SAME JUDGE--- SAME RESULT---CHILD SOLD IN MACON COUNTY ILLINOIS---CAN YOU BUY A CHILD IN DECATUR ILLINOIS?
Published on April 6, 2005 By trueandfree In Politics
AMY JOAN SCHNEIDER AND LAUREY SAM, TWO FIT BLOOMINGTON ILLINOIS PARENTS TRAPPED IN THE DECATUR ILLINOIS FAMILEY COURT SYSTEM.

Judge Scott B. Diamond and Judge Albert G. Webber IV, Tag Team In-Justice $$$$$$$$$ THE ART OF CHILD TRAFFICKING FOR THE BIG BUCKS.


"MONEY TALKS, YOUR KIDS WALK, IN THE DECATUR ILLINOIS 6th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT AND FOURTH DISTRICT ILLINOIS COURTS.

PARENTS FORCED TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT TO NON-PARENTS


Grand Mother and Sister Win vs. Parent... Again, and Again.

"I to like Amy am caught up in the Macon County court system and until now I thought I was the only one there who's mom and sister used this court to kidnapp my 7 yr. old away from me. Amy and I both have Judge Diamond and Sue Myerscough at the 4th District Appellant." Laurey Sam, on the Amy Joan Schneider case, April 5, 2005.


Sunday, September 5, 2004
Cherokee Nation in custody dispute
By Steve Silverman ssilverman@pantagraph.com
Pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON -- As a Bloomington woman fights to regain custody of her 6-year-old daughter, the nation's second-largest Indian tribe has raised concerns about compliance with a federal law designed to preserve the child's connection with her culture.

The Cherokee Nation claims in court documents that Laurey Sam's case in Macon County has been marked by violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that governs adoptions and foster care placements of American Indian children.

Enacted in 1978, the law established minimum burdens of proof for removing Indian children from their homes and gave tribes the right to intervene in custody disputes. Cherokees say the law is a vital tool for maintaining the identities of its members and tribal populations from generation to generation.

"The best interest of the child is taken into consideration, but keeping Indian children in Indian homes is balanced with it," said Stacy Leeds, a member of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and a law professor at the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

Said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad "Corntassel" Smith: "Children are not just the property of parents, they're an extended part of a family and with Indians, part of the tribe."

Sam's father was a Cherokee, and Sam and her daughter are registered members of the Cherokee Nation. Sam's mother, who is not a Cherokee, has cared for the girl since a disputed adoption in 2002. Sam's mother recently was awarded permanent custody after court rulings that Sam is an unfit parent.

Darrell Statzer of Decatur, the attorney for Sam's mother, maintained the case has been handled in accordance with the federal law and said the Cherokee Nation's input has been sporadic and untimely.

"They've never done anything besides write letters and make phone calls. ... They're a day late and a dollar short with this stuff," he said.

Meanwhile, the case is headed to the appellate court for the third time.

The current appeal includes claims that Sam's unfitness as a mother wasn't proven by the standard required by the federal law and that Sam wasn't offered rehabilitative services. The federal law requires rehabilitative services be offered and proven unsuccessful before an Indian parent loses rights to a child.

Sam has been accused of abusing her daughter and having a prescription drug problem. She denies those claims, but said she's willing to do whatever is required to get her child back. She insists the state Department of Children and Family Services didn't give her that opportunity.

A DCFS spokeswoman said Sam was given services, but she couldn't provide specific examples. A previous 4th District Appellate Court ruling found that Sam failed to follow a DCFS service plan and "repeatedly refused and was, therefore, uncooperative in receiving treatment."

Sam's attorney, James Brinkoetter of Decatur, declined comment on the case.

Likewise, Cherokee Nation spokesman Mike Miller and other officials declined comment on the tribe's current position, citing confidentiality in cases involving children.

Miller said the tribe advocates on behalf of children rather than siding with or against individual parents.

"The Cherokee Nation's role is to look after our children and make sure they're protected and a part of our society," he said.

The Indian Child Welfare Act gives tribes greater influence in such cases. The law was a response to the removal of large numbers of Indian children from their homes, a problem partially attributed to cultural biases on the part of investigators.

Cherokee Nation attorney Becky Johnson said many of the children were totally isolated from their tribe and their families, and didn't discover their Indian heritage until they were adults.

