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Dorsey v. Dorsey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 19, 2013

JILL DORSEY Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
JAMES DORSEY, JR. Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Family Court Division, Case No. 2008DR00328

For Plaintiff-Appellant: JEFFREY R. JAKMIDES, JOHN T. JAKMIDES

For Defendant-Appellee: THERESA T. TOLSON

Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

(¶1} Appellant Jill Dorsey appeals a judgment of the Stark County Common Pleas Court, Family Court Division, overruling her motion to allocate all of the guardian ad litem fees incurred in the instant case to appellee James Dorsey, Jr.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CASE

(¶2} The parties were divorced on May 6, 2009. The parties have three minor children. Appellee filed a motion to modify companionship, child support, and the tax exemption for the children on November 15, 2011. On February 24, 2012, appellant filed a motion to terminate visits. A guardian ad litem was appointed by the court. Appellant was ordered to deposit $1, 000 for guardian fees, and additional fees were to be paid 75% by appellant and 25% by appellee.

(¶3} On March 15, 2012, appellant filed a motion for a civil protection order, which was dismissed. A no contact order was issued which required appellee to attend Voyager and communicate through Family Wizard.

(¶4} Appellee was charged with domestic violence on July 2, 2012. The victim was the parties' minor daughter. On July 23, 2012, the parties agreed to suspend appellee's visitation, but he was allowed telephone contact with the youngest child. The guardian ad litem filed her report on August 8, 2012, recommending that visits with appellee remain suspended, telephone contact between appellee and the youngest child be terminated, and all three children attend counseling.

(¶5} The parties appeared before the court for a hearing on August 15, 2012. Appellee moved to withdraw his motion filed on November 15, 2011. The matter proceeded to a hearing on appellant's motion to terminate visits. Appellee moved to continue the case pending resolution of his domestic violence charge in Alliance Municipal Court and a pending investigation concerning sexual abuse. Appellee ultimately pled no contest to a reduced charge, and the sexual abuse allegation was found to be unsubstantiated.

(¶6} On September 11, 2012, the guardian moved for an additional deposit. The parties were each ordered to deposit $500. Appellant paid her initial deposit of $1, 000 plus the additional deposit of $500. Appellee paid nothing. Based on the guardian's statement of accounting filed with the court, appellant has outstanding guardian ad litem fees of $2, 732.50 and appellee of $1, 077.50.

(¶7} Appellant moved to have all of the guardian's fees assessed to appellee, arguing that the fees were caused by appellee's actions. She argued that she was required to pay for counseling for the children, as well as litigation costs, due to appellee's behavior.

(ΒΆ8} After a hearing, the magistrate recommended that appellant's motion to have guardian ad litem fees allocated solely to appellee be overruled, and that appellee's visitation be suspended pending further order of the court. The magistrate found that after the initial motion filed by appellee in November of 2011, all subsequent litigation was due to appellant's motion concerning visitation. The magistrate also found that in September of 2012, counsel for appellee sent appellant's counsel a letter stating that appellee was "giving up" and requested a proposal to resolve all issues. The ...


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