ILNews

Prior knowledge of criminal history allows FSSA to disqualify employment

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday concluded that a woman employed by a license-exempt child care ministry in Indianapolis can’t circumvent a prohibition from being employed at any child care ministry by relying on the Indiana Restricted Access Act.

LaSonda Carter served as Rebirth Christian Academy Daycare’s director. She had a prior felony conviction related to controlled substances, which the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said prevented her from working at Rebirth based on I.C. 35-48-4. The two parties entered into an agreement in August 2010 in which Carter would not be on the premises at any time when children were present, and any certificate of registration to operate the daycare would be terminated if she was found at the center when children were present.

The FSSA learned Carter and Rebirth violated the agreed entry, which led to an amended agreed judgment in which Carter again agreed to stay off the premises when children were present.

Carter had a substantiated report naming her as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect expunged from her record in 2011, and in 2012 she got an order restricting access to her criminal history. She and the daycare claimed that because her criminal record is now restricted and the child abuse allegation expunged, she could work at Rebirth. The trial court denied dissolving the agreed judgment in August 2012. The daycare’s certification has since been terminated by FSSA for other violations.

“The purpose of the (Restricted Access) Act is not ignored when the FSSA applies the provisions of Indiana Code section 12-17.2-6-14, which prevents the employment by a CCM of certain individuals with disqualifying convictions,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote in Rebirth Christian Academy Daycare, Inc. v. Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, 49A04-1209-MI-467. “Here, Rebirth and the FSSA received information of Carter’s disqualifying conviction for employment at a CCM before Carter applied for a restriction of her criminal record. As such, Rebirth is prohibited from employing Carter and is mandated to keep a record of the criminal history check."

The judges noted that the Act doesn’t impose a retroactive prohibition that would prevent an agency from using its prior knowledge in its determination of future actions.

They also held that because Rebirth initiated a civil action by way of its motion to dissolve and/or modify order in First Amended Agreed Judgment, the FSSA, as the defendant, can use Carter’s entire criminal history as a defense to Rebirth’s claim that Carter has become employable by a child care ministry, based on I.C. 35-38-8-6.

“Based on the circumstances before us, we conclude that the FSSA can use its prior knowledge, established prior to Carter’s restriction of her criminal history, to disqualify Carter from being employed by a CCM,” she wrote.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

ADVERTISEMENT