Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re D.P.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 30, 2017

In the Matter of D.P. (Minor Child), and, M.P. (Father), Appellant-Respondent,
The Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner.

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1603-JC-1071 The Honorable Marilyn A. Moores, Judge The Honorable Diana Burleson, Magistrate

          Attorney for Appellant Kimberly A. Jackson Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana

          Robert J. Henke James D. Boyer Deputy Attorneys General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Barnes, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] M.P. ("Father") appeals the trial court's finding that his child, D.P., is a child in need of services ("CHINS"). We reverse.


         [¶2] The restated issue before us is whether there is sufficient evidence to support the determination that D.P. is a CHINS.


         [¶3] On March 28, 2016, the Marion County Office of the Department of Child Services ("DCS") filed a petition alleging that D.P., who was born in 2007, was a CHINS. The petition alleged that, on March 11, 2016, Father was taken to a hospital because he was acting "bizarrely, " was found to be on multiple drugs, and that Father has a history of substance abuse. App. p. 22. The petition further alleged that D.P. had missed twenty-three days of school and was suffering from educational neglect.

         [¶4] On April 14, 2016, the trial court held a pre-trial hearing. Subsequently, the trial court entered an order stating in part that Father's attorney "reports father was engaged in a methadone program in the past. [Counsel] states that father was taking opiates as he is no longer in a methadone program, but mother did not know and was not providing the opiates." Id. at 50. D.P. remained in Mother's care and custody, but Father was ordered to leave the home.

         [¶5] The trial court conducted a fact-finding hearing on August 29, 2016. Father did not appear at the hearing. At the outset of the hearing, counsel for Mother stated, "My client is going to agree that her child is in need of services because they're [sic] pending domestic violence charges that were filed against father." Tr. p. 5. A family case manager, Kyla Thomas, testified for DCS that Father had been referred for services, including twice for a substance abuse assessment, but that he had only participated in services "until July." Id. at 9. Thomas then stated that she had not spoken to Father since April 2016 and that, "I learned today that he's incarcerated." Id. Father's counsel objected to this statement. Thomas then was asked how she knew that Father was incarcerated, and she said, "the Marion County website, " without elaboration. Id. at 10. Father again objected on hearsay grounds, which the trial court overruled.

         [¶6] Thomas also testified that DCS had "concerns with [Father's] repeat substance abuse . . . ." Id. at 11. Father objected to this statement on hearsay grounds because it was based on third-party reports, to which DCS's attorney said, "I got nothing for that one." Id. The trial court then asked what Thomas's basis for her testimony was, and she said, "The last screens I have for [Father] are positive." Id. The trial court sustained Father's renewed objection to that statement as hearsay and no more evidence was presented on Father's drug use.

         [¶7] Thomas then testified that DCS had concerns about domestic violence in the family. Father again objected to this testimony on hearsay grounds. The following colloquy then ensued:

[DCS]: Judge, I have a cause number for you for the domestic violence case. There is a no-contact order with-listing [Mother] as the victim.
[Father's attorney]: Judge, if I can follow up you know I don't believe that that makes anything not hearsay unless this, unless DCS has certified copies of something you know or . . .
[DCS]: Rule 201 allows you to take judicial notice of records of the Court.
[Court]: And have you had conversations with either of the, the parents about the domestic violence.
[Thomas]: When I, I asked about the incarceration and mom didn't-she just disclosed that it was stupidity that got him arrested, but didn't mention anything about the incident that occurred and yesterday indicated that she wants to reunify and have the family back together.
[Court]: Okay.
[Thomas]: Still not know anything about it.
[Court]: Alright. What is the cause number that you have?
[DCS]: 49G02-1608-F5-031060.
* * * * *
[Court]: Okay. Alright, I'll-I'll overrule the objection, but I guess it's sustain in a sense that I'm going to allow the cause number to be put into the record and I will take judicial notice that it is felony case out of Court G2 and that's in Marion County?
[DCS]: Yes.

Id. at 12-13.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.