In the Matter of E.Y. (Minor Child), and J. M. (Father) Appellant-Respondent,
Indiana Department of Child Services, Appellee-Petitioner, and Child Advocates, Inc., Appellees-Guardian Ad Litem.
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
OF THE CASE
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).
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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
Mother's relationship with A.M. ended seven years ago and
the Children have not been around A.M. since.
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
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).
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 ...