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In re Colbert

November 9, 2000

IN THE MATTER OF: EBONY COLBERT.


CHARACTER OF PROCEEDINGS: Civil Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. 99 JF 05

Judges Hon. Donald R. Ford, P.J., Hon. Robert A. Nader. J., Hon. William M. O'neill, J.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nader, J.

OPINION

JUDGMENT: Affirmed.

Appellant, Brunhilde Clark, appeals the judgment entry by the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, awarding permanent custody of her child, Ebony Hope Colbert, to the Ashtabula County Children Services Board ("CSB").

Ebony was born on December 30, 1997 to appellant and Adrian Clark. She tested positive for cocaine at birth. On January 5, 1998, pursuant to a request for an emergency telephone order, the trial court granted temporary custody of Ebony to the CSB. On January 28, 1998, Ebony was placed with appellant at Turning Point, an in-patient drug treatment center that had facilities for childcare. Appellant left Turning Point on February 6, 1998 and had Ebony placed in foster care. On March 31, 1998, the trial court adjudicated Ebony a dependent child. Timothy Adkins of the CSB developed a case plan to work towards reunification of the child with her parents. The case plan required that appellant successfully complete drug treatment and attend parenting classes.

Appellant began an out-patient drug rehabilitation program at Glenbeigh Hospital in February 1998. She started out doing well but left the program after missing thirteen of thirty scheduled sessions. In May 1998, she attended drug counseling with David Villa, of the Great Lakes Counseling until September 1998. David Villa recommended to Mr. Adkins that appellant attend a minimum of three Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous meetings per week. From May 1998 through October 1998, appellant underwent nine drug tests, three of which came back positive for cocaine. After she stopped attending drug treatment, she did not remain in contact with the CSB. She did not tell them her address or phone number and called them just once between October 1998 and the end of 1998.

Although Ebony's father, Adrian Colbert, was involved in the disposition at the trial court level, he is not involved in the current appeal. Unsuccessful attempts were made at placing Ebony with Mr. Colbert and Mr. Colbert's relatives. On May 4, 1998, he was arrested for domestic violence and allegedly ransacked appellant's apartment in September 1998. The domestic violence charges were eventually dropped. At the time of the hearing, he was incarcerated for robbery.

Mr. Adkins determined that neither parent was complying with their case plans and that neither could provide a stable environment for Ebony. On April 20, 1999, the CSB filed a motion for permanent custody. On July 21 and 22, 1999, the trial court held a hearing on the motion. For reasons unclear from the record, the hearing was recessed on July 21 and reconvened on December 8 and 9, 1999. ...


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