Macomb County mom: CPS is 'judge, jury and executioner' - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Macomb County mom: CPS is 'judge, jury and executioner'

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By Alexis Wiley
FOX 2 News Detroit


HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- "I just want the nightmare to end.  I just want to get my life back to normal," said Maria Mahala.

She has dedicated her life to raising children.

"I wanted to be a social worker.  I wanted to be a therapist.  I wanted to work with people," she explained.

However, what Mahala said happened to one of her own could ruin everything she's built.

"My daughter was raped."

Mahala told us her 14-year-old daughter had a sexual relationship with a 20-year-old man.  He was staying in Mahala's home because he had a baby with a young woman she considers family.

"While he was here, everybody was asleep, he had sex with my daughter," the mother said.  "I immediately called the police... made sure she had therapy."

Mahala said she thought she did everything right until Michigan Children Protective Services launched an investigation and put her name on the Central Registry, a listing of people who committed child abuse and neglect.  Why?

"It is considered inadequate supervision because while he was here taking care of his newborn daughter, an infant daughter, in the middle of the nights, two or three nights a week, he had sex with my daughter while I was asleep after I made sure everybody was in bed and then I would go to bed," Mahala said.  "As of Monday, I was removed from my internship and initially was told that I would no longer be allowed in my classes."

"CPS is an entity that is judge, jury and executioner and they can do whatever they want."

She is not alone.  There are other parents who say they've ended up on the Central Registry after doing nothing wrong.  That is at the center of a federal lawsuit.

"It's unconstitutional because the information in it is being used against a person who did not get a fair hearing before they were listed.  The law has a problem, and it needs to be changed," said attorney Elizabeth Warner.

She filed the federal lawsuit Saturday.  She is asking for the state to require impartial hearings so that people like Mahala can plead their case before their names end up on the registry.

"I wouldn't be able to work at DHS.  I wouldn't be able to work at anywhere that deals with children, daycare centers, nothing," said Mahala.

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