Once again, I have run into the situation where a DCYF social worker (first time was Jamie Walters, this time, a worker by the name of Trinity Mulleavey) has believed that merely throwing out “because RSA 169 C says I can and you are in violation of something” is sufficient to steamroll some poor schlub parent that has no idea what RSA even stands for. In that first time, I was the one that schooled Ms. Walters, line by line, that what she was saying had no application to what she was claiming it was. It was simply a case where she was either aggrandizing (IMHO) or CYAing for the Department. Ultimately, the judge agreed with me – to a point. And now Ms. Mulleavey has just shown me that this must be standard operating procedure because she tried it on someone else. Mainly, my Eldest who called GraniteGrok for help.
Quick Background: My Eldest and His High School Sweatheart (“HHS”) got back together after they served their hitches in the military (Marines and Navy, respectively) and she had gotten out of an abusive marriage with two small children. Unfortunately, the elder child has Turner’s syndrome while the younger has other developmental disabilities. Regardless, my Eldest has wholeheartedly embraced both girls as his own from a practical (not legally – not quite yet) standpoint and loves them unreservedly. He has accepted all of the difficulties they have; they really know him as their one and only Daddy. And thus, he was dragged into this.
Unfortunately, the youngest has lots issues and has a whole flock of specialist and behavioral workers assisting 360 including an aide that comes in on a weekly basis from a local NGO that works with special needs children. One of which is sleepwalking. A lot – and during the middle of the morning. All over their second floor apartment – and getting into things she shouldn’t (and not knowing what she is doing). So, with the knowledge that they couldn’t allow her to harm herself, they set it up that she couldn’t open her bedroom door at night. The aide finally noticed and said that she had to turn that information in – my Eldest simply said that’s part of your job so do so, knowing that it was done to keep her from harming herself and that, if I remember right, had cleared it with her specialists).
So a couple of days ago, DCYF social worker Trinity Mulleavey of the Laconia DCYF Office appeared at the door demanding to be let in – with a police presence. She promptly called the Eldest who was out of town and “speakered” him. They made it clear that Mulleavey that under no circumstances were they allowing her entrance to their apartment. And no, HHS was not going to bring the children down to be outside (which meant they’d be on public property (the sidewalk) which could trigger other possible actions by Mulleavey). The Eldest said that if she wanted to return on Friday when he would be home, she would be granted full access to the apartment since he was co-joined in the “complaint”. She left.
I point out that at no time was a written complaint ever given by Mulleavey and only vague spoken allegations as to what she was fishing for or what her intent was. And, as noted above, she also threw out references to RSA 169 without stating exactly which clause was in violation and seemingly unable to reference any particular DCYF rule that allowed her to do what she wanted as she was being rebuffed.
IMHO, in technical / legal terms, she was on a “fishing expedition” and also seemed that she was quite miffed that HHS and the Eldest refused to be bullied – and knew the laws to their advantage. I guess the latter remembered what I had gone through (and finally ended up by adopting the Grandson – been there, done that – beat the House with their blessing). He did good.
Which brings us to today; he, like a growing number of others lately around the State, formally asked GraniteGrok for assistance – how could I refuse?
First, I note that his sign was perfect – NH is a two party consent State meaning that one just can’t set up a recorder of some kind and not be in violation of the law. Given that tomorrow he graduates with a double major of programming and networking, I was sure that the sign was backed up with the right kind of gear. But he also wanted Press coverage (having had a number of folks he knew go through this exact kind of DCYF expeditions in the past, putting those parents through lots of angst and trouble for, in the end, nothingburgers) so as to make everything out in the open. So I showed up and started rolling. Note that the “shadow person” that was with Mulleavey knew I was there and so did Mulleavey as she started up the stairs (see below). The Eldest made it clear with “GraniteGrok, would you come up please?”:
And here is another angle from the other “under both video and audio surveillance gear” once they came into “the gear’s” range:
The operative question:
“I am particularly interested in finding out what the violation was because the last time we asked, as far as I knew, we didn’t know which code. You said it was [RSA] 169…”
If you noticed that direct question by the Eldest was not answered by DCYF – and the Eldest STILL has no answer after two visits. I do have to wonder if having RSA 169 up on his laptop was also a sign that she wasn’t running into a run of the mill guy. I also dryly note that even as she saw me following them up the stairs and knew I was there, it seemed like I was used as an excuse to bail when directly confronted by the plain black and white words of RSA 169 (either the whole law or just section C).
I guess that the modus operandi is for DCYF is to either bluff or bully (take your pick of words) merely by throwing out the mere mention that their actions are covered by RSA 169. What other message can I take away?
Note: I did call her office and left a voicemail in order to ask some follow up questions – I had made the deliberate choice to remain rather silent and let this incident play out between the Eldest, HHS, and Trinity Mulleavey. It will be interesting to see if I get that return call on Monday. If not, I will just start walking up the chain and if necessary if I get stonewalled, call the new Office of Ombudsman whose mission is:
The Office of the Ombudsman responds to complaints and requests for assistance from clients, employees, and members of the general public to resolve disagreements in matters that involve DHHS. The Office of the Ombudsman is dedicated to maintaining an environment that supports the civil rights of all served.