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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.