ILNews

Court reverses DCS order requiring mother to take prescribed meds

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A mother whose child was adjudicated as child in need of services won a partial victory before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.

In In the Matter of: Am.K., A Child In Need of Services and A.M. v. Marion County Department of Child Services and Child Advocates, Inc., 49A02-1207-JC-533, mother A.M. challenged the propriety of a parental participation order entered after her daughter AM.-K. was found to be a CHINS. She claimed that because the Department of Child Services failed to file a parental participation petition, the juvenile court lacked authority to order her to participate in any services or treatment. She also claimed that the order directing her to take any medications as prescribed violates her constitutional right to decide her own mental health treatment.

A.M.’s two children were removed from her custody and alleged to be CHINS after police found the mother naked behind a hotel behaving oddly. She was involuntarily committed for emergency mental health treatment and originally was taking medicine for her bipolar disorder, but stopped because it affected her existing heart condition. The mother also testified at a hearing she objected to medication on religious grounds.

The Court of Appeals found that although DCS failed to file a formal parental participation petition as described in Indiana Code 31-34-16-3, it did file a predispositional report that included all of its recommendations for the proposed plan of care, treatment, rehabilitation and placement of A.M.-K. The other child was placed with her father. The report substantially complied with the statute. Mother specifically agreed to almost all of the recommendations as to how she should fulfill her obligation as a mother except for the requirement she take all medications as prescribed.

Regarding the order she take all medications as prescribed, the Court of Appeals ruled that additional evidence is necessary to overcome A.M.’s constitutionally protected liberty interest in remaining free of unwanted intrusions in the mind and body, Judge John Baker wrote.

“Moreover, we believe that there is an inherent problem where, as here, the parental participation order does not direct Mother to take a specifically recommended medication on the basis of a doctor’s evaluation of Mother’s mental health but requires Mother to take any and all medications without regard to her objections and the possible side effects,” he wrote.

The case is remanded for further proceedings.
 
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • state abdicates legit role
    why does the constitution require that people suffering from mental illness be allowed to decline their meds and wander around endangering others? the constitution didnt mean that the first 200 years of the republic and today with more effective drugs than ever, why should it mean that now? how sad for families of people who suffer from serious mental illness. NAMI.ORG is a good resource for those who do.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

ADVERTISEMENT