Termination of Parental Rights

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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Failure to object to judge in termination case waives argument on appeal

November 18, 2014
Dave Stafford
A father whose parental rights were terminated by the same judge who presided when he was convicted of child molesting and neglect raised the issue on appeal for the first time, therefore waiving the objection, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Delay of protection order hearing called ‘disturbing’

November 17, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals called a trial court’s delay in setting a hearing on a petition for a permanent protection order “disturbing” and found the lower court’s denial of the order did not comply with the state’s trial rules.
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Majority reverses termination of incarcerated father’s parental rights

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the state did not prove that the parental rights of a man – who learned he was a father while incarcerated pending trial – should be terminated, two of the three judges on a Court of Appeals panel reversed.
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Despite erroneous findings, termination of parental rights affirmed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court entered erroneous findings in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father concerning two minor children, but the mistakes weren’t significant enough to reverse in a case where the state presented enough evidence to warrant the decision.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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