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Parental rights terminations upheld in substitute magistrate cases

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In a pair of cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, parents argued that their due process rights were violated when a different magistrate reported findings and conclusions to the judge than the magistrate who heard the cases. The magistrate initially on the cases resigned before making reports to the juvenile court.

Father T.P. and mother K.G. each claimed that the orders terminating their parental rights violated Indiana law and their due process rights because the orders were based on the findings of Marion Superior Magistrate Larry Bradley, who did not preside over the evidentiary hearings. Bradley took the cases over after Magistrate Julianne Cartmel resigned.

In both cases, In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of: S.B., Ay.B., A.B. & K.G. (Minor Children), and K.G. (Mother) v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services, Child Advocates, Inc., 49A02-1303-JT-244; and In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of I.P., Minor Child and His Father, T.P.: T.P. (Father) v. Child Advocates, Inc., and Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 49A02-1303-JT-283, Judges John Baker, Ezra Friedlander and Nancy Vaidik upheld the termination of parental rights. They held the proposed termination orders do not violate Indiana law because the relevant statutory section – I.C. 33-23-5-9 – does not prohibit Bradley’s actions. Nothing in that section requires the reporting magistrate be the magistrate who presided over the evidentiary hearing.

In K.G.’s case, the court found the proposed order didn’t violate her due process rights because the underlying evidence was undisputed and didn’t require Bradley to make any credibility determinations. In T.P.’s case, the judges pointed out that Bradley carefully reviewed the record and T.P. did not identify any specific prejudice as a result of Bradley’s review and recommendation. In both cases, the parents were represented by counsel at the termination hearings.

Provisions of Indiana Trial Rule 63(A) would also allow Bradley to enter the proposed termination orders, the court ruled.

Last month, the COA ordered more proceedings in a termination case that also involved Cartmel and Bradley because the evidence was in conflict and credibility determinations had to be made.
 

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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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