“Unfit” Father’s Consent Not Required in Adoption Proceeding

Family Law Case Review

Case: In re Adoption of D.M. Michael Mendez v. Brent L. Weaver
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: In an adoption proceeding, the trial court’s determination that Father’s consent to the adoption was not required was affirmed based upon a finding that Father was an “unfit” parent. Father was previously convicted of molesting Child’s half-sister and served several years in prison prior to the initiation of the adoption proceedings.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:  Child was born to Father and Mother in 2010. Mother’s daughter from a previous relationship also lived part-time with them. In 2012, Father was arrested for molesting Child’s half-sister. He later pled guilty to a class C felony and was sentenced to sixteen years with eight suspended. Mother divorced Father concurrent with the criminal proceedings.

Mother began dating Step-Father in 2013, and they married in 2016. Step-Father filed a petition for adoption, and Father filed an objection. After a hearing, the trial court determined that this matter involved one of the exceptions for the requirement that a parent consent to adoption. Specifically, consent is not needed where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the natural parent is “unfit to be a parent” and the best interests of the child would be served by dispensing with the parent’s consent.

On appeal, much of the discussion focused on the meaning of “unfit.” A primary argument of Father was that he was convicted of a class C felony, and that another subpart of the consent statute states that only class A or class B convictions trigger a potentially automatic dispensing of the need for consent. The Court of Appeals found this argument unpersuasive, in that rendering a class A or a class B conviction a potentially automatic waiver of consent, it does not follow that the circumstances underlying a class C conviction cannot lead a determination of unfitness.

Determining that the evidence most favorable to the trial court’s decision did not contradict its conclusion, the trial court’s decree of adoption was affirmed.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: In re Adoption of D.M. Michael Mendez v. Brent L. Weaver

 

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James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments

BankingLaw-MobBB

Banking Law & Regulation – Oct. 5

TOPICS:
Overview of Banking Law and Regulation – Federal & State
What is a Bank; History of Banking Law; Role of Regulators; Statutes and regulations governing banking operations; Capital Requirements; Enforcement process; Compensation and Risk; Bank metrics

Banking Regulation and Compliance
Discussion of various regulations applicable to banks, including TRID, HMDA, 23A, Regulation E, Flood, BSA, OFAC, and others

Inside Discussion of the Current Regulatory Environment – (Panel)
Current “hot buttons” in examinations; How to prepare for an exam; Trends in banking practices; Impact of regulatory requirements on bank operations and lending

Loan Structure and Documentation
Impact on risk profile of bank; Credit worthiness, loan classification and reserves; debt service capabilities; Laws and regulations affecting how much credit can be extended: Legal lending limits, appraisal and loan to value requirements, Reg U, Reg O, transactions with affiliates, government assisted financing program limitations. Laws and regulations affecting how credit is extended: appraisal requirements, legally required policies dictating required loan terms, loan term implications from risk weighted capital allocations to loans.

Commercial Loan Workouts in the Current Environment

Litigating Banking Law Issues
Lender liability; regulatory traps; common documentation issues; E-Discovery and privacy issues peculiar to banks; shareholder litigation and strike suits

Ethical Considerations in Representing Banks
Internal investigations; Whistle blower matters; Conflict recognition in loan documentation, workouts, bankruptcy and litigation; Conflict waivers; attorney-client privilege limitations for documentation attorney

_____________________________

FACULTY:
Karen B. Woods – Chair
MainSource Financial Group, Greensburg

Brett J. Ashton
Krieg DeVault LLP, Indianapolis

Chris Bower
MainSource Financial Group, Greensburg

Wendy D. Brewer
Jensen/Brewer, LLC, Indianapolis

Mark E. Bruin
The National Bank of Indianapolis, Indianapolis

James E. Carlberg
Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, Indianapolis

Donald K. Densborn
Densborn Blachly LLP, Indianapolis

Curt W. Hidde
Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis

Mark J.R. Merkle
Krieg DeVault LLP, Carmel

Michael J. Messaglia
Krieg DeVault LLP, Indianapolis

John W. Tanselle
SmithAmundsen, Indianapolis

Larry C. Tomlin
SmithAmundsen, Indianapolis

Sandra A. Welsh
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Indianapolis

__________________________

BANKING LAW & REGULATION
6 CLE / .5 E – Thursday, October 5; 9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

LIVE IN-PERSON SEMINAR
– ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

LIVE GROUP WEBCASTS
– Reiling Teder & Schrier, Lafayette
– Ice Miller, Indianapolis

LIVE INDIVIDUAL WEBCAST
– From your home or office computer

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Highlighted Seminars0 Comments

Law-Practice-Succ-MobBB

Law Practice Succession and Retirement Planning – Sept. 21

TOPICS:
Laying the Groundwork: Preparing for Succession Planning & Retirement
• Factors that motivate law practice succession planning
• Developing a plan
• Considerations for the 1-2 attorney office
• Challenges faced by the smaller firm in developing a succession plan
• Considerations / Characteristics to look for in an attorney to take over your practice
• Considerations for a law practice in a smaller community
• Considerations for a law practice in a larger / more urban community
• Determining the value of a law practice
• Practical considerations when contemplating retiring from the practice of law
• Preparing Your clients for your retirement
• Preparing your firm for your retirement

