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Lozano v. Indiana Department of Child Services

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

September 24, 2013

JOSEPH LOZANO, JR., B.L. b/n/f JOSEPH LOZANO, JR., O.L. b/n/f JOSEPH LOZANO, JR., and T.L. b/n/f JOSEPH LOZANO, JR., Plaintiffs,
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES, STATE OF INDIANA, SHAWNA M. SMITH, KATHRYN DEARDORFF, RACHEL GIBSON, TINA DINGMAN, NICOLE MARKELY, LOUELLA F. RICHEY, TERRANCE CIBOCH, NATHAN JOHNSON, and JAMES WIDE, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          PAUL R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment [DE 38], filed by Defendants Indiana Department of Child Services, State of Indiana, Shawna M. Smith, Kathryn Deardorff, [1] Rachel Gibson, Tina Dingman, Nicole Markely, Louella F. Richey, Terrance Ciboch, Nathan Johnson, and James Wide on July 10, 2017. Plaintiffs Joseph Lozano, Jr., B.L. b/n/f Joseph Lozano, Jr., O.L. b/n/f Joseph Lozano, Jr., and T.L. b/n/f Joseph Lozano, Jr. filed a response on October 6, 2017, and Defendants filed a reply on October 20, 2017.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed their Complaint in the Porter County, Indiana, Superior Court on October 23, 2015. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated Plaintiffs' civil rights, bringing claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the denial of a parent's right to establish a home and raise his children pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; for a violation of Plaintiffs' substantive and procedural due process rights pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; for a violation of the Plaintiffs' right to be free from unreasonable seizure pursuant to the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution; for deprivation of equal protection and due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by failing to comply with applicable state and federal statutes and regulations; and for deprivation of the right to petition the government pursuant to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

         In addition, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated their statutory duties under Indiana Code § 31-33-1-1, et seq. as well as state and federal statutes and regulations designed to protect families and children, including but not limited to 42 U.S.C. § 5106, 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(15), 42 U.S.C. § 675(1)(A), 42 U.S.C. § 675(5), and “C.F.R. 1356.21, ” implemented under Indiana Code ¶ 31-34-1-1. Also under state law, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants failed to use ordinary and reasonable care in connection with their interactions with Plaintiffs.

         On November 30, 2015, Defendants removed the case to this Court. The parties orally agreed on the record to have this case assigned to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further proceedings and to order the entry of a final judgment in this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction to decide this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a motion for summary judgment be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Rule 56 “mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “Summary judgment is appropriate when no material fact is disputed and the moving parties are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, meaning that no reasonable jury could find for the other party based on the evidence in the record.” Carman v. Tinkes, 762 F.3d 565, 566 (7th Cir. 2014).

         A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of informing the court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, that it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (a), (c). The moving party may discharge its initial responsibility by simply “‘showing'-that is, pointing out to the district court-that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325; see also Spierer v. Rossman, 798 F.3d 502, 508 (7th Cir. 2015). When the nonmoving party would have the burden of proof at trial, the moving party is not required to support its motion with affidavits or other similar materials negating the opponent's claim. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323, 325; Spierer, 798 F.3d at 507-08; Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1168-69 (7th Cir. 2013).

         “Once the moving party puts forth evidence showing the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to provide evidence of specific facts creating a genuine dispute.” Carroll v. Lynch, 698 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2012). The non-moving party cannot resist the motion and withstand summary judgment by merely resting on its pleadings. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1), (e); Flint v. City of Belvidere, 791 F.3d 764, 769 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). The nonmoving party must “do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) (1986)). Rule 56(e) provides that “[i]f a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may . . . consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion [or] grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials-including the facts considered undisputed-show that the movant is entitled to it . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); see also Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-50.

         In viewing the facts presented on a motion for summary judgment, a court must construe all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all legitimate inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; McDowell v. Vill. of Lansing, 763 F.3d 762, 764, 765 (7th Cir. 2014); Srail v. Vill. of Lisle, 588 F.3d 940, 948 (7th Cir. 2009). A court's role is not to evaluate the weight of the evidence, to judge the credibility of witnesses, or to determine the truth of the matter, but instead to determine whether there is a genuine issue of triable fact. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.

         MATERIAL FACTS

         1. Joseph and Elizabeth Lozano's Relationship

         In August 2007, Joseph Lozano, Jr. and Elizabeth met on Facebook. (Joseph Dep. 7:6-17.) On the second night that they were dating, Elizabeth moved in with Joseph into his parents' house, where Joseph's parents, three nephews, and sister lived. (Joseph Dep. 7:20-25, 8:23-9:13).

