Appeals panel affirms CHINS adjudication

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Two children were properly adjudicated in need of services, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in affirming a trial court.

The father of the 13- and 9-year-old children contested the finding, arguing there was insufficient evidence of domestic violence or substance abuse to support the CHINS findings, and that the trial court’s coercive intervention wasn’t necessary to provide the children necessary care and treatment.

The children lived with their father and his girlfriend, along with the girlfriend’s child. But after police responded to a domestic violence call and a Department of Child Services caseworker spoke to father and girlfriend when they appeared impaired with the children at home, DCS intervened.

“Assessing the evidence as a whole, there is ample indication that Father and Girlfriend, did little-to-nothing to cooperate with DCS throughout these proceedings. Father and Girlfriend failed to address their domestic violence and substance abuse problems through home-based counseling. The record is also replete of Father’s and Girlfriend’s missed appointments with DCS,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the panel.

“In light of the evidence before us, we find that Father’s lack of cooperation with DCS highlights his inability or refusal to properly care for the Children. Accordingly, we cannot say that the trial court’s conclusion that the coercive intervention of the court was necessary is clearly erroneous.”

The case is K.B. and M.B. (Minor Children), and M.W. B. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, 47A04-1404-JC-189.


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