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Justices take appeal over who pays DCS record fee

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A litigant whose award of $1,200 against the Department of Child Services for the cost of preparing an agency record was reversed by the Court of Appeals will have his case heard by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Justices agreed to grant transfer in Jesse Brown v. State of Indiana Department of Child Services, 41S01-1310-PL-634. Brown lost his child-care license after a hearing before an administrative law judge. Johnson Superior Judge Kevin Barton affirmed the result but ordered DCS to repay Brown the cost of preparing the agency record.

The Court of Appeals reversed in a not-for-publication opinion issued May 29 but reclassified for publication on June 28. The panel found that the burden was on Brown to compile the record or seek an extension of time to file after DCS informed him it would take 90 days to compile the record.

The matter is the only case among 27 in which justices granted transfer for the week ending Oct. 4. Supreme Court transfer disposition reports may be viewed here.

Justices also reconsidered and will let stand a Court of Appeals ruling that allowed a social worker to testify as an expert at a termination of parental rights hearing.

Justices vacated transfer in In the Matter of the Parent-Child Rel. of: B.H. & B.H., and T.H. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 52A02-1210-JT-849. In that case, the appeals panel ruled that while I.C. 25-23.6-4-6 prohibits a licensed clinical social worker from providing expert testimony, Indiana Evidence Rule 702 contains no social-worker exclusion. The panel found the social worker was able to testify and properly qualified.

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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