When a person or organization questions your ability to care for your child, it is important that you take those questions seriously. Whether someone exaggerates the facts, twists the truth or outright lies about you, the consequences to your family can be life altering. On a daily basis, we see how quickly false allegations can get out of control. Accusations of abuse or neglect could rapidly lead to your child being taken from you and removed from your home even when you are providing appropriate care. Our founder, Michael Cronkright, has represented parents in Battle Creek courts for years. We understand how Children’s Protective Services (CPS) works, we know how court cases progress and we know what can be done to protect your parental rights. If you are dealing with a CPS investigation or CPS has taken your child from your home, you need to act fast to retain your rights as a parent or caregiver and keep your family together. Cronkright Law, PLLC is a leading family defense law firm dedicated to helping parents.
Call our firm at (517) 325-0441 to schedule a free consultation.
Navigating the Calhoun County Court System
Calhoun County Justice Center
If you are facing a neglect petition, or a criminal prosecution, your case will be handled in the Calhoun County Justice Center. That address is 161 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI, 49014. To enter the building, you will have to pass through security so you may want to check out the security policy on the court website before you leave the parking lot. Generally, courts do not allow anyone to enter with a weapon or sharp object and non-lawyers cannot bring electronic devices in. Because security policies change from time to time, we can’t provide detailed information here. It is best to have a skilled Calhoun County defense lawyer with you at all phases of a CPS proceeding, including the investigation. We do not recommend interviewing with CPS, Police or Prosecutors without counsel present.
We Put Your Family First
Our attorneys have the legal skills and experience to help you retain your rights, defend your case in court or pursue an appeal. Whether your situation involves CPS social workers, or you have been arrested, or the Court has placed your child in another home, we can help. We believe that the vast majority of parents fundamentally love their children, which is why we are passionate about advocating for the rights of caretakers and parents.
When CPS enters your life
Toeller Profession Building, location of Calhoun County CPS Office
The best time to get an attorney involved is when CPS first enters your life. Children’s Protective Services is a Division of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Their investigators are charged by law with the task of investigating allegations of suspected abuse and neglect. The department also runs an adult protective services division which investigates allegations of elder abuse. Either way, if department investigators are looking into your activities, it is best to immediately consult with a lawyer before making any statements or answering any questions. The investigator may be openly hostile to your assertion of a right to counsel. Case law suggests that because they are a governmental agency, you have the right to retain counsel before talking to them. However, the agency does have emergency powers in limited situations to remove children believed to be in imminent harm. In Calhoun County, CPS offices are located within the George W. Toeller Professional Building. It is not far from the Justice Center. The actual address is 190 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI, 49014. As of this writing, DHHS is on the second floor. There is a directory inside the main foyer, along with building security. Parking is generally available in front of the building, with additional parking in the rear.
The areas we serve in Calhoun County include, but are not limited to:
- Battle Creek
Building a Solid Defense
A strong defense begins with you. Together, we will gather the information we need to effectively answer the allegations. We may need to see the medical records of both you and your child, especially if physical abuse or neglect is a factor in your case. We may need to obtain police reports and CPS reports. We may need to obtain Family Court records. We may need the services of a private investigator, a polygraph examiner or an expert medical doctor or psychologist. In most cases, the assistance we need is readily available because we have numerous ongoing professional relationships with competent experts who can assist you.
The strategies that we settle on will come from our expertise and your input. We believe in working closely with clients and you are a very important part of the team.
By investigating your case together, we can determine if any records were misinterpreted, any of the witnesses were mistaken or biased and whether law enforcement and CPS employees did their job correctly.
We will typically ask for testimony from those closest to you who know how much you love your child and can explain your approach to parenting. These character witnesses can help your case tremendously and may be necessary if you go to court. In order to do our job to the best of our ability, we require full cooperation from our clients. To better protect your rights and reunite you with your child, we need you to be an active participant in your legal defense. One of the most important sources of information in any of our cases is the first-hand account of the events from the parent or caregiver. We want to know your story, and we want to help.