Examiner Continues to Accuse Arlington of ‘Baby Snatching’

There’s a new installment in the Washington Examiner’s on-going effort to accuse Arlington County of stealing babies from parents.

Last night the paper published a piece by Local Opinion Editor Barbara Hollingsworth entitled “Federal judge should hear Arlington CPS case.” The article accuses Arlington’s Child Protective Services department of improperly taking away a baby girl from her birth parents and placing her into foster care. According to Hollingsworth’s account, the baby was taken from her parents in 2005 amid unfounded accusations of neglect and starvation.

The article is just one of more than a half dozen articles critical of Arlington Child Protective Services and Juvenile Relations Court judges published by the Examiner since 2008.

Citing two different cases of children separated from their parents, Hollingsworth has been making the case that “thieves disguised as Arlington County social workers and judges” have been “tearing families apart” in child abuse and neglect cases.

The Examiner reports that a lawsuit was recently filed in Alexandria federal court on behalf of eight children who have been placed in foster care by Arlington County. According to Hollingsworth:

The list of serious accusations contained in the lawsuit against DJR Judges George Varoutsos and Esther Wiggins, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason McCandless, and various Arlington CPS officials is long: perjury, RICO violations of civil rights, fraud upon the court, obstruction of justice, unconstitutional “ex parte” hearings, court orders that were never served, depriving parents of their due process rights, “missing” court orders, illegal searches and seizures, and felony removal of documents from court files, to name just a few.

Though Arlington County is prohibited from saying much of anything about child welfare cases, Department of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick said the county is committed to helping children.

“Due to the potential for litigation and our obligation to protect the privacy of children and families within the child welfare system, I am not able to comment on Ms. Hollingsworth’s Nov. 15 opinion piece,” Larrick said in an email. “I can say that Arlington County takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the health, safety and well-being of children, and we are proud to offer a broad range of services and supports that preserve and strengthen families.”

As Hollingsworth wrote to conclude her latest article: “Stay tuned.”

143 thoughts on “Examiner Continues to Accuse Arlington of ‘Baby Snatching’

  1. While I know nothing about this particular case or any other, I don’t trust the Examiner one bit. It would just as easily accuse Arlington of failing to protect children if it sniffed out the opposite story. Anything to bash those Arlington liberals.

      1. Like I said, my comment isn’t about the lawsuit or whether it has merit. It might, or it might be complete crap. As the article notes, the Examiner is not just reporting on this suit, it’s going around saying things like “baby-snatching.”

        The Examiner is extremist crap. I don’t consider it objective.

          1. Other side of the story: Manship found a pleading from a Massachusetts case on the internet and copied it. He even lifted foster care stats pertaining to Massachusetts, pasted them to his pleading, changed “Massachusetts” to “DHS/CPS,” and voila! Arlington DHS/CPS gets smeared with false allegations. Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself. Compare Manship’s paragraph 66 to paragraph 171 here:

        1. Always the self-promoter, this Manship guy is constantly looking for an opportunity to associate himself with notable people to make himself feel important. He has posted his vaunted court pleading multiple times in these comments. Apparently, Judge Hudson’s honesty didn’t rub off on Manship back in their Lion’s Club days. Manship actually copied this pleading from a Massachusetts case he found on the internet. He even lifted foster care stats pertaining to Massachusetts, pasted them to his pleading, changed “Massachusetts” to “DHS/CPS,” and . . . Voila! Arlington DHS/CPS gets smeared with false allegations. For example, just compare Manship’s paragraph 66 to paragraph 171 here:

    1. As someone else said, I trust the Washington Examiner far more than I trust some employees of Arlington. As I have written elsewhere, I saw and now have some evidence of FRAUD by Judge Varoutsos appointed Guardian Ad Litem in one of the several cases, Karen Grane. Varoutsos “aided and abetted” Grane’s FRAUD by AFTER the FACT sealing the file.

      1. You are full of crap, Manship. Why don’t you explain to the nice people how you’re going around committing the crime of Unauthorized Practice of Law, appearing in court and asserting that possessing a power of attorney makes you an attorney?

        As for Judge Varoutsos “sealing the file”, you’re again full of crap. Juvenile court files (other than criminal files involving adults or actual serious crimes committed by juveniles) are AUTOMATICALLY considered confidential under the law – which you would know if you were a REAL attorney and not some wannabe desperate to be important. If Judge Varoutsos actually SEALED the file it must have been because you and your “clients” have been coming to court and having the clerks pull them, then inviting people NOT authorized to view juvenile court files to view them. Since you are neither a lawyer NOR a party YOU do not have authority to view these files.

        The Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Court clerk’s office AND the judges take the confidentiality requirement very seriously and if Judge Varoutsos sealed the file it is because the confidentiality required under the law was breached. If you’re saying that Karen Grane in her role as guardian ad litem requested that the court seal the file then I say kudos to her for having the guts to protect the child/children from disclosures to unauthorized individuals. She did her job. Good for her.

        I wonder if Judge Almand of the Arlington Circuit Court is aware that you are not only asserting your right to speak for the parties in these cases as their “attorney in fact” (pursuant to your power of attorney), but that you are attacking both the lower court judge and the guardian ad litem for taking steps to protect confidentiality AS REQUIRED under the applicable statutes. If you were a real attorney you would be subject to sanction from the Virginia State Bar for flagrantly disregarding the law. That you are not an attorney but purport to act as one and yet do not comply with the obligations placed on actual attorneys is proof positive that you should not be entitled to act at all for any of the parties in these cases, nor should you be permitted to review or inspect court files.

        As for Ms. Hollingsworth’s role in this travesty, acting as mouthpiece for disaffected individuals operating outside of the law and flouting the rules, shame on her. She is doing no favors to the children involved in these difficult cases.

        1. Is she doing a disservice to my daughter…who was abandoned in France for nearly six years?

          Or to myself, a woman who had to pay thousands of dollars of child support to a man who did not have custody of my daughter?

          I respectfully invite you to contact me on facebook or email. It would be my pleasure to share my story with you. The last time I saw my little girl she could not speak a word of English.

      2. This is why we have courts, James. Good luck there. Until then, the Examiner is a worthless rag and not going to help you.

