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In re J.T.-W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District

September 10, 2013

In re J.T.-W., D.H.

Trial Court No. JC 10206932

Diana Bittner, for appellant J.C.

Christopher S. Clark, for appellant D.H.

Shelby J. Cully, for appellee.

DECISION AND JUDGMENT

JENSEN, J.

{¶ 1} This is an appeal from a judgment of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, awarding permanent custody of J.T.-W., born May 22, 2004, and D.H, born February 18, 2010, to Lucas County Childrens Services ("LCCS") and terminating the parental rights of J.C, Dem.H. and M.W. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

{¶ 2} Appellant J.C. ("mother") is the biological mother of J.T.-W. and D.H.

{¶ 3} Appellant Dem.H. ("father") is the biological father of D.H.

{¶ 4} M.W. is the biological father of J.T.-W. He is not a party to this appeal.

{¶ 5} In July 2010, LCCS filed a complaint alleging abuse, dependence, and neglect of J.T.-W. and D.H. The complaint alleged that then five-month old D.H. had suffered an orbital fracture and subdural hematoma and that the mother and father presented no causation or explanation for the injuries. The complaint further alleged that LCCS was unable to determine the cause of the injuries and that the emergency room physician had determined that the injuries were "non-accidental and likely physical abuse."

{¶ 6} A shelter care hearing was held. LCCS was granted protective supervision. A safety plan was developed and the children were placed in the home of the children's maternal great-grandmother. The goal was reunification. Under the plan, father was granted supervised contact with the children. Mother was allowed supervised daytime and overnight visits at the home of the maternal great-grandmother. After a few weeks, the maternal great-grandmother indicated she was no longer able to care for the children.

{¶ 7} An adjudication disposition was held on September 8, 2010. D.H. was adjudicated abused and J.T.-W. was adjudicated neglected. Mother and M.W. stipulated to these findings. The court awarded temporary custody of both children to D.H.'s paternal great-aunt. Mother was granted supervised daytime visits with the children in the home of the temporary custodian. Mother was denied overnight visits. Father was granted supervised visits at LCCS. The case plan indicated, in part, that mother would need to "avoid relationships that are unhealthy and likely to compromise the safety and well-being of her family."

{¶ 8} On September 23, 2010, father was indicted on one count of endangering children in violation of R.C. 2919.22(B)(1), (E)(1) and (E)(2)(d), a felony of the second degree. Father was taken into custody.

{¶ 9} Contrary to court order, mother spent the night with the children at the paternal great-aunt's home. Before long, the relationship between the paternal great-aunt and mother began to break down. Mother's visits were moved to LCCS.

{¶ 10} In mid-December, father was released from custody on bond with the stipulation that he have no contact with the children. On Christmas weekend, father had unauthorized contact with D.H. Father's bond was revoked.

{¶ 11} The children were removed from the paternal great-aunt's home on December 28, 2010. Upon removal, the children were screened at the LCCS clinic. Five bruises were found on D.H.'s buttocks and lower back. The children were moved to an agency approved foster home.

{¶ 12} LCCS was granted temporary custody of the children on March 23, 2011. In April, the children were placed in a second agency approved foster home.

{¶ 13} On July 20, 2011, mother moved for legal custody of the children. Mother's motion was denied.

{¶ 14} Father entered a plea of no contest to the child endangering charge and was found guilty. On November 22, 2011, father was ordered to serve a term of three years in prison.

{¶ 15} On December 1, 2011, LCCS moved for permanent custody of the children. The matter came on for hearing on May 25, 29, and 30, 2012, September 18 and 25, 2012. M.W. waived his right to a hearing and consented to ...


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