         Joseph and Elizabeth had three children together. O.L. was born was born in 2008. (Joseph Dep. 8:12-15). Joseph and Elizabeth married the next month. (Joseph Dep. 8:6-11). In September 2008, Joseph and Elizabeth moved into their mobile home. (Joseph Dep. 10:17-23). In 2009, B.L. was born. (Joseph Dep. 13:22-23). In late 2009, Joseph, Elizabeth, O.L., and B.L. moved back into Joseph's parents' house. (Joseph Dep. 14:11-16). In 2011, T.L. was born. (Joseph Dep. 16:11-12).

         On March 13, 2012, a report was made to DCS that Elizabeth took the children to Wisconsin and did not return. (Ex. Z). On May 10, 2012, a report was made to DCS concerning O.L. living with her grandfather and a previous unsubstantiated report of sexual abuse in Wisconsin. (Ex. AA).

         In January 2013, Joseph, Elizabeth, and the children stayed in an EconoLodge. (Ex. V -DCS000009). On January 21, 2013, a report was made to DCS that Elizabeth drinks and takes drugs, that Joseph takes drugs, and that the children were left unattended. (Ex. BB). While living at the EconoLodge, Joseph and Elizabeth were investigated by DCS for neglect. (Ex. V - DCS000009-11). Among other things, the report source claimed that Joseph used the drug “triple c.” (Ex. V -DCS000009; Ex. BB - DCS000044). The allegations of neglect were unsubstantiated, although Joseph tested positive for THC. (Ex. V - DCS000010; Joseph Dep. 78-79: 24-5).

         Joseph was incarcerated from April 2013 to August 2013. (Joseph Dep. 17:6-12). Before Joseph went to jail, Joseph's mother, Paula Lozano, had not made any reports to the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) about the children. (Paula Dep. 13:5-13). While Joseph was incarcerated, Elizabeth obtained government-assisted housing in Valparaiso. (Joseph Dep. 16:23-17:5, 21:16-17, 22:4-12). On August 8, 2013, Joseph was released from jail and moved into the apartment with Elizabeth. (Joseph Dep.23:17-24:1). Joseph never saw Elizabeth abuse the children. (Joseph Dep. 29:17-24). When living with Elizabeth after getting out of jail, Joseph never saw Elizabeth abuse the children in any way. (Joseph Dep. 85:9-15). Joseph never notified DCS that Elizabeth was abusing the children. (Joseph Dep. 85:13-15). Joseph testified that, in mid-September, Elizabeth “kicked [him] out” of the apartment. (Joseph Dep. 24:2-6).

         Shortly after, Elizabeth obtained Orders of Protection for herself against Joseph, each of his parents, and Crystal. (Joseph Dep. 27:12-16, 27:21-25; Paula Dep. 29:12-13, 30:6-19, 48:2-14; Ex. G-J).[2] The Order of Protection against Joseph lists O.L., B.L., and T.L. as “Protected Persons.” (Ex. G).

         After Elizabeth made Joseph leave the apartment, Paula called the DCS hotline many times. (Paula Dep. 25:4-11). Joseph never saw Elizabeth abuse the children. (Joseph Dep. 29:17-24). As far as Joseph knows, DCS investigated the allegations. (Joseph Dep. 89:5-12).

         3. Valparaiso Police Department Investigates Paula's Accusations of Abuse

         On September 25, 2013, Paula met with Officer Pederson of the Valparaiso Police Department and made a complaint regarding suspected child abuse by Elizabeth. (Paula Dep. 31:14-15, 32:6-21; Ex. S - DCS000279). The same date, Officer Pederson conducted a wellness check, but did not see any signs of bruising and reported that the children looked okay. (Joseph Dep. 89:9-18; Paula Dep. 33:1-9; Ex. W - DCS 000014; Ex. S - DCS000280).

         4. FCM Shawna Smith Investigates Reports Made to DCS

         Also on September 25, 2013, DCS received a report alleging O.L. was the victim of physical abuse, including bruises on her face and arm; that T.L. had a diaper rash and a bruise on his leg; that Elizabeth's apartment was a mess; and that Elizabeth had gotten a restraining order “on all of them.” (Smith Aff. ¶¶ 4-5, Ex. W - DCS 000013; Ex. CC - DCS000047-48). On September 26, 2013, Family Case Manager (“FCM”) Shawna Smith met with O.L. at O.L.'s elementary school. (Smith Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. W - DCS 000014). O.L. appeared healthy and was appropriately dressed. Id. O.L. stated that both parents spanked her on her butt when she got in trouble. Id. O.L. denied being scared of Elizabeth or having been harmed by Elizabeth in any way. Id. O.L. had a “very small circular mark” on the right side of her face. Id. O.L. denied anyone hitting her. Id. O.L. stated that Elizabeth cleaned O.L.'s room every day. Id.