    2. @FurrowedBrow,

      I too, am a liberal. And I can tell you that because of Judge Wiggins, my child was abandoned in a foreign country, without mother or father, for nearly six years. How? Well, Wiggins gave my ex sole custody. He continued lying to her, pretending to have custody, and pretending my daughter lived in the US with him in Arlington.

      I had to fly to france and hire lawyers, I also had to speak with officials with the French government. After all, they paid thousands of Euros while my ex collected child support.

      Wiggins is either stupid or corrupt. I chose stupid, but others chose corrupt.

      You can read all about my case online, or send me a friend invite on facebook and I will gladly share my story with you.

  2. The Examiner is a joke… no clue about the validity of these accusations but hardly trust the Examiner to report on high school sports much less something serious.

  3. Having seen how a young person with serious family issues was helped by the juvenile courts and CPS, I too am… wait for it.. skeptical. There are cases of overzealous child welfare workers on record, but accusations of the scope Ms. Hollingsworth is making call for a full scale investigative reporting project, not an editorial shot across the bows.

    1. Ms. Hollingsworth didn’t file the lawsuit. The accusations you refer to were made in the lawsuit.

  4. Arlington CPS has been overzealous in taking children away from good parents. The agency refuses to admit their mistakes, and try to cover it up by keeping the children in foster care to prevent having to admit their mistake. They then concoct a case against the parents to justify their original mistake — even lying under oath if they have to. They do this at tax payer’s expense, while lining the pockets of local service providers (lawyers, guardian ad litems, psychologists, and doctors, etc.) who they contract with. So, there are a bunch of local professionals who ride this gravy train — and have no economic incentive to push the “stop button” and place the child back with the family. The family courts in arlington are useless — because they do whatever the CPS asks. That is so the court judges (Wiggins and Varoutsos) won’t have to take the heat if something goes wrong. Stinks! and it has ruined a lot of children’s lives. The Examiner has identified a seriously dysfunctional agency that needs urgent reform. What Arlington CPS is doing is inconsistent with both liberal and conservative ideals.

          1. This is a request for a restraining order. Are you all the same person, posting under different names?

        1. Thanks James–this is a complaint that has been filed. A complaint is not proof. I could file a complaint, couldn’t I? Who can corroborate your complaint?

        1. Was your child ever in foster care? It sounds like you were in a custody dispute that the JDR court resolved unfavorably for you. If your child was never in foster care, then how can you say that you can “back up the claim” in a lawsuit against CPS? Your grip is against Judge Wiggins, not CPS. As far as I can tell, CPS had nothing to do with your child. Can you “back up” the foster care statistics that this Manship guy lifted from a Massachusetts pleading on the internet and gratuitously pasted into his own pleading about Arlington (see GetAGripManship’s comments)? Manship has been silent ever since GetAGrip raised it; perhaps you can shed some light on that, Naomi.

          1. You are putting words in my mouth. Where did I say, “I can back up the claim” in a lawsuit against CPS?

            I can only back up the claim in the Sabrina case.

            I am not involved in the Manship lawsuit. I have not commented on it at all.

            I can only add my own experience about Esther Wiggins. I have never made any claims about Manship or CPS

  5. I would certainly trust the Examiner before I would trust anyone in Arlington County government. It is a screwed up County run by bad people IMHO..

      1. @FurrowedBrow

        Do you feel my daughter just imagined being handed over to her father by Wiggins…

        And she just imagined being abandoned by him in France for 6 years?

        Did I imaging having to pay thousands of dollars of child support to a man who did not have custody?

        Was my ex lying when he said Judge Wiggins knew he did not have custody and was meeting him at his restaurant, Les Halles, in Washington DC?

    1. Try living in some of our neighboring jurisdictions and you’ll learn very quickly that YHO is rubbish.

    2. Joe,

      Most workers in Arlington County are good and honest people, but the Arlington CPS and JDR Courts are nests of vipers, and while snakes have “forked tongues”, Native Americans described liars as people with forked tongues. Then again, more than one commentator on the modern American justice system has noted the similar conduct and similar sound of the words “liar” and “lawyer”.

    3. I’m not sure there is anything “humble” about that opinion….or expressing it on the Internet….

  6. That reminds me that the latest issue of the examiner is still on the front lawn. Time to throw it in the trash

  7. Bunch of hogwash and Hollingsworth’s actions in the last couple of years, actively conniving with and participating with these people in breaching the confidentiality of such cases, tells me she’s no journalist. I am often around the JDR court and it’s common knowledge that certain individuals have been violating confidentiality and spreading false stories about what really happened and why. Keep in mind that the County’s people cannot respond in public to these accusations, nor can the judge, nor can the County attorney or childrens’ guardians ad litem.

    1. South ArlJD, Might you also serve as a Court Appointed Attorney, or as a G.A.L., whereby you receive money from the Courts? Might that taint your judgment just a bit? Guardian Ad Litem Karen Grane who lives in Alexandria, just south of South Arl, is also a J.D. I am a former Navy Inspector General staff officer, who once was stationed in “South Arl” in Crystal City, and in January this year, I looked at Grane’s GAL Expense Voucher and from my IG experience “smelled a rat” , or rather FRAUD by padded expenses. I asked the JDR Court Clerk for a photocopy, and was denied, because I was not a party, even though an honest GAL I know says all his Expense Vouchers are open, Public Record. (more to say…)

      1. (continued from 5:41 pm post) So I asked a party to request, she too was denied, so the JDR Court Clerk “excuse” was not truthful, was it? So expecting that this was a systemic corruption issue, I prepared for the party a “Petition for Writ of Mandamus” for Judge Varoutsos to ORDER the JDR Court Clerk office to provide a copy of the GAL Grane expense voucher (who by the way, Varoutsos, appointed as GAL). As I expected he would do, Varoutsos instead Sealed the File (AFTER he knew of the report of FRAUD by a JD, an “Officer of the Court”, Karen Grane. Months later, a whistleblower working in the JDR Clerk office made a copy of one of Grane’s Expense Voucher and provided it to me, that shows alterations.

