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Hooper v. Hooper

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland

April 6, 2017

JAMES HOOPER, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
WYNEA HOOPER NKA SUNNEE EDWARDS, Defendant-Appellee

         Appeal from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 2005 DIV 0950.

          For Plaintiff-Appellant: BYRON CORLEY

          For Defendant-Appellee: ANDREW J. MEDWID

          JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-Appellant James Hooper appeals the July 1, 2016 judgment entry of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶2} Plaintiff-Appellant James Hooper ("Father") and Defendant-Appellee Wynea Hooper nka Sunnee Edwards ("Mother") were married and had two children as issue of the marriage. The parties divorced. At the time of the issues raised in this matter, one child was under the age of 18. Mother was the residential parent of the child and Father was obligated to pay child support.

         {¶3} Mother and Father came before the magistrate of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division because Mother objected to an administrative child support modification recommendation by the Richland County Child Support Enforcement Agency. The magistrate held a hearing on December 15, 2015. Mother was not represented by counsel at the hearing. On December 15, 2015 and as journalized in the magistrate's January 7, 2016 decision, Mother and Father agreed to a monthly child support obligation by Father in the amount of $517.65 per month.

         {¶4} The parties, however, could not agree as to the allocation of the tax dependency exemption and credit for the child. The magistrate's decision noted Mother testified she had earned income from her employment in 2015 before she lost her job. According to the magistrate's decision, Mother was unwilling or unable to state the amount of income she earned in 2015. The magistrate found Mother's answers to be vague and evasive. In the decision, the magistrate considered Father's annualized income of $40, 183.75 and Mother's annualized income from unemployment compensation in the amount of $5, 798.00. The magistrate determined that because Mother's taxable income was so low, an award of the tax exemption to Mother would be wasted. The magistrate awarded the tax exemption to Father.

         {¶5} Mother filed an objection to the magistrate's decision on January 21, 2016. She argued she should have received the income tax exemption for the child. Mother contended she had taxable income for 2015, but was currently unemployed. In support of her objection, Mother attached a paystub showing her year to date salary as of July 31, 2015 was $14, 724.00. Father did not respond to Mother's objection to the magistrate's decision.

         {¶6} On March 2, 2016, the trial court journalized the parties' agreement to modify the child support. Attached to the entry was the child support computation worksheet.

         {¶7} Father filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B)(5) on March 7, 2016. In the motion, Father argued Mother committed a fraud on the court by her failure to disclose her correct gross income for child support computation purposes. Father used Mother's July 31, 2015 ...


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