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In re Paternity of I.B.

Supreme Court of Indiana

April 3, 2014

IN RE THE PATERNITY OF I.B.
v.
I.B., b/n/f L.B., Appellee K.H., Appellant,

Trial Court No. 34C01-1206-JP-100.

Brent E. Dickson, Chief Justice of Indiana. Rucker, David, and Massa, JJ., concur. Dickson, C.J., dissents to the denial of transfer with separate opinion, in which Rush, J., joins.

OPINION

Brent E. Dickson, Chief Justice.

PUBLISHED ORDER DENYING PETITION TO TRANSFER

This matter is before the Indiana Supreme Court on a petition to transfer jurisdiction filed by Appellant pursuant to Appellate Rule 57, following the Court of Appeals opinion issued on October 7, 2013. See In re Paternity of I.B., No. 34A02-1305-JP-401 (Ind.Ct.App. 2013) (mem. dec.) The Court has reviewed the decision of the Court of Appeals. Any record on appeal that was submitted has been made available to the Court, along with all briefs filed in the Court of Appeals and all the materials filed in connection with the request to transfer jurisdiction. Also, the Court has heard oral argument on the transfer petition. Each member of the Court has had the opportunity to voice that Justice's views on the case in conference with the other Justices, and each has voted on the petition.

Being duly advised, the Court now DENIES Appellant's petition to transfer jurisdiction. This appeal is at an end.

The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to certify the Court of Appeals' decision as final and to send copies of this order to all counsel of record. The Clerk is also directed to post this order to the Court's website, and Thomson/Reuters is directed to publish a copy of this order in the bound volumes of this Court's decisions.

Rucker, David, and Massa, JJ., concur. Dickson, C.J., dissents to the denial of transfer with separate opinion, in which Rush, J., joins.

DISSENT

Dickson, C.J., dissenting to the denial of transfer

I respectfully dissent from the denial of transfer and would prefer for this Court to address whether DNA evidence should be required whenever a child may face the risk of losing the presumption of being the biological child of the birth mother's husband.

Like most states, Indiana has long adhered to a strong presumption that a child, born of a woman during marriage, is also the biological child of the woman's husband. See Ind. Code § 31-14-7-1 (1) (2012) (stating that the presumption exists if the child is born during the marriage or up to " three hundred (300) days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, or dissolution" ). This presumption flows from the fact that the state favors a public policy position that establishes paternity, see Ind. Code § 31-14-1-1, and that family law in Indiana strongly concerns itself with the health, safety, welfare, and stability of children. Because of the important role of the presumption of paternity in protecting children, our jurisprudence requires more than just the usual " preponderance of evidence" standard of proof in civil trials. Rather, a child born during marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband, and " [t]his presumption . . . may be rebutted only by direct, clear, and convincing evidence." Fairrow v. Fairrow, 559 N.E.2d 597, 600 (Ind. 1990); accord Buchanan v. Buchanan, 256 Ind. 119, 124, 267 N.E.2d 155, 157 (1971) (finding that when a child is born during a marriage, " a trial court cannot rule against [the husband's paternity] except on facts which

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prove conclusively that the husband could not have been the ...


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