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In re E.Y.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 29, 2019

In the Matter of E.Y. (Minor Child), and J. M. (Father) Appellant-Respondent,
v.
Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner, and Child Advocates, Inc., Appellees-Guardian Ad Litem.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Marilyn Moores, Judge The Honorable Jennifer Hubartt, Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1808-JC-2146

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Lisa M. Johnson Brownsburg, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana David E. Corey Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          RILEY, JUDGE.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Respondent, J.M. (Father), appeals the trial court's determination that his minor child, E.Y. (Child), is a Child in Need of Services (CHINS).

         [¶2] We reverse.

         ISSUE

         [¶3] Father presents us with one issue on appeal, which we restate as: Whether the trial court erred when it adjudicated Child to be a CHINS.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] A.Y. (Mother) is the mother of Am.M., born on June 5, 2003, S.M., born on October 25, 2008, An.M., born on August 2, 2010, and E.Y., born on August 23, 2013. (collectively, Children). A.M. is the biological father to the three oldest children; while Father is the biological father to E.Y.[1] Mother's relationship with A.M. ended seven years ago and the Children have not been around A.M. since.

         [¶5] The relationship between Mother and A.M. was characterized by domestic violence. A.M. would hit Mother and tie her up, telling Am.M. that he was going to kill her Mother and "she was going to help him bury" her. (Transcript p. 57). After the relationship ended, Mother started seeing a therapist to help her cope with the psychological effects of the abuse. Approximately two years after A.M. left, Am.M. "started acting out" and Mother took Am.M to a therapist.

         [¶6] Mother entered into a relationship with Father in 2012. At the time of the commencement of the CHINS proceedings, Father and Mother were living together, parenting the Children. Mother and Father are both gainfully employed, have medical insurance for themselves and the Children, and maintain an appropriate home for the family. The Children are bonded with Father and all four call him "Daddy." (Tr. p. 48).

         [¶7] Around March of 2017, Am.M.'s behavior changed. She started to make up "stories and act[ed] out with boys and sometimes she g[o]t[] physical with [Mother]." (Tr. p. 58). She also made two suicide attempts. Mother and Father took Am.M. to see a therapist. When An.M. started school, she began exhibiting behavior issues. As a result, Mother and Father took her to ...


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