Lawyers for a Fundamentalist LDS couple were granted a temporary restraining order blocking Texas authorities from separating a mother from her child.
Attorneys sought an emergency restraining order to stop the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from removing Joseph Steed Jessop Jr. from the care of his mother, Lori Jessop. Little Joseph turns 1 on Thursday, lawyers said.
"He and Lori are being allowed to stay in a battered women's shelter, although she is not and never has been a battered or abused wife," Corpus Christi attorney Rene Haas wrote in a motion filed in Bexar County District Court. "A CPS worker has told her that after the infant, Joseph Steed Jessop Jr., turns one year old, which will be on May 15, 2008, he, too, will be taken away from her."
The judge ordered the baby's father, Joseph Steed Jessop Sr., be told where his other children, Ziana Glo Jessop, 4, and Joseph Edson Jessop, 2, are being kept. Haas wrote in court papers that the couple last saw all their children on May 9.
"Ziana and Joseph Edson were brought to the meeting place in a van from wherever they are being kept. It was the first time the children had seen their father in over a month, and the first time Ziana and Joseph Edson had seen their mother in one week," the petition said. "At no time has anyone from CPS or any state agency ever had any discussions with either Lori or Joseph about how, when or under what conditions the children can be returned to their parents."
A spokesperson for Texas CPS did not immediately offer comment on the issue. A full hearing is scheduled for May 23 in San Antonio.
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