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Indiana Supreme Court Reverses Termination of Parental Rights of Father in Prison - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Aug 31, 2015

By Richard A. Mann, Richard A. Mann PC

The Indiana Supreme Court, in the case of In Re the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.E., found that the findings of the trial court did not support its conclusions in reversing the Indiana Court of Appeals decision upholding the trial court. 

In this case, the Father had been sentenced to prison for dealing drugs and other charges for a 10-year sentence just after the child’s birth. The trial court based its decision upon a finding that the circumstances causing the removal would probably not change and that Father posed a danger to the health or welfare of the child. The Father, while in prison, had participated in 12 programs, called the child nightly and had regular parenting time while in prison. K.E. had been placed with a relative who gave no indication that there was a danger the child would be moved around from foster home to foster home. The child had bonded with Father.

The trial court made much about the Mother who was also convicted but was not sentenced to prison and how she did not comply with the requests of DCS. The Supreme Court pointed out that DCS did not offer services to Father while in prison. Father had a plan for his release which was within two years of the termination hearing.

This case shows that a parent who has been sentenced to prison is not per se going to lose his or her parental rights.

This post was written by Richard A. Mann of Richard A. Mann PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Rachel Beachy at rbeachy@indybar.org.

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