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White v. Ritchey

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District

September 18, 2013

TERRENCE J. WHITE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
LAURIE E. RITCHEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Civil Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 10DR19.

For Plaintiff-Appellant Attorney David L. Engler.

For Defendant-Appellee Attorney Maurus Malvasi.

JUDGES: Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Joseph J. Vukovich Hon. Cheryl L. Waite

OPINION

DONOFRIO, J.

(¶1} Plaintiff-appellant, Terrence White, appeals from a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division decision determining that it was an inconvenient forum to determine the issue of child custody.

(¶2} Appellant and defendant-appellee, Laurie Ritchey, were divorced by order of the Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court on April 21, 2010. The parties share one son, born April 25, 1997. A shared parenting plan was incorporated into the divorce decree whereby appellant was named the residential parent and appellee was granted visitation.

(¶3} In April 2011, the parties modified the shared parenting plan so that appellee was named the residential parent and appellant would enjoy visitation.

(¶4} In February 2012, appellee filed a petition for protection from abuse with the Lawrence County Court in Pennsylvania alleging that appellant had threatened her. At that time, the Lawrence County Court granted a temporary order of protection, pending a further hearing.

(¶5} On March 7, 2012, appellant filed a motion in the Mahoning County Domestic Relations court to terminate the shared parenting plan and name him as the residential parent.

(¶6} The Lawrence County Court judge contacted the Mahoning County court advising it that appellee had registered the trial court's order with it and filed a complaint for custody in Lawrence County.

(¶7} Based on the contact from the Lawrence County Court, the Mahoning County court gave the parties the opportunity to brief the issue of whether Ohio was an inconvenient forum to hear the case. And on April 26, 2012, the trial court issued an order transferring this matter to Lawrence County. It found that Pennsylvania was the more appropriate forum.

(¶8} Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal on May 25, 2012.

(¶9} Appellant now raises a single assignment of error, ...


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