IssuesLocal NewsKaufman County Judge Issues Gag Order on Hearing Involving CPS Removal of 4-Year-Old

The Pardo family awaits a decision on whether or not their son Drake will be returned to them as the presiding judge imposes a gag order during the hearing.
July 3, 2019
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As reported last week, Ashley and Daniel Pardo of Kaufman County had their four-year-old son, Drake, removed from their home by Child Protective Services (CPS) without being told what allegations were made against them.

On Tuesday, July 2, the family had a court hearing where the judge apparently issued a gag order on the parties involved in the case.

Family Rights Advocacy, a group directed by Krista McIntire that has been advocating for the Pardo family for several weeks, published updates on Facebook the morning of the hearing.

The hearing began at 9:00 a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse. The case in the 422nd District Court had to move to a larger courtroom due to overcrowding.

Judge B. Michael Chitty presided over the hearing.

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Several supporters of the Pardo family were in attendance, as well as State Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) whose district covers Kaufman County.

No cameras or other recording devices were allowed into the courtroom. Any observer seen using a cell phone was asked to leave.

By the evening, no update had been given regarding the judge’s decision.

Family Rights Advocacy did post an image on Facebook, though. The photo is the same as the first result in a Google image search for “gag order.” The caption on the post only reads, “#WeHaveBeenSilenced.”

The Texan spoke with the family’s attorney, Chris Branson, the day before the hearing. When asked how long the hearing might last, Branson said that it could be as quick as a few hours or as long as several days. Given the gag order, the court proceedings could continue for some time.

We will continue to provide updates as this is an ongoing story.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend

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.