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In re A.T.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

May 31, 2017

IN RE: A.T. B.T. D.T. C.Q. H.Q.

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE Nos. DN 13-10-694 DN 13-10-695 DN 13-10-696 DN 13-10-697 DN 13-10-698

          DENISE E. FERGUSON, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and RICHARD KASAY, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          KANI HIGHTOWER, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          JOSEPH KERNAN, Guardian ad Litem.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          CARR, Judge.

         {¶1} Appellant, Kelly Q. ("Mother"), appeals from a judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that terminated her parental rights to her five minor children and placed them in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services Board ("CSB"). This Court reverses and remands.

         I.

         {¶2} The facts pertaining to this case are set forth in more detail in Mother's appeal from the trial court's original permanent custody judgment. See In re A.T., 9th Dist. Summit No. 28220, 2016-Ohio-5907. Mother is the biological mother of five minor children who now range in age from seven to 14 years old. One of the fathers is deceased and the other father did not appeal from the trial court's judgment.

         {¶3} CSB first became involved with the family during 2013 on a voluntary basis because Mother and one of the fathers were living with the children in an unsuitable home and some of the children had behavioral problems and were not attending school regularly. CSB also alleged concerns about Mother's mental health and that she was not then involved in mental health treatment.

         {¶4} On October 30, 2013, CSB filed complaints to allege that all five children were neglected and dependent because the parents were not complying with the requirements of the voluntary case plan. The trial court later adjudicated the children dependent, adopted the case plan, and allowed the children to remain in Mother's legal custody under an order of protective supervision. The case plan required Mother to maintain suitable housing, address her mental health problems, and demonstrate that she could consistently provide for the children's basic needs.

         {¶5} On December 8, 2014, CSB moved the trial court to remove the children from Mother's home and place them in its emergency temporary custody because Mother was not consistently complying with the goals of the case plan. On December 26, 2014, the children were placed in the temporary custody of CSB.

         {¶6} CSB later moved for permanent custody of all five children before the children had been in its temporary custody for 12 months, alleging various grounds under R.C. 2151.414(E). Following a hearing on the permanent custody motion and Mother's alternative request for legal custody, the trial court found that CSB had established the first prong of the permanent custody test because Mother had failed to substantially remedy the conditions that caused the children to remain placed outside the home. See R.C. 2151.414(E)(1). The trial court also found that permanent custody was in the best interest of the children. Consequently, it terminated Mother's parental rights on March 31, 2016.

         {¶7} Mother appealed the March 2016 judgment and this Court reversed and remanded to the trial court. In re A.T.,2016-Ohio-5907, at ¶ 16. This Court reversed the March 2016 judgment because "the trial court's factual findings [did] not satisfy the explicit requirements of R.C. 2151.414(E)(1)." Id. at ¶ 15. Specifically, this Court emphasized that "[t]he trial court's explanation for its finding under R.C. 2151.414(E)(1) [] focused solely on facts that predated the placement of the children outside Mother's home." Id. at ¶ 14. Because this Court does not make factual findings in the first instance on appeal, it reversed and remanded to the trial court to correct the error. Id. at ΒΆ 15-16. This Court reversed the March 2016 judgment solely ...


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