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In re J.B.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 8, 2016

In the Matter of J.B. and L.B.
v.
The Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner. J.J. (Mother), Appellant-Respondent,

         Appeal from the Elkhart Circuit Court The Honorable Deborah Domine, Magistrate The Honorable Terry C. Shewmaker, Judge Trial Court Cause Nos. 20C01-1507-JC-82, 20C01-1507-JC-83

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Nancy A. McCaslin McCaslin & McCaslin Elkart, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana Robert J. Henke Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          OPINION ON REHEARING

          Vaidik, Chief Judge.

         [¶1] The Indiana Department of Child Services petitions for rehearing following our in which we held that the CHINS court lost jurisdiction as soon as it discharged the parties, at which point the issue of custody reverted to the paternity court. DCS argues that the CHINS court's custody-modification order survived the termination of the CHINS proceeding.

         [¶2] Father and Mother shared custody of their children pursuant to an order of a paternity court. After a car accident in which Mother was under the influence of drugs and the children were not properly restrained, DCS filed a petition in juvenile court alleging that the children were CHINS. Mother and Father each admitted that the children were CHINS. The juvenile court found that the children were CHINS and scheduled a dispositional hearing. But before the dispositional hearing, DCS filed a motion to change custody to Father. The juvenile court held a hearing, following which it awarded Father sole custody and Mother supervised parenting time and then closed the CHINS case, without entering a dispositional decree that would have ordered services for Mother.

         [¶3] DCS argues, among other things, that according to Indiana Code section 31-30-1-13(d), the CHINS court's custody-modification order survived the termination of the CHINS proceeding. Section 31-30-1-13 addresses concurrent jurisdiction of paternity and CHINS courts.[1] It provides, in full:

(a) Subject to subsection (b), a court having jurisdiction under IC 31-14 of a child custody proceeding in a paternity proceeding has concurrent original jurisdiction with another juvenile court for the purpose of modifying custody of a child who is under the jurisdiction of the other juvenile court because:
(1) the child is the subject of a child in need of services proceeding; or
(2) the child is the subject of a juvenile delinquency proceeding that does not involve an act described under IC 31-37-1-2.
(b) Whenever the court having child custody jurisdiction under IC 31-14 in a paternity proceeding modifies child custody as provided by this section, the modification is effective only when the juvenile court with jurisdiction over the child in need of services proceeding or juvenile delinquency proceeding:
(1) enters an order approving the child custody modification; or
(2) terminates the child in need of services proceeding or the juvenile ...

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