House of Judah: The Problem of Child Abuse and Neglect in Communes and Cults

This Note argues that although some modifications were appropriate, state intervention and removal of children, even from a commune or cult, should be handled through examination of each individual parent/child relationship. Part I examines the statutory and case law framework for state intervention and removal of children from the custody of abusive parents in Michigan, and discusses the policies supporting these laws. Part II examines the circumstances present in the House of Judah and notes the state’s departures from the statutes and rules. Part III analyzes and evaluates the usefulness and wisdom of these departures. Finally, Part IV briefly proposes alternative ways of handling child abuse and neglect cases in the context of communes and cults.