        1. So Judge Varoutsos “Aided and Abetted” the Crime of Fraud by Officer of the Court GAL Karen Grane, J.D., and so SoArlJD by sealing the file and specifically noted the GAL expense voucher, where GAL expense vouchers are legally open, public record. Does that make “Judge” Varoutsos an “accomplice after the fact” to the crime of Fraud?
          Learn more about the Federal Civil Rights Violation lawsuit against nine (9) Arlington public “servants”:

          1. Fraud? Are you kidding? Manship found a pleading from a Massachusetts case on the internet and copied it. He even lifted foster care stats pertaining to Massachusetts, pasted them to his pleading, changed “Massachusetts” to “DHS/CPS,” and voila! Arlington DHS/CPS gets smeared with false allegations. Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself. Compare Manship’s paragraph 66 to paragraph 171 here:

  8. I guarantee that there is a lot more to this story than the Examiner admits to.

    In one court document and a video on the birth parents’ website, they say the birth mother has “pervasive developmental disorders” which caused her to be non-responsive to cues from the baby that the baby needed various forms of care (I take this to mean that the baby would be crying and it didn’t register with the birth mother that the baby might be hungry or might have a soiled diaper).

    1. Mr. John Fontain,
      I believe if you or someone else looks at the Parents’ Website IN CONTEXT, the phrase “pervasive developmental disorders” was USED by Arlington CPS. The mother has an above average IQ, is a college graduate, and has been a steady employee of the FCC for over 17 years. I have seen both videos and photos that show VERY CLEARLY that the Arlington CPS statement “her to be non-responsive to cues from the baby that the baby needed various forms of care” is very much false. The problem is that an Arlington CPS social worker can say one or many FALSE statements, and there is NO accountability by the Arlington Court.

      1. There is no accountability by YOU, Mr. Manship. You are NOT an attorney, nor have you been certified as a guardian ad litem (a position available only to attorneys in good standing with the Virginia State Bar), nor have you any authority to act whatsoever. You are a self-important, self-appointed meddler in things not your business, having been invited by those disaffected by the court’s rulings and the actions of social services to insert your meddlesome self into the proceedings while the parties refuse to bring in real lawyers who will play by the rules and do things according to the statute. Of course, lawyers are also prohibited to knowingly adopt a false position and make unsubstantiated accusations … Not actually being an attorney perhaps you consider yourself exempt from such strictures.

        IF the cases of your “clients” are SO meritorious, how or why is it that they resort to you, a non-lawyer, for assistance when there are plenty of lawyers in Northern Virginia who would be happy to accept a real case? What are you going to tell me, that there are no lawyers anywhere in Northern Virginia who would dare challenge the “illegal” actions of a court not of record like the JDR court and the actions of social services? Why wouldn’t there be? It’s what lawyers do. They challenge courts on any number of issues any day of the week, secure in the knowledge that it’s what’s expected of a litigator. People don’t go into litigation to be namby-pamby tools in the hands of the courts, Mr. Manship. They like a good fight. This is just a lower court. Under Virginia law if your “clients” had a meritorious case they were entitled to a trial de novo (from the start) in the Circuit Court. Why wouldn’t a real lawyer be happy to accept such a case?

        Or are you going to tell me that ALL the lawyers are in on the “conspiracy” to deprive your poor, deserving clients of their children? To what purpose, might I ask, would they do that? For that matter, to what purpose would Arlington CPS AND the Arlington JDR court decide to take children away from their parents if their parents are competent to care for them and have not done them any harm or subjected them to any possible present or future neglect? Why would a social services agency and a court system struggling to administer an increasingly tight budget willy-nilly take children from their parents, initiate proceedings against them, maintain the proceedings despite the lack of any evidence of abuse or neglect, and then choose to terminate the parents’ rights with the sure knowledge that doing so will result in even more litigation, more accusations of wrongdoing, and more cost to social services and the court system?

        You attack the guardian ad litem for the children, accusing her without evidence of “padding” her expense account. WHAT would be her purpose in inviting such scrutiny then by taking a position contrary to that of your “client(s)”? She gets paid the same whether she supports or opposes them … WHY would she take a position adverse to your “client’s” and recommending that a child or children be taken from their worthy, loving, and nurturing parent(s)? Think she needs this case or cases? Cases are coming into the system ALL the time. If one is a good GAL one gets the appointments. There are some GALs working morning, noon, and night, they have so many cases, and if Ms. Grane ever felt she wasn’t getting enough business from Arlington she would only have to volunteer for more from Alexandria and Fairfax. In other words, she has no motive to do what you’re accusing her of doing. However, YOU and your “clients” have a motive to impugn her honesty and integrity, don’t you? Can’t win your argument unless you can trash EVERYONE involved in the case, can you? Because isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t it about agreement from many people involved in these cases that something was amiss and strong action needed to be taken to protect the children? It wasn’t just the judge. No, it was social services, the County attorney, the guardian ad litem, and probably others who all contributed to the conclusion that for whatever reason these children could not be returned home. They have no motive or incentive to make false statements. Their job becomes HARDER when they make such recommendations, not easier. They don’t get more money in the budget for making the recommendations they do, nor do they get promotions or other considerations. Judge Wiggins doesn’t have to be elected to her position and she was only recently reappointed for another 10 year terms, so where is HER motive to lie? Where is Karen Grane’s motive to lie? If she finishes up one case she knows another’s coming along soon whether from this judge or others. So WHY would any of these people do what you accuse them of doing? And if it’s SO flagrant a case of unjustified termination, then WHY isn’t there a real lawyer pursuing justice for your aggrieved “clients”?

        You talk about “accountability”, Mr. Manship. YOU are the one is not accountable. Since you are not regulated as a lawyer you feel entitled to flout the system and do the types of things which would get real lawyers in trouble. The judge is subject to review by the Judicial Review Commission for any accusations of wrongdoing and the lawyers involved are subject to supervision by the Virginia State Bar. WHO is supervising you? To whom are YOU answerable?

      2. Manship gets paid by these hapless parents to spout nonsense on their behalf, and he’s not even a lawyer. In fact, he doesn’t have a real job. [SENTENCE REMOVED BY MODERATOR] He advises these poor parents not to cooperate with CPS, so the courts are often left with no choice but to terminate their parental rights. Manship fails to mention that a parent can appeal the JDR decisions to Circuit Court for a brand new trial — like starting over from scratch. After that, the appeals courts review the case. If you want to see the actual appeals court opinion (Manship doesn’t want you to), go to

        1. Interesting indeed. From the court’s opinion:

          “At times, mother worked with social workers as much as 25 hours per week. During that time, mother was able to learn simple tasks like feeding and diapering. However, despite her best efforts, she was unable to learn how to respond to child’s changing needs.”

