ILNews

Court reverses grant of custody to grandmother

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Finding that the Porter Circuit judge’s ruling is not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court vacate its award of physical custody of A.S. to her grandmother and return her to the care of her mother.

M.S. gave birth to A.S. in 2002. M.S.’s mother M.D. provided lodging for A.S. off and on until May 2008 and care since her birth. M.S. married and has two children with A.S.’s stepfather. The relationship between M.S. and her mother became strained. The stepfather sought to adopt A.S.; shortly thereafter, A.S.’s biological father was contacted. M.D. later sought custody of A.S. but not the girl’s half-siblings.

A guardian ad litem found A.S. was a polite and happy girl and good in school. She said she missed seeing her grandmother but has adjusted to the change.

M.S. had previously abused alcohol and has schizoaffective disorder, which she controls with medication. Her mother tried to use those facts against her in fighting for custody.

The trial court awarded M.D. physical custody of A.S. with her biological father to exercise visitation rights. The goal was A.S. would eventually live with her father.

But the evidence doesn’t support the judge’s decision, the appellate court concluded. The mother is able to combat her disorder with medication, is in a stable relationship with her husband, who is able to care for the children, and she no longer abuses alcohol. The trial court’s conclusion that the relationship between A.S. and her grandmother is so strong that if it’s not continued, it would be potentially harmful to the future wellbeing of A.S. also isn’t supported by evidence, Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote.

In In Re: The Paternity of A.S.: Melissa Slansky v. Mary Doffin-Syler, and Bradley Howell, 64A03-1204-JP-171, the COA ordered A.S. returned to the custody of her mother and for the trial court to determine the details of her biological father’s visitation. The trial court will also determine what, if any, visitation rights are due to M.D. under the Grandparent Visitation Act.

 

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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