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In re A.B.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

September 5, 2013

IN RE: A.B. A Minor Child [Appeal by Father]

Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. AD 10918218

Dale M. Hartman ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT, FATHER, A.B.

Amy L. Carson Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services Assistant County Prosecutor FOR APPELLEES

Suzanne Piccorelli For Mother, T.B.

Daniel Bartos Guardian Ad Litem

BEFORE: EA. Gallagher, J., S. Gallagher, P.J., and E.T. Gallagher, J.

EILEEN A. GALLAGHER, J.

(¶ l} Appellant-father appeals from the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Division Court's decision granting permanent custody of his daughter to the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services ("CCDCFS"). As required by App.R. 11.1(D), this court has expedited the hearing and disposition of this appeal. For the following reasons, we affirm.

(¶ 2} CCDCFS filed a complaint for neglect and temporary custody with respect to appellant's daughter, A.B.[1] on September 29, 2010. The complaint alleged that A.B. was neglected pursuant to R.C. 2151.03(A)(2) and that appellant had a history of mental health and substance abuse issues that prevented him from providing for A.B.'s basic needs. The complaint further alleged that A.B.'s mother had been convicted of aggravated robbery, had been incarcerated since April 2009 and was not due to be released until August, 2013. A.B. was removed from appellant's home pursuant to an ex parte telephone order on September 29, 2010.

(¶ 3} On January 25, 2011, the complaint was amended and appellant admitted to the amended allegations. The complaint was changed from neglect to dependency, the allegations of appellant's history of mental health and substance abuse issues were deleted and they were replaced with statements that appellant needed to undergo mental health and substance abuse assessments. A.B. was adjudged to be a dependant child and committed to the temporary custody of CCDCFS at that time.

(¶ 4} CCDCFS's temporary custody of A.B. was extended twice during 2011 to allow appellant the opportunity to progress on a case plan with the goal of reunification. On June 27, 2012, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify temporary custody to permanent custody. On August 17, 2012, appellant filed a motion to terminate temporary custody and grant legal custody in favor of himself or, alternatively, his fiancee.

(¶5} The trial court held a hearing on the matter on February 13, 2013. On March 27, 2013 the trial court issued a journal entry granting CCDCFS's motion for permanent custody. Appellant appeals from this order assigning the following sole assignment of error:

The trial court erred in granting permanent custody since (1) none of the circumstances set forth in R.C. 2151.414(E) were proven by clear and convincing evidence and (2) the judgment is against the manifest weight of the evidence.

(ΒΆ6} Appellant's argument regarding R.C. 2151.414(E) is misplaced under the present circumstances. In order to terminate parental rights and grant permanent custody to a county agency, the record must demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, the following: (1) the existence of any one of the conditions set forth in R.C. 2151.414(B)(1)(a) through (d), and (2) permanent custody is in the best interest of the ...


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