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In the Matter of B.A. Dependent Child.

February 1, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF B.A. DEPENDENT CHILD.


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

Cite as

In re B.A.,

DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

{¶1} Mother appeals the judgment of the Highland County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division. After finding that B.A. (hereinafter the "Child") had been abandoned, the juvenile court awarded permanent custody of the Child to Highland County Children Services (hereinafter "Children Services"). On appeal, Mother contends that Children Services filed for permanent custody too early. Mother claims that Children Services had to wait until the Child had been in its temporary custody for at least 12 months. We disagree. Children Services sought permanent custody on grounds other than R.C. 2151.414(B)(1)(d). Therefore, the motion for permanent custody was clearly authorized, and the juvenile court had the authority to grant permanent custody of the Child to Children Services. Accordingly, we overrule Mother's assignment of error and affirm the judgment of the juvenile court.

I.

{¶2} The Child was born on March 17, 2011. The next day, Children Services moved for temporary custody of the Child.

{¶3} On April 14, 2011, the juvenile court found the Child "to be a Dependent Child." Entry of Adjudication and Disposition at 1. As a result, the juvenile court ordered "that temporary custody of the [Child] shall be vested in [Children Services] for a period of six (6) months, to automatically terminate on September 17, 2011[,] unless a timely motion is filed in the Court." Id. at 2.

{¶4} On August 31, 2011, Children Services filed a motion to extend temporary custody of the Child. The juvenile court granted the motion and ordered that "temporary custody of the [Child] shall remain vested with [Children Services] for a period of six (6) months, to automatically terminate on March 15, 2012 * * *." Entry Extending Temporary Custody.

{¶5} On February 14, 2012, Children Services filed a motion for permanent custody "pursuant to Ohio Juvenile Rule 34, O.R.C. §2151.414, and O.R.C. §2515.413." Motion to Modify Disposition to Permanent Custody at 1. According to the motion, "Permanent Custody is an appropriate disposition in this matter as the child has been abandoned by both of his parents pursuant to O.R.C. §2151.414(B)(1)(b) [sic] and cannot be placed with either parent within a reasonable amount of time pursuant to O.R.C. §2151.414(E)." Id.

{¶6} On August 23, 2012, the juvenile court found that both parents had abandoned the Child. As a result, the juvenile court placed the Child in the permanent custody of Children Services.

{¶7} Mother appeals and asserts the following assignment of error: I. "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING PERMANENT CUSTODY TO THE AGENCY BECAUSE OF FINDINGS INCONSISTENT WITH STATUTE [sic]."

II.

{¶8} In her sole assignment of error, Mother contends that the juvenile court erred in awarding permanent custody of the Child to Children Services.

{¶9} A parent's "interest in the care, custody, and control of [his or her] children 'is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests * * *.'" In re D.A., 113 Ohio St.3d 88, 2007-Ohio-1105, 862 N.E.2d 829, ¶ 8, quoting Troxel v. ...


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