TOPEKA (KSNT) — Court paperwork obtained by KSNT News shows the first part of the fight by Raymond and Amelia Schwab to get their five children out state custody.
The 52 page document outlines a Review Hearing in front of Judge John Bosch on October 29th of last year. The case was heard at the Riley County Courthouse. That county is where the couple says a family member took their children without permission to be turned over to the state. When KSNT News first spoke with the Schwabs, they said the children were staying with a family member while they packed to move to Colorado.
Raymond Schwab, a U.S. Navy veteran who worked for Veteran’s Affairs in Topeka, said he requested a transfer to the state so he could grow marijuana. He wanted to provide other veterans like himself who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or more commonly known by the acronym PTSD.
Schwab and his wife both use medical marijuana, which is legal in Colorado but not in Kansas. That usage was one of the main points of discussion during the October hearing.
At that time, the courts, Child Protective Services and the family were all aiming for reintegration of the children.
However, Bosch was skeptical of the Schwab’s use of marijuana.
Bethany Fields, the Deputy Riley County Attorney, represented the state in the hearing. During her presentation to the court, Fields asked that the couple “comply with the conditions as outlined in” a letter from the state of Colorado. “…But as far as the tasks themselves such as random (urinalysis testing), such as marriage counseling, mental health assessment,” she continued, “I would ask that they parents be ordered to comply with all those tasks.”
On Thursday, Raymond Schwab claims Bosch changed his mind about the results of those random drug tests. Standing outside the Statehouse, where he and his wife have been camping for a little more than three weeks, Schwab seemed optimistic about seeing his children again.
“It was ruled and ordered that they would no longer stop our visits over cannabis,” Schwab said adding he and his wife plan to see the five children on Monday.
Schwab provided paperwork issued by the court earlier this week. “The parents are to provide St. Francis with proof of a medical marijuana card/diagnosis and that they are residents of Colorado, so if the UA is only positive for marijuana, the visits can still occur,” court paperwork stated.
During the hearing, Bosch plainly laid out his decision to keep the couple from seeing their children if the drug tests came up positive.
Speaking with Raymond’s attorney Randy Debenham toward the end of the hearing Bosch said, “I’m sorry to inform you that I’ve addressed this already in this case, and I was specifically asked by your client if he would be allowed to use marijuana, if the parents could use marijuana since it is legal in Colorado, and my response was no, that it was not okay.”
Testing had to be done before the couple could see their children. Right after the Schwabs were finished in court that day, they were scheduled to see their kids but Bosch ordered a drug test before that visitation.
After Bosch learns a test can be performed that day he adds, “well, that’s what this Court’s order is, that there be no visitations until UA’s are done and they are negative.”
However, this reversal, is not uncommon.
“The courts change rulings all the time,” said Billy Rork, a defense attorney in Topeka. “They do. It’s just something you have to be expecting in any case.”
At the conclusion of the October hearing, a follow-up was set for January 2016. Documents for that hearing have not been made available.
In protest of the state’s alleged treatment of his children, Schwab went on a 17-day hunger strike that ended when a lawsuit was filed against the state, Gov. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and other state agencies.
Despite the recent developments, Schwab said he and his wife are still pursuing that lawsuit.