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Haynes v. Haynes

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren

May 8, 2017

STACY CROWDUS HAYNES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOHN D. HAYNES, II, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION Case No. 10DR33984

          Stacy Crowdus Haynes, plaintiff-appellee, pro se

          John D. Smith Co., L.P.A., for defendant-appellant

          Andrea G. Ostrowski, Guardian Ad Litem

          OPINION

          M. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, John D. Haynes, II ("Father"), appeals from a judgment of the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division ("domestic relations court"), certifying all matters concerning the care and custody of the parties' children to the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division ("juvenile court").

         {¶ 2} Father and plaintiff-appellee, Stacy Crowdus Haynes ("Mother"), are the parents of twin sons who are nine years old. The parties were divorced in April 2012. The divorce decree incorporated the parties' shared parenting plan, which named each parent as residential parent and legal custodian of the twins.

         {¶ 3} On August 12, 2015, upon being advised of a police investigation regarding allegations of harm to the twins, a domestic relations court magistrate sua sponte suspended Father's parenting time. Later that month, a complaint was filed in the juvenile court alleging that the twins were abused and dependent. The juvenile court appointed a guardian ad litem ("GAL") for the children.

         {¶ 4} In October 2015, the GAL moved the domestic relations court to certify all parenting issues concerning the twins to the juvenile court pursuant to R.C. 3109.06. Father opposed the motion. The magistrate denied the GAL's motion, finding it was premature as the juvenile court had not yet adjudicated the matter.

         {¶ 5} On December 21, 2015, the juvenile court adjudicated the twins abused and dependent; a case plan was filed requiring both Father and Mother to complete certain services. In January 2016, the GAL renewed her motion to certify all parenting issues concerning the twins to the juvenile court. Father opposed the motion. On May 26, 2016, the magistrate granted the GAL's motion and recommended that "all issues relative to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities be certified to the Warren County Juvenile Court."

         {¶ 6} Father filed objections to the magistrate's decision, arguing that certification to the juvenile court was improper because the latter had not consented to the transfer, and the domestic relations court did not make a finding that it was in the best interest of the twins for neither parent to have custody. In an amended decision filed on June 28, 2016, the magistrate noted that the juvenile court had agreed to accept the transfer, and once again granted the GAL's motion.

         {¶ 7} On June 20, 2016, the domestic relations court overruled Father's objections. The domestic relations court found that because it had received written consent from the juvenile court on June 14, 2016, certification of the case to the juvenile court was proper under the first paragraph of R.C. 3109.06, and therefore, the domestic relations court was not required to find it was in the best interest of the twins for neither parent to have custody.

         {¶ 8} Father now appeals, raising one assignment of error:

         {¶ 9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY PERMANENTLY CERTIFYING ALL ...


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