United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED
STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Timothy J. Cavan United States Magistrate Judge
Krissy Sanchez filed two motions to proceed in forma pauperis
(Docs. 1, 5), a proposed Complaint (Doc. 2), a Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus and Emergency Motion for Return of
Child (Doc. 6), and a Motion for Emergency Injunction (Doc.
8). She alleges Defendants violated her First, Fourth, and
Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States
Constitution by removing her children from her custody
without sufficient cause. (Doc. 2 at 6.)
motions to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. But the
Court must abstain from hearing Ms. Sanchez's claims for
injunctive relief at this time, and those claims should be
dismissed. Ms. Sanchez's claims for monetary relief
should also be stayed pending the resolution of state court
proceedings regarding the custody of her children. The
petition for writ of habeas corpus and emergency motion for
return of child and motion for emergency injunction should be
MOTIONS TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Sanchez's motions to proceed in forma pauperis are
sufficient to make the showing required by 28 U.S.C.
§1915(a). (Docs. 1, 5.) The request to proceed in forma
pauperis will be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Sanchez is proceeding without counsel. She names the
following Defendants from the Montana Department of Health
and Human Services: the Child and Family Services Division of
the Department of Health and Human Services State of Montana;
Cierra Rash, CPS social worker; Christy Ellerbee, CPS
supervisor; Jason Larson, regional supervisor; Moyra Anthony,
CFS case worker; Maurita Johnson, administrator CPS; Sheila
Hogan, Director DPHHS; Laura McCullough, compliance and
critic incident manager; Debbie Kirby, social worker and Jen
Weber, CFS supervisor.
also names Detective Mcave, Deputy Lauwers, Sgt. Taylor, and
Deputy Cunningham from the Yellowstone County Sheriff's
Department; Deputy County Attorney Cory Harrington; and City
Council member Chris Friedel from Friedel LLC as Defendants.
(Complaint, Doc. 2 at 4-5, 9-12.)
September 1, 2017, Defendant Ceirra Rash went to Ms.
Sanchez's home to investigate allegations regarding Ms.
Sanchez's care of her children. She was accompanied by
Defendant Chris Friedel. Ms. Sanchez told Ms. Rash she had
evidence to disprove the allegations, but ultimately Ms.
Sanchez indicated she did not want to continue without an
attorney. Ms. Rash eventually left the house stating she
would get a court order or the police.
Ms. Rash left, Ms. Sanchez walked to the community garden
with her son to pick vegetables and fruit. While there, she
got a call from a neighbor informing her that the police had
just kicked in the door of her house. As she returned to her
home, Deputy Mcave stopped her and advised her that she was
being detained because social services was picking up her
son. Ms. Sanchez tried to explain that her son was not in
imminent danger. Nevertheless, more police arrived and Ms.
Sanchez's son was removed from the home.
filed for custody of Ms. Sanchez's son based upon Ms.
Rash's affidavit, which Ms. Sanchez disputes. She also
claims DPHHS did not offer services to allow her to keep her
son in her home, and the agency has only allowed her to see
her son for a total of eight hours since September 1, 2017.
She also states the agency has not allowed her to see her
15-year-old daughter during that time period.
Sanchez states that a hearing on these issues has been
scheduled in state court. In the meantime, the Department has
forced her to undergo “voluntary” services to see
her child. She alleges these services are triggering trauma
and PTSD from her own childhood, because she is being forced
to discuss traumatic events which a counselor had advised her
not to revisit.
claims her son has been placed in a home where he is at risk
for sexual abuse, exposure to drug use by siblings, and
exposure to prostitution. (Complaint, Doc. 2 at 13-18.)
SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915