"The rate of suicide among those children was very high. It created an identity crisis," she said.

Johnson said the federal law has been effective at driving down the numbers of removals.

But she said compliance with the law is a common problem, especially in areas with few American Indians and few cases governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

"I think it works well but it's an ongoing problem. Every day we have new cases coming in," she said.

Principal Chief Smith echoed those sentiments, saying the law has had a "dramatic" impact and must be rigorously enforced.

"It's extremely important for the tribes and I think it provides a great lesson for the public on the kind of nurturing relationships that are important for children," Smith said.

Court records show the tribe has raised several concerns in Sam's case:

• In a May 2002 letter to Brinkoetter, Cherokee Justice Department Director A. Diane Hammons wrote the child's adoption by Sam's mother was in "total contravention" of the federal law. "The Cherokee Nation was not given notice of the adoption until after it occurred. No rehabilitative efforts were undertaken to prevent the breakup of the Indian family. It is the Nation's position that the decree of adoption was correctly set aside, and that the child should therefore be immediately returned to her mother," Hammons wrote. She invited Brinkoetter to use the letter in court, but stated time constraints prevented a Cherokee attorney from making a formal entry in the case.

• A subsequent letter to the court by a Cherokee official recommended Sam be given a treatment plan and the opportunity to be rehabilitated, and called for the case goal to be reunification with her daughter. The tribe argued Sam had the right to "active efforts" for rehabilitative services under the federal law.

• In March 2004, the tribe complained in another letter to the court that it hadn't received any documentation used by the courts to find Sam an unfit mother. The tribe asserted the right to those documents under the federal law; Miller wouldn't say if they were provided.

The custody dispute is odd and emotionally charged even by the standards of juvenile abuse and neglect court, where bizarre, fiercely contested cases are all too common.

Sam, 45, said she signed what she believed was a stand-by agreement for her mother to adopt her daughter before Sam had life-threatening surgery. She said she only wanted her mother to get custody in the event of her death.

Statzer said Sam clearly understood what she was doing, but later changed her mind.

A bitter court fight ensued. Sam succeeded in having the adoption revoked -- a ruling that also has been appealed -- but her mother retained custody after Sam was accused of abuse and neglect.

Witnesses have testified at hearings that Sam abused prescription drugs and was mentally unstable and physically and emotionally abusive to her daughter, according to court records.

Sam insists she didn't abuse drugs and never mistreated her daughter. "I adored her. From the minute I conceived her I did nothing but what was in her best interests," she said.

Sam has started a non-profit foundation to support her court battle and help other parents struggling with DCFS. She said she cherishes her heritage and is determined to raise her daughter as a Cherokee.

"Our roots are extremely deep with our culture, it's extremely important to me," she said. "It's just who I am, you can't separate yourself from it."



"

