Justices reinstate termination order COA reversed

The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday affirmed a trial court order terminating parental rights to twin girls who were removed from the home in 2011 at age 8. A divided Court of Appeals previously reversed the trial court, finding insufficient evidence to merit termination.

Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the court that upheld a termination order out of Allen Superior Court that applied to twins L.C. and M.C. The children’s mother did not appeal the termination order as related to an older son, N.G.

“We conclude that there is probative evidence from which a reasonable fact-finder could have found findings … proven by clear and convincing evidence, and thus such findings are supported by sufficient evidence,” Dickson wrote in  In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.G., L.C., & M.C. (Minor Children), and A.C. and J.G. (Their Parents) A.C. (Mother) v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services, 02S04-1604-JT-207.
The findings also were sufficient to support the termination and the court’s determination that termination was in the best interests of the children, Dickson wrote.

The justices also ruled mother had waived her argument that the Department of Child Services knew or should have known that therapy sessions for the two children were videotaped but failed to provide the recordings when a subpoena was issued for them. The record shows mother’s counsel told the court “the matter is resolved” when the judge asked about the video. Dickson also wrote in a footnote that counsel had viewed the video of the sessions.

The Court of Appeals in a divided opinion last September reversed the termination order for L.C. and M.C., believing evidence was not sufficient to warrant termination, noting there was no evidence the girls were abused.

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