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COA remands parental rights case

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Finding that a trial judge and Indiana Department of Child Services didn’t follow the law before involuntarily terminating parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has sent the case back to Elkhart Circuit Court.

In Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.E., and T.E. and J.E., T.E. and J.E. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services, No. 20A05-1104-JT-206, the Court of Appeals reversed the involuntary termination of parental rights of T.E. and J.E. to a child born in March 2010.

The Elkhart County office of the Indiana DCS took emergency protective custody of the then-2-month-old child, K.E. The state filed a petition alleging K.E. was a child in need of services. Both parents admitted to the allegations of the CHINS petition. The trial court in July 2010 removed K.E. from the home after an evidentiary hearing and later terminated the parents’ rights in December after a hearing.

But the trial court didn’t follow Indiana Code 31-34-21-5.6 in allowing more time to lapse between the removal and the termination or finding that reasonable efforts for family preservation or reunification had happened or that those efforts weren’t required. That was reversible error, the appellate court found.

“Our conclusion is based solely upon ECDCS’ failure to comply with the statutory mandate,” the court wrote. “We express no opinion regarding the sufficiency of the evidence relating to the remaining elements of the termination petition. In reaching our decision we are keenly aware of the fact that K.E.’s safety and emotional well-being hang in the balance. Further delay in the final resolution of K.E.’s case is regrettable. Nevertheless, ECDCS alleged, but failed to prove removal according to the mandates of Indiana Code section 31-35-2-4(b)(2)(A).”

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. "...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.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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