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In re Termination of Parent-Child Relationship of M.M.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 6, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE TERMINATION OF THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP OF: M.M., G.M., AND D.M., And K.M. (Mother) and R.M. (Father), Appellants-Respondents,
v.
THE 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 GIBSON CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Jeffrey F. Meade, Judge. Cause Nos. 26C01-1209-JT-8, 26C01-1209-JT-9, 26C01-1209-JT-10.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT MOTHER: LISA A. MOODY, Princeton, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT FATHER: JASON SPINDLER, Spindler Law, Princeton, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; ROBERT J. HENKE, CHRISTINE REDELMAN, Deputies Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ROBB, Judge. BARNES, J., and BROWN, J., concur.

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

ROBB, Judge.

Case Summary and Issue

R.M. ("Father") and K.M. ("Mother") appeal from the juvenile court's order terminating parental rights over M.M., G.M. and D.M. (the "children"), raising the following issue for our review: whether the order terminating parental rights is supported by clear and convincing evidence. Concluding there is sufficient evidence to support the juvenile court's decision to terminate Mother and Father's parental rights over the children, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History[1]

Mother and Father (collectively " Parents" ) are the biological parents of M.M. (born May 11, 2006), G.M. (born October 16, 2008), and D.M. (born October 27, 2009).[2] The Parents were previously married but divorced prior to the juvenile court's order terminating their parental rights over the children.

The Department of Child Services (" DCS" ) initially became involved with M.M. and G.M. and petitioned for M.M. and G.M. to be adjudicated children in need of services (" CHINS" ) in April 2009 due to an unsafe and unsanitary home environment. Those CHINS proceedings were dismissed in May 2009, but DCS once again petitioned for M.M. and G.M. to be adjudicated CHINS on June 8, 2009. The June petition was the result of DCS concerns with the Parents' substance abuse and unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. M.M. and G.M. were removed from the home and placed into foster care. Upon the Parents' participation with service providers, the CHINS proceedings were eventually dismissed on October 30, 2009.

DCS became involved with all three children in early 2010 in response to allegations of the Parents' drug abuse. The children's home was littered with trash, and roaches were found roaming throughout the house. The furniture and floors were stained with animal feces. The home did not have central heating, and the family relied on a space heater located in a single bedroom. The Parents submitted to drug screens: Mother tested positive for marijuana, and Father tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine. DCS removed the ...


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