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Justices vacate adoption decree

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The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the adoption decree granted to paternal grandparents be vacated because they didn’t perform a diligent search for the biological mother.

Mother A.B. appealed the grant of adoption of her son L.D. to the boy’s paternal grandparents. When L.D. was born, mother was incarcerated and mother’s co-worker N.E. was appointed his guardian. N.E. adopted A.B. after L.D. was born and became his maternal grandmother. Eventually the paternal grandparents filed an adoption petition and asked the court to terminate N.E.’s rights to parenting time.

Neither N.E. nor A.B. was aware the paternal grandparents had filed the adoption petition. After the adoption was granted, they appealed. At issue in the instant case is whether mother A.B. had been given the notice the law required. The trial court denied her Indiana Trial Rule 60(B) request, holding that publication in an Indianapolis newspaper had been adequate with respect to A.B. The notice was placed in a newspaper geared toward the African-American community. None of the parties in the case is African-American.

In Adoption of L.D.; A.B. and N.E. v. Jo.D. and Ja.D., No. 49S02-1006-CV-330, the justices reversed, finding A.B. did not receive adequate notice as required by law. They cited several cases that explained that service by publication is inadequate when a diligent effort hasn’t been made to find a party.

The paternal grandparents and their attorney didn’t perform a diligent search required by the Due Process Clause, wrote Justice Frank Sullivan.

“Here, although Paternal Grandparents had successfully given notice to Mother at N.E.’s address on previous occasions, they made no attempt to do so here,” he wrote. “Viewing the evidence most favorably to them, they made only the most obtuse and ambiguous attempt to ask N.E. about Mother’s whereabouts. They affirmatively concealed from N.E. the very fact that they were filing an adoption petition even though the most minimal diligence to find Mother would have involved N.E. One need look no further than the fact that N.E. and Mother filed their motion in court less than two weeks after Paternal Grandparents told N.E. that the adoption had been granted to see how little effort would have been required for Paternal Grandparents to find Mother had they involved N.E.”

The justices remanded with directions to grant A.B.’s Trial Rule 60(B) motion.
 

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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