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In re L.D.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

July 23, 2013

In the Matter of: L.D., (A.D., Appellant).

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, C.P.C. No. 10JU06-8804, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch

Thomas E. Friedman, for appellee J.N.

Wesley R. Davis, for appellees CD. and B.D.

Yeura R. Venters, Public Defender, and David L. Strait, for appellant A.D.

Caitlin E. Barbee, Guardian ad litem for L.D.

DECISION

KLATT, P.J.

{¶ 1} Appellant, A.D., the mother of L.D., appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch, granting legal custody of L.D. to his maternal grandparents, CD. and B.D. Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm that judgment.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

{¶ 2} On June 17, 2010, a complaint was filed in the trial court which alleged that L.D., born September 30, 2005, was an abused, neglected, and dependent child. Specifically, the complaint alleged that on or about January 6, 2010, L.D. was in the custody of his father, J.N., when he received second-degree burns on his hands and that J.N. gave conflicting stories about how the burns were sustained. Further examination discovered bruises on other parts of the child's body, including the inside of his thighs and on his scrotum. The complaint noted that his bruises were not consistent with accidents or routine play, and that L.D. had been seen three years earlier with similar injuries. As a result of his injuries, a safety plan was prepared and L.D. went to live with CD. and B.D.

{¶ 3} The trial court awarded temporary custody of L.D. to Franklin County Children Services ("FCCS"). After an uncontested adjudicatory hearing, the trial court found L.D. to be an abused child as defined in R.C. 2151.031(D). The trial court dismissed the other allegations of neglect and dependency at the state's request. Maternal grandparents subsequently filed a motion for an award of legal custody of L.D., arguing that such custody was in the child's best interest because neither of his biological parents were equipped to care for and raise L.D.

{¶ 4} After weeks of hearings on the motion for legal custody, a magistrate concluded that the grandparents proved by clear and convincing evidence that an award of legal custody of L.D. to them was in the child's best interest. A.D. filed objections to the magistrate's decision. The trial court overruled those objections and "wholeheartedly" adopted the magistrate's decision that it was in the child's best interest to place him in the legal custody of the maternal grandparents.

II. The Appeal

{¶ 5} A.D. appeals the trial court judgment and assigns the following error:

The trial court committed reversible error by placing the minor child L.D. in the legal custody of ...

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