Termination of Parental Rights

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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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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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

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