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Settlement reached on foster care rates

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Indiana Department of Child Services has agreed not to cut subsidies for foster and adoptive parents and other caregivers as part of a class-action settlement in federal court.

Though it hasn’t received final court approval in the Southern District of Indiana, the Nov. 19 agreement between the state agency and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana would make permanent a preliminary order issued by U.S. Judge Sarah Evans Barker in January. That order barred DCS from imposing a 10 percent cut in the maximum $25 per day subsidy that parents and guardians receive for foster kids and some special needs adoptive children. DCS had proposed the reduction late last year after Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered state agencies to slash their budgets because of revenue shortfalls, but two federal lawsuits that were later combined alleged the cuts violated parts of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 670, et seq.

The case is C.H., et al. v. James W. Payne, No. 1:10-CV-381. This proposed settlement stipulates that DCS isn’t admitting any violation and does not concede on the merits, but that both parties want to reach a settlement.

This proposed settlement allows DCS to come up with a new formula for calculating the daily rate for children in foster care by the end of 2010, but that does not preclude foster parents from challenging the new rates when they’re determined, according to a class notice attached to the proposed settlement. The proposal also provides that DCS will pay about $104,812 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Once the class members receive notice, Judge Barker will likely consider the proposed settlement in January.•

Rehearing "Cuts trigger two lawsuits" IL Jan. 6-19, 2010

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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