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Mother’s argument crushed by precedent

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld precedent in finding a mother who made sporadic child support payments over several years did fail to provide assistance for one entire year as outlined in state statute.

The mother of M.S. appealed the trial court’s order granting the young girl’s stepmother power to adopt her. In part, the mother argued the trial court erred when it aggregated her missed child support payments so that the total amount was the equivalent of 52 weeks. She asserted under I.C. 31-19-9-8, the term “year” means a calendar year rather than a year’s worth of arrearages.

Rejecting the mother’s argument, the Court of Appeals affirmed in the trial court’s ruling in In the Matter of the Adoption of M.S.; C.L.S. v. A.L.S., 20A03-1306-AD-217.

In reaching its conclusion, the Court of Appeals cited two other cases that addressed the same issue. The Court of Appeals first pointed to its own decision in In re Adoption of J.T.A., 988 N.E. 2d 1250, 1255 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) which held any year in which a parent fails to pay child support meets the requirements in the state statute. Next, the COA cited the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling in In re Adoption of Infants Reynard, 215 N.E.2d 413, 416 (Ind. 1969) which concluded strictly interpreting the statute as to mean one calendar year would make the law ineffective and inoperable.

“Likewise, we find that construing INDIANA CODE 31-19-9-8 here to hold that there must be a complete refusal or failure to pay any sum of money for one year before the filing of a petition could lead to absurd consequences,” Judge Rudolph Pyle wrote for the court. “Therefore, we instead follow the Supreme Court’s more operable interpretation.”



 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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