A New Jersey state appeals court has determined that a couple who gave their children Nazi-inspired names should not regain custody of them.
Heath and Deborah Campbell's three small children were removed from their Holland Township home by the state in January 2009 after they asked a grocery store in Greenwich, N.J. to write “Adolf Hitler” on their son’s birthday cake.
The appeals court ruled Thursday that sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect existed because of domestic violence in the home, and though there is a gag order for both parties in the case, authorities have stated in the past that putting the children into the foster system had nothing to do with their names.
“[Division of Youth and Family Services officials] assured me that removing the children had nothing to do with their names or the birthday cake incident,” Sgt. John Harris with the Holland Twp. Police Dept., who was the police escort the day the children were removed.
“Just from knowing Mr. Campbell from the past ten or so years, I've never known him to abuse his children and when he has talked about his children he has been very much into his kids. Very loving,” Harris in January 2009.
But both Heath and Deborah have broken the gag order in the past to deny abuse allegations and plead for the return of their children.
“The names, I believe are the problems. But they just don’t want to come out and say that,” Deborah said after the children were taken by the state. “They belong home with their mother and father. They don’t belong out there in a stranger’s home.”
The court sent the case back to family court for further reconsideration.