4/28/10 – TG: Alamo ministries granted extension in civil suit against Arkansas child welfare officials ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
April 28, 2010
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo ministries granted extension

For the second time since a notice of appeal was given in a civil lawsuit filed by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries against Arkansas child welfare officials, an extension of time to file an appellate brief has been granted.

The suit was dismissed late last year by U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes of the Western District of Arkansas.

Barnes ruled that the case, which acccuses the Arkansas Department of Human Services of using a child abuse investigation to disband the controversial ministry, did not belong in federal court. Barnes’ order dismissing the case noted that the claims of the ministry and two fathers whose children were taken by the state, Greg Seago and Bert Krantz, should be addressed in state court.

Barnes’ order cited accepted legal doctrine that prevents federal court intervention in state court matters except in rare circumstances.

Seago’s daughter was among six girls removed from Tony Alamo’s house following a raid of the ministry’s Fouke, Ark., compound Sept. 20, 2008. Krantz’s six children were removed from sport utility vehicles minutes before they would have crossed the state line into Texas in November 2008.

The parental rights of Seago and Krantz were permanently terminated earlier this year by Circuit Judge Joe Griffin.

Both fathers and other parents whose children have been removed have appealed.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals has upheld the circuit court’s findings in an earlier stage of the custody proceedings. The orders, affirming Griffin’s determination that the danger of abuse and neglect warranted at least temporary removal of the youth, cited testimony heard at adjudication hearings that described severe beatings, fasts of children as punishment, a lack of medical care and education and the sexual abuse of young girls by Tony Alamo.

Following the hearings that adjudicated the seized children as “dependent/neglected” plans for family reunification were inked. Parents were instructed to find housing and employment independent of the ministry.

Because of their refusal to comply with those aspects of the state’s plan, Krantz’ and Seago’s parental rights were permanently terminated in January.

In the civil suit pending in a federal appellate court, the fathers allege that living off ministry property and working at secular jobs would equate to the loss of their salvations. The suit alleges that the state is asking them to choose between their children and their church.

In recent rulings from the state appellate court, the state’s need to protect children “colliding” with the parents’ rights to religious freedom were noted and the state’s decision to take the minors from their Alamo-following parents was upheld.

In: 2010

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  1. jen Says:

    It’s sad that these people are so brain washed that they put this child rapist and abuser before God and their own children. I hope the kids realize that there are better people out there and just because you say you are a man or woman of God, it does not mean that they are telling the truth. Be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

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