Sacramento CPS Drops Protective Custody Order after Court Hearing pb

LIFTS DETAINMENT OF FIVE-MONTH-OLD SEIZED FROM MOTHER’S ARMS LAST WEEK

by Sharon Rondeau

Anna, Sammy and Alex Nikolaev

(Apr. 30, 2013) — The parents of a five-month-old baby boy have been granted unlimited visitation following a court hearing on Monday in Sacramento, CA wherein Sacramento Child Protective Services (CPS) withdrew an order to detain the child at Sutter Memorial Hospital.  After having been taken from his parents, Anna and Alex Nikolaev, Sammy was placed in protective custody at the hospital with a foster home sought for his continued care.

The Monday morning hearing at Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court resulted in mother Anna Nikolaev hugging her attorney and saying, “Spasiva, spasiva,” which means “Thank you” in Russian.

The Nikolaevs had taken their baby, Sammy, to Sutter for flu-like symptoms.  While the baby has a heart murmur and is followed by a cardiologist for the condition, doctors at Sutter reportedly and unexpectedly recommended heart surgery for the child and gave him antibiotics which the parents questioned and a doctor said were unnecessary.  Dissatisfied with the responses of the medical team at Sutter, Anna removed Sammy without a formal discharge and took him directly to Kaiser Permanente for a second opinion. A doctor at Kaiser stated that the baby appeared well and was “safe to go home.”

The following day, three Sacramento Police officers arrived at the home, manhandled Alex and warned Anna not to protest as they and CPS workers seized Sammy and took him back to Sutter, placing him in protective custody.

“He smacked me down,” Alex said of his treatment by the police.  “They took Sammy and they just walked away,” Anna sobbed in telling her story to a Channel 10 reporter.

The story was picked up by German and Russian news outlets over the weekend.

Channel 10 reported that CPS would not comment on the specifics of the case, but a social worker said that the agency generally bases its decisions on opinions from physicians.

Channel 10 reported that in an agreement reached during the hearing, CPS was to transport Sammy to Stanford Medical Center for a second opinion on Monday evening.  Following the presumption of discharge, Anna and Alex had to agree to follow-up visits from a CPS worker.

A Russian news service reported that Sammy had been returned to his parents’ custody.  Channel 10 reported that medical decisions had been reinstated with the parents, but it was unclear how long the child would remain at Stanford.

A petition was started late last week to CPS to release information as to why the baby had been taken from his parents.

The judge mandated that Sammy’s parents “must following [sic] all medical advice from now on, including not taking their child from Stanford without proper discharge.”

The Post & Email contacted Channel 10 regarding whether or not it might investigate the case of the Henderson family, which has been separated for nearly two years by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and family court judges.  A staffer’s response was that Channel 10 is located in Sacramento and cannot travel to Los Angeles to cover the story; however, he suggested that we contact KABC or The Los Angeles Times.

As of this writing, we have contacted KABC via its website contact form.

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