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Bashale v. Quaicoe

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Delaware

July 12, 2013

PAULINE BANKESHA BASHALE Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
FRANCIS B. QUAICOE Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 10-03-0076AD

For Plaintiff-Appellant PAMELLA A. LAMMON Attorney at Law CELESTE MANNS-BRAMMER Guardian ad Litem

For Defendant-Appellee Francis Quaicoe

Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

{¶1} Plaintiff-appellant Pauline Bankesha Bashale appeals from the October 3, 2012 Judgment Entry of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, designating defendant-appellee Francis B. Quaicoe custodian and residential parent of the parties' minor child.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} Appellant Pauline B. Bashale and appellee Francis B. Quaicoe are the parents of Masolean Esther Quaicoe (DOB 11/11/05) (hereinafter "Esther"). On March 25, 2010, appellant filed a complaint for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, seeking to be designated Esther's custodial and residential parent. Attached to the complaint was a copy of an original petition for divorce that appellee had filed against appellant on February 2, 2010 in Texas.

{¶3} Appellant, on March 26, 2010, filed a motion for emergency temporary orders, seeking emergency temporary custody of Esther. Appellant, in her motion, alleged that at the end of January of 2010, appellee had taken Esther to Texas without her knowledge and consent and had not allowed her to have contact with Esther. Pursuant to a Magistrate's Decision filed on April 8, 2010 and approved and adopted by the court, the court found that the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, had jurisdiction over Esther and granted appellant temporary emergency custody. The court further ordered that Esther be immediately returned to appellant's physical custody of her. A hearing was scheduled for April 20, 2010.

{¶4} Neither appellee nor counsel on his behalf appeared at the April 20, 2010 emergency hearing before the Magistrate. The Magistrate, in her April 26, 2010 decision that was approved and adopted by the trial court, indicated that appellant's counsel had informed the court that appellant had been unable to gain physical custody of Esther, despite having traveled to Texas. The court once again granted appellant temporary emergency custody of Esther and ordered that she be immediately returned to Ohio.

{¶5} Appellee, on May 7, 2010, filed an answer to the complaint. On May 10, 2010, the court held a continuation of the emergency hearing at which both appellant and appellee appeared along with appellant's counsel. The Magistrate, in her May 18, 2010 decision which was approved and adopted by the trial court, found that appellant had regained custody of Esther on May 9, 2010 and designated appellant her temporary legal custodian and residential parent. The court also appointed a Guardian ad Litem.

{¶6} On February 13, 2012, the Guardian ad Litem filed her report and recommendation. The Guardian ad Litem, in her report, recommended that custody of Esther be granted to appellant and that appellee be granted long distance visitation. The Guardian ad Litem indicated that she was not sure that appellee had the capacity to care for Esther because his job required travel and that appellee "goes back and forth on this issue of if he could be custodian or not." The Guardian ad Litem, in a subsequent report and recommendation filed on July 23, 2012, recommended that appellee have custody and that appellant be granted long distance visitation. The Guardian ad Litem indicated that she believed that appellee would ensure that the child had a relationship with both parents and would make sure that the child had a "good school career."

{¶7} A trial on appellant's complaint for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities was held on July 30, 2012. At the time of the trial, the parties were still married.

{¶8} At the trial, Amy West testified that she was appellant's former neighbor and that the two became friends. She testified that she had known appellant and Esther for approximately one year and that Esther was in her Girl Scout Group. West testified that she had worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for 10 to 11 years before quitting about two years earlier. West, who has four children of her own and a stepson, testified that when appellant lived near her, she saw appellant and Esther around a couple of times a week. She testified that since appellant moved in April or May of 2012, she saw appellant and Esther about once a week. West also saw Esther independently due to her work as a substitute teacher and the leader of a Girl Scout Troop. According to West, appellant was a good mother and never yelled or was mean to her daughter. West indicated that appellant was very loving and caring and that Esther was always clean and well-behaved. West further testified that Esther had developed friendships with other girls in the Girl Scout Troop.

{¶9} West testified that she had been over to appellant's apartment and that it was nice, clean and in a nice neighborhood. She indicated that Esther had her own room in the apartment. When asked, West testified that she had never heard appellant speak negatively about appellee and had never heard Esther say anything negative about him. West further testified that the Delaware City Schools kindergarten schedule was confusing because it changed every week. She stated that she had no concerns about appellant being designated Esther's custodial parent.

{¶10} On cross-examination, West testified that appellant had five children and that she was aware that appellant had changed residences three (3) times in one year. West stated that she knew that appellant's son, Matthew, did not attend school regularly. Esther, according to West, was late for Girl Scout meetings. Esther was usually taken to the meetings by either appellant or Matthew. West also testified that Esther was social and made friends easily.

{ΒΆ11} At the trial, appellant testified that she lived in Delaware, Ohio and was still married to appellee and had been since 2003. She testified that appellee left for good in 2008 and was currently residing in Houston, Texas. Appellant testified that after appellee left in 2008, the marital home was foreclosed on. According to appellant, Esther, who was born in Ohio, stayed with her after the parties separated. Appellant indicated that she did not believe that appellee, who was born in Ghana, had any ...


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