          If it takes multiple weeks of training to learn how to change a baby’s diaper, then that mental deficiency is way worse than the “mild learning disability” that the mother’s supporters claim.

          “DHS suggested that mother and Slitor [the boyfriend] hire a full-time nanny who could assist mother and act as child’s primary caretaker, but mother and Slitor failed to do so.”

          So they could have kept the child if they just hired a nanny, but instead they spent $600,000 in legal costs to fight the requirement to hire a nanny. Really smart folks we are dealing with here.

          “Slitor [the mother’s boyfriend but not the birth father] admittedly has an anger problem and has struggled with severe depression and a drinking problem.”

          No comment needed.

          “DHS inquired with mother about relatives who could potentially serve as guardians for child. Grandmother was the only person that mother suggested.

          “Grandmother was 79 years old at the time of the hearing.”

          “grandmother resides in an assisted living home that does not allow children.”

          Is this mother nuts? She really thinks that her 79 year old grandmother should get custody even though she lives in an assisted living home that doesn’t allow kids and she has suffered multiple strokes? This kind of wackiness demonstrates clearly, in my opinion, that the mother is not mentally competent to have custody of the child.

          1. John Fontain, I consider this a very rude personal attack. You do not know me at all, and yet you think you have the right to judge my mental abilities and parenting abilities, which you do not.

          2. I’m just stating my opinion based on the facts laid out in the court document. I have nothing against you personally and my opinions are based on the testimony of the experts in the case.

            While I feel empathy for you with regard to your child being removed from your custody, I whole-heartedly agree with the court’s decision because the best interest of the child is what ultimately matters most.

            What I do have a problem with is when people misrepresent the issues at hand. Saying the court took the child solely because she lost some weight after birth is grossly misleading and incorrect based on the facts of the case. You do a disservice to the justice system and to other families whose complaints have more legitimacy when you misrepresent the reasons why your child was taken.

            In hindsight, maybe you should have chosen to spend the $600,000 on 10 years worth of nanny’s costs rather than be stubborn and waste it on lawyers. You chose not to keep the child when you refused to hire a nanny.

          3. We were forced to spend that money on legal fees to defend ourselves against the false allegations that were being made, it was not something we had a choice in. All the while, we were indeed looking to hire a nanny, but CPS only hindered our ability to do so by not allowing our child to live in our home. And when we did select one that we felt was suitable for us, and we were willing to hire, CPS only complained about her because she was not “live-in”.

            There were also testimonies of other experts in favor of returning our daughter to our custody whose side was not presented in the document that you read.

          4. Nancy, one of the biggest problems that many people have (which impedes their success in life) is the inability to be completely honest in their self-assessments.

          5. To be fair, the first quote certainly does not say that it took months of training to learn to change a diaper. You read that into it.

  9. It would be best for the facts to be heard before anybody gets too excited. However, it is wrong to give any credence or publicity to the Washington Examiner. They should never be quoted anywhere. Unless you are a fan of publications like the National Enquirer.

  10. In the words of one court worker who attends the daily family court sessions in Arlington once told me: “I wish the politicians could sit in these courtrooms and see how poorly they are run and the injustice that is done.”

    Maybe if the courts were opened up, and the politicians like the county board, State Delegates and State Senators attended some of these sessions, improvements might result. In every other surrounding jurisdiction (DC and MD), anyone can observe family court proceedings — courts are open. That is why one reason the quality of their proceedings is far better than Arlington County family court’s.

    1. What a truly bizarre suggestion. You want the most intimate details of a family’s life and children’s travails to be open to any stranger who wanders in off the street? Would that be okay for YOUR family? Want someone who has no business with your family knowing whether your kid has ADD or your spouse suffers from bipolar disorder or that someone in your family was sexually abused as a child? Family court cases often involve painful, intimate facts and personal problems of a most delicate nature. There’s a reason for such cases to be confidential. And you are wrong about the local jurisdictions. SOME family related issues, such as charges of domestic abuse or criminal activity by or against minors is open, but we’re talking about custody and termination of parental rights. They are not open to the public in other jurisdictions, either, and on the off-chance some courts are allowing unrelated outside observers into such cases they should stop. Families are entitled to their privacy.

      1. I practice in other jurisdictions, and their courtrooms are open in family court matters. Based on the personal attacks here of SouthArlJD’s and “GetaGripManship,” those individuals must be personally involved in an adversarial relationship to this Mr. Manship, and those poor parents — which means they are either one of the judges, the County attorney, workers for Arlington County, or one of the GAL’s that were sued in his case. Rather than see the problems — which include one of the most antiquated court filing system (where you can’t even get a printout of documents that are in the file) — these persons unexplainably try to defend a backwoods family court — which has, in my experience, shown itself to be the most backwards family court in the DC Metropolitan area. [Think, “My Cousin Vinny”] Anyone who practices before the Arlington Family Court, doesn’t go along with their incestuous game, is excluded. I have come across many attorneys in Virginia who simply won’t practice in the Arlington family court because of its horrible reputation. Let’s open the Arlington family court and let the public see what is going on at their expense. The other jurisdictions do. Even family cases that end up before the Circuit Court in Virginia are open to the public. Those who defend the secrecy of the Arlington family court could only be motivated by an interest in the perpetuation of the crimes against children that occur there.

        1. I think you hit on something interesting. The defenders on here are in some cases part of the corrupt system that should be fixed but they have financial interests in not letting that happen.

          1. You guys are not helping the case with your unfair accusations that the only reason one would support secrecy is that they want crimes against children to happen or that they’re making money off of it.

            There may be good reasons for your arguments, but this kind of talk is a huge turn off to anyone to take them seriously.

          2. Do you feel it was fair that my daughter was abandoned in France for over five years?

            Do you think it was fair that my ex is allowed to lie to the judge, and pretend to have custody to collect child support?

            Do you think it is fair that AJC let this man walk free for what he did?

            Do you think that it is fair I am stalked and harassed for thousands of dollars? Or that I suffer from PTSD and now must take medication?

