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Requiring deaf mom to sign doesn’t violate due process

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A mother whose parental rights were terminated was not denied due process when a judge who couldn’t understand her spoken testimony required her to sign to an interpreter who then spoke her responses aloud.

Hamilton Circuit Judge Paul Felix terminated the parental rights of R.K., which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.

“Trial courts have wide latitude to control the flow of the proceedings and the presentation of evidence. In some cases, an interpreter may be required to ensure that the trier of fact hears and understands a witness’s testimony,” Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote for the panel.

“Here, the trial court could not understand Mother when she attempted to testify orally. As a result, the trial court required Mother to testify by signing to an interpreter, who then spoke Mother’s responses aloud. We conclude that this procedure did not violate Mother’s due-process rights,” Vaidik wrote. “We also conclude that there is sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s decision to terminate the parent-child relationship. We affirm.”  

The court acknowledged R.K.’s preference to communicate orally. “But we can conceive of no other method the trial court could have used that would have ensured that it heard and understood Mother’s testimony. And Mother fails to establish that testifying this way prejudiced her,” the panel ruled.

The case is In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: S.E. (Minor Child), and R.K. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, 29A02-1312-JT-1064.
 

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  1. OK, now do something about this preverted anacronism

  2. William Hartley prosecutor of Wabash county constantly violates people rights. Withholds statement's, is bias towards certain people. His actions have ruined lives and families. In this county you question him or go out of town for a lawyer,he finds a way to make things worse for you. Unfair,biased and crooked.

  3. why is the State trying to play GOD? Automatic sealing of a record is immoral. People should have the right to decide how to handle a record. the state is playing GOD. I have searched for decades, then you want me to pay someone a huge price to contact my son. THIS is extortion and gestapo control. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW.

  4. I haven't made some of the best choices in the last two years I have been to marion county jail 1 and two on three different occasions each time of release dates I've spent 48 to 72 hours after date of release losing a job being denied my freedom after ordered please help

  5. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

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