Indiana Department of Child Services

Judge sentences attorney Page to probation, fine

November 4, 2013
Cory Schouten
Attorney and real estate developer Paul J. Page will serve two years of probation and pay a $10,000 fine for concealing the source of a $362,000 down payment on his purchase of a state-leased office building in Elkhart.
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New commission on children to webcast meetings

October 9, 2013
IL Staff
Interested parties across Indiana will be able to attend the upcoming meetings of the state’s new child commission via the Internet.
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COA reverses involuntary termination order for a second time

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals sharply rebuked a trial court as having “committed clear error” by relying on old evidence and testimony in terminating a Vanderburgh County couple’s parental rights.
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Gov. Pence turns to legal community for board appointments

August 23, 2013
IL Staff
A litigation attorney for the Indiana Department of Child Services, Luke Britt, has been appointed as the Indiana Public Access Counselor.
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First Child Services Oversight Committee meeting Wednesday

July 26, 2013
IL Staff
The Child Services Oversight Committee, established by the Indiana General Assembly specifically to keep tabs on the Indiana Department of Child Services, will hold its first meeting July 31.
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Justices uphold termination of mother’s parental rights after years of drug abuse

June 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday set aside the Court of Appeals order dismissing a Dearborn County mother’s appeal of the termination of her parental rights and took the case. The justices affirmed the decision to end her parental rights to her three children.
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Justices block Schiralli’s Lake County bench transfer

May 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court blocked the transfer of a judge who sought to replace former Lake Superior Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura after her appointment to head the Department of Child Services.
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Sullivan: Mediation between Lake County judges, magistrates fails

May 9, 2013
IL Staff
Mediation ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court failed to settle a dispute among Lake County judges over a juvenile court vacancy, according to a report filed Wednesday by the former justice who tried to resolve the matter.
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Workers’ comp, JTAC bills pass full Senate

April 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Legislation out of the House of Representatives reconfiguring workers’ compensation in Indiana passed the Senate Wednesday and goes back to the House with some changes.
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COA affirms father’s convictions stemming from daughter’s injuries

April 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a St. Joseph County man’s claims that the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission and exclusion of certain evidence at his jury trial for charges related to injuries to his infant daughter.
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Lake County bench brawl

April 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Mediation is ordered as the fight over Bonaventura vacancy goes public and exposes strife.
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Sullivan to mediate Lake Superior judge dispute

April 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former Justice Frank Sullivan will mediate a dispute over a Lake Superior Court judgeship vacancy, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered Monday.
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Mother not denied due process by not having appointed counsel in CHINS case

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
While disappointed that a trial court did not follow through with the appointment of counsel for a mother regarding a child in need of services action, any error in that failure was harmless, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. It upheld the termination of mother J.A.’s parental rights to her son G.P.
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Supreme Court blocks Lake Superior judge’s transfer bid

March 21, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon issued an emergency order preventing a Lake County judge from taking over the vacancy created when a fellow judge was tapped to lead the Department of Child Services.
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DCS centralized hotline undergoes changes in advance of legislation

March 14, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Prior to the Indiana General Assembly implementing recommendations from an interim study committee, the Indiana Department of Child Services is making changes.
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House Committee approves CHINS bill returning power to prosecuting attorneys

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill giving prosecuting attorneys the ability to file a Child in Need of Services petition continues to garner strong support in the Indiana General Assembly.
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Court reverses DCS order requiring mother to take prescribed meds

February 20, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother whose child was adjudicated as child in need of services won a partial victory before the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday.
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Commission for children, appellate judge retirement age legislation moving

February 13, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate passed on second reading Tuesday legislation that will create a commission on improving the status of children in the state. The introduced version of Senate Bill 125 was prepared by the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee.
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Jury: Real estate execs Bales, Spencer not guilty of fraud

February 8, 2013
Cory Schouten
John M. Bales lifted his crossed hands to his face and began to cry Thursday evening as a federal judge read the same jury verdict on each of 13 fraud counts against the real estate broker and his partner: Not guilty.
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Bales trial in jury's hands after colorful closings

February 7, 2013
Cory Schouten
The jury began deliberations Thursday in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after three hours of spirited closing arguments Wednesday.
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Defense rests in Bales trial after flurry of witnesses

February 6, 2013
Cory Schouten
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after the defense raced through seven witnesses Tuesday and early Wednesday.
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Defense attorneys turn tough in Bales trial

February 1, 2013
Cory Schouten
The legal team representing real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer haven't called their first witness and already they're putting up a spirited fight as federal prosecutors seek to prove charges including bank, mail and wire fraud.
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Former Venture employee turns on Bales during testimony

January 31, 2013
Cory Schouten
An FBI investigation into Venture Real Estate Services and principals John Bales and Bill Spencer had already begun when Matthew Dyer signed on as the company's controller in December 2009.
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Governor appoints Bonaventura as DCS head

January 31, 2013
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence named Lake Superior Juvenile Senior Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura as director of the Department of Child Services Wednesday.
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COA reverses former principal’s conviction for failing to immediately report student’s alleged rape

January 30, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A split Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that former Muncie Central High School principal Christopher Smith’s Class B misdemeanor conviction for failure to immediately report child abuse or neglect should be tossed out.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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