In January 2014 District Judge Tena Callahan rendered an order finding that there had been no cause for CPS’s illegal removal of the Tutt children from their household. However, Judge Callahan then refused to close the case, despite agreeing that the suit brought against the family was unwarranted.
On March 26, 2014, Judge Callahan issued a ruling allowing THSC a redacted copy of the January transcript, which observers at the January hearing stated would shed light on seven hours of personal and religious attacks against the family by CPS. Yet, Judge Callahan then decided to withhold the court transcript, in contradiction of her own order. To date, the transcript has not been released.
In a status hearing on August 22, Judge Callahan stooped to a new low by confiscating the cell phone of a spectator there in support of the Tutts, because the attendee was sending tweets about the public hearing. Judge Callahan then threatened the attendee with jail time if she brought her cell phone back into the courtroom. Judge Callahan also chastised the Tutt family in open court for speaking to the local press, and told the mother that the family ought to be able to take on CPS by themselves.
Judge Callahan went even so far as to illegally deny a copy of the transcript from the January hearing to the Tutt family’s attorney, thereby preventing the family from seeking proper remedies at the appellate level. Even so, the family sought relief from the appellate court, providing 417 pages of documentation from witnesses. Relief was denied based on the fact that they had no official record to prove their accusations against the court.
Judge Callahan’s actions to deliberately withhold evidence are an obstruction of justice, as it prevents dealing with the corruption of judicial and CPS officials. The thwarting of public accountability and justice in the courtroom for this family is unconscionable, and Judge Callahan’s usurpation of ethics deserves the strongest condemnation.