Judge blasts child welfare officials for taking child without court order

Hannah David spoke with Hawaii News Now outside Federal Court, Tuesday.
Hannah David spoke with Hawaii News Now outside Federal Court, Tuesday.(HNN)
Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 11:20 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mother who says she was blindsided by the state’s decision to take away her 11-year-old daughter is continuing her fight to regain custody.

On Tuesday, a federal judge blasted state child welfare officials over the removal of the Big Island child from her mother’s custody.

The judge ordered CPS to provide visitation rights for mother Hanna David, but stopped short of ordering the child to be permanently returned.

In a lawsuit, the mother said police and CPS took her daughter from school without a court order 18 days ago.

CPS then brought the girl to her father on Kauai, even though he waived custodial rights in 2012.

The whole ordeal has David upset and heartbroken.

“I just want to see my daughter. I just want to have her back home and that’s really all this is to me. I want my daughter back home and that’s where she belongs,” David said.

The girl’s father, who is a firefighter on Kauai, argues that David cannot provide sufficient care for their daughter.

David’s attorney, Eric Seitz, says the case is outrageous.

“This is just an outrageous, atrocious case where this child was taken from school by somebody who had no right to take her; given to her father whom she was separated for years because of allegations — among others — of abuse,” Seitz said.

David insists she is competent as a mother, and hopes her daughter can one day understand everything that took place.

“I’m dedicated. I miss her, I love her, I want her back. Her family misses her and I just hope that she’s able to have peace of mind throughout this whole process,” she said.

A separate family court hearing on the matter will be held Wednesday.

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