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Justices take appeal over who pays DCS record fee

October 7, 2013

A litigant whose award of $1,200 against the Department of Child Services for the cost of preparing an agency record was reversed by the Court of Appeals will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Justices agreed to grant transfer in Jesse Brown v. State of Indiana Department of Child Services, 41S01-1310-PL-634. Brown lost his child-care license after a hearing before an administrative law judge. Johnson Superior Judge Kevin Barton affirmed the result but ordered DCS to repay Brown the cost of preparing the agency record.

The Court of Appeals reversed in a not-for-publication opinion issued May 29 but reclassified for publication on June 28. The panel found that the burden was on Brown to compile the record or seek an extension of time to file after DCS informed him it would take 90 days to compile the record.

The matter is the only case among 27 in which justices granted transfer for the week ending Oct. 4. Supreme Court transfer disposition reports may be viewed here.

Justices also reconsidered and will let stand a Court of Appeals ruling that allowed a social worker to testify as an expert at a termination of parental rights hearing.

Justices vacated transfer in In the Matter of the Parent-Child Rel. of: B.H. & B.H., and T.H. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 52A02-1210-JT-849. In that case, the appeals panel ruled that while I.C. 25-23.6-4-6 prohibits a licensed clinical social worker from providing expert testimony, Indiana Evidence Rule 702 contains no social-worker exclusion. The panel found the social worker was able to testify and properly qualified.

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