TWO CASES, ONE JUDGE
by Sharon Rondeau
In a case of which The Post & Email became aware approximately six weeks ago, the father of three children detained by the Department made the same claim.
Judge Marguerite D. Downing, who presided over the Henderson children’s fate, is also the judge in the case of the Williams children, all three of whom are residing with their maternal grandparents.
Willie and Katie Grant have been referred to as the children’s “de facto parents” from the outset of the case.
The father, Roosevelt Williams, has provided The Post & Email with scores of emails exchanged over the last five years with various DCFS social workers who he says maintained a bias against him and did not even consider placing the children in his custody in light of their continued objections to his wife, Kanika Grant Williams, regaining custody.
When we related to Mr. Williams that Downing ordered the two Henderson parents to separate, implying that return of the children to Erica Henderson would then be a possibility, Mr. Williams responded that Downing had said the same thing to him.
The Post & Email last interviewed Jeffrey Henderson in November 2014 after he left Southern California to attend law school and found that his departure made no difference regarding his children’s living arrangements. To the best of The Post & Email’s knowledge, all eight children were adopted, most of whom were not relatives.
In a recent interview with the Williamses, Kanika opined that her husband has been deceived more than anyone else since their nightmare began in the summer of 2011 when, unbeknownst to them, the Hendersons’ case also began.
While their parental rights have been terminated and adoption scheduled for their two older children by Kanika’s parents, Willie and Katie Grant, an interview with DCFS Public Affairs Director Armand Montiel last week revealed that they might still have recourse in regaining custody, or even visitation, with their children.
Like the Henderson parents, Kanika and Roosevelt have reported being “thrown out” of the courtroom by Downing on more than one occasion, including when Kanika asked to represent herself at the most recent hearing on September 14. Following that hearing, the Williamses’ parental rights for their third child were terminated.
In September 2012, Erica Henderson reported that she and her husband were at times not notified of hearings involving their children, which proceeded without them present. In both families’ cases, the parents have attended and completed court-ordered classes such as “parenting” and “anger management,” although initially, the department had no case against Roosevelt. Consequently, Roosevelt sought custody of the children, an option Montiel said is normally the first course of action when the department takes issue with the other parent.
Regarding the September 14 hearing, Roosevelt told us on Wednesday:
Also on 9/14/2016 CSW by the name of CSW Lakiesha Grandberry lied to the court And stated i call her a XXXXX in the parking lot of children court Monterey Park and lied to the court stating I was not trying to set visitation up with the department to see my children when and fact I have emails showing I tried when the department refuse to set up visitation with my wife and me. Judge Downing terminated our FR with XXXXX Williams on 9/14/2016. Sharon I haven’t seen my children in months now and my Attorney Robert Howell refuse to submit the information showing the social committed perjury on the stand. Mr Howell said that Judge Downing want allow him to submit exbits or subpoena relevant people on my behalf. Like Beatrice Davis who the CSW stated that she was the one who call them on May 7 2014 to detain my daughter XXXXX Williams and was telling them false information about me and my wife. John Davis who is Beatrice Davis Husband and a police officer were Kanika and XXXXX Williams was living at the time. Lia Jones the CSW who accuse me of being a Drug Dealer. For some reason Sharon Judge Downing don’t want Beatrice & john Davis or CSW Lia Jones to come to court I will provide you their numbers CSW numbers and my Attorney number. It’s seem like a pattern every time we have a 266 hearing social worker and maternal Grandparents Willie and Katie Grant are saying I did something to them in a threaten manner to try to sabotage progress in this case and judge Downing allow it to happen.
Roosevelt then provided phone numbers for the above-named parties, including the Grants.
During last week’s interview, Montiel affirmed that the option of “adoption” is not normally pursued when a case is very new, although social worker Tim Reeff wrote to Roosevelt in November 2011, six weeks after the case of the eldest child commenced:
Concurrently with reunification services, we are initiating an adoption assessment. Relatives have priority to adopt. If there has not been substantial progress toward reunification by the beginning of April 2012, the Department will be recommending termination of family reunification at the May 5, 2012 hearing and selection of a permanent plan, which could involve adoption.
