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Prior knowledge of criminal history allows FSSA to disqualify employment

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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.

 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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