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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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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