Detroit -- Transcripts show a court referee refused to remove 8-year-old Tameria Greene and her four brothers from an allegedly abusive environment in their home, despite requests from the state Department of Human Services.
Less than two months later, Tameria was dead from a stab wound to her chest, allegedly at the hands of her mother, Semeria Greene, 26, of Detroit.
The Wayne Circuit Court referee refused the request because he said an emergency motion had not been filed by the Department of Human Services.
The referee, Richard Smart, said if social workers thought the children were in danger "they could always call in 24 hours a day and ask for ... the children be removed. They could ask for an emergency removal order."
State officials released the transcripts late Friday after securing a court order.
On Thursday, state and court officials sparred over whether caseworkers sought the children's removal in November. The records indicate they did and were denied, despite allegations that Tameria was bitten and bruised by her mother.
"It's my feeling that it's contrary to (Tameria's) well-being to be placed with the family and that they need to be removed," Protective Services worker Rosalyn Green said during a Nov. 23 hearing.
Smart denied the bid, saying the state didn't make its case, the records show.
"There is no explanation as to why the department believes there is an emergency today versus an emergency yesterday as far as removal is concerned," said Smart, who added it would harm the children "to be snatched in the middle of the night."
An emergency order seeking the release of the transcripts alleged caseworkers tried for five days to file a petition with the court to remove the children before Smart heard the case.
Court workers repeatedly refused to accept the petitions for various reasons -- including once because the name of the children's father wasn't written in parentheses, the state claimed.
"It's evident our workers sought on the record to remove the children from this home," state Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said.
The agency said it is conducting an internal review, as is the court.
Smart was unavailable for comment Friday. Wayne County Judge Frank Szymanski, who presided over the case but wasn't at the hearing, declined to comment.
It was not clear late Friday where the other children were.
Greene was arraigned Thursday on felony murder and child abuse charges in the Sunday death.