N O T E S T O M E M B E R S
Membership Manual Revisions
In order to better protect your family, we have revised the steps you should follow when an official shows up at your door, particularly if he pressures you to allow him to enter your home. Please paste this newly-revised page 11 over page 11 of your Membership Manual. If you cannot locate your manual, ask us for another copy.
We want you to be informed and preparedreview these steps carefully, noting the changes made to steps two and four. Questions? Call your states legal assistant at (540) 338-5600.
Steps to Follow if the Official is at Your Door*
* These steps are designed for the sole use of HSLDA members (revised December 1998).
1. Call HSLDA immediately.
2. Ask if the official has a search warrant. If he does not have a warrant, you do not have to consent to allow him entrance into your homeunless a police officer asserts he is investigating an emergency situation. Where possible, record the conversationnotifying the officials that you are doing so.
3. Do not volunteer any information to the officials.
4. If the official is accompanied by a police officer and insists on entering your home despite your protests, it is probably better to let them in. But before you do this, please try to get a hold of an HSLDA lawyer. If circumstances do not permit this, then you should say to the officials before they enter, I am closing my front door, but it is unlocked. I will not physically prevent you from entering, and I will not physically resist you in any way. But you do not have my permission to enter. If you open my door and enter, you do so without my consent, and I will seek legal action for an illegal entry.
5. Do not lose your temper or yell. Some cases have suggested that an overly angry response gives an officer a reason to suspect child abuse. While HSLDA disputes these cases, a calm response is always wise.
6. Do not contact a local attorney on your own with any anticipation that HSLDA will pay for this lawyer. You, of course, are always free to hire any lawyer at your own expense.