Craig Mills & His Family
In our latest Sound Off Louisiana feature, we continue our investigative series entailing alleged adoption scams in Louisiana. Viewers will recall from segment one that alleged scam victim Craig Mills filed civil litigation over his allegations entailing his attempted adoption of a son who is the biological brother of his adopted daughter, Morgan. Mills alleges impropriates and/or conflicts on the part of Louisiana licensed social worker and adoption attorney Lisa Pecquet Harell. The case was assigned to 19th JDC Judge Todd Hernandez. The most recent hearing entailing the matter transpired on April 10, 2017. Sound Off Louisiana attended the proceeding.
In essence, Harell’s attorney, Chris Whittington, argued that biological parents have a constitutional right to change their minds entailing who will adopt their baby. Mills’ attorney, Crystal Bounds, acknowledged that fact but emphasized that her clients “have the right not to be scammed.” She emphasized that Harell knew full well the biological parents were “double dipping” entailing multiple prospective adoptive parents but permitted the alleged scam to continue to be perpetrated. Whittington also argued that any action by the Mills family should be prescribed based on his assertion that a home study, which Harell conducted for the Mills family, is only valid for one year unless a request is made to renew the study for another year, which he contended Mills did not do. Judge Hernandez took the matter under advisement and, on May 24, 2017, he issued a ruling denying both of Harell’s exceptions (exceptions of no right of action and prescription). Thus, though Harell may appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeal, the case remains ongoing. Harell already appealed Hernandez having denied a previous peremptory exception of no cause of action, and the First Circuit declined to even hear the matter. Bounds argued that the most recent hearing before Judge Hernandez was a mere “copy and paste” of that previous exception hearing.
In this segment, Mills elaborates entailing what he contends is indifference and/or ineffectiveness on the part of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) entailing preventing adoption scams in Louisiana.
Mills discusses the indifference and/or ineffectiveness of DCFS at preventing Louisiana adoption scams.
CLICK HERE for an adoption ad in Common Cents which Mills references as being inappropriate, and
CLICK HERE for an ad by the adoption agency Mills is suing with the language he argues is inappropriate highlighted.
One alarming aspect of this whole case centers around Harell’s early-on efforts to seal this entire case from public scrutiny. Clearly, the public would not be well-served in being denied this opportunity to delve into potential serious problems in the Louisiana adoption market. Those problems were pretty well documented in this LSU Law Center publication regarding the subject.
If an adverse judgment against Harell ultimately results from Mills’ civil lawsuit against her, it won’t be the first such adverse ruling. In 2005, Harell was cited by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners for failing to actually conduct an in-person home study, falsely representing that she had in fact done so, and failing to maintain fee charges and billing documentation for the statutorily-required six-year period.
We look forward to delivering Part IV of this fascinating series, during which Mills voices his concerns entailing Louisiana State Police (LSP) and its investigations (or lack thereof) involving Louisiana adoption scams very soon.
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