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In re Adoption of J.L.M-L.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Muskingum

January 9, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF: THE ADOPTION OF: J.L.M-L.

         Civil Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, Case No. 2015- 4031

          For Appellant SEAN W. BECK USP ATLANTA 601 McDonough Boulevard, SE

          For Petitioner-Appellee W. ANDREW JOSEPH GOTTLIEB, JOHNSTON, BEAM & DAL PONTE, PPL

          JUDGES: Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          Wise, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Sean W. Beck appeals the decision of the Muskingum County Probate Court, which granted the adoption petition of Appellee Michael Leary regarding the child J.L.M-L. The relevant facts leading to this appeal are as follows.

         {¶2} Appellant Beck is the biological father of J.L.M.-L. Appellant is presently incarcerated in a federal correctional facility in Georgia. He asserts that he will be released in 2021, assuming eligibility for good time credits.

         {¶3} Appellee filed his petition for adoption in the Muskingum County Probate Court on October 27, 2015. Appellant filed his objection to the petition on November 16, 2015.

         {¶4} The matter came on for hearing on March 7, 2016 on the issue of whether appellant's consent was required for the adoption. In addition to appellee and his counsel, appellant's counsel appeared, while appellant appeared via telephonic connection. Following the hearing, via judgment entry on May 5, 2016, the probate court ruled that appellant's consent was not necessary pursuant to R.C. 3107.07.

         {¶5} On May 27, 2016, a hearing on best interests was conducted under R.C. 3107.161. Again, in addition to appellee and his counsel, appellant's counsel appeared, while appellant appeared via telephonic connection.

         {¶6} On May 31, 2016, the probate court issued a final decree of adoption on appellee's petition, and ordering a name change for the child.

         {¶7} On June 29, 2016, Appellant Beck filed a notice of appeal. Appellant's present brief fails to set forth a statement of facts or a statement of the case and fails to properly set forth assignments of error as required by App.R. 16(A)(3), 16(A)(5), and 16(A)(6). However, in the interest of justice, we glean the following Assignments of Error from the brief (see Helfrich v. City of Pataskala Planning & Zoning, 5th Licking App. No. 00CA82, 2001 WL 194777):

         {¶8} "I. APPELLANTS TRIAL COUNSEL PROVIDED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE DURING THE ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS.

         {¶9} "II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO PROPERLY CONSIDER THE ...


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