Articles

Appeals court slams due process violations in TPR cases: ‘This must stop’

Indiana trial courts and the Department of Child Services continue to deprive parents of their due process rights after years of warnings, the Indiana Court of Appeals said Wednesday, reversing the termination of a mother’s parental rights when the termination hearing went on without her or her lawyer present. In doing so, appellate judges strongly restated that courts and DCS have a duty to ensure parents’ rights aren’t violated.

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DCS director claims lawsuit is ‘misleading and harmful’

Claiming outside advocates were relying on “an inflammatory and outdated account,” Indiana Department of Child Services director Terry Stigdon released a video statement Monday in response to the lawsuit filed last week charging the state agency with inflicting further harm on children entering the foster care system.

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Supreme Court rejects DCS ‘piecemeal litigation’ in CHINS cases

In response to the question of whether the Department of Child Services can file successive CHINS petitions based on evidence available at the time of the original petition — a practice that has drawn ire from the Indiana Court of Appeals — the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that such a practice is barred. However, the specifics of the case the court addressed Thursday did not require reversal.

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DCS lawsuit details harm to children

An 81-page lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Indiana Department of Child Services claims the agency is failing to protect children and further inflicting trauma by placing foster children in inappropriate, unstable or overly restrictive facilities and not providing the necessary medical and mental health care.

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