ILNews

Man’s attempts to establish paternity denied

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed denial of a mother’s two motions to dismiss her child’s father’s paternity actions instituted after her husband attempted to adopt the child.

Mother J.W. had G.W. while she was in a relationship with R.M. R.M. claims to be the child’s father, but he never signed G.W.’s birth certificate or paternity affidavit and didn’t register with the Putative Father Registry. He regularly saw G.W. for about eight months after the child’s birth until J.W. stopped all visitation. She married J.U. in July 2011 and he filed a petition to adopt G.W. in August 2011, to which J.W. consented.

R.M. did not receive notice of the proceedings. Just before the filing of the adoption petition, he signed a petition to establish paternity. The mother sought to dismiss R.M.’s paternity actions, which was denied.

In In the Matter of the Paternity of G.W., J.W. v. R.M.,22A01-1205-JP-234, the judges analyzed the statute establishing the state’s Putative Father Registry, Indiana Code 31-19-5-2, and ruled in favor of the mother.

“The evidence reflects that although Mother disclosed R.M.’s name to the attorney arranging the adoption of G.W. by her husband, she never divulged R.M.’s address. Because both the name and address have to be revealed to fall outside the application of the putative father registry, we find that the provisions of the registry are applicable to R.M,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote. “As R.M. acknowledges that he never registered, we must necessarily conclude that he is not entitled to the notice of the adoption proceeding, and has irrevocably and implicitly consented to the adoption of his minor child to J.U.

“Moreover, other jurisdictions have similarly concluded that a putative father who fails to register with the putative father’s registry has waived his right to notice of adoption proceedings and impliedly consents to the adoption.”

The judges also held that R.M. can’t serve as G.W.’s next of friend to establish paternity because he is barred from establishing paternity pursuant to I.C. 31-14-5-9.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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