Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re L.W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

February 23, 2017

IN RE: L.W. AND S.W. Minor Children [Appeal By C.W., Father]

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case Nos. AD 14912483 and AD 14915289

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT John H. Lawson

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Joseph C. Young Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cuyahoga County Dept. Of Children and Family Services

          Guardian Ad Litem Amy L. Nash

          BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, J., Kilbane, P.J., and McCormack, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, C.W. ("Father"), appeals from an order of the common pleas court, juvenile division, terminating his parental rights and placing his two daughters in the permanent custody of appellee, Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services ("CCDCFS" or the "agency"). Father raises the following eight assignments of error for our review:

1. The trial court erred in denying the appellant/Father's motion for legal custody to paternal grandmother for not submitting a signed statement of understanding pursuant to R.C. 2151.353(A)(3).
2. The trial court's decision to deny legal custody to the paternal grandmother and to grant the agency's permanent custody motion was against the manifest weight of the evidence.
3. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by permitting the agency's social worker to testify about the Alabama OTI report.
4. The Guardian Ad Litem's report and investigation failed to comply with Sup.R. 48(D) and R.C. 2151.414(C).
5. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by failing to swear the Guardian Ad Litem in before she testified or was cross-examined, in violation of Ohio Rules of Evidence 603.
6. The trial court erred and abused its discretion by permitting the Guardian Ad Litem to utilize a photograph which was never authenticated as the original per Evid.R. 1002, and never marked it as an exhibit or moved it into evidence.
7. The trial court erred by failing to mark Guardian Ad Litem's report as an exhibit, pursuant to the Ohio Rules of Evidence, Ohio case law, and Ohio Juvenile Rules which means the report should not have been considered by the trial court in rendering its decision.
8. The trial court erred by granting the agency's motion for permanent custody against Father, as the agency failed to meet its burden of either prong required under R.C. 2151.414.

         {¶2} After careful review of the record and relevant case law, we vacate the juvenile court's judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         I. Procedural History

          {¶3} In Cuyahoga J.C. Nos. AD14912483 and AD14915289, CCDCFS filed complaints alleging that the minor children, L.W. (date of birth November 2, 2013), and S.W. (date of birth December 8, 2014) were . The complaints requested a disposition of temporary custody to CCDCFS and included a motion for predispositional temporary custody. Following separate hearings, the trial court granted CCDCFS predispositional temporary custody for each child.

         {¶4} Subsequently, Father and the children's mother, D.B. ("Mother"), stipulated to the complaints as amended, and the trial court issued separate entries adjudicating L.W. and S.W. dependent. In addition, Mother and Father stipulated to the requested disposition of temporary custody and the trial court issued separate entries committing L.W. and S.W. to the temporary custody of CCDCFS. While the children remained in the temporary custody of CCDCFS, the agency developed a case plan for the purposes of reunification.

         {¶5} Following the parties' failure to comply with their respective case plans, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify L.W.'s and S.W.'s temporary custody to permanent custody. In December 2015, Father filed a motion for legal custody to the children's paternal grandmother, S.H.

          {¶6} In June 2016, the court held a dispositional hearing on the agency's motion for permanent custody and Father's motion for legal custody to S.H. At the time of the hearing, Mother was serving a six-month sentence in a Community Based Correctional Facility.

         {¶7} At the hearing, CCDCFS social worker, Selina Wright ("Wright"), testified that L.W. and S.W. came into the agency's custody based on concerns with Mother and Father's parenting and whether or not it was safe for the children to return home. Wright explained that the agency's concerns arose from prior dependancy adjudications relating to Mother's two older children, D.B. and Da.B. Father is not the biological father of D.B. or Da.B.

         {¶8} In this matter, Father's case plan included objectives for domestic violence, substance abuse, and parenting education. Wright testified that Father completed a substance abuse assessment and outpatient treatment in 2015, but subsequently tested positive for cocaine and marijuana use. As a result of his continuing substance abuse issues, CCDCFS sought additional assessments to determine if more appropriate treatment was required. Father, however, did not complete a further substance abuse assessment. In ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.