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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. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

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  3. 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?

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  5. 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.

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