Mothers Of Lost Children – Indiana

Support for Noncustodial Indiana Moms

Miami County Judge Publically Admonished by Indiana for Awarding Child Custody to Father Without Telling Mother

with 2 comments

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has issued a Public Admonition against Judge Daniel C. Banina, Miami Superior Court Judge. Judge Banina is being admonished for a February 2007 incident in which he admits to violating the Code of Judicial Conduct and basic due process requirements for emergency orders.

The Commission admonishes Judge Banina for granting an ex parte petition. That means the order was granted for the benefit of one party without notice given to another interested party. Ex parte communications are generally barred to ensure every person with a legal interest in a proceeding has the right to be heard.

The petition Judge Banina granted was for temporary custody of a child. The circumstances surrounding the petition relate to a mother and father who were divorced but living together. The couple had a child together, but that child was under the sole custody of the mother. The petition was granted in favor of the father without prior notice given to the mother.

In January 2007, the mother decided to move from the home and take the child with her. The father and police intervened and demanded that she leave the child with the father. In February 2007, the father’s attorney filed an emergency petition for his client to receive temporary custody of the child.

On February 2, 2007 Judge Banina issued an Order granting temporary custody to the father. Judge Banina set a hearing for March 27, 2007. Instead, Judge Banina should have ensured that the mother had notice of the petition and the Judge should have held a hearing to resolve any custody dispute.

The Order violated Canons 1, 2, and 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The Canons require judges to ensure the fairness, impartiality, and integrity of the judiciary. The order also violated Canon 3B(8), which forbids ex parte contacts absent a true emergency. Even in a true emergency the person is entitled to a hearing within 10 days of the ex parte Order.

The Commission now admonishes Judge Banina for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct and the laws of the State. Judge Banina will not formally be charged with ethical misconduct. He cooperated fully with the Commission in this matter and acknowledges he violated the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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Written by mothersoflostchildren

January 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Is there anyone I can talk to about our case that sounds EXACTLY like what just happend to us. We need someone to direct us in the right direction.

    Amber McCutchan

    February 4, 2009 at 5:52 am

  2. Unfortunately, many mothers are going through this. I’ve got some ideas for you though…I will contact you off line.

    mothersoflostchildren

    February 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm


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