Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE: J.H. A Minor Child [Appeal by L.W., Mother]
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. AD 14911147
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT John H. Lawson
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES For C.C.D.C.F.S. Michael C.
O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Joseph C. Young
Michelle A. Myers Tamara Reeves Assistant County Prosecutors
Father William J. Daugherty
Guardian ad Litem Cynthia M. Morgan, Esq.
BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Keough, A.J., and E.T. Gallagher, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, JUDGE
L.W. (referred to herein as "Appellant"), the
mother of J.H., filed an appeal from the juvenile court order
awarding permanent custody of J.H. to the Cuyahoga County
Department of Children and Family Services
("CCDCFS"). Appellant's counsel has filed a
motion to withdraw pursuant to Anders v. California,
386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), asserting
that following an examination of the record, including
evidence that Appellant has also lost permanent custody of
two of her other children, there are no meritorious grounds
for appeal. After holding the motion in abeyance to give
Appellant an opportunity to file a pro se brief, and
following our own independent review, this court grants
appointed counsel's motion to withdraw, and we dismiss
and Procedural History
On August 29, 2014, several days after J.H. was born, CCDCFS
filed a complaint alleging that J.H. is a dependent child and
asking the court to award temporary custody to the maternal
grandmother. In relevant part, CCDCFS alleged that Appellant
has substance abuse problems, mental health issues, six of
her other children are not in her care, one is in the legal
custody of a family friend, and CCDCFS obtained permanent
custody of two other children.
The trial court awarded temporary custody of the child to the
maternal grandmother. CCDCFS subsequently implemented a case
plan requiring Appellant to complete drug, alcohol, and
mental health treatment, undergo random drug screens, and
maintain appropriate housing. A guardian ad litem
("GAL") was appointed for the child.
Following a hearing on November 5, 2014, the trial court
determined that J.H. is a dependent child after the parties
1. [Appellant] has a history of substance abuse and is
currently enrolled in substance abuse treatment. [Appellant]
has previously been referred for multiple drug treatment
2. [Appellant] is diagnosed with depression and is in need of
ongoing mental health services in order to provide adequate
care for the child.
* * *
4. [Appellant] has six other children that are not in her
care due to substance abuse. Three of the children are in the
care of the maternal grandmother. One child is in the legal
custody of a family friend. CCDCFS obtained permanent custody
of two other children.
* * *
5. Alleged father * * * is in the process of establishing
paternity and has visited the children.
On February 5, 2016, following two extensions of temporary
custody, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify the temporary
custody award to permanent custody. In relevant part, CCDCFS
7. [Appellant] has failed to complete substance abuse
treatment, and has failed to consistently provide drug
screens. [Appellant] also has six other children who are no
longer in her care. [Appellant's] rights ...