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In re L.W.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 10, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF L.W. and J.W., Children in Need of Services, and J.W. (Father) and L.W. (Mother), Appellants-Respondents,
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 Rosanne Ang, Magistrate. Cause Nos. 49D09-1305-JC-16139 and 49D09-1305-JC-16140.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT J.W.: AMY KAROZOS, Greenwood, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT L.W.: DANIELLE L. GREGORY, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, ROBERT J. HENKE, DAVID E. COREY, Deputy Attorneys General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

OPINION

MEMORANDUM DECISION - NOT FOR PUBLICATION

CRONE, Judge

Case Summary

J.W. ("Father") and L.W. ("Mother") appeal the trial court's adjudication of their minor children, L.W. and J.W., as children in need of services ("CHINS"). The dispositive issue for our review is whether the evidence supports the trial court's determination that the children were CHINS pursuant to Indiana Code Section 31-34-1-1. Concluding that the evidence does not support the trial court's determination, we reverse the CHINS adjudication.

Facts and Procedural History

Father and Mother have been married for sixteen years and have two children, L.W., born in March 1998, and J.W., born in April 2000. Father was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1998. In 2000, when L.W. was two years old and J.W. was nine months old, Father swallowed sixty prescribed Zoloft pills in an attempt to gain attention from doctors because he believed that he was not "being heard." Tr. at 8. He believed that ingesting the large amount of Zoloft would not kill him but would just make him sick. In 2001, while the family resided in Michigan, Father was determined to be permanently disabled due to his bipolar disorder and began receiving social security disability payments. Father was on Medicaid, which covered his psychiatric treatment and his medication. That coverage, however, transitioned to Medicare after two years, which resulted in Father needing to rely on Mother's health insurance from her employment.

The family moved from Michigan to Indiana in 2012 because Mother began working at IUPUI. Upon arrival in Indianapolis in September, Father immediately sought mental-health treatment. Mother's new health insurance required that he receive a mental-health referral from a primary-care physician. After receiving a referral, Father obtained the first available psychiatric appointment at the ...


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