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In re S.G.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 21, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF: S.G. and M.H. (Minor Children), Children Alleged to be Children in Need of Services, and P.G. (Mother), Appellant-Respondent,
v.
INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES, Appellee-Petitioner

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Marilyn A. Moores, Judge. The Honorable Beth Jansen, Magistrate. Cause Nos. 49D09-1212-JC-47720 and 49D09-1212-JC-47722.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KIMBERLY A. JACKSON, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, ROBERT J. HENKE, Deputy Attorney General, AARON J. SPOLARICH, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BAKER, Judge. NAJAM, J., and CRONE, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION -- NOT FOR PUBLICATION

BAKER, Judge

Appellant-respondent Mother appeals the juvenile court's determination that her two minor children, S.G. and M.H., are Children in Need of Services (CHINS). Mother claims that the evidence was insufficient to support the CHINS adjudication because the adjudication determination was " without evidentiary support." Concluding that Mother's arguments constitute an improper invitation to reweigh the evidence, we find that there was sufficient evidence to support the CHINS adjudication and affirm the judgment of the juvenile court.

FACTS

Mother is twenty-five years old and has three children: S.G., born on May 20, 2007, B.B., born on July, 29, 2008, and M.H., born on April 8, 2011. Mother has stipulated that B.B. is a CHINS, and this appeal concerns only S.G. and M.H. S.G.'s father did not attend the CHINS hearings and stipulated that he was unable to parent. M.H.'s father never appeared at any of the CHINS hearings, although he allegedly lives in Indianapolis.

On December 10, 2012, the Department of Child Services (DCS) received allegations suggesting that Mother was not providing safe living conditions for her children. DCS family case manager Seanna Nichols was assigned to Mother's case and asked to create an assessment report regarding the family. When Nichols ran a child protective index background search on Mother, she discovered that Mother was involved in two previous CHINS situations with the most recent involving medical neglect of BB and that S.G. and M.H. were later added to the report. Nichols testified she believed they were added because Mother was incarcerated. Nichols, to continue her assessment, attempted to speak with the children, but Mother would not allow them to speak with her. Nichols also tried to ask Mother about the allegations the DCS had received, but eventually ended the interview because Mother was uncooperative.

As the assessment moved forward, Nichols recommended the removal of the children due to concerns for their safety. Nichols became concerned because Mother was evasive regarding her living situation. When Nichols would attempt to schedule a time to see Mother's living quarters, Mother would suggest meeting elsewhere and tell her that the children were unavailable. Nichols was worried that Mother did not have a place to live. When Nichols asked Mother where she lived, Mother gave her an address on Grand Avenue, but Nichols was unable to locate Mother there or at two other addresses where she allegedly lived. Eventually, on December 12, 2013, Nichols located Mother at her maternal Grandmother's (Grandmother) home, and Mother admitted that she did not currently have a place to live. Nichols was denied access to Grandmother's home.

Nichols returned to the home the next day, intending to remove the children on an emergency basis. Mother was not present and refused to return to the home or meet Nichols anywhere else. Nichols tried to provide notice of court over ...


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