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Evidence supports CHINS finding, COA affirms

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Based on evidence that a mother continued to have extensive problems with drugs and violent relationships with her children’s fathers, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the determination that a woman’s two young children were children in need of services.

E.B. appealed the order finding that her children, who were under the age of three at the time, were in need of services. The Department of Child Services became involved with E.B. after receiving a report she used and sold drugs from her home where her children lived. When a case manager tried to follow up at the home, she found no one living there. E.B. declined to initially tell DCS where her children were living.

DCS filed the petition alleging the kids were CHINs based on E.B.’s admission to using cocaine three months earlier and refusing to disclose the location of the children. The day after the petition was filed, she tested positive for alcohol and marijuana, which she admitted to using daily.

E.B. underwent a substance use disorder assessment with a counselor. The counselor’s report was admitted during the CHINS hearing. The trial court cited the daily use of drugs by E.B., the age of her children, her violent history with her children’s fathers, among other things, as reasons why the children are CHINS. The court has since released wardship over the children and closed this case as E.B. has completed all ordered services and had clean drug screens since February 2013.

The COA affirmed the CHINs determination, finding evidence supports that E.B. continued to have extensive problems with drugs, violent relationships with her children’s fathers, and that these problems are harmful to the children. The trial court’s findings also support its judgment that there is a substantial risk of endangerment to the children, and that they need care, treatment or rehabilitation that they are not receiving and would not receive without court intervention, Judge Edward Najam wrote in In the Matter of Des.B. and Dem.B., Minor Children in Need of Services, E.B. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 49A02-1306-JC-487.  

The judges also affirmed the admission of the telephonic testimony of John Martin. Martin worked at a California lab and analyzed E.B.’s drug test. His testimony regarding mother’s failed drug screen was harmless because it was merely cumulative of evidence already before the court. E.B. claimed he was allowed to testify by phone despite the court not following the procedure outlined in Indiana Administrative Rule 14.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. 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.

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

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