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J.H. v. S.P.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

September 5, 2013

J.H., minor by and through next of kin, S.H., mother, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
S.P., minor [by and through next of kin, T.P., mother], Respondent-Appellant.

APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch. C.P.C. No. 11JU-12-16977

Tyack, Blackmore, Liston & Nigh Co., LPA, and Joseph A. Nigh, for appellee.

Elizabeth N . Gaba, for appellant.

DECISION

BROWN, J.

(¶ 1} S.P., by and through her mother, T.P., respondent-appellant, appeals the judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch, in which the court granted the request for a juvenile protection order filed by J.H., by and through her mother, S.H, petitioner-appellee.

(¶ 2} Appellant is a minor female and was a sophomore in high school at the time of the present incident. Appellee is a minor female and is in the same grade at the same high school as appellant. Appellant and appellee were friends from seventh to ninth grade. However, starting in November 2010, when the girls were both in high school, appellant began threatening appellee via Twitter and text messages. Appellee and appellant reconciled briefly, but, starting in November/December 2011, appellant again began threatening appellee via Twitter and phone calls.

(¶ 3} On December 30, 2011, appellee's mother filed a petition for a juvenile civil protection order ("CPO") against appellant. The trial court granted an ex parte juvenile CPO. On January 10, 2012, the trial court entered another ex parte juvenile CPO. On May 18, 2012, the magistrate held a full hearing and subsequently issued a juvenile CPO against appellant. Appellant requested findings of fact and conclusions of law, and the magistrate issued an amended decision on July 31, 2012. Appellant filed objections, and the trial court issued a decision on August 24, 2012, overruling appellant's objections. Appellant appeals the judgment of the trial court, asserting the following assignments of error:

1. The trial court erred when it determined that the Appellant engaged in menacing by stalking even though no evidence was presented to establish the legal elements necessary to make such a finding. The evidence was insufficient to support the finding that the Appellant engaged in menacing by stalking.
2. The trial court erred when it determined that the Appellee's allegations and absence on the day of trial met the legal standards necessary to issue a juvenile order of protection pursuant to R.C. 2151.34(D)(1).
3. The decision of the trial court that the Appellant acted in a manner towards the Appellee which would allow the issuance of a juvenile protective order was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

(¶ 4} We will address appellant's first and third assignments of error together, as they both raise essentially the same argument. Appellant argues in her first assignment of error that the trial court's determination that she engaged in menacing by stalking was based upon insufficient evidence. Appellant argues in her third assignment of error that the trial court's decision was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

(¶ 5} R.C. 2151.34 provides, in pertinent part:

(C)(1) Any of the following persons may seek relief under this section by filing a ...

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