termination of parental rights

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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Court affirms termination of parental rights without case plan

August 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Morgan County parents, including a father who dealt meth to a confidential informant while his wife and three minor children were present, lost an appeal of their termination of parental rights Tuesday.
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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.
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Grant applications for children, family projects due Aug. 14

July 16, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court Improvement Program is accepting applications for projects designed to improve the well-being, safety and permanency of children and families involved in child in need of services and termination of parental rights proceedings.
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COA affirms termination of parental rights for imprisoned mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court was within its authority to terminate the parental rights of a mother serving a minimum 10-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to deal heroin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Supreme Court vacates parental termination for jailed mom

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A juvenile court abused it discretion by proceeding with a hearing and terminating a mother’s parental rights in her absence because she was in jail, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Her attorney’s failure to ensure she was heard from also denied her a fair hearing, justices ruled.
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COA rules natural parents’ consent unnecessary in adoption

May 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl

Once a trial court found a child’s natural parents to be unfit, the court did not need to revisit that finding at an adoption hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

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Justices reverse termination of parental rights in 2 cases

March 26, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In two short, per curiam decisions, the Indiana Supreme Court found the parental rights of two Marion County parents should not have been terminated because of due process violations after the magistrate who heard their cases resigned before reporting recommended findings and conclusions.
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Justices: Mother entitled to attorney during CHINS proceedings

March 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a mother was denied her statutory right to counsel during the course of child in need of services proceedings, and those proceedings directly flowed into the action to terminate her parental rights and adopt out her child, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the judgment terminating her parental rights.
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COA: Adoption petition should remain in Superior Court

March 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Lake Superior Court was not required under the county’s case allocation plan to transfer an adoption petition to juvenile court where termination of parental rights proceedings are pending involving the same children, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Divided Supreme Court reinstates parental termination order

March 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals impermissibly reversed termination of a father’s parental rights, a majority of the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday in reinstating a trial court order.
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Mother’s appeal of termination of parental rights dismissed

February 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has dismissed a mother’s appeal from the order terminating her parental rights to her twins, ruling she forfeited her right to appeal because she failed to file a timely notice of appeal.
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‘Marijuana legal elsewhere’ claim no help in parental termination appeal

November 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
Termination of parental rights was properly granted for a molesting father in federal prison and a drug-using mother who failed to comply with court-ordered services after striking a child.
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Parental rights terminations upheld in substitute magistrate cases

October 29, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a pair of cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, parents argued that their due process rights were violated when a different magistrate reported findings and conclusions to the judge than the magistrate who heard the cases. The magistrate initially on the cases resigned before making reports to the juvenile court.
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Mother unable to show error in terminating her parental rights

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother of four children with special needs who also has a cognitive disability, was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals she should be allowed to keep custody of her children.
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COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

October 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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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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Parental termination remanded over substitute magistrate’s findings

September 25, 2013
Dave Stafford
A father’s due process rights were violated when a juvenile court stripped him of parental rights based on findings of facts prepared by a magistrate who did not hear from and observe witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The magistrate took over the case after another magistrate, who had conducted the evidentiary hearing in his case, resigned.
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In adoption case with no winners, SC offers suggestions to avoid similar situations

August 19, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
In reversing the adoption that could remove fraternal twins from the only family they have ever known, the Indiana Supreme Court noted the situation might have been avoided if more than “just the bare minimum” had been done.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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