Almost any lawyer who has tried CHINS cases anticipated that the children would be ordered to return to their families. After all, this should be the ultimate goal of any such case. However, it occurred earlier than perhaps some anticipated because the Texas Supreme Court found that the state did not have enough evidence to show that abuse was happening at the compound. Despite not having evidence of true abuse, the State continued to fight to retain custody and determine parentage through DNA testing. (One suspects that another motive was for the State to gather DNA evidence to prosecute certain leaders for their polygamist beliefs.)
The $7 million price tag does not include more than $500,000 spent by local government agencies involved in the April 3 raid of the compound owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Child welfare officials claim a "pervasive pattern" of sexual abuse through forced marriages between underage girls and older men. On the other hand, members have denied that any sexual abuse occurred. One can only suspect that their is a ring of truth to members claims that they are being unfairly prosecuted because of their religion.
Apparently, legal costs are in excess of $2.2 million. While oil is the toast of Texas, it appears that this is an unnecessary burden on the tax payers of Tom Green County and Schleicher County, where the ranch is located. According to Judge Ben Woodward, neither county has the money to cover the legal costs.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state had no right to seize the 460 children. However, CPS, will use other means to monitor the FLDS. Think back to 1953. Arrests of more than 400 FLDS members in Short Creek on the Utah-Arizona state line occurred. About 200 children were snatched from crying parents and placed in foster care. The raid backfired and Governor Pyle was voted out of office in the next election.