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Opinions Aug.12, 2014

August 12, 2014
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Indiana Court of Appeals
In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.A., L.A., and M.A. (Minor Children) and B.A. (Mother) and J.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
55A04-1401-JT-37
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights for mother and father to their three minor children following father’s conviction of Class B felony dealing methamphetamine and mother’s conviction of Class D felony neglect of a dependent. While mother neither received nor signed a case plan negotiated with the Department of Child Services, the record shows mother didn’t lack knowledge of what she needed to do to get her children back, but rather she didn’t participate. Evidence also was sufficient to support termination of mother’s and father’s parental rights.

Kramer Hill v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1311-CR-924
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Hill’s probation under two separate causes.

Todd Firkins v. Sheryl Firkins (NFP)
55A01-1311-DR-488
Domestic relation. Reverses the trial court’s child support calculation and remands for recalculation of father’s weekly obligation that includes credit for paying children’s health insurance premium. Affirms awarding sole legal custody to mother, awarding both child dependency tax exemptions to mother for the 2013 tax year, and restriction on father’s parenting time. Rules father did not establish that trial court’s questions rendered the bench trial unfair.  

Sergio Poitan v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1311-CR-512
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft and aggregate sentence of 10 years.

Dustin Scott Stevenson v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1312-CR-494
Criminal. Affirms eight-year sentence for pleading guilty to burglary, a Class B felony.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.A. and S.A., Minor Children, and Their Father H.A., H.A. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
28A01-1402-JT-70
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights.

Eric William Stahl v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A04-1303-PC-137
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief petition.

In the Matter of the Paternity of A.E.T., A Minor Child, C.W., Individually and as Next Friend of A.E.T., Minor Child v. L.T. (NFP)
51A04-1401-JP-2
Juvenile paternity. Affirms denial of father’s petition to modify custody to grant him both joint legal and physical custody of minor child. Reverses trial court’s sua sponte restriction on father’s parenting time and remands to eliminate that provision from the order. Finds the trial court’s order on father’s child support was unclear and remands for trial court to determine whether the father’s petition for modifying child support should be granted.

Billy Ray Young v. State of Indiana (NFP)
34A04-1403-CR-114
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for pleading guilty to residential entry as a Class D felony and receiving stolen property as a Class D felony.
 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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