Indiana Department of Child Services

Legislature's end suspenseful for legal community

March 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
As the Indiana General Assembly got down to its final hours in a short-session, significant changes for the Hoosier legal community were on the table to possibly increase the number of appellate judges, change how one county chooses its trial judges, and impact how juveniles can be placed outside the state.
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Houses active as session nears end

March 5, 2010
IL Staff
As this year's legislative session winds down, several bills of interest to the legal community have made it through both houses, but many remained stuck in conference committee Thursday.
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Mistake invalidates termination of dad's rights

March 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A father's consent to voluntarily terminate his parental rights so his sister could adopt his daughter was invalidated by misrepresentations made by a family case manager for the Department of Child Services. As such, the father's petition to set aside the judgment should have been granted, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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House OKs child support-casino bill

March 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lawmakers have passed a bill that allows the Indiana Department of Child Services to more efficiently collect delinquent child support, including a gaming intercept requiring casinos to check whether gamers are on a state delinquency list before releasing large jackpots to them.
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DCS to appeal injunction on rate cuts

February 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services wants the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review a judge's decision to temporarily stop DCS rate cuts.
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Out-of-state placement bill goes to House

January 29, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A legislative committee has given its OK to a bill that would repeal a last-minute 2009 special session provision, which gave the Indiana Department of Child Services key control in deciding whether juveniles can be placed outside the state.
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'Quality of care' at stake in DCS rate-cut case

January 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The federal judge who granted a preliminary injunction in the combined suits against the Department of Child Services for cutting reimbursement rates for adoptive and foster parents and child care agencies found the quality of care for children would suffer if the rate cuts stood.
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Judge blocks DCS rate changes for now

January 21, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A federal judge in Indianapolis has temporarily blocked the Indiana Department of Child Services from reducing the amounts it pays to foster and adoptive parents and juvenile-service providers.
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Bill seeks to repeal placements statute

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lawmakers are considering legislation that would repeal a last-minute 2009 special session provision that gave the Indiana Department of Child Services key control in deciding whether juveniles should be placed outside the state.
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Provision in new bill would withhold 'big' wins from deadbeat parents

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State lawmakers want to crack down on child support collections and make it tougher for deadbeat parents to not pay what's owed.
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Senate panel approves gaming intercept tool

January 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The full Senate will now decide whether casinos should be forced to check if certain gamblers winning larger jackpots are on a delinquent child support list, and if those gaming winnings should be automatically frozen and put toward the amount owed.
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Parents, child service provider group sue DCS over subsidies

January 6, 2010
Michael Hoskins
In a one-two punch, a pair of lawsuits filed a week apart in December hit the Indiana Department of Child Services square in the gut over how the agency planned to reduce payment rates for foster and adoptive parents and juvenile service providers.
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Nonprofit sues over DCS rate cuts

December 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A nonprofit organization made up of agencies that provide services to abused and neglected kids is suing the Indiana Department of Child Services for cutting rates paid to the agencies next year.
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Governor names first DCS ombudsman

November 16, 2009
IL Staff
An Indianapolis woman with nearly three decades of experience working in child welfare, social work, and family counseling has been named the state's first Department of Child Services ombudsman. Gov. Mitch Daniels announced the selection Nov. 13.
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Committee ponders DCS authority of juveniles

October 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An interim legislative committee is deciding what it should do about a last-minute, special session addition giving the Department of Child Services even more control over juvenile justice decisions that judges have historically been entrusted to make.
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Court erred in ordering DCS to pay costs

September 28, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Department of Child Services isn't responsible for the costs of a minor's secure detention because it never entered into a written agreement with the juvenile court to cover the costs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Court upholds out-of-state juvenile placement

August 10, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the placement of a juvenile delinquent in an out-of-state shelter care facility over the objection of the Indiana Department of Child Services, finding the trial court complied with statutes that allow it to place the juvenile in a non-Indiana facility. A recent change to one of those statutes now shifts the burden of payment to out-of-state facilities from DCS to the counties.
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County must pay for parent's appointed attorney

August 7, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Noting a paradigm shift in parental rights termination cases due to House Enrolled Act 1001, one Indiana Court of Appeals judge believed the Department of Child Services instead of the counties should be responsible for the costs of appointed counsel in these types of proceedings.
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High court hears first 'rocket docket' appeal

April 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In the first appeal of a juvenile case under Indiana Appellate Rule 14.1, the "rocket docket," the Indiana Supreme Court ruled the juvenile court's determination that a child shouldn't be immediately reunited with his mother until after the school year concluded - contrary to what the Department of Child Services recommended - wasn't clearly erroneous.
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Lawyers challenge imbalance of power

March 18, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Budget statute affected juvenile codes and gives the Department of Child Services oversight of judicial decision-making.
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'Rocket docket' now set for juvenile appeals

January 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
New rules from the Indiana Supreme Court this week officially create an expedited "rocket docket" for certain juvenile cases going through the appellate system.
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Statute must be followed in all CHINS cases

November 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the involuntary termination of parental rights of a mother and father, but cautioned the Marion County Department of Child Services to continue to follow the statutory procedures in child in need of services cases and termination cases even if a court determines reunification efforts aren't required.
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COA reverses child welfare molestation case

October 31, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has tossed out the convictions and 106-year sentence of a former Hamilton County child welfare worker accused of molesting two boys, including an autistic boy who he'd mentored.
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Court: CHINS records aren't available to media

October 10, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The circumstances that led to two siblings being deemed as children in need of services and the media attention their family received don't justify the trial court allowing the media access to the children's CHINS records, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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