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DCS to appeal injunction on rate cuts

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The Indiana Department of Child Services wants the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review a judge's decision to temporarily stop DCS rate cuts.

The state filed its notice of appeal Thursday in C.H., et al. v. James W. Payne, 1:09-CV-1574, in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. The state is appealing District Judge Sarah Evans Barker's Jan. 20 decision to grant a preliminary injunction preventing DCS from cutting reimbursement rates for adoptive and foster parents and child care agencies.

Both the parents and the Indiana Association of Residential Child Care Agencies sued DCS in December after learning of cuts to reimbursement rates paid by DCS to those parties. The suits were consolidated into one, C.H. v. Payne. The combined suit represents more than 100 agencies statewide and has been certified as a class action for foster and adoptive parents throughout Indiana.

Judge Barker said in her 38-page order that much more than money is at issue in the case.

"It is the quality of care promised to the children under the applicable statutes that is at stake in the case at bar," she wrote. "Any deficiency in such care cannot later be undone with monetary compensation."

DCS spokesperson Ann Houseworth told Indiana Lawyer in an e-mail that the decision to appeal was made after reviewing their options and concluding that the injunction places an undue restraint on the agency's ability to further improve Indiana's system of child services.

"We believe that appealing this decision will serve the best interests of all the children we serve," she said.

The state hasn't filed its brief yet, but has 40 days from Thursday to do so.

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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