Suit Seeks To Require Counsel For Kids In CHINS Cases

first_imgDave Stafford for www.theindianalawyer.comA national child advocacy organization filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Indianapolis asserting that Indiana is violating the rights of abused and neglected children by failing to provide them legal counsel in children in need of services and termination of parental rights hearings.The 31-page complaint seeks to certify a class of more than 5,000 children, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief requiring the appointment of attorneys to represent children in CHINS proceedings and TPR cases. Such appointments are currently discretionary, according to the complaint, which illustrates problems that have arisen in cases where counsel was not appointed.The suit was filed on behalf of two foster children in Marion County, three in Lake County and five in Scott County, as well as their foster parents. In some cases, the suit says, unrepresented children in CHINS cases were shuttled between more than 20 foster homes before age 3 or deprived of adoptive parents because they had no voice in the process. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare The suit claims the failure to routinely appoint counsel to children in Indiana CHINS and TPR cases violates their rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. The complaint also says that although Indiana allows the children in CHINS and TPR proceedings to be appointed legal counsel, the appointment is not mandatory as it is in more than 30 states.“It is unlikely that a child who has been placed in dependency proceedings by the government will know that he or she has a right to be heard unless that right is explained to the child by an attorney,” the complaint says. “Even when a child knows his or her rights, without an attorney, the child is likely to give up and remain silent if his or her wishes are downplayed or disregarded at any point in the proceedings.”The suit is brought by the Children’s Advocacy Institute, a nonprofit operated by the University of San Diego School of Law, the San Francisco-based law firm of Morrison Foerster LLP and local counsel Kathleen DeLaney of DeLaney & DeLaney LLC in IndianapolisDelaney said in a statement that “systemic reform is needed to remedy the profound problems facing Indiana foster children” and that “fixing a glaring problem inside the courtroom, by providing legal representation to foster kids, is an obvious first step.”Morrison & Foerster lawyer Steve Keane said: “every child in dependency proceedings needs a voice and a way to protect his or her legal rights before his or her fate is adjudicated – that is a basic due process right protected by the constitution.”Spokespeople did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which would represent named defendants Lake, Marion and Scott counties in this litigation.Indiana courts often appoint guardians ad litem or court-appointed special advocates to represent the interests of children in CHINS and TPR proceedings, but the suit says this isn’t enough. “Empirical studies have shown that children who are not represented by counsel are routinely erroneously deprived of their most fundamental protected interests, even when they have an appointed GAL or CASA,” the complaint says.The lawsuit is filed in Southern Indiana District Court just as the Indiana General Assembly is considering numerous child-welfare reform bills and as Indiana appellate courts have shown growing frustration with the denial of rights to stakeholders in CHINS and TPR cases.“The absolute discretion that Indiana trial courts currently have in appointing counsel for children results in inconsistent, unpredictable outcomes that leave children with no voice and no one to advocate for their legal rights,” the complaint says. “It is no wonder that the Indiana Court of Appeals recently stated that ‘there are repeated, significant violations of the due process occurring in termination of parental rights cases throughout this state. This is a disturbing trend given the fundamental rights at issue in these types of cases,’” the complaint says, citing A.A. v. Ind. Dep’t of Child Servs., 100 N.E.3d 708, 709 (Ind. Ct. App. 2018). “The court further stated that ‘[g]iven the fundamental due process rights at issue in termination of parental rights cases, affording litigants these fundamental due process rights is essential, including not only the litigants but also their children.’”last_img read more

NextGen Know-How: The importance of boundaries in leadership (and life)

first_img continue reading » On a recent Wednesday night, I was attending a parent association meeting at my childrens’ school. These meetings have historically run long, sometimes going until 9:30 p.m. or later. I go to bed at 9:30 on weeknights, so the day after these meetings, I would wake up feeling tired and sluggish, negatively impacting the rest of my week. But I realized I have a choice in this situation. Instead of feeling obligated to stay until the end of the meeting, I created a boundary: For weeknight meetings, I would leave by 8:30 p.m. No exceptions. I let the president of the parent association know ahead of time, and at the next meeting, I collected my things at 8:30, said goodbye and headed home.Boundaries are an essential part of leadership. Without boundaries, our days become a haze of activity without focus or accomplishing anything of value. When you don’t have boundaries, everyone else’s emergencies become your emergencies.I like to think of it this way: Boundaries create structure. Structure creates freedom.Boundaries allow you to focus and work at your peak. They protect your time and energy so you can work at your best. So you can be your best. 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Bachelor Sean Lowe, Catherine Giudici’s Relationship Timeline

