Child in need of services

COA affirms termination of mother’s parental rights

July 14, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the termination of a mother’s parental rights to her daughter after finding the mother failed to prove the trial court erred in the calculation of the time the child had been removed from her parents’ home.
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DCS caseworker must face damages trial in illegal search suit

July 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
A federal judge ruled against a Department of Child Services case manager who illegally searched an Indianapolis veterinarian’s apartment after receiving a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. The case manager now must face a damages trial in the vet’s civil suit against her.
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DCS did not have sufficient evidence for CHINS adjudication

June 29, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services failed to present any evidence that a newborn’s mother did not have stable housing or that her actions seriously endangered her child, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in reversing a child in need of services adjudication.
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Reversal: Trial court ordered to revisit CHINS petition

May 26, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court imposed an “inappropriately high” burden on the Department of Child Services to prove a presumption of a child in need of services situation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday in an opinion ordering the trial court to revisit the CHINS petition.
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CASA therapy dogs lighten mood at Tippecanoe courthouse

April 28, 2017
 Associated Press
Navigating the local court system is just one more traumatic experience for children who have been abused or neglected. But Tippecanoe County advocates believe a therapy dog to pat or scratch could ease their stress and lighten their moods.
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Appellate court affirms CHINS order

April 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a Vanderburgh County children in need of services order after finding the children’s custodian did not make any argument as to why his stipulation to the facts of the CHINS petition should be withdrawn for cause.
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Divided COA reverses CHINS finding

March 30, 2017
Olivia Covington
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a CHINS determination after finding the Department of Child Services failed to meet its burden of proof, though one judge believed the trial court was acting in the child’s best interests.
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Adjudicating on different CHINS petition allowed under Trial Rule 15(B), COA rules

March 21, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A troubled teenager found to be a child in need of services was properly adjudicated even though the juvenile court ruled the state did not meet its burden in proving the basis of its CHINS petition.
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Appeals court reverses CHINS finding

March 21, 2017
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in declaring a boy in the custody of his father to be a child in need of services on account of his meth-abusing mother, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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COA reinstates father’s parental rights, terminates mother's

March 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a Huntington County father to retain his parental rights to his son but terminated the mother’s parental rights after finding that she has not remedied the circumstances that led to her son’s removal from her home.
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Supreme Court reverses CHINS determination

February 7, 2017
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a children in need of services determination Tuesday after agreeing to hear the parents’ case on the merits, despite their premature notices of appeal.
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COA upholds constitutionality of CHINS reunification exception

January 12, 2017
Dave Stafford
A statute providing exceptions to the requirement that the Department of Child Services make reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families involved in CHINS cases survived a constitutional challenge Thursday.
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Ryznar: Another notable year for CHINS and parental rights cases

January 11, 2017
Margaret Ryznar
As Indiana continues to experience heightened levels of CHINS and termination of parental rights cases, several interesting cases arose in 2016 related to these topics.
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Judiciary addressing rising number of CHINS cases around state

November 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
A sharp increase in the number of case filings involving children in need of services comes as the number of juvenile delinquencies across Indiana is decreasing, which Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush attributes to the state court system’s focus on increasing resources to juvenile courts and assigning appropriate punishments to juvenile offenders.
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Justices weigh whether child abuse reporter can sue DCS for breach of confidentiality

November 16, 2016
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana church van driver who suspected children to be in need of services due to dangerous living conditions in his small community followed the law requiring him to report his suspicions. He didn’t want to provide his name, but he did so after a Department of Child Services hotline worker assured him his identity would remain confidential, as the law also requires.
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COA affirms denial of foster parents’ petition for adoption

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
A set of foster parents do not have the right to adopt two children without their father’s consent despite the fact that the father does not have visitation with the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Friday.
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On rehearing, appeals court reins in DCS on CHINS custody change

September 8, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Department of Child Services lost on rehearing its argument that a custody modification ordered in a child in need of services case survives the CHINS proceeding.
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COA blasts DCS’ lack of action in CHINS case

August 18, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals in a child in need of services case questioned why the Department of Child Services was able to not comply with multiple court orders and face no consequences from the juvenile court.
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Justices reinstate father’s parental rights

August 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court’s findings do not “clearly and convincingly support” its decision to terminate a father’s parental rights to his son based on it being in the best interests of the boy. In fact, the findings show that the father and son have a bond and often spend time together, the Indiana Supreme Court found Tuesday.
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COA: Parents’ actions do not support CHINS findings

July 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed the findings that four sisters are children in need of services, noting none of their parents’ actions or inactions endangered the children.
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COA: Juvenile court has no jurisdiction to modify custody agreement

June 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a juvenile court does not have jurisdiction to modify a paternity court’s custody order and sent the case back to the lower court.
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COA rules DCS has duty to protect caller’s identity

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision the Indiana Department of Child Services had a duty to protect a man’s identity after he called the DCS hotline and reported his neighbors’ children as children in need of services.
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E-filing extends to confidential cases

May 3, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana courts announced that parties may now file electronically in confidential case types including adoption, child in need of services, termination of parental rights, and juvenile cases. The change took effect Monday.
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Justices: Custody petition permitted during CHINS case

April 13, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed a trial court, ruling an aunt and uncle could bring a custody action despite a child in need of services case that was pending for the child in Posey Circuit Court.
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CHINS case dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
A mother’s appeal of a trial court’s order terminating her visitation with her child and denying her motion to modify the permanency plan in a CHINS case was dismissed by the Indiana Court of Appeals for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  4. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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