According to sources close to the case, the Texas Supreme Court just issued a ruling that will allow Drake Pardo, a four-year-old who was removed from his home by Child Protective Services (CPS) in June, to return to be with his family.
The stay order from the court contends that CPS has failed to prove that there is any danger to keep Drake from returning home.
The court has yet to make a ruling on the request for mandamus from the family’s lawyers. Until then, the CPS case will remain ongoing, but Drake will be placed back with his family.
Earlier this month, a district court judge ruled for Drake to be moved out of foster care and into the home of a family friend.
For more information on this story, please see the other articles published by The Texan linked to in the timeline below.
- June 22: CPS removed the child from his family.
- July 2: District court issued a gag order on parties involved and ruled in favor of CPS, granting them temporary managing conservatorship.
- August 2: Pardo family brought case to an appellate court, petitioning for a writ of mandamus to have Drake released from CPS custody.
- Read also: a detailed analysis by The Texan on the accusations of medical child abuse against the family and accusations against CPS of conducting the removal illegally.
- August 9: A status hearing (separate from the case in the appellate court) was held at the district court. The court instructed CPS to rewrite the family service plan—the way in which Drake could be returned to the family apart from a mandamus—jointly with the family after the testifying caseworker admitted she had violated CPS policy by not including the family in the formation of the first plan.
- August 21: The appellate court denied the family’s petition for a writ of mandamus.
- August 28: The family’s lawyers brought the request for mandamus to the Texas State Supreme Court.
- October 4: A status hearing at the district court resulted in Drake being allowed to be moved out of foster care and into the home of a friend of the family.
- October 18: The Solicitor General of Texas filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court, contending that the gag order was unconstitutional.
Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.