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In re B.P.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Marion

May 22, 2017

IN RE: B.P., ADJUDGED ABUSED AND DEPENDENT CHILD. ROBIN PENNINGTON-RIVERS - APPELLANT

         Appeal from Marion County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division Trial Court No. 15 AB 0111

          Andrew S. Wick for Appellant.

          Justin J. Kahle for Appellee.

          OPINION

          PRESTON, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Robin Pennington-Rivers ("Robin"), appeals the October 25, 2016 decision of the Marion County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division, granting permanent custody of her minor child, B.P., to the Marion County Children Services Board (the "Agency").[1] For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} B.P. is the minor child of Robin and Vernon Pennington ("Vernon"). (Doc. Nos. 1, 2).[2] B.P. was born prematurely on April 22, 2015 and "tested positive for opiates" at birth. (Doc. No. 1). Robin "also tested positive for opiates and marijuana, " and Robin admitted that "she had exposed the unborn baby to heroin." (Id.). On May 19, 2015, the Agency filed a motion "for ex parte/emergency orders with notice of hearing" alleging that B.P. is an abused, neglected, and dependent child under R.C. 2151.031, 2151.03, and 2151.04. (Doc. Nos. 1, 2). On May 22, 2015, the trial court granted the Agency emergency temporary custody of B.P. (Doc. No. 5).

         {¶3} After a shelter-care hearing on June 5, 2015, the trial court on June 10, 2015 granted the Agency temporary custody of B.P. (Doc. No. 10). After a hearing before a magistrate on August 10, 2015, the magistrate ordered on August 28, 2015 that B.P. remain in the temporary custody of the Agency after concluding that B.P. is an abused and dependent child. (Doc. No. 15). The trial court adopted the magistrate's decision as its own on August 28, 2015. (Doc. No. 16). At multiple points since adjudicating B.P. an abused and dependent child and awarding temporary custody of B.P. to the Agency, the trial court reviewed that disposition. (See Doc. Nos. 20, 21, 24, 26, 32).

         {¶4} On September 18, 2015 and November 2, 2016, the Agency submitted its case plans to the trial court, which the trial court approved and incorporated into its dispositional entries. (Doc. Nos. 17, 98). On November 25, 2015 and June 1, 2016, the Agency submitted its semi-annual administrative reviews, which were acknowledged by the trial court. (Doc. Nos. 31, 81).

         {¶5} On August 28, 2015, the Agency filed a motion requesting the trial court to waive the Agency's requirement "to make reasonable efforts to eliminate the continued removal of [B.P], or return him to the care of [Robin] or [Vernon]." (Doc. No. 14). In that motion, the Agency argued that the "reasonable-efforts" requirement could be waived under R.C. 2151.419(A)(2)(e) because Robin's and Vernon's "parental rights were involuntarily terminated" as to their three other children. (Id.). After a hearing on May 5, 2016, the trial court on May 13, 2016 granted the Agency's motion. (Doc. Nos. 75, 76).

         {¶6} On December 23, 2015, the Agency filed a motion for permanent custody of B.P. (Doc. No. 34).

         {¶7} On January 21, 2016, the trial court appointed counsel to represent Robin. (Doc. No. 43).

         {¶8} On June 1, 2015, the trial court appointed B.P. a Guardian Ad Litem ("GAL"). (Doc. No. 7). The GAL filed her report on September 28, 2016 recommending that the trial court award permanent custody of B.P. to the agency. (Doc. No. 94).

         {¶9} The trial court held a permanent-custody hearing on June 1, 2016, September 26, 2016, and October 12, 2016. (June 1, 2016 Tr. at 1, 12); (Sept. 26, 2016 Tr. at 1, 152); (Oct. 12, 2016 Tr. at 1, 248). On October 25, 2016, the trial court filed its judgment entry granting the Agency permanent custody of B.P. (Doc. No. 96).

         {¶10} On November 22, 2016, Robin filed her notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 104).[3] She raises one ...


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