Comments
on Apr 06, 2005
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!
on Apr 06, 2005
I Truly Wish We Were..... Truly
on Apr 08, 2005
I am Laurey Sam .I too have been caught in the Macon County Court System-Judge Diamond and the Ill 4th district Appellant Court. I have been in Judge Diamond's court room to many times to count and at the 4th District Appellant Court 3 times where 3 times I have basically lost, which ruling there written by Judge Sue Myerscough. My case also involves the Indian Child Welfare Act,both my child and I are members of The Cherokee Tribe in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Illinois courts violated The Indian Child Welfare Act so much that since the first time in it's history Cherokee Nation sent their lead attorney Diane Hammons to my last appellant court hearing-we are now in line to see if the Illinois Supreme Court is going to hear our case. There were many UNTRUE allegations made against me by my 73 yr.old mother and my sister, howver, my sister's husband is Decatur Builder Steve Horve so I guess I person in Macon County with the most money wins. I can see my 7 yr. but only for twice a month on the 1 and 3 Sundays from 9-5:00p.m. I cannot leave Macon County with her and so for 8 hours on those days my 7. yr old and I are basically homeless running around Decatur. I can not call her or go to eat lunch with her at school. Mine and Amy's cases are so much alike it is almost unbelievable. No I am not on drugs, I am not unstable nor would I ever harm her beloved child -my only child that I had when I was 40 yrs. old. Yes, my sister use to work for the Macon County D.C.F.S. yes after they lost the case the 1st time she made a hotline call that got me indicated on injurius enviroment-funny though D.C.F.S. never even came to my house. Yes, D.C.F.S. did esponge my record clearing of ALL charges testied on my behalf in court and no I still do not have my child back and now Judge Diamond is threating to put me in jail for non -payment of child support-we never even had a child support hearing! It is his pusihment for parents to try and make us give up and go away. Because in Macon County the side with the most money wins! And hey Mother Mary if you read this my daughter cannot and will not be your caretaker and no Horve Builders she is not up for sale. I love her very much and my heart breaks for what you have put her though someday we must all face God-let's see how much justice your money wil buy you then. In the mean time you are in for the fight of yuor life -she is MY DAUGHTER and how does the movie title go NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER! And as for the state of Illinois Indian Nations are watching your rulings.
on Apr 08, 2005
I am Laurey Sam .I too have been caught in the Macon County Court System-Judge Diamond and the Ill 4th district Appellant Court. I have been in Judge Diamond's court room to many times to count and at the 4th District Appellant Court 3 times where 3 times I have basically lost, which ruling there written by Judge Sue Myerscough. My case also involves the Indian Child Welfare Act,both my child and I are members of The Cherokee Tribe in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Illinois courts violated The Indian Child Welfare Act so much that since the first time in it's history Cherokee Nation sent their lead attorney Diane Hammons to my last appellant court hearing-we are now in line to see if the Illinois Supreme Court is going to hear our case. There were many UNTRUE allegations made against me by my 73 yr.old mother and my sister, howver, my sister's husband is Decatur Builder Steve Horve so I guess I person in Macon County with the most money wins. I can see my 7 yr. but only for twice a month on the 1 and 3 Sundays from 9-5:00p.m. I cannot leave Macon County with her and so for 8 hours on those days my 7. yr old and I are basically homeless running around Decatur. I can not call her or go to eat lunch with her at school. Mine and Amy's cases are so much alike it is almost unbelievable. No I am not on drugs, I am not unstable nor would I ever harm her beloved child -my only child that I had when I was 40 yrs. old. Yes, my sister use to work for the Macon County D.C.F.S. yes after they lost the case the 1st time she made a hotline call that got me indicated on injurius enviroment-funny though D.C.F.S. never even came to my house. Yes, D.C.F.S. did esponge my record clearing of ALL charges testied on my behalf in court and no I still do not have my child back and now Judge Diamond is threating to put me in jail for non -payment of child support-we never even had a child support hearing! It is his pusihment for parents to try and make us give up and go away. Because in Macon County the side with the most money wins! And hey Mother Mary if you read this my daughter cannot and will not be your caretaker and no Horve Builders she is not up for sale. I love her very much and my heart breaks for what you have put her though someday we must all face God-let's see how much justice your money wil buy you then. In the mean time you are in for the fight of yuor life -she is MY DAUGHTER and how does the movie title go NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER! And as for the state of Illinois Indian Nations are watching your rulings.
on Apr 08, 2005
I am Laurey Sam .I too have been caught in the Macon County Court System-Judge Diamond and the Ill 4th district Appellant Court. I have been in Judge Diamond's court room to many times to count and at the 4th District Appellant Court 3 times where 3 times I have basically lost, which ruling there written by Judge Sue Myerscough. My case also involves the Indian Child Welfare Act,both my child and I are members of The Cherokee Tribe in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Illinois courts violated The Indian Child Welfare Act so much that since the first time in it's history Cherokee Nation sent their lead attorney Diane Hammons to my last appellant court hearing-we are now in line to see if the Illinois Supreme Court is going to hear our case. There were many UNTRUE allegations made against me by my 73 yr.old mother and my sister, howver, my sister's husband is Decatur Builder Steve Horve so I guess I person in Macon County with the most money wins. I can see my 7 yr. but only for twice a month on the 1 and 3 Sundays from 9-5:00p.m. I cannot leave Macon County with her and so for 8 hours on those days my 7. yr old and I are basically homeless running around Decatur. I can not call her or go to eat lunch with her at school. Mine and Amy's cases are so much alike it is almost unbelievable. No I am not on drugs, I am not unstable nor would I ever harm her beloved child -my only child that I had when I was 40 yrs. old. Yes, my sister use to work for the Macon County D.C.F.S. yes after they lost the case the 1st time she made a hotline call that got me indicated on injurius enviroment-funny though D.C.F.S. never even came to my house. Yes, D.C.F.S. did esponge my record clearing of ALL charges testied on my behalf in court and no I still do not have my child back and now Judge Diamond is threating to put me in jail for non -payment of child support-we never even had a child support hearing! It is his pusihment for parents to try and make us give up and go away. Because in Macon County the side with the most money wins! And hey Mother Mary if you read this my daughter cannot and will not be your caretaker and no Horve Builders she is not up for sale. I love her very much and my heart breaks for what you have put her though someday we must all face God-let's see how much justice your money wil buy you then. In the mean time you are in for the fight of yuor life -she is MY DAUGHTER and how does the movie title go NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER! And as for the state of Illinois Indian Nations are watching your rulings.
on Apr 09, 2005
There were many UNTRUE allegations made against me by my 73 yr.old mother