            You should watch these two videos.



          3. Yes, I suspect many of them are employed by the Arlington County government in some capacity. They do not want to believe that corruption could exist anywhere within that government.

  11. I don’t know anything about this case, and I too do not regard the Examiner as a rock-solid news source.

    But if any of this is true, it’s incredibly worrisome.

    I wonder about guardians ad litem.I live near a lawyer who works as one. This person is emotionally unstable in the view of many neighbors, having had hot-tempered confrontations with several. What’s more, this person’s children do not play with any of those nearby and in fact are barely seen. One neighbor thinks they look possibly malnourished.

    It makes me wonder if there is something about being a guardian ad litem that attracts weirdos. I sure hope not, given the power they have.

    1. “It makes me wonder if there is something about being a guardian ad litem that attracts weirdos.”


      1. Why is that? Is it easy money if you have a law degree? Or is it considered the least desirable work a lawyer can do?

        1. Most people who do such work do it because they have a genuine interest in helping kids (or elderly/handicapped adults if they’re certified that way). It’s not lucrative, but the pay is not as bad as it is for people who take court appointed criminal cases. It is by no means “easy money” because the guardian ad litem must spend a lot of time visiting the kids, the homes, and the schools, and must familiarize himself/herself with everything from mental health issues and treatment to medical terms to the rules and regulations and services of schools. There are a lot less labor intensive ways to earn a living, and people who are just in the law to make a few bucks aren’t attracted to the sometimes very difficult job of the GAL. Many children in the system have serious emotional problems or have suffered from some trauma and the GAL must be aware of possible placements for children who for whatever reason cannot or should not be left in the care of their parents or whoever it is who is raising them. Sometimes the cases are extremely difficult for the GAL. Imagine being the GAL for a child who turns out to have been sexually molested or brutalized by the people who should care for and protect that child the most. Think it’s easy? If so, then you are a fool. No one with an ounce of compassion can see and hear what GALs often see and hear without being affected.

          No one is forced to be a GAL. Not only does one have to volunteer for the job, but one must also be certified to do it and must continue to be recertified periodically by taking continuing legal education programs designed to enhance the knowledge and practice of GALs. The GAL stands in the shoes of the child and represents the child’s best interests. Sometimes the GAL’s perception of what is in the child’s best interests will differ from what the child or the child’s parents or guardians think or feel, but the whole point is to have someone who can recognize problems, monitor progress, and otherwise see to it that the child’s best interests are not forgotten.

          1. Most of the GALs I have met in Arlington are “bottom feeders.” That is, they take this work because it is easy and does not require them to build a practice — and a good reputation with private clients. And, yes, most of them appear to be a bit weird, too, and from their “analyses” none would appear to have any parenting skills. I am not sure GALs are even required to have a full psychological before taking on these responsibilities. Based on the many I have seen, they seem to be good at “testifying” without being held accountable for what they say — so they tend to make facts up to rationalize a result that the family court judge or the Arlington CPS, or the other party’s counsel wants to hear. If it were not so serious, their courtroom performances would be comical.

          2. I have respect for my daughters guardian ad litem. He was a very nice guy.

            All the professional witnesses did not want my ex to get sole custody. ALL of them.

            But, as fate would have it. He won sole custody anyway…then put my daughter on an airplane, shipped her to France and left her there for nearly six years while living the life of a bachlor in Washington DC. Oh…and Judge Wiggins forced me to pay him thousands in child support.

            Did she know he had done this horrible thing to our daughter? Nope – he continued lying to her. I had to fly to France and hire lawyers.

            But the good news is that Judge Wiggins did enjoy many delicious meals with my ex at the restaurant where he worked in Washington DC.

        2. I was referring to a certain person, not actually a guardian, attracted to this particular case, not guardians in general.

    2. Way to argue from the specific to the general. You know ONE guardian ad litem (child? adult? Arlington? Another jurisdiction?) and based on your observation of this one individual you’ve decided that ALL guardians ad litem are probably “weirdos”. Does that sound logical to you? And you further assert that you and your gossipy neighbors have decided that this GAL’s kids look “malnourished” and don’t play with other kids. During your many busy gossip sessions with all the neighbors possessed of such curiosity about the GAL among them have you or any of them ever bothered to report these “malnourished” children? I suspect not.

  12. The Examiner reminds me of Nixon’s infamous “Nattering Naybobs of Negativity”. Has a more credible news source picked up on this story? This would seem to be the tawdry tripe that the local TV news would be all over if it had a shred of truth.

  13. All I can say is that I’d prefer an aggressive Child Welfare Department that protects children than one who errs on the side of “keeping families together.” Remember the D.C. case of Judge Queen who took a child from a foster parent and returned her to the birth mother? Within months the child was dead of abuse. Under the foster parent’s care the toddler thrived. However the judge did not do her background work and took the child from her capable foster parent and returned her to a drug-addled woman who happened to be her birth mother. Such a sad sad story and a pretty little girl died. So the heck with the Examiner. Arlington County has the best interest of children at heart.

    1. I remember that case. It was very sad.

      Judges do make mistakes all the time.

      The problem I have with Esther Wiggins is that she is too proud to admit when she made a huge mistake.

  14. I certainly appreciated, Ms. Hollingsworth, for writing a very enlightening article. I can certainly understand why she felt so disturbed about the baby Sabrina case. I thought it was common knowledge that it was normal for babies to lose weight after birth. That is not a reason for CPS to remove a baby from his or her parents, which I thought they were only supposed to do in cases where a child is being abused. This could have happened to any new parent. I had no idea that Arlington CPS was so corrupt, I hope that Judge Cacheris will do the right thing and bring some justice for these families.

      1. Yes, I read the opinion, Mr. Get A Grip. What it shows is that the judge discriminated against the mother because she had a mild learning disability. Having a learning disability does not make a person a bad parent.

        1. Did you actually read the opinion? According to the opinion, the mother needed extensive training to learn how to **feed and diaper** the baby. For a period of time, she was receiving 25 hours a week of training from social workers in order to learn to attend to the child’s basic needs. That’s not a mild learning disability.

          1. The diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disability, that is a mild form of autism. It is a condition that presents challenges in interpreting social and non-verbal cues from others. It does not make a parent unable to “learn how to feed and diaper a baby”.

