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Parental rights terminations upheld in substitute magistrate cases

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In a pair of cases before the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday, parents argued that their due process rights were violated when a different magistrate reported findings and conclusions to the judge than the magistrate who heard the cases. The magistrate initially on the cases resigned before making reports to the juvenile court.

Father T.P. and mother K.G. each claimed that the orders terminating their parental rights violated Indiana law and their due process rights because the orders were based on the findings of Marion Superior Magistrate Larry Bradley, who did not preside over the evidentiary hearings. Bradley took the cases over after Magistrate Julianne Cartmel resigned.

In both cases, In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of: S.B., Ay.B., A.B. & K.G. (Minor Children), and K.G. (Mother) v. Marion County Dept. of Child Services, Child Advocates, Inc., 49A02-1303-JT-244; and In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Rel. of I.P., Minor Child and His Father, T.P.: T.P. (Father) v. Child Advocates, Inc., and Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 49A02-1303-JT-283, Judges John Baker, Ezra Friedlander and Nancy Vaidik upheld the termination of parental rights. They held the proposed termination orders do not violate Indiana law because the relevant statutory section – I.C. 33-23-5-9 – does not prohibit Bradley’s actions. Nothing in that section requires the reporting magistrate be the magistrate who presided over the evidentiary hearing.

In K.G.’s case, the court found the proposed order didn’t violate her due process rights because the underlying evidence was undisputed and didn’t require Bradley to make any credibility determinations. In T.P.’s case, the judges pointed out that Bradley carefully reviewed the record and T.P. did not identify any specific prejudice as a result of Bradley’s review and recommendation. In both cases, the parents were represented by counsel at the termination hearings.

Provisions of Indiana Trial Rule 63(A) would also allow Bradley to enter the proposed termination orders, the court ruled.

Last month, the COA ordered more proceedings in a termination case that also involved Cartmel and Bradley because the evidence was in conflict and credibility determinations had to be made.
 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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