Little Rock - The Arkansas Court of Appeals says five members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries who are challenging the state's seizure of their children have a valid point on appeal - but should've raised the issue at trial.
The parents say Circuit Judge Joe Griffin shouldn't have granted the Department of Human Services' request for a directed verdict before they could present their case. The judge made his decision,saying a full hearing had been held beforehand regarding the children's siblings - who had been placed in DHS custody.
The appeals court says it refused to reverse the decision because the claim was made first on appeal, not at the trial level. The state took 23 children in 2008 after concerns of underage marriage and beatings in Alamo's church.