When we questioned Reeff by email about the swift consideration of adoption for the Williamses’ eldest child, he referred us to Public Affairs, which resulted in our contacting Montiel, with whom we also spoke about the Hendersons’ case.
In a recent interview, Kanika Williams indicated that relationship difficulties she and her husband have experienced as a result of the absence of their children have been misrepresented by DCFS and blown completely out of proportion.
The Williamses make their home in Alabama but have been traveling back and forth for the hearings involving the children. Roosevelt believes that adoption was a foregone conclusion with his son, and later, with his two daughters. In an initial interview, Kanika related that her father is an attorney. acquainted with Downing, and that her son “is the son he never had.”
According to Montiel, there is no time limit for the life of any given case, but Erica Henderson had told us that when a case “times out,” the child is automatically consigned to a different permanent living arrangement, which is suggested by Reeff’s November 2011 email to Roosevelt Williams.
Both sets of parents reached the point of having their children for overnight visits, after which each case took a macabre turn and contact between parents and children was lost.
Emails which Roosevelt has sent to a variety of social workers handling his children’s cases reflect his frustration with the system which has perpetuated his children’s absence from his and Kanika’s lives for more than five years.
Part of one such email follows with the first names of the children redacted by The Post & Email.
From: roosevelt williams
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2015 8:31 AM
Subject: RE: XXXXXX Hospital Visit Sunday 8/23/2015
This is Roosevelt Williams Jr. I am emailing you concerning my daughter XXXXX Williams health. The Maternal Grandparents /caretaker called me on Sunday, August 23 at 11:19am and stated that it was a problem with my daughter XXXXX. That XXXX was taken to the hospital and therefore I was unable to have my visit as scheduled on Sunday, August 23rd at 12:30 pm. I told Katie Grant, we was on the way (Kanika and I). Katie Grant ask me at this point which was heartless, very rude and disrespectful, she ask me “What I meant about We. No Kanika can’t come.” I said “What you mean Kanika can’t come, that’s her daughter”. Katie Grant said, ” Well you have unmonitored and Kanika don’t, she has no monitor. I said “I will call the social worker on the way but I think in a emergency situation that it would be okay and its court order, we on the way, goodbye.” We arrived at Orange County Children Hospital in Santa Ana, CA at 12:39pm. We couldn’t get a answer back from you and we know that the Grants (MGP) had planned to make a scene since their first comment was that Kanika can’t see her own daughter in the hospital instead of XXXXX and doing what was best for her, so we made the difficult decision, deciding that Kanika would sit in the waiting room until you call us back. You are a mother, and I have known Kanika for 9 years and I know it took everything in her to not see our daughter, XXXXX, who she didn’t know what was going on. We actually heard a Code White being called to her room, 423, on our way to her room, can you imagine? And Kanika kept her composure, she let me go in and see what was going on, no matter how hard it was, she did that and I have a new found respect for her for having that strength. I know this was very hard for Kanika knowing that her child was sick and she had to wait in the lobby at a very secure Hospital that had about 2 security guards for every floor. She was treated like a criminal by her own family members, by the so called caretakers of our children. If the Grandparents were acting in our children (XXXXX) best interest then, why weren’t we notified when they first checked her in on Saturday? Why weren’t you notified? Why are these people deemed more fit for our children than their own biological parents that Love them and care for them unconditionally? What was the danger of Kanika being with her child during a emergency situation? Is this DCFS protocol? How do you social workers not see how dysfunctional these people are? This is dysfunctional and strange that even is beyond me, I have never seen family behave like this to one another, I have never seen human to human behave like this. I was really shocked that Katie Grant said what she said to me, that was all she was concerned with, keeping Kanika from XXXXX and XXXXX from Kanika, mother and daughter, despite Court Order, despite emergency, despite logic, despite anything, that all she care about.
