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Court must make findings in denying visitation for imprisoned dad

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A man released to probation on a murder conviction but subsequently ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence following probation violations failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse denial of his request for parenting time.

Wade R. Meisberger was sentenced to 48 years in prison in the early 1990s for murder and theft in Monroe County for the killing of Michael Sawyer. He was released to probation in 2007 and fathered a child, E.M., in 2008 with Margaret Bishop, to whom he was married briefly.

The couple divorced and, in 2012, Meisberger’s probation was revoked. But he continued to push for parenting time in pro se filings, and in December 2013 the couple appeared for a hearing after which a judge found “[Mother] is opposed to parenting time at [the DOC], is opposed to transporting [E.M.] there, and indicates [Father’s] parents do not want to transport the child either.”

The judge also found that Meisberger had been a consistent part of the child’s life for only one of his five years, " and, thus, it is not in his best interest to have in person parenting time within the confines of a prison facility."

The Court of Appeals remanded the matter, finding the Jefferson Circuit Court did not make a finding regarding the endangerment of the child’s physical health or significant impairment of the child’s health, safety or emotional development as required under I.C. 31-17-4-2.

“Under these circumstances and recognizing that Mother did not file an appellee’s brief, we remand for the trial court to determine and make one or more findings as to whether the child’s physical health or safety would be endangered or whether there would be significant impairment of the child’s emotional development by allowing Father parenting time, or, in its discretion, to conduct other proceedings consistent with this opinion,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the panel.     

The case is In re the Marriage of: Wade R. Meisberger v. Margaret Bishop f/k/a Margaret Meisberger, 39A01-1402-DR-76.

 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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