ILNews

Court denies rehearing in adoption case

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The Indiana Supreme Court won't reconsider its reversal of an adoption order granted to a New Jersey man of twin girls born by a surrogate in Indiana. In April, the high court ruled New Jersey resident S.M. failed to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children in In the matter of adoption of infants H., Marion County Division of Children's Services v. S.M., No. 29S02-0904-CV-140.

The justices remanded with direction to comply with the compact and thereafter issue a further judgment accordingly. The order granting S.M. preliminary custody remained in effect pending completion of the directive and any other orders the trial court may enter.

S.M. had filed a petition to adopt twin girls born in Indianapolis to a South Carolina woman who used donor eggs and sperm. After it was discovered S.M. wasn't an Indiana resident, he claimed the children were hard to place. The Department of Child Services became involved. Eventually the trial court entered a final decree of adoption, dismissed the CHINS case, and ruled consent to adoption by DCS wasn't required.

In the order denying rehearing released Tuesday, the justices noted that S.M.'s petition for rehearing asks for directives on multiple motions, requests, and objections recently filed in the trial courts by both parties. That activity seems to have been prompted partly by the Supreme Court's ruling but also because New Jersey's child protection authorities have initiated a CHINS proceeding and removed the children from S.M.'s care.

"While pendency of an appeal generally moves jurisdiction over a case from the trial court to the appellate court until a decision on appeal is certified, Petitioner's supplemental appendix reflecting the trial court's recent activity demonstrates that the court amply appreciates that its authority during such a period runs only to emergency matters," the order stated.

Chief Justice Randal T. Shepard and Justices Brent Dickson, Frank Sullivan, and Theodore Boehm concurred with the reasoning of the order. Justice Robert Rucker voted just to deny rehearing.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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