Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 20830022
For Appellant Rebecca McManes JOHN D. WEAVER
For Appellee Erin Shrigley HERBERT W. BAKER
Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.
(¶1} On May 5, 2011, an agreed entry was filed wherein appellant, Rebecca McManes, was named legal custodian of J.M. born July 17, 2007. Appellant is the maternal grandmother of the child. Appellee, Erin Shrigley, the child's paternal aunt, was granted visitation rights.
(¶2} Disputes over visitation arose and the parties filed contempt motions against each other. On August 15, 2012, appellant filed a motion to modify visitation. A hearing on all the outstanding motions was held on December 4, 2012. By entry filed January 7, 2013, the trial court revised the visitation schedule.
(¶3} Appellant filed an appeal and this matter is now before this court for consideration. Assignment of error is as follows:
(¶4} "THE TRIAL COURT DENIED APPELLANT DUE PROCESS OF LAW BY DENYING APPELLANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD."
(¶5} Appellant claims the trial court erred in failing to afford her the opportunity to present testimony on her motion to modify the visitation schedule. We disagree.
(¶6} On December 4, 2012, a hearing was held on appellant's motion to modify visitation and a contempt motion against appellee, along with contempt motions filed by appellee against appellant for failure to afford visitation. The trial court proceeded first with the contempt motions filed by appellee. T. at 4. After the cross-examination of appellant by appellee's counsel, the trial court permitted direct examination by her attorney but stated "we can keep that [motion to modify] separate. Let's get these contempt things out of the way." T. at 24. The trial court decided to bifurcate the contempt motions from the motion to modify. Id. Appellee's attorney clarified that the trial court desired bifurcation (T. at 25):
Attorney Baker: All right. Well Your Honor, the reason I am asking this my next witness is going to be my client. I won't ask her questions about the modification then if that's the way you want to ...