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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. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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