Welcome to the newest blogging expedition at the Urberg Law Office. As often as possible, we will now be posting case updates from the most up-to-date opinions released by Indiana Courts. This will be an attempt to keep our readers on the “up and up” regarding legal news. Here are the latest cases for the week of 3/10/14:
In re T.L. Case No. 02S03-1308-AD-528 (Indiana Supreme Court, March 11, 2014)
Under Indiana Code 31-19-9-8, a parent may lose parental rights in an adoption proceeding for failure to take care of their child financially for a period of one year if the evidence clearly and convincingly shows that the parent could take care of the child. If the parent fails to follow through with their required care and support as required by law or judicial decree, their consent may not be required for an adoption proceeding. In this particular case, the Father was incarcerated but was found to have still been able to make some support payment while incarcerated. Therefore, his consent was not necessary for the adoption of his child.
CRIMINAL LAW — POLICE QUESTIONING
Hicks v. State Case No. 82A01-1306-CR-256 (Indiana Court of Appeals, March 11, 2014).
In this case, the defendant was asked a number of “pre-interview” questions. The police did not receive a confession that the defendant committed the crime in question during this pre-interview. Defendant argued that the police purposefully withheld Miranda rights to secure a confession, subsequently read the Defendant his Miranda warning and proceeded to secure a second confession. The police testified at trial that this was not the case. As the Appellate court cannot reweigh testimony or credibility, the only evidence present was the police testimony. Therefore, the confession was not suppressed and the defendant’s conviction upheld.
CHINS — TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
In re E.M. Case No. 45S03-1308-JT-557 (Indiana Supreme Court, March 7, 2014).
Father was incarcerated and made no attempt to foster a healthy relationship with his children. Upon release from prison, father took steps to build a relationship with his children. The Court found that his efforts were too late and that permanent termination of his parental rights was in the best interest of the children.