Termination of Parental Rights

High court reverses termination of father’s parental rights

February 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
A Montgomery County father’s parental rights have been restored after the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday that lower courts erred in granting and affirming the Department of Child Services’ petition to terminate them.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights

February 14, 2017
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of a father with a history of domestic violence and other criminal convictions who said evidence was improperly admitted to terminate parental rights to his three daughters.
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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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COA reverses termination of parental rights, finds DCS exhibited ‘troubling behavior’

December 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed Wednesday a decision terminating a mother and father’s parental relationships with their son, writing that the Department of Child Services had exhibited an “extraordinarily troubling pattern of behavior.”
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COA dismisses request to make trial court order final

November 15, 2016
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed a mother’s request to characterize an order ending her parent-child relationship as a final order, writing that she still had to option of appealing the trial court’s decision through interlocutory appeal.
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COA restores mother’s parental rights after incarceration

November 10, 2016
Olivia Covington
A mother’s parental rights to her two children will be restored after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that the state Department of Child Services failed to prove that removing the children from their mother was in their best interests.
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COA orders better findings of fact in parental rights case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected Thursday a trial court order terminating a St. Joseph County woman’s parental rights to her daughter and instead ordered the trial court to present more specific findings of fact to support the termination.
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Court of Appeals finds parents unfit, affirms termination of parental rights

September 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Monday a decision to terminate parental rights after both parents failed to show evidence that allowing them to maintain their rights would be in the best interest of the children.
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Appeals court affirms decision to strip parental rights

September 15, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday a trial court decision to involuntarily strip a couple of their parental rights despite the father’s claim that the Department of Child Services had not produced enough evidence to warrant such action.
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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: ADA does not apply in termination proceedings

June 21, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply in termination of parental rights proceedings in a case where a deaf father with cognitive and mental health problems appealed the termination of his parental rights to his son.
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COA: Mother’s rights not violated by reasonable efforts order

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled an order that reasonable efforts to reunify a mother and her daughter were not necessary did not violate her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act and affirmed judgment of the trial court.
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Statewide crisis of CHINS stretches judicial resources

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The increase in filings of juvenile children in need of services petitions across the state has been growing steadily since 2011 but ballooned to 14,227 in 2014 and could likely top 17,500 for 2015.
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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 reinstate termination order COA reversed

April 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday affirmed a trial court order terminating parental rights to twin girls who were removed from the home in 2011 at age 8. A divided Court of Appeals previously reversed the trial court, finding insufficient evidence to merit termination.
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Justices take 3 new cases, split on others

March 7, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court approved transfer to three cases last week involving duties of social hosts, compensation for teachers’ ancillary duties and jury instructions in a drunken-driving case. Justices were split 3-2 on four other petitions for transfer.
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Court reinstates father’s rights

February 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a father’s parental rights, determining there was not enough evidence to support termination.
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COA: Court properly denied father’s motions in termination case

November 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of a father’s rights over his young son Monday, finding the trial court acted within its discretion when it denied his motions for a continuance and order to transport from where he was incarcerated to the Indianapolis court.
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COA rejects father’s definition of 'home' in parental rights case

October 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The “home” that is referred to in the statute allowing for the termination of parental rights is the home of the child and not the home of a particular parent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday, rejecting a father’s argument in his appeal of the termination of his parental rights.
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COA splits over terminating parental rights to twins

September 29, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision to terminate the parental rights of a mother to her twin daughters based on insufficient evidence, although one judge believed the termination should have been upheld. The court unanimously affirmed the decision to end her parental rights to her son.
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Indiana Supreme Court weighs case on custody, mental illness

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court is weighing an emotionally charged case in which a man lost custody of his daughter after spurning child-welfare officials’ suggestions that he leave his mentally ill wife based on their fears that she might harm the girl.
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COA upholds termination of mother’s parental rights

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion by a trial court when it denied a mother's request to continue her termination of parental rights hearing for several months, when she expected to be released from incarceration. The mother was unable to prove that she would definitely be out of jail at that time.
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Termination of parental rights waiting period requires no services

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
Parents of children removed from the home for 15 of the prior 22 months before a hearing on termination of parental rights may not argue that a lack of services during that time tolls the waiting period, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Mother’s due process rights deprived in termination hearing

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In finding both constitutional and statutory guarantees were transgressed, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the decision by a lower court to convert an omnibus hearing on a termination of parental rights matter into a final hearing while mother was not present, which led to the termination of her parental rights.
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Court reverses denial of termination of parental rights due to possible conflict

March 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred when it denied a mother’s consensual termination of parental rights petition against the father due to concerns of a potential risk of conflict of interest involving the mother’s legal counsel.
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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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