IN RE: A.N. [Appeal By Cuyahoga County Job And Family Services]
Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. PR 06702839
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT For Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency, n.k.a., Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Joseph C. Young C.J.F.S. Assistant County Prosecutor
FOR APPELLEES L.C., Pro Se, M.N., Pro Se
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Keough, P.J., and, E.T. Gallagher, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, JUDGE
(¶1} This cause came to be heard upon the accelerated calendar pursuant to App.R. 11.1 and Loc.R. 11.1. Appellant Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services ("CCJFS") appeals the trial court's judgment dismissing CCJFS's action for child support reimbursement and assigns the following three errors for our review:
I. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by placing on CCJFS-OCSS the burden of proving lack of compliance with purge conditions rather than requiring contemnor to prove he had met and satisfied the purge conditions.
II. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by finding that no cause had been demonstrated to impose the suspended sentence.
III. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by dismissing the matter with prejudice.
(¶2} Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we reverse the trial court's decision and remand the matter for the trial court to apply the correct burden of proof. The apposite facts follow.
(¶3} On April 15, 2010, CCJFS filed a motion to show cause for L.C.'s ("the father") failure to comply with the trial court's August 1, 2007 order obligating him to pay $225.42 per month for child support, plus a two percent processing fee and to pay $50 per month towards his arrears, plus a two percent processing fee. The father failed to appear at the September 21, 2010 contempt hearing; therefore, a capias was issued.
(¶4} On November 29, 2011, a hearing was conducted before a magistrate, and the father was found to be in contempt for failure to pay child support. The magistrate entered a decision imposing a suspended jail sentence of 25 days, and gave the father the opportunity to purge the contempt by paying $1, 000 towards the child support arrears of $15, 110.18, within 120 days of the decision. The trial court approved and adopted the entry on January 18, 2012.
(¶5} A purge review hearing was scheduled for August 2, 2012. The father failed to appear; therefore, a capias was issued for his apprehension. The father was not apprehended until February 2013. On February 26, 2013, the ...