- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

JACKSBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Two children have been taken from their home and kept from their parents for four days after a judge ordered the move without a hearing or legal cause, according to statements made in court.

On Friday, 8th Judicial Circuit Judge John McAfee ordered the children, ages 15 and 3, returned home, declared the actions of the judge who ordered them taken “improper” and removed her from the family’s case, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1VxtakW).

McAfee struck down two more removal orders Friday made by Campbell County General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons. The first case involved a 19-month-old baby boy who had been in the care of a grandmother described by a guardian as an “excellent caregiver.” The other was a 14-year-old in the care of a grandmother deemed by the Department of Children’s Services lawyers as blameless.

In each case, DCS Services lawyers said they didn’t seek removal of the children nor believe the agency had legal grounds to do so. In the case of the two children taken from their parents on Monday, DCS attorney Apryl Bradshaw said the agency had no pending complaint involving them.

“The Juvenile Court had no jurisdiction on those . children,” DCS regional general counsel Sean Muirgaen told McAfee.

McAfee temporarily blocked the removal of the baby and the 14-year-old within hours of Sammons’ ruling Wednesday. But he was unable to stop the removal of the Jacksboro parents’ children Monday because of a legal technicality. Those two children were placed in foster care until Friday’s hearing.

McAfee said Friday he is routinely called after hours to issue stays of Sammons’ removal orders.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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