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COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

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A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.

In In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W. (Minor Child), and J.W. (Mother), v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, 26A01-1303-JT-113, mother J.W. argued she was denied due process during the child in need of services and termination proceedings and that the evidence doesn’t support removing her daughter C.W. Shortly after her birth, C.W. was hospitalized and diagnosed with failure to thrive; she also had apneic episodes when she would stop breathing. The Department of Child Services took custody of the girl and placed her in foster care.

C.W. was alleged to be a CHINS because J.W. cancelled doctor appointments, improperly fed her daughter, and allowed the girl to sleep on her stomach despite the risks. Over the course of 18 months, the mother didn’t significantly improve her skills with feeding her daughter or keeping her safe from household dangers. The trial court granted DCS’ petition to terminate parental rights in February.

J.W. claimed that a social worker told her that C.W. wouldn’t be returned and she should consider termination of parental rights. J.W. argued this led her to believe cooperation with services was “futile” and denied her due process. The appellate court rejected the claim because she did not show she was deprived of the chance to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.

The evidence supports ending J.W.’s parental rights. The evidence shows she was unable to understand C.W.’s needs and develop the necessary skills to satisfy those needs. The mother also didn’t believe she needed intervention by service providers. The findings of fact support that termination of parental rights was in C.W.’s best interests.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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