Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren
FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS
DIVISION Case No. 10DR33984
Crowdus Haynes, plaintiff-appellee, pro se
D. Smith Co., L.P.A., for defendant-appellant
G. Ostrowski, Guardian Ad Litem
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
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
9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY PERMANENTLY CERTIFYING