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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 7 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (1):

In In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of: N.G., L.C., and M.C. (Minor Children), and A.C. (Mother) v. The Ind. Dept. of Child Services, a 2-1, 40-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

A.C. (Mother) appeals the judgment of the trial court terminating her parental rights as to her children N.G., L.C., and M.C. We reverse the trial court’s judgment insofar as it relates to L.C. and M.C. as we find insufficient evidence to support it. However, we find that the trial court’s judgment as to N.G. is supported by sufficient evidence and we affirm that portion of the judgment. * * *

The evidence presented in regard to L.C. and M.C. falls far short of meeting this standard. At the end of the day, we cannot say with any confidence that the conditions that led to L.C. and M.C.’s removal will not be remedied—in part because we cannot determine what those conditions were—nor can we be at all certain that termination is in the children’s best interests. Given the gravity and permanence of the sanction, such certainty is required in termination cases.

We reach a different conclusion in regard to N.G. in light of the evidence in the record regarding his special needs and instances of physical abuse.

The judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Bailey, J., concurs, and
Mathias, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with a separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 34] I concur in the majority’s decision affirming termination of Mother’s parental rights to N.G., but I respectfully dissent from my colleagues’ conclusion that the trial court’s judgment terminating Mother’s parental rights to L.C., and M.C. is not supported by sufficient evidence. Although termination of Mother’s parental rights to L.C. and M.C. might be a close call, given the well-established deference our court is required to give to trial courts in these matters, I would affirm the trial court in all respects.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of S.R., and D.R., and H.A.R., H.G.R., H.O.R., and N.R., Children: S.R. and D.R. v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (6):

James A. Lynn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Tiffany Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Joseph Merriman, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Elsor Matthews v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

William A. Russell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jerell Owens v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 29, 2015 10:54 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions