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Child Protection

Washington County Family Law Attorneys Provide Strong Advocacy in Child Protection Cases

Serving individuals and families throughout Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater and Woodbury, MN

Minnesota child protection agencies screened more than 56,500 allegations of child maltreatment during 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available. If the state has made wrongful allegations of child abuse or neglect against you, or if you need help securing a safe environment for your child, the family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. can help. We have the compassion to take on your fight as our own and the knowledge to navigate the legal system on your behalf.

When can a child be placed in protective care?

Minnesota authorities may remove a child from his or her home and place the child in protective care when:

    • The parent or legal guardian fails without justification to have regular contact with the child or show interest in the child’s well-being for six months or more
    • The parent or legal guardian has the means to care for the child but fails to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing or other necessities
    • The parent or legal guardian caused or allowed egregious harm to the child, including:
  • Mental abuse
  • Emotional harm
  • The parent or legal guardian fails to protect the child from conditions or actions that endanger the child
  • The parent or legal guardian fails to ensure the child is educated according to the law
  • The birth mother exposed the child to certain drugs during pregnancy

If the state believes any of these circumstances exist, it may initiate proceedings to remove the child from the parent or legal guardian.

What is a CHIPS petition?

A Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) petition asks a court to determine that a child needs protection or social services. The petition is generally filed by the county. But if a private citizen reports to the county that he or she has reason to believe a child needs protection, and the county fails to act on the tip, the private citizen can then file a CHIPS petition.

If the judge agrees that the child needs protection or services, county social workers must develop a case plan that gives the parents an opportunity to address the problems. A CHIPS petition can eventually lead to a petition to terminate parental rights, if the parents or legal guardians don’t comply with the case plan and fix the problems.

Contact our lawyers for answers to your child protection questions

Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. delivers aggressive legal representation for families throughout Minnesota, including in Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Eagan and Woodbury, MN. There is no charge for initial consultations, and flexible scheduling is available. Call us today at 651-379-3024 or contact us online to make an appointment.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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