first_imgScroll through the gallery below for a full timeline of the pair’s relationship. A true love story. Although many couples on The Bachelor struggle to make it to the altar, Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici never had that problem.Lowe, who first appeared on Emily Maynard‘s season of The Bachelorette, became the lead on season 17 of The Bachelor. He was branded as the “Virgin Bachelor,” as he had revealed that he was a born-again virgin and was saving himself for marriage.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The graphic designer, for her part, didn’t know what to expect when she joined the dating show.However, she quickly fell in love. The pair, who got married in 2014, now share three children — which was their plan early on.“We were always planning on having three kids. This one came maybe a little sooner than we had planned, but we are excited,” the Arlington native told Us Weekly in July 2019. “The idea of raising three kids under 3 and a half years old, that’s a little daunting if I’m being honest! [Giudici’s] first thought was probably not excitement! Her first thought was probably, ‘Wait, we’re having a baby? I already have a baby! I’m not ready for another baby!’ But after a few hours I think she got excited.”- Advertisement – ABC announced that the season, which aired in 2013, will be part of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever, a spinoff set to take a look into 10 seasons from the franchise, set to air in 2020.“When I was originally cast, I was very flattered but somewhat grounded by the fact that I would be one of the faces that represented people of color. I knew that one of the reasons I was probably chosen was because I was Filipino,” Giudici wrote via Instagram in June 2020, amid the Black Lives Matter movement. “I counted myself out to be his fiancée because of what I assumed Sean liked. I thought I was there just to check a box, but I ended up with so much more. I became present with the process and as he started noticing me for who I really was, I allowed this experience to open myself up to the possibility of being fully loved and appreciated for all that I was. I ended up getting to represent a mixed race community, I found Christ (I LOVE my testimony!) and marrying the most amazing man I’ve ever known. I’d say doing this show was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Finnish roundup: Veritas takes profits on equities

first_imgShe said that even with a secure portfolio profile, Veritas had managed to achieve a good return in the first half.Fixed income investments returned 2%, and private equity investments generated 11.3%.Total investments rose to €3.1bn at the end June from €2.9bn at the end of December 2016.Elo nets 4.4% returnMeanwhile, the larger pensions insurer Elo announced a 4.4% return on its investments in the second half, up from 1% in the same period last year.Net pensions assets increased to €22.8bn by the end of June, from €21.8bn at the end of December.Elo’s CIO Hanna Hiidenpalo, said: “The global investment market, especially the equity market, has yielded extremely good returns since March 2009. This has been the second-longest streak of good returns from investments since World War II.”In the reporting period, the US dollar weakened by almost 10% against the euro in the currency market, but “the share of Elo’s open currency risk of investments was kept at a moderate level”, Hiidenpalo said.Listed equities produced a return of 8.9% between January and June, Elo reported. Real estate generated 3.1%, but fixed income investments registered a loss of 1%.Elo said the new partial early old-age pension, which was introduced in Finland at the beginning of this year, had proved particularly popular. In the first six months since it was brought in, Elo said it had issued the new pension to to 1,536 customers.VER positive after strong equity, infrastructure gainsFinland’s State Pension Fund (VER) reported a 3.7% return on investments in the first half.Of its main asset classes, VER said listed equities gave a return of 6.9% and liquid fixed-income instruments generated 1.2%.VER said listed companies data had improved in the first six months of this year relative to 2016, and future prospects were felt to be quite bright.Real estate funds returned 0.4% and infrastructure investments yielded 6.6%, VER reported.At the end of June, fixed income instruments accounted for 43.7% of the pension fund’s portfolio, equities made up 44%, and other investments amounted to 9.5%.VER’s assets totalled €19.2bn at the end of June, up from €18.8bn at the end of December.The pension fund transferred €914m to the government budget in the first half – more than the €719m it received in pension contributions.“This gap between income and budget transfers will continue to grow year on year and slow down the growth of the fund,” it noted in the interim report.VER was established in 1990 to balance Finland’s state pension expenditure.The fund said that as of the start of this year, it would concentrate more and more on long-term outcomes and future prospects instead of quarterly reporting, but would continue posting quarterly figures and commentary on them as before. Finnish pensions insurance company Veritas has rolled back the equities weighting in its portfolio in response to high valuations.The company reported a 4.2% return on investments between January and June in its interim results, up from 0.9% in the same period last year. Equities performed the best out of all asset classes with an 8.3% return.Niina Bergring, Veritas CIO, said: “Shares are now valued at a relatively high level, and we should adjust our long-term return expectations accordingly.“We have therefore had a cautious line in our allocation to risky assets and have recently reduced the equity weighting.”last_img read more