         On September 27, 2013, FCM Smith made a scheduled home visit to Elizabeth's apartment. (Smith Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. W - DCS 000014). There was not any alcohol in the apartment, and Elizabeth did not appear to be under the influence. Id. Smith was told that Elizabeth was not allowed to drink under the terms of her probation. Id. Smith found the home very neat and tidy, well above the minimum sufficient level of care, and there was nothing endangering to the health and safety of the children. Id. Smith noted that there were ample amounts of food and supplies and that all household utilities appeared to be in safe operating condition. Id.

         B.L. appeared healthy, was appropriately dressed, and did not have any bruises or obvious signs of injuries at the time of the interview. Id. B.L. stated that when he was punished he was put in “time out” or is spanked. Id. Smith asked B.L. if he ever got hurt after being spanked, to which B.L. said no. Id. B.L. denied that his brother or sister had been hurt after being spanked. Id. B.L. denied being scared of his mother or anyone who comes to visit the home. Id.

         Smith was unable to interview T.L. due to his age. (Smith Aff. ¶ ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. W - DCS 000014). However, T.L. appeared healthy and appropriately dressed and did not have any injuries or obvious signs of injury. Id. Smith reached the following conclusions:

Physical abuse (bruises/cuts/welts) against Elizabeth Lozano in regards to O.L. will be unsubstantiated as there is a lack of a preponderance of evidence to support the allegations are true. O.L. did not have any injuries and denied being physically abused by her mother. The children all report receiving age appropriate discipline and deny a history of receiving injuries as a result of physical discipline. FCM found nothing in the home to be endangering to the health and safety of the children.

(Smith Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. W - DCS 000015).

         On September 28, 2013, DCS received a report that Elizabeth drinks, takes pills, and is violent and that the children were left alone but not overnight. (Ex. DD).

         On October 3, 2013, FCM Smith met with Joseph at the DCS office. (Smith Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. W - DCS 000014). According to Smith, she advised Joseph of the allegations, the reasons for the current DCS assessment, and the outcome of that assessment; Joseph denied any concern for the safety of his children when describing his observations of the home; Joseph denied that Elizabeth's alcohol consumption has ever endangered the safety of the children; Joseph also denied any knowledge of Elizabeth currently drinking; and Joseph was advised that if he had any future concerns for his children he could contact DCS or contact law enforcement to request a wellness check of the children. Id. In his deposition, Joseph testified that Smith told him, “Stop having your friends and family call about child abuse.” (Joseph Dep., 88:25-89:4).

         5. FCM Deardorff Investigates Reports Made to DCS

         On October 8, 2013 DCS received a report that Elizabeth was leaving the children by themselves and locking them in the apartment; that Elizabeth abused the children in the past, with T.L. having welts on his legs and B.L. having a black eye, and that these incidents were reported to DCS; that Elizabeth is an alcoholic; and that Elizabeth was using drugs and was mentally abusing the children by keeping the children away from their family. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X -DCS000017-18).

         On October 10, 2013, FCM Deardorff made an unannounced visit to Elizabeth's home. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000018). Deardorff observed that Elizabeth did not appear to be under the influence of anything and that there did not appear to be any alcohol containers in the home. Id. Elizabeth admitted that she did have a drinking problem but that she had been sober since April 2013 because she made the decision that her children were more important. Id. Elizabeth also denied using any type of non-prescribed pills and reported that she was no longer taking Xanax. Id. Elizabeth adamantly denied that she left the children unattended, stating that the only time the children are left alone is for 1-2 minutes when she might walk over to the neighbor's house to borrow something. Id. Elizabeth also had a probation officer and was attending two classes a week for Housing Opportunities in order to keep her family in their home. Id. Elizabeth stated that on October 31, 2013, she and her children would be moving into the Caring Place, at the recommendation of her Housing Opportunities worker. Id.