Is your mother White or Cherokee? Race also seems to make a difference in the Macon County Court.
on Apr 09, 2005
My 73 yr.old mother is white, as is my weathy brother-in-law Steve Horve of Horve Builders down there in Macon County. Now that you have bought it up all of my judges on my case Judge Scott Diamond and those of the Appellant court who ruled against me are all white. The only judge to my knowledge in Decatur who is Africian American is Judge White. Thank-you for your question. I can be reached at 1-918-816-0211. For anyone who may be reading this from Decatur,Ill Kay Washington was a wonderful friend of mine and at whose home I stayed at when all of this first happened. She is dearly missed but not forgotten and while lying in her hositpal bed and barely able to speak her last words to me on the phone were KEEP FIGHTING. And Kay I know that you can see that I still am and won't give up until I get my child back.Laurey
on Apr 13, 2005
I also find it very interesting that my brother-in-law STEVE HORVE BUILDERS made a campaign contribution to Illinois governor ROD BLAGOJEVICH on 11/24/2004 for a $ 1,ooo. You can find this at Illinois Campaign for political reform by going on the internet. Once you get to the sight it's under Contributor Detail HORVE CONTRACTORS, INC. 330 Marion Avenue Forsyth,Ill 62535. Thanks for everyone's concern Laurey Sam 309-310-2110.
on May 11, 2005
It is my unerstanding that Laurey's mother with the help of her sister Odette sams Horve are trying to adopt Laurey's daughter right out from underneath her. With the backing money wise from Horve Builders in Decatur,Ill. And that Laurey now has the same judge Scott Diamond in Decatur,Illnios that Amy Schneider had in her custody hearing and is now suing this judge in federal court. It is my understanding that yesterday Judge Scott Diamond awarded Laurey's mother child support from Laurey. Now if this is correct am I to understand that a person who is trying to adopt a child from her own mother who does not want her child adopted, is now ordered to pay child support? Please is anyone watching these cases? And hey Laurey if you read this maybe you should follow Amy's lead and start suing this so called Judge Scott Diamond. I've never heard of a bioigal(SP?) parent being made to pay child support to a trying to adopt parent. Sue them Laury sue them all! Incluling this builder involved.
on May 11, 2005
Hey Amy did you know that Laurey Sam has been given a court order to pay her mother child support? Does her mother not have enough money on her own to raise a child that she is trying to adopt? I think someone needs to find out about these Macon County Illinois judges. What's going on up there? Someone needs to come and help Amy and Laurey I feel sorrry for them.
on Jul 03, 2005
Not only does Macon County take children away, they will take a parent from you too!! Even if you're an only child, if.....they have $$$$. I wish Mother had been on Medicad, she would have been alive.
on Nov 19, 2005
I've been reading these blogs about the Macon County judges and was wondering what ever happened to the Amy Joan Schneider case- I see no postings about it after March 2005. What about the guy who lost his mother in Judge Diamond's court room? Is Judge Diamond still a judge there? What about Judge Webber is he still there or have these judges retired? Oh, and what ever happened in the Laurey Sam case? And that person who had a casein probate there and was going to write more about it later? It seem's like all these cases just went away. But I am really interested in is the Amy Joan Schneider case she seems like she fought so long and hard for her children-does she have them back, maybe?
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