Law Practice Succession Planning
• What is law practice succession planning?
• Why is law practice succession planning needed?
• What are the driving forces in law practice succession planning?
• What are the restraining forces in law practice succession planning?
• What options do you have?
• Developing a succession plan for your practice
• What to plan for in the event of you becoming disabled
• Essential legal documents in law practice succession planning – Letter of intent (LOI) – Buy/Sell contractual agreement Valuation of Law Practices
• Does your law practice have any value?
• What factors need to be considered when valuing a law practice? Ethical Issues in Law Practice Succession Planning
• What ethical issues are involved in law practice succession planning?
• What specific Rules of Professional Conduct have an impact on law practice succession planning?
• What are the ethical requirements of Rule 1.17 of the Rules of Professional Conduct regarding the sale of a law practice?
• How does Rule 23 of the Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys address the issues of attorney disability and attorney surrogates? Financial Planning for Retirement
• How much do you need when you retire?
• Basics of Social Security, Medicare, Medicare Advantage/Supplement Insurance and Long-Term Health Insurance
• Retirement planning – IRAs, 401(k)s, investments

FACULTY:
Donald R. Hopper – Chair
Hopper Legal Consulting Services & Harrison & Moberly, LLP, Indianapolis, IN

Aline F. Anderson
Aline F. Anderson, LLC, Indianapolis, IN

Jason S. Gray
Aline F. Anderson, LLC, Indianapolis, IN

Jeffrey B. Kolb
Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP, Vincennes, IN

Kameron H. McQuay
Blue & Co., LLC, Indianapolis, IN

John M. O’Drobinak
O’Drobinak & Nowaczyk, P.C., Schererville, IN

Ted A. Waggoner
Peterson Waggoner & Perkins, LLP, Rochester, IN

Warren A. Ward
WWA Planning & Investments, Columbus, IN

Gordon D. Wishard
The Mediation Group LLC, Indianapolis, IN

________________________________

LAW PRACTICE SUCCESSION & RETIREMENT PLANNING
6 CLE / 1 E – Thursday, September 21: 9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

LIVE IN-PERSON SEMINAR
– ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

LIVE INDIVIDUAL WEBCAST
– From your home or office computer

VIDEO REPLAY SEMINARS
– Available after Live Seminar date

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianpolis, IN

Posted in Blog, News0 Comments

Subsequent Death of a Party Will Not Cause the Court to Lose Jurisdiction to Implement the Terms of the Decree

Family Law Case Review

Case: Judith M. Edwards (n/k/a Judith Klemos) v. Allen O. Edwards, Deceased, and D. Juatrice Edwards, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Allen O. Edwards
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll

HELD: While it is generally true that a dissolution court loses jurisdiction over a matter upon the death of one of the parties, once a dissolution court has issued a final decree dividing the parties’ property, a subsequent death of a party will not cause the court to lose jurisdiction to implement the terms of the Decree thereafter.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:  Husband and Wife were married for 20 years before their dissolution was entered by agreement in 2012. The Decree included provisions that allocated some of Husband’s retirement interests to Wife. QDROs or similar orders were not implemented thereafter to effect the division of Husband’s retirement accounts.

In 2016, Wife apparently learned that Husband was terminally ill with cancer and filed a motion seeking assistance from the Court in effectuating the division of Husband’s retirement accounts. Before Wife’s requested relief could be implemented, Husband died.

Litigation ensued between Wife and Husband’s surviving subsequent spouse. The dispositive issue was whether the dissolution court, as a matter of law, lost jurisdiction over the disbursement of Husband’s retirement accounts with Husband’s death. The trial court concluded that it lost jurisdiction, from which order Wife appealed.

The Court of Appeals stated that general rule that “dissolution proceedings terminate entirely with the death of one of the parties to the dissolution.” The Court reviewed applicable case law, but took particular interest in the 2001 Beard case. In Beard, the trial court had bifurcated dissolution proceedings, first granting the divorce but then deferring for subsequent resolution the division of the parties’ property. The husband in Beard died after the divorce was entered but prior to the division of property. The Court of Appeals ruled in that case that the death of a party after the dissolution was granted, but before property division was adjudicated, did not deprive the dissolution court of jurisdiction.

In the instant case, because Husband died after the Decree was entered, the trial court did not lose jurisdiction to follow through with its implementation, even after Husband’s death.

The trial court’s order was reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Judith M. Edwards (n/k/a Judith Klemos) v. Allen O. Edwards, Deceased, and D. Juatrice Edwards, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Allen O. Edwards

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

James A. Reed and Michael R. Kohlhaas of Bingham Greenebaum Doll represent clients in a wide spectrum of relationship transition and wealth planning matters, including premarital agreements, estate planning, cohabitation, separation, divorce (especially involving high net worth individuals and/or complex asset issues), custody, parenting arrangements, adoption, and domestic partnerships. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, a multidisciplinary law firm serving regional, national, and international clients, is the fourth-largest law firm in Indiana. The firm’s main practices include corporate, property, litigation, labor, government law, and personal services law. Visit the firm’s website at www.bgdlegal.com.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

Posted in Family Law Case Review0 Comments