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Court affirms termination of parental rights for drug-using mom, dad

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A mother who used methamphetamine while pregnant and continued to abuse drugs after her children were judged in need of services was properly denied parental rights, as was the children’s often-absent father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The Sullivan Superior Court did not err or abuse discretion in its decisions to place the children with grandparents and revoke parental rights in In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of A.P. & Au.P.; M.H. & T.P. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 77A01-1202-JT-59.

The appeals court noted that mother M.H. passed only four of 53 drug screens under court supervision that resulted from the CHINS adjudication and that father T.P. indicated he was uninterested in services and failed to participate.

“Mother’s strong bond with the children does not eradicate the effects that her continued behavior has and will have upon them. Based upon the family case manager’s and the guardian ad litem’s testimonies, and upon the totality of circumstances … we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in determining that termination is in the children’s best interests,” Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III wrote for the unanimous court.

The court also rejected the father’s and maternal grandmother’s arguments that the father had developed a bond with the children during unauthorized visits. “Given the trial court’s discretion to determine the credibility of evidence, including evidence regarding Father’s continuing pattern of neglect towards the children, we cannot say that the trial court erred in giving credence to the guardian ad litem’s and family case manager’s professional opinions regarding the best interests of the children,” Pyle wrote.

 

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  3. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  4. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  5. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

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