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In re K.D.W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 6, 2017

IN RE: K.D.W. A Minor Child [Appeal By A.W., Grandmother]

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. CU 15107299

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT John V. Heutsche John V. Heutsche Co., L.P.A.

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE For Father Oscar Trivers Trivers & Dickerson, L.L.C.

          For CCDCFS Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Michelle A. Myers Joseph C. Young Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services

          For CJFS Anthony R. Beery Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cuyahoga Job and Family

          Guardian Ad Litem Pamela A. Hawkins

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

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, A.W., K.D.W's maternal grandmother, appeals an order of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court that awarded legal custody of K.D.W., a minor child, to his father ("Father"). A.W. raises two assignments of error:

1. The trial court committed prejudicial error to A.W. by approving the magistrate's decision designating [Father] "residential parent legal custodian, " when the evidence established that such designation is against the child's best interests.
2. The trial court committed error prejudicial to A.W. when it approved the magistrate's decision without allowing A.W. the requisite 30 days to file the transcripts of proceedings supporting her objections.

         {¶2} We find merit to the appeal, reverse the trial court's judgment, and remand the case to the trial court to conduct an independent review of the magistrate's decision.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶3} K.D.W. was born in March 2005 and lived with his mother, half-siblings, and maternal grandmother, A.W. In May 2015, K.D.W.'s mother was murdered. Consequently, A.W. filed an application for legal custody of K.D.W. and his half-siblings. In response to A.W.'s ...


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