         On October 15, 2013, FCM Deardorff conducted an announced home visit. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000018). Present was Elizabeth, O.L, B.L., T.L., and Ann Baas, Elizabeth's caseworker from the Family Youth Service Bureau. Id. Deardorff noted that B.L. had a scrape on the top right side of his forehead and a small bruise on the outside of his right ear. Id. Elizabeth stated that B.L. had recently thrown himself down on the concrete and had also been hitting himself when he becomes angry. Id. Baas informed Deardorff that there were issues regarding B.L.'s behavior and that Baas was making a referral for B.L. to see a therapist to see if something was going on emotionally. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000019). Deardorff asked O.L. what happened to B.L., and O.L. stated that B.L. “hits himself.” Id. Deardorff noted that B.L. had a t-shirt on and his arms appeared free from any cuts, marks, welts, or bruises. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000018).

         O.L. stated that when she gets into trouble she has to stand in the corner like her brother. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000019). O.L. denied that she or her brothers got spanked, that physical abuse occurred in the home, and that the children were ever left alone. Id. O.L. appeared free from any cuts, marks, welts, or bruises. Id. O.L. stated that the neighbor “Ms. Angela” would watch the children if Elizabeth had to go somewhere but that the children are primarily watched by Elizabeth. Id.

         On October 17, 2013, DCS received a report that Elizabeth and the neighbor “Angela” bully the children and that B.L. had bruises and red marks on his face that were not there the other day. (Ex. GG).

         6. B.L. Is Admitted to the Hospital

         On October 23, 2013, FCM Williams met with Elizabeth, B.L., and T.L. (O.L. was at school) at the Lake County Juvenile Courthouse. Elizabeth reported that, on the previous day, B.L. had thrown himself down the stairs and exhibited self-harming behavior. An attempt was made to interview B.L., but due to his lethargic state he could not remain focused. Because of the concern of possible head trauma, B.L. was taken to Methodist Hospital in Merrillville, Indiana. (Ex. X -DCS000019).

         The same date, FCM Deardorff received a phone call from Family Case Management Supervisor (“FCMS”) LaShaunta Pierce. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000019). Deardorff was informed that due to possible head trauma, B.L. had been taken to the hospital. Id. FCM Deardorff and FCM Smith went to the hospital. Id. Smith contacted Detective Castellanos of the Valparaiso Detective Bureau, who met Deardorff and Smith at the hospital. Id. Deardorff and Smith escorted Elizabeth to a small private room. Id. Elizabeth's neighbor Angela Terrell joined them. Elizabeth told them that on October 22, 2013, B.L. had fallen down the stairs. Elizabeth and Angela provided extensive details regarding B.L. behavior.

         Deardorff and Smith then visited B.L. in the emergency room. B.L.'s right ear was purple and he had a black eye. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000020). B.L. had two large injuries on each side of his bottom, and his arms were covered in bruises and appeared to have four cigarette burns. Id. B.L.'s speech was slurred and much slower, and his body movements were much slower. Id. Deardorff and Smith attempted to speak to B.L. about his injuries, but he gave varying stories and was falling asleep throughout the conversation. Id. T.L. did not have any outward signs of abuse or neglect. Deardorff and Smith contacted Detective Castellanos who took pictures of B.L. Detective Castellanos, FCM Williams, and B.L.'s attending nurse all attempted to speak with B.L. but were unable to get an answer about how he was injured.

         At that time, it was determined that all three Lozano children would be taken into protective custody. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000021). FCM Smith contacted FCM Gibson of Porter County DCS who in turned picked O.L. up from school. A “Taking Custody of A Child Without a Verbal or Written Court Order: Description of Circumstances” form was completed by Deardorff for both Elizabeth and Joseph, and the forms were submitted to the juvenile court at the Initial Detention Hearing. (Deardorff Aff. ¶ 9, Exs. SS, RR - DCS000129-132). Deardorff also filed a “Petition for Emergency Detention” for each of the children. (Ex. K - DCS000126-128). The three children were placed with a foster family.

         That same day, October 23, 2013, Deardorff, Detective Castellanos, and Elizabeth went to the Valparaiso Police Department in Detective Castellanos' car. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X -DCS000021). Elizabeth admitted to Deardorff that, although she initially told DCS that she took B.L. to the hospital on October 22, 2013, she had lied and that she did not take B.L. to get examined. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000023-24). Throughout the interview and subsequent investigation, it was discovered that B.L. had been abused. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X -DCS000023-29). The majority of the abuse was attributable to Elizabeth's neighbor, Angela Terrell. Id.

