Mother loses appeal of CHINS finding

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a mother’s argument that child in need of services findings should be vacated because the judge in the matter should not have been able to make a negative inference from her invocation of her Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

The Department of Child Services filed a petition alleging that A.G. was a CHINS after several doctors had concerns that his mother M.K. was causing the baby’s cyanotic episodes, which caused his skin to turn blue, his eyes to roll back in his head and his body to stiffen. A.G. was diagnosed with mild to moderate pulmonary hypertension, which is common among his father’s relatives. But M.K. was the only one to witness a cyanotic episode. The doctors were concerned if he was left in her care, he could die.

When A.G. was removed from M.K.’s care, he only had one episode, which was attributed to his diagnosis.  

While the CHINS proceeding was pending, an evaluation by a board-certified clinical psychiatrist determined that mother is afflicted with Factitious Disorder by Proxy and is responsible for A.G.’s life-threatening cyanotic episodes.

After A.K. was born, the child was also removed from mother’s care and a CHINS petition filed.

During the CHINS proceedings, M.K. refused to testify. The children were adjudicated as CHINS, during which the trial court entered the conclusion, “Mother’s refusal to testify in the state’s case in chief draws a negative inference that Mother was concerned about incriminating herself through her testimony, further indicative of mother’s guilt.”

M.K. only appealed this finding, arguing the rule in Gash v. Kohm, 476 N.E.2d 910, 913 (Ind. Ct. App. 1985), should not apply in CHINS proceedings. The rule outlined in Gash does not prohibit a trier of fact in a civil case from drawing adverse inferences from a witnesses’ refusal to testify.

In In the Matter of A.G. and A.K. Children Alleged to be in Need of Services, M.K. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 82A05-1306-JC-297, the Court of Appeals found the mother could not support her contentions or make a cogent argument based on public policy or constitutional law. Since she doesn’t challenge the remainder of the findings and conclusions, the adjudication stands.


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

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  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.