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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ind. Courts - COA: "One-time meth use does not equal neglect"

In the Matter of: L.P., a Child Alleged to be a Child in Need of Services, K.K., Mother v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, a decision yesterday from the Court of Appeals, is the subject of a story today in the Indianapolis Star by Marisa Kwiatkowski. Some quotes:

An Indiana mother’s one-time use of methamphetamine did not mean her child was neglected and in need of court intervention, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The appellate court reversed a juvenile court judge’s determination that a woman’s son was a Child in Need of Services, leading to his removal from her home.

The ruling calls into question a “zero tolerance policy” at a local office of the Indiana Department of Child Services. DCS officials say the policy is being expanded statewide. * * *

During the hearing, [Sullivan Superior Court Judge Robert Springer] commended the woman’s “exemplary” conduct during the proceedings, but said meth had caused “tragic” effects in the county. The judge said he agreed with DCS’ “zero tolerance” for it.

The Court of Appeals overturned Springer’s ruling, noting that while meth may be an epidemic, it did not appear the boy was “seriously impaired or endangered and in need of care and supervision unlikely to be provided without coercive intervention of the court.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 8, 2014 08:41 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions