Court affirms CHINS finding of child abandoned by parents

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected arguments by parents that their son should have been found to be a child in need of services under Indiana Code 31-34-1-6 because he substantially endangers his own health or the health of his family members. The appellate judges affirmed the CHINS finding under I.C. 31-34-1-1 that the parents had abandoned the child once he was placed in an emergency shelter.

C.U., born in December 2000, has a history of mental health issues, some of which were treated in Daviess County during a CHINS proceeding involving his biological mother and siblings. When that case closed, his father, C.U. Sr., and his wife, J.U., took the children. J.U. subsequently adopted the children. He was in therapy when he moved in with the family, but it ended due to scheduling conflicts.

C.U. claimed in April 2013 that J.U. abused him. He was placed in the emergency shelter care section of Lutherwood in Indianapolis. The Department of Child Services filed a petition alleging C.U. was a CHINS under I.C. 31-34-1-1 and -2. The parents denied the allegations. They also refused to pick up C.U. from the shelter or participate in any services. They claimed because of his mental health issues, he was a danger to himself and their family.

The trial court found C.U. to be a CHINS under I.C. 31-34-1-1 and ordered the family to participate in services recommended by DCS.

The judges rejected the parents’ claim that their case is similar to In re V.H., 967 N.E.2d 1066, 1072 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), in which the COA reversed a CHINS adjudication and parental participation order. In that case, the mother tried to provide for her daughter, who had a mental health disorder, and had contacted police about altercations with her daughter.

“In sum, the Parents refused to provide shelter or treatment for the Child, leaving the Child’s care in the hands of the DCS. Although the Parents testified that the Child needs to be institutionalized, they took no steps to acquire such treatment for him and only assured the continuation of that treatment by their non-participation in the Child’s life. These facts support the trial court’s determination that the Child’ physical or mental condition was seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the Parents’ inability, refusal, or neglect in supplying the Child with the necessary shelter, medical care, or supervision and that the Child was in need of care, treatment, or rehabilitation that the Child was not receiving and was unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court,” Judge Edward Najam wrote in In the Matter of C.U., A Child in Need of Services, C.U. and J.U. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 49A05-1307-JC-354.  


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.