UPDATE: New judge to oversee Cherokee Co. Dept. of Social Services cases

The Cherokee County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in Murphy, N.C. for story on Brian Hogan being separated from his daughter by Cherokee County Dept. of Social Services. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

UPDATE (Monday, July 16): Cherokee County attorney Darryl Brown confirms that a new out-of-town judge will oversee DSS cases. He sent us this statement:

A special judge, Dennis Redwing from Gaston County, has been assigned to Cherokee DSS Courts for the rest of the year.

UPDATE (Monday, April 2): After an open records request from NewsChannel 9 to Cherokee County, we obtained a copy of an email that explains there is a new acting Child Welfare Administrator for the county and that the roles of Supervisor David Hughes and two other workers have changed.

Read more here.

UPDATE (Thursday, March 29): The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is now investigating Cherokee County Department of Social Services.

A declaratory judgement filed in court in Cherokee County, NC show why a judge ruled Custody and Visitation Agreements (CVA) as "void" and illegal.

Cherokee County Department of Social Services (DSS) has recently been taken over by state authorities, after it came to light that the department was using CVAs to remove children from their homes.

Yesterday, we spoke with Brian Hogan who claims DSS took advantage of his learning disability and convinced him to sign away his rights to his daughter.

The documents below show the attorney's argument and the judge's decision, as well as show what those custody agreements look like.

The paperwork says that the CVA in this particular case as well as all other CVAs similar to it "are and shall be at all times void ab initio".

It also says the CVA is a product of "both actual and constructive fraud on behalf of the Cherokee County Department of Social Services, its agents and employees and Attorney Scott Lindsay and Director Cindy Palmer".

Attorney Scott Lindsay was fired a couple of weeks ago.

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