In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Z.B., D.B., L.B., Me.B., Ma.B. (Minor Children) and A.B. (Mother), Appellant-Respondent,
The Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner, and Delaware County, Indiana CASA, Appellee-Petitioner.
from the Delaware Circuit Court The Honorable Kimberly S.
Dowling, Judge The Honorable Amanda L. Yonally, Magistrate
Trial Court Cause Nos. 18C02-1609-JT-37, 18C02-1609-JT-38,
18C02-1609-JT-39, 18C02-1609-JT-40, 18C02-1611-JT-53
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ana M. Quirk Muncie, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILD
SERVICES Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana
Robert J. Henke Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE DELAWARE COUNTY, INDIANA CASA Jon L.
Orlosky Muncie, Indiana
A.B. ("Mother") challenges the juvenile court's
decision to terminate her parental rights as to her five
children who had previously been adjudicated Children in Need
of Services ("CHINS"): Z.B., D.B., L.B., Me.B.,
(the "Siblings") and Ma.B (collectively, the
"Children"). Notably, the Delaware County Department of
Child Services ("DCS") opposed terminating
Mother's parental rights with respect to Ma.B., but
Ma.B's court-appointed special advocates (the
"CASAs") pursued termination through counsel.
Mother now presents the following consolidated and restated
I. Whether a CASA has the statutory authority to prosecute a
petition to terminate parental rights when DCS opposes
II. Whether there is sufficient evidence supporting the
termination of Mother's parental rights.
We affirm, but remand for correction of certain
and Procedural History
At some point, DCS alleged that the Children were CHINS, and,
in May of 2015, Diana Robertson and Mary Fitzgerald became
the Children's CASAs. In June of 2015, Ma.B. was
adjudicated a CHINS, and Mother admitted certain CHINS
allegations as to the Siblings, including:
a. On or about April 10, 2015, [Mother] entered into an
Informal Adjustment with [DCS] due to educational neglect,
substance abuse, home conditions, and lack of supervision.
b. [Mother] was positive on April 16, 2015 for
methamphetamines and uses other illicit substances such as,
but not limited to, heroin, methamphetamines and prescription
c. Home conditions barely meet minimal standards and [M]other
is struggling to maintain appropriate living conditions.
d. Mother struggles to control [Z.B.'s] behaviors as he
is destructive, violent and injures the other children.
Ex. Vol. I at 26, 167; Ex. Vol. II at 58, 201.
The Siblings were at one point placed with family. As to
Ma.B., Mother consented to a modification of custody so that
C.B. ("Father") became Ma.B.'s custodian, and
Ma.B. began living with Father and his wife
On September 30, 2016, DCS filed a petition to terminate
Mother's parental rights as to the Siblings. On November
21, 2016, the CASAs filed a petition to terminate
Mother's parental rights as to Ma.B. DCS and Mother then
moved to dismiss the petition concerning Ma.B., arguing-among
other things-that the CASAs could not prosecute a petition to
terminate parental rights where DCS did not support the
petition. The court denied the motions to dismiss
and consolidated the proceedings concerning the Children. The
court then held a fact-finding hearing on June 15, August 23,
and October 18, 2017. The court took the matter under
advisement, and later entered an order terminating
Mother's parental rights to the Children.
Mother now appeals.