         Joseph was not aware that Angela Terrell was involved until the discovery from the police. (Joseph Dep. 85:23-86:-1). Paula never mentioned Angela Terrell to DCS because she did not know about her. (Paula Dep. 66:2-15). Paula did not report to DCS any abuse with a wooden spoon, a flyswatter, a belt, or that B.L. was slapped. (Paula Dep. 64:2-19). Paula also did not report that B.L. had been punished by having food withheld or that B.L. was once punished for urinating on Terrell's floor. (Paula Dep. 64-65:20-7).

         7. The October 24, 2013 Initial Detention Hearing

         On October 24, 2013, a Verified Petition Alleging Children in Need of Services was filed by DCS attorney Julie Carter. (Ex. L - DCS000145-147). The Petition included that “[t]he father of the children does not have legal custody and the Porter Superior Court issued an Order of Protection on September 26, 2013, which prohibits him from having contact with the children due to issues of domestic violence. The Order is in effect until September 24, 2015.” (Ex. L - DCS000146).

         On October 24, 2013, Joseph had a court date with the Porter Superior Court to get the September 24, 2013 Order of Protection dismissed. (Joseph Dep. 33:3-13). Joseph and Paula were en route to the court hearing when Joseph received a call informing him that he was needed at the Porter Juvenile Court. (Joseph Dep. 35-36:16-8). They changed direction, and Paula drove Joseph to the juvenile court. (Paula Dep. 36:2-7).

         At the Porter Juvenile Court, present were Joseph, Joseph's attorney Donald J. Evans, Elizabeth, Elizabeth's attorney Joanne Baitup, DCS attorney Julie Carter, and FCM Deardorff. (Joseph Dep. 37:5-11; Ex. M - DCS000149-150). The Porter Juvenile Court issued a “Detention/Initial Hearing Order” that same day, October 24, 2013. (Ex. M - DCS000149-151). The court found that it was in the children's best interest to be removed from the home and that “reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate removal of the children were not required due to the emergency nature of the situation.” (Ex. M - DCS000150). Further, the Court stated, “The Court finds there is currently a protective order in place between father and the children, and that there is the potential for a No Contact Order between mother and the children, and therefore does not authorize mother or father visitation with the children at this time.” (Ex. M - DCS000150). The Court also issued an “Order for Emergency Detention, ” ordering that the three children should be immediately detained by DCS. (Ex. N - DCS000152). Lastly, to allow Joseph and Elizabeth the opportunity to consult with counsel, the court set a Continued Initial Hearing for November 5, 2013. (Ex. M - DCS000151).

         While the October 24, 2013 juvenile court hearing was occurring, FCM Smith met B.L. and his foster parents at the St. Anthony Hospital in the Emergency Room. (Ex. X - DCS000029). The foster father stated that B.L. had slept most of the time in their care and that he complained of head pain. Id. The CT scan of B.L.'s brain showed a subdural hematoma, and B.L. was transported to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. Id.

         During the October 24, 2013 hearing, the Porter Juvenile Court judge notified Joseph that B.L. was seriously injured, that B.L. was being taken to Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, and that the other two children had been put in foster care. (Joseph Dep. 38:1-16, 40:15-19). After the hearing, FCM Deardorff met with Joseph and advised him of the report made regarding his children on October 11, 2013. (Deardorff Aff. ¶¶ 4-5; Ex. X - DCS000030).

         While Joseph and his mother were in the juvenile court hearing, Joseph's father went to the Porter Superior Court regarding the September 24, 2013 Orders of Protection against Joseph, his parents, and his sister. (Joseph Dep. 36:12-18; Paula Dep. 36:2-7). The four Orders of Protection were dismissed the same day as the juvenile court hearing. (Joseph Dep. 56:18-23, 86:19-10; Paula Dep. 36:18-20). Although it is unclear at what time the Orders of Protection were dismissed, it is clear that the Porter Juvenile Court judge did not know that the Order of Protection against Joseph had been dismissed at the time of the judge's ruling. (Paula Dep. 36:16-25, 40:17-25, 47:2-10). The juvenile court did not receive the paperwork that showed that the Order of Protection against Joseph had been dismissed until October 28, 2017. (Paula Dep. 50-51:20-7).

         On October 24, 2013, DCS received reports that Riley Children's Hospital was attempting to get in contact with Porter County DCS and that permission was needed to treat B.L. (Exs. II, JJ). On October 25, 2013, DCS again received a report that Riley Children's Hospital needed permission to treat B.L. (Ex. JJ).

         At all relevant times, including from October 24, 2013, through December 5, 2013, Joseph and Elizabeth were married and were not deemed legally separated, as Joseph's Verified Petition for Dissolution was not filed until July 2014 and the Decree ...


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