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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. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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