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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

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Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.

Mother B.A. and father J.A. were charged in February 2012 with drug and child-neglect offenses. The parents were arrested and their children placed into foster care by the Department of Child Services.

The parents admitted they were unable to care for their two girls and one son who at the time of the arrest were between the ages of 4 and 7. They were adjudicated children in need of services at an initial hearing about two weeks after their parents’ arrest.

Afterward, father was convicted of Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and sentenced to 14 years in prison with four years suspended. Mother pleaded guilty to one count of Class D felony neglect and was released to probation, but after a drug violation, reunification efforts ceased.

On appeal, mother claims a due process violation because she was neither given nor signed a case plan pursuant to I.C. 31-34-15-1, -2. But Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel that the record shows it wasn’t mother’s lack of knowledge about what she needed to do to get her children back, but instead lack of participation.

“While we caution the DCS to be more cognizant of the statutory framework by which it is to abide, which includes providing a case plan to each parent, we cannot conclude that its failure to provide one to Mother resulted in a procedural irregularity so egregious that she was denied due process of law. Thus, Mother’s argument fails,” Crone wrote.

Mother and father each also failed to persuade the panel that evidence to support termination of their parental rights was insufficient. The case is In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.A., L.A., and M.A. (Minor Children) and B.A. (Mother) and J.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services,
55A04-1401-JT-37.


 



 

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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