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In re R.H.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 22, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF: R.H.

Appeal from the Fairfield County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division, Case No. 2011-AB-150

For Plaintiff-Appellee GREGG MARX Prosecuting Attorney By: JOCELYN S. KELLY Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

For Defendant-Appellant THOMAS R. ELWING For Andrew Aukerman SHERRIE L. HUSTEAD

Guardian Ad Litem and Attorney for Child JENNIFER J. HITT

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

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

(¶1} Appellant A.H. appeals from the February 20, 2013 Entry of the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, terminating her parental rights and granting permanent custody of R.H. to Fairfield County Child Protective Services.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

(¶2} R.H. (DOB 2/25/11) is the biological child of appellant A.H. His paternity has not been established. R.H. was removed from appellant's custody when he was less than one month old.

(¶3} On July 21, 2011, a complaint was filed alleging that R.H. was a dependent child. Pursuant to an Entry filed the same date, the child was placed in the temporary shelter custody of Fairfield County Child Protective Services (FCCPS).

(¶4} On September 14, 2011, R.H. was found to be a dependent child and was placed in the temporary custody of FCCPS. Thereafter, on November 17, 2011, FCCPS filed a motion for permanent custody of R.H. A hearing on such motion commenced on October 15, 2012.

(¶5} At the hearing, appellant, who was 19 years old at the time, testified on cross-examination that she was not married to R.H.'s father, who she alleged was Andrew Aukerman, and that paternity had not been established because he refused. She testified that she lived with her mother, step-sister, her step-sister's fiancé and her uncle and that she paid rent. Appellant testified that her step-sister had a criminal record for drug usage, but that she was not using drugs anymore. Appellant's stepsister and her fiancé both refused to submit to screens for drugs or alcohol and appellant testified that she and her mother were working on finding a different place for appellant to live with R.H.

(¶6} Appellant testified that in February of 2012, she was involved in a physical altercation with her brother Michael. As a result, appellant obtained a protection order. Appellant still saw her brother and testified that she had seen him several times since the incident. Appellant also testified that since FCCPS had taken custody of R.H., she had moved twice. She had never lived on her own, but indicated that she was planning on moving into an apartment with her 37 year old fiancé, Shane. She met Shane when she was 12 years old and Shane was married. When asked who provided for her basic needs, appellant testified that sometimes she did and sometimes her mother did. Appellant, who had never finished high school and was hoping to get her GED, gets social security and her mother is the payee. Appellant testified that she quit high school three weeks before the end of her senior year. Appellant testified that she did not have a job, but that she intended to apply for jobs once she got R.H. back and got an apartment. Appellant does not have a driver's license and her reading ability is limited.

(¶7} At the hearing, appellant testified that her father was in prison and was due to be released in January of 2013. She indicated that he was going to live with appellant and her mother upon his release. According to appellant, her father beat her and was abusive to her when she was younger. She also testified that he had sexually abused her and denied it and that he had sold her body to other men for money. When asked, she stated that the abuse started when she was 10 years old and stopped when her father went to jail when she was 16 years old. Appellant believed that her father had learned his lesson and that she could protect herself against him. She believed that her father would not do anything to his grandchildren, only to his two daughters.

(¶8} Appellant agreed the she had problems with anger, but testified that she no longer did because she was on medication that kept her calm. She testified that she had not had any regular counseling since June of 2012. When asked why R.H. was removed from her, she testified as follows:

(¶9} So (inaudible) because of my injury and people calling in saying that I was beating him and I wasn't and, uh, my best friend's mom made a statement saying that I said it, saying I wish I never had a baby. I was drugged up at the time; I was on Percocets at the time to get me healed up, what, what the doctors fed me and Mama Jo said when I said it I was half asleep and half awake when I said it, but she did not tell Children Services that I was half awake and half asleep.

(¶10} Q. So you did say it?

(¶11} A. I don't remember.

(¶12} Q. Oh, okay, But you think if you did say it, you were drugged up?

(¶13} A. Yeah.

(ΒΆ14} Transcript from October 16, ...


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