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Attorney general’s office will now represent DCS on appeal

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday afternoon that the attorney general’s office will take over appellate representation of the Department of Child Services. DCS currently utilizes attorneys of its choice in appellate matters.

Taking over legal services for DCS on appeals has been under review in the AG’s office since March. The office sent a letter to DCS dated Thursday informing the agency of the change.

“When created by executive order as a separate state agency in 2005, DCS was best positioned to represent the interests of children in court cases, so the limited legal authorization allowed it to hire its own lawyers rather than using deputy attorneys general who normally serve as state government’s lawyers. But because appellate cases are highly complex and can result in new legal precedent, it now is necessary that the state government’s law firm – the Attorney General’s Office – harmonize the legal positions of DCS and other state agencies in appellate court, to ensure they are consistent with each other and with our state’s legal policy,” Zoeller said.

This change is triggered administratively through the revised consent letter, and it will become effective as soon as transitional details are finalized, but no later than Jan. 1, 2013, according to a release from the attorney general. DCS attorneys will continue to represent the agency in trial court.

The DCS appellate caseload volume is around 150 cases; the AG’s office currently has 144 deputy attorneys general. Zoeller said his office will work with DCS over the new few weeks on the logistics of staffing to ensure “that the change to AG management supervision of the cases is fiscally neutral and structured to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.”

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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