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CJ: Most players in appeals acting responsibly

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Juvenile Justice

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to a case in which a juvenile delinquent was placed in an Arizona facility over the objections of the Department of Child Services. The order also included a strongly worded explanation from the court’s chief justice that he would “smack down” judicial overreaching or overspending.

The DCS filed a petition to transfer jurisdiction pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, which allows for expedited appeal of certain juvenile matters. On Aug. 10, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the placement of D.S. in an out-of-state facility despite objections from DCS. The appellate court ruled the Madison Superior Court complied with statutes that allow it to place a juvenile in a non-Indiana facility.

A recent change in one of those statutes now shifts the burden of paying for those facilities from DCS to counties.

The justices unanimously denied transfer, with Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard expounding on the denial of the second case to reach them under the new “rocket docket.”

The first case dealt with how quickly a child should be moved from placement with a relative living in Indiana to placement with the mother in another part of the state. The courts found it to be best for the child to finish the school year with the relative, then move.

“It hardly seemed the stuff of runaway trial judge spending,” wrote the chief justice about the first case. He noted the trial judge in the case of D.S. has been appealed for choosing the least expensive placement.

The DCS wanted the judge to be ordered to place D.S. in an Indiana facility, which would cost at least 50 percent more per day than the Arizona facility. Everyone involved in the case, except DCS, believe the Arizona facility is the best one for the child, which is the point of government intervention, Chief Justice Shepard noted.

“I stand fully ready to smack down anything that even sniffs of judicial overreaching or overspending,” he continued. “But if the appeals we have seen so far represent the worse instances of attacks on the public fisc, it suggests to me that judges, prosecutors, probation departments, and guardians are acting very responsibly.”

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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