ILNews

Evidence does not support CHINS finding

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s determination that an infant is a child in need of services after finding the parents have improved their living situation that led to their three other children being removed.  

The parental rights of mother S.S. and father B.M. to their three young children were terminated in March 2012 because of poor living conditions, the special needs of the children, and the parents’ lack of cooperation to complete ordered services. A month later, the mother gave birth to R.S., who tested negative for drugs.

The Department of Child Services filed a petition alleging R.S. to be a child in need of services based on the family’s history before R.S. was born. Now the parents are able to live in an adequate home and provide food, diapers and other necessities for their daughter. They also appropriately interacted with R.S. during visits. Both parents have low cognitive functioning scores and mother has a personality disorder for which she was seeking to resume medication.

“This evidence simply does not support the trial court’s conclusion that the most significant reasons for which the prior termination order was entered have not been corrected, and R.S.’s physical and/or mental condition is seriously impaired or at risk as a result of the parents’ inability to provide the child with the necessary shelter and supervision,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote in In the Matter of: R.S. (Minor Child), Child in Need of Services, and S.S. (Mother) & B.M. (Father) v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 02A05-1208-JC-422.

“Here, it is apparent that Parents have made positive changes in their lives. This is something for which we should applaud them rather than condemn them through coercive action.”

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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