I have been treated like Kanika was treated on Sunday this entire case, especially when it comes to my children health. When our children have been hospitalized, which is very serious, I seriously understand how Kanika feel. This case is so messed up, contradictory, just like they did her, they did me in April 2014, Kanika had unmonitored visits and I had to have a monitor. Now things have turn from her not having unmonitor to me having unmonitor, so whats really going on? And what does that have to do with our child being in the Hospital and the grandparents prohibiting her from seeing our daughter with no consequence? If Kanika had gone in there to see XXXXX, they would have caused a scene, called security and had Kanika escorted. They already had the doctors not answering my questions when she call the room because they told them I have no rights, when my parental rights have not been terminated and I have a right to know what is going on with my daughter legally and ethically. This has been the issue the entire case, the caretakers are taking over, not allowing me information regarding my children heath, visitation, contact with my children, nothing, fighting me every step of the way and the social worker supporting their every, unethical, immoral, illegal move. Nothing has happen since 2011. Nothing has changed. The social workers and caretakers/grandparents act like my children are not Williams. Even in this instance where my daughter is checked into the hospital, she checked in under the name XXXXX Grant, when her legal name is XXXXX XXXX Williams. This has been XXXXX name since December 2012, but yet the Court, the reports, the grandparents, no one in this case is acknowledging that XXXXX is my and Kanika daughter and she bears her father name.
One thing I do know for sure is that I wouldn’t have known my child was in the hospital if I wasn’t schedule for the visitation 12:30 pm on Sunday. That is the only reason I was informed of XXXXX being in the Hospital which is wrong. The Grants informed me right before time to have the visit when XXXXX had been admitted into the Hospital Saturday. Why wasn’t I notified when XXXXX was admitted? XXXXX was transferred to the Children Hospital on Sunday, so it must have been serious or maybe it wasn’t serious and the grandparents over exaggerated, either way I wasn’t given the respect, courtesy, or compliance with Court Order. Neither was Kanika, to date they have not told Kanika anything. The most they did is send a email saying that XXXXX was release to go home on Sunday. They haven’t even called Kanika. In fact, Willie Grant, walked passed the waiting room where Kanika was, looked through the glass at her for a moment and kept walking. They never spoke to her and she did not speak to them. Willie Grant also tried to get me to sign a piece of paper as if this was my visitation time. I informed Willie Grant that I was here for the support of my daughter and to show her love and support and this was not a visit. I told him he needed to speak to you about me signing any more paperwork because it was not on the paperwork I received from you. I was there for our daughter, giving her love from me and her mother. I love and talk to my daughter and my son talked to me about what happen, about why XXXXX was there.
I really need the record to reflect the lack of support the Grants (MGP) have for their only child and their ill intention towards, me, Kanika and our kids. We (The Williams Family) are not game pieces on a board game. We are people with feelings, hearts, love for each other as a family. This is no more than a Chess game for Katie & Willie Grant. I know if my kids were with anybody else I would have them by now and I nor my children would have to deal with this level of hatred and sickness. This is not a good environment for my children I have told previous CSW this family need counseling (Katie &Willie Grant) to resolve issue they have with their only child Kanika Grant.
Please check on my children because things are happening to them in this house. I understand kids get sick but its been a consistent thing since Katie & Willie have had custody of my children, saying this is wrong, that is wrong, saying that my son need therapy when he was assessed twice and found not to need any therapy, I’m finding knots and bruises on XXXXX forehead, being told she has physical ailments when she was MAT assessed and found to be perfectly healthy, saying XXXXX needs physical therapy, speech therapy, helmets, hip braces, when she was born the healthiest of my 3 children coming in at 8 lbs 10 oz and her therapists finding that she is developing normally.
Please take all I’m telling you into serious consideration for the health, safety and welfare of my children. Please investigate and acknowledge the truth about Katie & Willie Grant. The Grants are older, over 65 years old. It is not fair to my children or Kanika and I. The Grants don’t have the patience or strength to raise three young children. My kids and I are suffering because of the relationship between Katie Kanika and Willie Grant. Kanika parents ill intention towards her.