Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.

For additional details see People v. Culpepper In the Interest of M.C., a Child — Case 00 JV 578



| EJF Home | More newsletters | Get EJF newsletter | Find Help | Join the EJF | Comments? |

Issues The Equal Justice Foundation Deals With

| Civilization | Families and Marriage | Domestic Violence | Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado | Emerson story |

| Prohibition & War On Drugs | Vote Fraud & Election Issues |