            The 25 hours per week of help from private social workers was needed tosimply give the parents contact with their daughter, and re-establish the bond that had been broken by CPS when CPS only allowed the parents 2 hours a week of contact with Sabrina.

          2. “The 25 hours per week of help from private social workers was needed tosimply give the parents contact with their daughter”

            Your claim appears false based on the court record of facts, which states that the 25 hours per week of training happened after visits were fully cut off:

            “When those visits became impractical because of child’s uncontrollable crying, DHS attempted several different things to facilitate productive visits. DHS moved the visits to a local caf‚, to mother’s home, and to the foster parents’ home. It also brought in an infant massage therapist to attempt to calm child. DHS continued trying new things until the J&DR court ordered it to stop the visits. DHS then worked with social workers chosen by mother who conducted intensive home training with mother and Slitor. That training began with visits twice per week and progressively increased until mother was receiving training for up to 25 hours per week.

          3. Sure. But that’s what the opinion said was happening, regardless of the cause. Not saying it’s accurate, just saying that your objection doesn’t change that.

          4. No you didn’t. You read the transcript from JDR. Again, get your facts straight. After the outcome in Judge Wiggins’ court, Nancy Hey appealed to the Circuit Court — as was her statutory right — and got a brand new trial in front of a different judge. The Circuit Court (NOT Judge Wiggins) heard all the evidence and determined that termination of parental rights was in the best interests of the child. Nancy then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the Circuit Court’s decision. The Court of Appeals does not review the JDR courts’ decisions, period. Once someone appeals from JDR to Circuit, it is as if the JDR adjudication never happened. It’s a fresh start, clean slate, witnesses, evidence, argument, the whole deal. So a completely different judge in Circuit Court heard all the evidence and came to the same conclusion that Judge Wiggins had. Then the Court of Appeals reviewed the record FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT CASE and upheld the outcome. I am sure you have all kinds of conspiracy theories about that (corrupt judges, collusion, blah, blah). But your beef should be with the Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals, not Judge Wiggins. Your attacks on her are convenient for you because you are angry about the outcome in your custody case. Why didn’t YOU appeal Judge Wiggins’ decision as was YOUR right?

          5. What about the people who can’t afford to appeal a bad decision? All these appeals cost a lot of money in legal fees, and a lot of low-income families can’t afford it. So, you can not say that just because a parent has the “right” to appeal a decision means that the system is fair. Parents never get a trial by a jury of their peers, and so they are just at the mercy of these judges, who mostly are corrupt all the way up the line because of where their pay comes from.

          6. To “Guest” below:

            In abuse and neglect cases, Arlington courts appoint counsel to represent parents in abuse/neglect cases if they are indigent. That includes appeals. Love your general statement that the judges “mostly are corrupt all the way up the line because of where their pay comes from.” I assume you are one of those conspiracy theorists who think the judges somehow profit from kids coming into foster care. You probably also believe that our government imploded the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9/11. Keep reading those baby-snatcher blogs, “Guest.”

          7. Wait a sec… you are asking me why didnt I appeal to Judge Wiggins as was my right?

            Here is the reason….

            1. She was meeting my ex at his restaurant in Washington DC. She admitted it and I have him on tape admitting it.

            2. I told her that if she gave the man custody he would cut me out of my daughters life and send her to France. He did both.

            3. Of all the lies he told her, she lacked the mental capacity to recognize a single, solitary one of them. If she was not smart enough in the past to realize the man is a liar, there is no reason for me to think she is smart enough to realize it now.

            4. I had to hire French lawyers because Wiggins is incompetent. Now, i have to take my ex to court in the Federal System because Wiggins is incompetent.

            Does THAT answer your question? Now…it is my turn to ask.

            If Wiggins is competent…why is it she did not know that every single letter my ex sent her over YEARS were all lies, that my daughter was not even living with him, and could not speak English because she had been abandoned in France? Riddle me this. How can a Judge claim to have continuing, ongoing jurisdiction and not know what country a child is living in?

            The RIGHTS you claim I have are meaningless when the Judge has a personal relationship with one of the litigants and lacks both intelligence, fairness, and humility.

            If she possessed these qualities should would have seen all this coming a mile away. She did not see it coming, or realize I was telling the truth because – SHE IS A DING BAT.

            Appeals to get children back almost always fail.

      1. I was not able to reply directly to your comment about appealing, so I’ll do it here. My question (I thought) was pretty simple, but no — you actually didn’t answer it. Instead, you just spouted more uncorroborated vitriol about Judge Wiggins. I’ll try again: Why didn’t you appeal Judge Wiggins’ decision to the Circuit Court? Any final order from the JDR Court can be appealed to the Circuit Court. You get a trial de novo on appeal, which means you start over again with a new judge, new trial, etc., as if Judge Wiggins never heard the case. If you failed to appeal, aren’t YOU the dingbat?

  15. Judge Wiggins has a long history of making bad judgments regarding the placement of children. For example, she has awarded custody to abusive fathers including the father of Arianna Leilani King, who refuses to get his daughter necessary medical treatment for a blood condition she has which affects her immunity. She has also sent teen girls who have had minor scrapes with the law to a juvenile detention facility called the Aurora House, where they report having been abused.

    1. Aurora House is not a detention facility. Where are you getting your information? What evidence do you have of abuse at the Aurora House?

        1. The children there are abused psychologically if not physically. One way they are abused is by being denied contact with their parents, particularly with their mothers. They are labeled “juvenile delinquents”, and apparently Judge Wiggins thinks that is an appropriate “punishment” for them to be denied contact with their parents.

          1. Nancy, you are simply wrong. Please, please, stop spreading misinformation. Aurora House is a group home for troubled girls. It is not a locked facility. The girls go to public schools and engage in other enrichment activities in the community while they reside there. Some of the girls who go there have committed delinquent acts. Others are there because they were found to be children in need of services or supervision (CHINS). The girls are not denied contact with their parents. The exact opposite is true: Family involvement/participation is critical to the success of Aurora House residents. The girls get home passes as they progress. Aurora House is a well-managed, superb program that provides structure and support to girls and their families so that the girls hopefully will be armed with the tools they need to thrive at home with family. It’s a great opportunity for girls who need help, not a punishment. Stop making stuff up, ma’am.

