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Mother unable to show error in terminating her parental rights

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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.

M.T.’s three older children were removed from her care after the Department of Child Services learned that E.T, a five-year-old, was sometimes being watched by a mentally challenged neighbor. E.T. was molested by a man while in the neighbor’s care. M.T. gave birth to her fourth child while the three oldest were in foster care. The baby was also removed from her care.

M.T. does not have the mental capacity to understand how to care for herself or her children, according to the court record. The children all have special needs that require specialized care that she cannot provide. M.T. also had sporadic visitation with her children and did not participate in offered services.

In In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of E.T., D.T., L.T., and Y.T., Minor Children: M.T., v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services and Lake County Court Appointed Special Advocate, 45A03-1302-JT-49, the Court of Appeals held that M.T. did not demonstrate that the trial court clearly erred when it determined that continuation of the parent-child relationship with the children poses a threat to their well-being. She also didn’t show that termination is not in the best interest of the children or that the court erred when it determined that adoption is a satisfactory plan following the terminations.

 

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  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. If the end result is to simply record the spoke word, then perhaps some day digital recording may eventually be the status quo. However, it is a shallow view to believe the professional court reporter's function is to simply report the spoken word and nothing else. There are many aspects to being a professional court reporter, and many aspects involved in producing a professional and accurate transcript. A properly trained professional steno court reporter has achieved a skill set in a field where the average dropout rate in court reporting schools across the nation is 80% due to the difficulty of mastering the necessary skills. To name just a few "extras" that a court reporter with proper training brings into a courtroom or a deposition suite; an understanding of legal procedure, technology specific to the legal profession, and an understanding of what is being said by the attorneys and litigants (which makes a huge difference in the quality of the transcript). As to contracting, or anti-contracting the argument is simple. The court reporter as governed by our ethical standards is to be the independent, unbiased individual in a deposition or courtroom setting. When one has entered into a contract with any party, insurance carrier, etc., then that reporter is no longer unbiased. I have been a court reporter for over 30 years and I echo Mr. Richardson's remarks that I too am here to serve.

  3. A competitive bid process is ethical and appropriate especially when dealing with government agencies and large corporations, but an ethical line is crossed when court reporters in Pittsburgh start charging exorbitant fees on opposing counsel. This fee shifting isn't just financially biased, it undermines the entire justice system, giving advantages to those that can afford litigation the most. It makes no sense.

  4. "a ttention to detail is an asset for all lawyers." Well played, Indiana Lawyer. Well played.

  5. I have a appeals hearing for the renewal of my LPN licenses and I need an attorney, the ones I have spoke to so far want the money up front and I cant afford that. I was wondering if you could help me find one that takes payments or even a pro bono one. I live in Indiana just north of Indianapolis.

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