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Commission admonishes Miami Superior judge

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A Miami Superior judge received a public admonition today from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications for granting an ex parte petition in a child custody case. The commission also noted it has repeatedly addressed this type of violation for years.

In February 2007, Judge Daniel C. Banina issued an order granting temporary custody to the father in a case involving a divorced couple still living together. The mother had sole custody of the child and decided in January 2007 she wanted to move and take their child with her.

Instead of ensuring the mother had notice of her ex-husband's emergency petition to receive temporary custody of their child and proceeding first to a hearing on the paternity request, Judge Banina issued the order granting temporary custody to the father and set a hearing for the following month. Even in a true emergency a person is entitled to a hearing within 10 days of the ex parte order; Judge Banina set the hearing for March 27, 2007.

According to the public admonition, Judge Banina violated the mother's due process rights as well as Canons 1, 2, 3B(2), 3B(8), and 3B(9) of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

"In the Commission's view, there is perhaps no greater injustice than to strip a parent of custodial rights without an opportunity to be heard and in the absence of an emergency," the Commission on Judicial Qualifications wrote in the admonition. "The Commission calls upon all judges and lawyers in Indiana to respect this fundamental notion, one the Commission and its counter-part, the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, attempted to convey now for several years, only to repeatedly address the same violation."

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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