        1. “Here is a video about the girls of Aurora House.” You make it sound like a documentary that blows open some scandal. So I watch the video, and it consists of you reading from a petition website. There was only one entry that referred to Aurora House, and it was by someone who claimed to have been at Aurora House for a period of YEARS. Impossible, ma’am. Girls don’t go to Aurora House for years. It’s not a foster home. It’s not a long-term residential facility. The other entries you read in your video don’t appear to have any connection to Aurora House. I’m sorry about your personal story, but you are clearly distorting the facts here.

          1. I am reading what the girls wrote.

            Therefore, I am not distorting facts. If you feel that these girls are all lying, then tell them that they are all lying.

            I documented what they wrote. They also sent me some private emails. It is all very sad. Those poor girls.

          2. Ma’am, do you dispute my observation that only ONE of those entries said anything about Aurora House? It’s your own video. Everybody can watch the video for themselves, I guess. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone here.

          3. I do not know if you are in the Twilight Zone or not, all I can say is that several girls posted comments and sent me emails.

            I do not know how many homes and facilities these girls were in or how long. These girls are saying that Wiggins ruined their childhood.

            If you think one of them is lying, you are certainly entitled to that opinion. I am curious if you think that ALL of them are lying.

            Incidentally, I made public two more videos on that channel. Here is one of them


          4. I know the Aurora House puts out a great-looking web site, NotSoFast, where they make all those wonderful claims that you site, but of course it is in their interest to do so, and not to publish any complaints made against them. I’m inclined to believe the girls that contacted Naomi, because I don’t think they would have reason to lie, especially about something as serious as being denied contact with their parents at a difficult time in their lives when they most needed parental guidance and support. I’m sure those claims would be affirmed by their parents as well.

          5. Why are you inclined to thinking that ALL these girls are lying?

            What motive would they have?

            If I was a child put in one of those places, I would have given the Judge the middle finger and run away.

            One of the biggest mistakes I made ( other than being with my ex ) is making the decision NOT to kidnap my daughter. If I had taken her, maybe she would have had a chance at a normal childhood. Instead she lived like an orphan in a foreign country without either of her parents.

            Arlington Juvenile Court did that to her. Esther Wiggins did that to her.

  16. Not surprised that so many Arlington County rubes on this site would immediately defend the courts from these accusations.

    1. Not surprised that so many Arlington County critics on this site would immediately defend the Examiner and petitioners from these accusations.

      1. The allegations are not proven yet, and from the looks of what we see here, they are likely to be proven bogus. But the courts will decide.

        1. The lawsuit will probably not succeed. However, after reading the removal order and the court opinion in the Sabrina case, I can say confidently that Sabrina never should have been taken from her mom.

        1. You do look very pretty. I’m sorry about what happened with your daughter, I’m praying that you will be reunited with her.

        2. Dagnabbit, another 8 minutes of my life wasted!! I see you’ve drank the kool-aid and are trying to keep the focus on the initial birth weight drop rather than the numerous actual reasons for the final custody order.

          1. And, on top of that, she blames JDR Judge Wiggins for the outcome despite the fact that Circuit Judge Almand was the judge who entered the final termination of parental rights order (and his decision was reviewed and affirmed by the Court of Appeals). Doesn’t it drive you crazy when people like Naomi cherry pick facts to further their own agendas? It’s completely disingenuous.

          2. I read the ruling from the Court of Appeals.

            The court felt that Sabrina would have been damaged by the separation from the foster parents if returned to her mother.

            Although Sabrina would have had a rough time adjusting to life back with her mother, it was still the right choice.

            Appellate court judges never….I mean almost never….overturn a ruling. The national average is about 3 percent. Even when CPS found Nancy innocent of wrong doing after the fact, getting the child back is nearly impossible.

            BTW – why not use your real name instead of NotSoFastNaomi? I opened an account here, and linked you all to my facebook and twitter channels.

          3. “The court felt that Sabrina would have been damaged by the separation from the foster parents if returned to her mother.”

            True, but that wasn’t the reason custody was denied.

            “Although Sabrina would have had a rough time adjusting to life back with her mother, it was still the right choice.”

            You provide no substantiation for this assertion. Weeks and weeks of training just to learn to change a diaper is a big, flashing warningn sign. Just because something came from your vagina doesn’t mean you are capable of caring for it.

            “Appellate court judges never….I mean almost never….overturn a ruling. The national average is about 3 percent.”

            You imply that a low turnover rate is indicative of a problem with appeals courts but provide no substantiation for this assertion. I could just as easily argue that a low turnover rate is due to judges largely getting it right the first time, right?

            “Even when CPS found Nancy innocent of wrong doing after the fact, getting the child back is nearly impossible.”

            You’ve mismatched the cause and effect. The child was not permanently removed because of the initial birth weight decline that she was cleared of. It was due to the alcohol/anger/lowEQ/we ain’t hiring no nanny/grandma in the nursing home issues.

          4. Okay, although we did have weeks of training, it was certainly not all dedicated to teaching how to change a diaper! Most of it was dedicated to other thinks, such as teaching Sabrina how to walk when she reached that stage, teaching her how to read, how to play and appreciate music, and just to having quality time with her which had been denied us during the time that CPS was in charge of visitation.

            As to the alleged alcohol and anger problems, CPS never provided any proof of those charges.

            Also, as I said, we never “refused” to hire a nanny. CPS simply did not approve of our choice.

          5. I wonder if you have children of your own, Mr. Fontain, and if so, are you always a perfect parent? You keep complaining about “wasting” eight minutes of your time, what about all the children who have had years of their childhoods ruined for them, time that they will never get back.

          6. Yes and no.

            I don’t mean any offense by this, but I know someone very similar to you. She is academically very, very bright. She is articulate and logical. But when it comes to her EQ (emotional intelligence), she is significantly deficient. She has no idea how to interact around others nor how to appropriately behave around children. Without any bad intent, she has squeeze small children very hard and was completely clueless that this wasn’t appropriate and that the child was being hurt. She is not a bad person, she just shouldn’t have kids. It’s as simple as that.

          7. I’m sorry to hear that. I don’t believe that applies to me however, I interact very well with children, and would be very aware if I was doing something that they didn’t like, such as squeezing too hard.

