Health Impact News

Reporter Sara Tiano of The Chronicle of Social Change, an online news publication dedicated to solution-based news coverage of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and educational issues faced by vulnerable children, has written an investigative report about the case of Dr. Susan Spell, a Harvard-trained Beverly Hills California doctor who has been fighting to regain custody of her children for over 6 years.

Health Impact News originally reported on Dr. Susan’s case back in 2015. See:

Harvard-trained Beverly Hills Doctor Mom Has 4 Children Kidnapped by LA County DCFS

Dr. Susan Attacked by Los Angeles DCFS for Going to the Media – Pressure Put on Children to Turn Against Her

Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child Show first brought Dr. Susan’s story to the public in LA County in 2014 by having Dr. Susan on her show.

Watch the 2014 interview:

The Chronicle of Social Change is reporting that:

In March, Los Angeles County paid a $150,000 settlement to a celebrity Beverly Hills doctor after social workers lied under oath and falsified evidence to take her four kids from her, amid a thorny custody battle.

But despite the payout — and the help of top-notch private lawyers — Susan Spell, whose TV credits include Oprah, CNN, Good Morning America, and Dr. 90210, still doesn’t have her kids back…

However, in spite of this settlement, Dr. Susan’s costs in fighting corrupt courts in LA County to get her children back has depleted her financial resources to the point where she can no longer afford attorneys and must now represent herself:

This fight for her children has consumed not just Spell’s life, but her savings, too. In addition to the lawyers, Spell said she’s paid thousands of dollars to professional monitors just to have the opportunity to see her kids.

In more recent proceedings, the mildly famous dermatologist has had to represent herself, no longer able to afford private lawyers, but still too affluent to qualify for free representation.

If a Harvard-trained, high-powered doctor with private legal help still hasn’t been able to get her kids back from their abusive father, what chance does a poor mom without those resources and social bona fides have under similar circumstances?

“If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone,” Spell said.

Corruption in Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

dr. susan dr. oz oprah

Dr. Spell has appeared on Dr. Oz, Oprah, Good Morning America, and a number of other television programs.

In Health Impact News‘ previous coverage of Dr. Susan’s case, we have highlighted the alleged corruption in LA courts, where a Dependency Court judge had found no evidence against Dr. Susan that would warrant the removal of her children, and dismissed the case “with prejudice,” which is very rare in these types of cases, and means that DCFS should not have been able to bring charges back against Dr. Susan again based on the lack of evidence.

However, DCFS was able to somehow bring up the charges again in the Appellate Court with allegedly falsified documents, and the original judge in Dependency Court was reassigned out of Dependency Court.

Commenting on the recent $150,000 court settlement with DCFS, The Chronicle of Social Change reports that Dr. Susan’s ex-husband, Dr. Brian Evans, who acted as an expert witness in child abuse cases for DCFS for around 10 years, may have had a part in influencing DCFS:

In a 2013 meeting between the family, DCFS, and County Counsel, two of the Evans kids made a shocking statement about one of their assigned caseworkers: “That’s not our social worker, that’s Brian’s girlfriend,” they said, referring to their father by his first name, according to the lawsuit that garnered the six-figure settlement with the county.

The girls said the caseworker, Tasha Beard, and Evans had shut themselves in his bedroom with the door closed for a long time on a recent visit from the social worker. When later questioned in court, Beard admitted to spending time in Evans’ bedroom behind closed doors, though she denied their relationship was romantic or sexual.

Evans did not respond to The Chronicle’s multiple requests for comment.

Read the complete article at The Chronicle of Social Change.

See Also:

Harvard-trained Beverly Hills Doctor Mom Has 4 Children Kidnapped by LA County DCFS

Dr. Susan Attacked by Los Angeles DCFS for Going to the Media – Pressure Put on Children to Turn Against Her

Dr. Susan Interview with Tammi Stefano National Safe Child Show

Interview with Dr. Susan and DCFS Whistleblower Melinda Murphy National Safe Child Show