from the Marion Superior Court, Civil Division 1, No.
49D01-1507-PL-23062 The Honorable Heather A. Welch, Judge
Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No.
Attorneys for Appellant Kenneth J. Falk Gavin M. Rose ACLU of
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Thomas M. Fisher Solicitor General Frances Barrow
Andrea Rahman Matthew R. Elliott Deputy Attorneys General
mandate is an extraordinary remedy-available only when the
law imposes a clear duty upon a defendant to perform a
specific, ministerial act and the plaintiff is clearly
entitled to that relief. The law at issue here, Indiana Code
section 31-25-2-5, imposes strict caseload limits for family
case managers at the Indiana Department of Child Services.
This statute compels a particular outcome-no case manager can
oversee more than seventeen children at a time who are
receiving services-but does not require the Department to
perform one or more specific, ministerial acts for achieving
it. Thus, the statute is not amenable to a judicial mandate.
We affirm the dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint.
and Procedural History
Mary Price, works for the Department of Child Services as a
family case manager. Her job requires that she monitor and
supervise active cases where the Department has been
presented with evidence that a child is suffering from abuse
or neglect. Such children and their families are entitled to
receive various services from the Department, including, but
not limited to, protective services, abuse/neglect
prevention, and family-preservation services. These services
are intended to ensure a child's safety and promote
family stability. See Ind. Code §§
31-25-2-7; 31-25-2-11(b), (c) (Supp. 2015).
legislature imposes staffing thresholds to ensure family case
managers such as Price have manageable caseloads. Under the
governing statute, Price's ongoing-services caseload
cannot exceed seventeen children.
Sec. 5 (a) The department shall ensure that the department
maintains staffing levels of family case managers so that
each region has enough family case managers to allow
caseloads to be at not more than:
(1) twelve (12) active cases relating to initial assessments,
including investigations of an allegation of child abuse or
(2) seventeen (17) children monitored and supervised in
active cases relating to ongoing services.
(b) The department shall comply with the maximum caseload
ratios described in subsection (a).
Id. § 31-25-2-5 (Supp. 2015). To help the
legislature track compliance with these caps, the Department
must submit yearly reports "provid[ing] data and
statistical information regarding caseloads of family case
managers." Id. § 31-25-2-4. If caseloads
exceed the statutory limits, the Department must provide
"a written plan that indicates the steps that are ...