            Since I don’t know the person you are referring to her, I don’t know whether or not she could be cured of that behavior. Personally, I find that children make pretty clear what they do or do not like.

          8. What I do not understand about the people who think Sabrina should have been given away to strangers, is that they do not have any concept of what it means to live in a healthy society.

            If Nancy had these problems, what does a normal, healthy society do?

            We give her continued, ongoing support in what ever issue or need she may have. This is what we do.

            We do not destroy her life by taking a baby and giving her away.

            I simply do not understand why on earth people cannot see this.

  17. Regardless of all the comments people are leaving here, and all the emotions involved I can say with absolute confidence that I am so happy I do not live in Virginia.

    Seattle is one of the greatest cities in the USA.

        1. That is SUCH a shame! I’m sure she would be so delighted to know that she has two baby brothers, and would love to see them!

  18. I am glad to see so many people engaging in this topic. Even though many of us have different opinions, any kind of dialog about Esther Wiggins and the things she has done in the past is good in my opinion.

    No one has the right to destroy the lives of innocent children. And no one has the right to destroy the lives of innocent parents. The pain Wiggins has put these parents and children through is unbearable. She has caused unimaginable suffering.

    I felt so hopeless and lost for so many years. My little girl was given away to a cruel human being. Her father used to hold me down on the floor and spit on me. He would scream horrible abuses at me. He would humiliate me in public. Wiggins said that it was a ‘cultural’misunderstanding and I was just being sensitive.

    He abandoned my poor, sweet little girl with his family for YEARS in France. He continued to lie to Wiggins, pretending our daughter resided with him in the United States. Wiggins even issued an arrest warrant for me for failure to pay him child support.

    I do not know if any of you knows what it feels like to go before a judge, tell the truth, and be called a liar. It is one of the worst feelings ever. Telling the truth does not work. I have done it and it does not work. Liars win. Abusers win. The bad guy wins all the time.

    Today, I sleep with my daughters photo by my bed. Here little face is the first thing I see when I open my eyes and when I close them.

    Then I have to go into the bathroom where I take 100 mg of anti depressants because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have to go to therapy where I speak with a doctor about with my ex, and Esther Wiggins did to me. They traumatized me beyond repair.

    So before you post thing about Nancy, please try to think about what she is feeling. You will never know it or understand it, and I personally hope that you never do know this kind of suffering.

    1. Yes, it certainly is very traumatic. I also remember all of the rude remarks Judge Wiggins would make to me when I was in her courtroom too, such as telling me that I had no maternal instinct, that I was putting my own interests ahead of Sabrina’s etc., things that were just not true, and were very insulting to me

  19. I personally know some black families who’ve been torn apart by the rulings of Judge Wiggins. The other judges in the Arlington Courthouse are united in propping up the so-called “child protection” racket. For poor black families, this is a racket to grab their children (just like slave children of days past in ole Virginny) and get a bunch of Federal money for foster “chicken coop” parents, who get a bunch of foster kids for the stipends. The foster kids are grossly abused, sometimes starved, and no social worker lifts a finger to help these kids! If anyone calls the CPS people, nothing is done, end of story. The social workers and agencies get lots of government money. It further gets spread around, in the form of fees, to bogus “psychologists” and “non-profiteer” agencies. The Slitor-Hey family, even though white, got the shaft as well. They have my sympathy. Looks like “we are all together now” in that great false-liberal fantasy-land of Arlington! I support black families, white families, families of all color and background uniting and exposing this vile child stealing for profit racket. It is an abomination. With “liberals” like these, what is the use of conversing with them? There minds are just as closed as any redneck wearing a white bed sheet. The only problem is, these false-liberals are very educated, very articulate and very powerful. They are the new slave master caste. They make big money, either as bureaucrats or as lawyers and judges, from a confusing, family-rending racket. It is quite probable (but not readily provable) that cash bribe money is given to family court judges, corrupt pediatricians and CPS bureaucrats to facilitate certain dubious “foster adoptions”. These are actually just kidnappings under color of law. In plain English, this means the government officials themselves are running an illegal racket. This “social dis-services” racket is just as sinister as the military-industrial complex, another killer of people of color around the world. It is time to Occupy Social Dis-Services and CPS offices. We are mad as heck and we will take this no longer!

  20. This editorial is the truth. The “child protective” and social dis-services industrial complex gets very nervous having the truth put out. County hacks pompously intoning that their machinations are “confidential’ is just a cover up. Just like “weapons of mass destruction”, where are the facts? A grave injustice has been done because there are no juries, no rules of evidence. The “court documents” are interpreted and family-shattering decisions are made uni-laterally by a judge in cahoots with a corrupt, self-serving “child protective” bureaucracy. This screams for a massive independent investigation of all these cases. The childrens names can be redacted, but the facts of the case, who made the false accusations of “child neglect”, the medical facts, the case presented by the parents whose children have been kidnapped by the state, these can easily be made public and widely investigated. People should be called in for further witness testimony under oath. Where there is smoke there is fire. Let us see the fire. Light can be shed and corruption can be exposed. Arlington County and their fellow CPS racketeers in neighboring jurisdictions want the whole inquiry swept under the rug. That is what they call “confidentiality”. It is like keeping Rodney King’s beating-by-the-cops video “confidential” and “off the record”. Heavens forbid, riots might occur. Without justice, don’t count on peace.

  21. Not only are the banks and corporations out of control, but so is big government. A couple has their child taken away from them without any rules of evidence, no juries. A case is hoked-up against them, a hair-trigger judge signs an order to grab their children. Their child is held hostage in “foster care” and they are forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees in a vain effort to achieve justice. A single judge who is very beholden to both the county (which gets money from the Federal Government) and to the child protection agency-bureaucracy unilaterally makes a ruling. This whole process is undemocratic and could even be un-Constitutional. It is time to Occupy Departments of Social Services and time to Occupy Courthouses. It is time to make the 1% accountable for the misery and injustice they cause for the 99%.

  22. This is just one more example of a faceless bureaucracy run amuck. The whole child protection services agency needs to be thoroughly investigated. All the cases mentioned in the Examiner editorial and those of other Arlingtonians’ whose children were put in foster care need to be re-opened. This is a horrific travesty. It cries out for publicity and justice.

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