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Appellate judges affirm previous decision in paternity dispute

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A divided Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday reaffirmed its original opinion in In Re: The Matter of the Paternity of S.C.: K.C. (Appellant), and C.C. (Appellee), and B.H. (Appellee-Intervenor), 30A01-1107-JP-322, and ordered a rehearing, in which the appellate court affirmed the Hancock Circuit Court’s grant of B.H.’s verified petition for relief from judgment for fraud upon the court.

A DNA test showed B.H. is 99.9997 percent likely to be the father of a child with K.C.

Hancock Circuit Court granted C.C.’s petition to establish that he was the father of S.C. the day after it was filed. The order was issued a day before B.H.’s scheduled paternity hearing in Fayette Circuit Court, and B.H. was served with notice of the Hancock County paternity order at the hearing, according to the appellate ruling.

The Fayette Circuit Court dismissed B.H.’s case, and he filed a motion to set aside the Hancock County judgment “on grounds that Mother committed fraud upon the court in not informing the Hancock Circuit Court of the then-pending Fayette County proceeding,” according to the opinion.

The Hancock Circuit Court granted the motion, vacated the paternity judgment in favor of C.C., and ordered DNA testing that concluded B.H. was almost certainly the father.

Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote the rehearing joined by Judge Paul Mathias. Judge Patricia Riley dissented without a separate opinion.

In granting rehearing, Friedlander set aside mother K.C.’s claims that B.H.’s paternity action didn’t meet statutory requirements and that DNA tests were in dispute and inadmissible.

Those issues, Friedlander wrote, are “beside the point with respect to the Hancock County order under review. The question is whether Mother committed fraud upon the Hancock Circuit Court by failing to apprise that court of the Fayette County proceeding” that court records indicate she knew about.

“It is enough that the record supports the Hancock Circuit Court’s finding that a paternity action was indeed filed and pending in Fayette County and that Mother knew of the action when she participated in the Hancock County action,” Friedlander wrote in support of rehearing. "It is enough that there was evidence to support the Hancock Circuit Court’s finding that Mother did not inform the Hancock Circuit Court of the pending Fayette County paternity proceeding. And, it is enough that there was evidence to support the finding that Mother knew there was a reasonable possibility that B.H. was S.C.’s biological father, regardless of any defects or deficiencies in B.H.’s legal efforts to establish his paternity as a matter of law.”

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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