Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage
IN RE: A.C.B. AND M.M.B.
Appeals from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas,
Juvenile Division, Case Nos. 2014 JCC 1008 and 2014 JCC 1009.
Shubhra N. Agarwal, (For Appellant, Petrina A. Bishop).
V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Brandon J.
Wheeler, Assistant Prosecutor, (For Appellee, Portage County
Department of Job and Family Services).
E. Rosenberg and Michael D. Dailey, Rosenberg &
Associates, (For Appellees, Pamela Wise and Charles Wise).
Leonard J. Brieding, II, Guardian ad Litem
V. GRENDELL, J.
Appellant, Petrina Bishop, appeals from the judgment of the
Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division,
granting legal custody of her children to their grandparents,
appellees Pamela and Charles Wise. The issues to be
determined in this case are whether a parent can move for
children's services to receive an extension of temporary
custody, whether a grandparent can intervene in a matter
where children's services is seeking custody to be
awarded to that grandparent, and whether a parent who has
complied with some aspects of the case plan but relapsed on
drugs should be permitted to have custody of her children.
For the following reasons, the judgment of the lower court is
Bishop is the biological mother of A.C.B., born on October
20, 2003, and M.M.B., born on March 8, 2008.
On December 1, 2014, appellee, Portage County Department of
Job and Family Services (PCDJFS), filed Complaints alleging
that the two children were abused, neglected, and dependent.
The Complaints asserted that Bishop was arrested for
Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs and Endangering Children; a
recent incident of domestic violence involving Bishop and
M.M.B.'s father, David Davis, occurred in the
children's presence; and concerns existed regarding
Bishop's and Davis' drug use.
A shelter care hearing was held and the children were placed
in the predispositional custody of PCDJFS on December 2,
On January 21, 2015, the children were adjudicated dependent
due to "alleged drug use; lack of parenting skills;
alleged violence in the home, and the failure to
protect" the children. The abuse and neglect allegations
were dismissed on PCDJFS' motion.
Following a dispositional review hearing, on May 8, 2015, the
children were ordered to remain in the temporary custody of
PCDJFS and a case plan was adopted.
PCDJFS filed a Motion for Six-Month Extension of Temporary
Custody on September 22, 2015, which was granted on November
On March 9, 2016, PCDJFS filed Motions for Change of Custody
and to Terminate Case, requesting that legal custody of the
children be granted to their grandparents, the Wises, with
whom they had been living since November 26, 2014.
Pamela Wise filed Motions to Intervene and Motions for
Temporary Custody and Permanent Custody on April 11, 2016.
Bishop filed Motions for Six Month Extension and to Amend
Case Plan on April 26, 2016, requesting that the children
remain in the temporary custody of PCDJFS so she would have
additional time to reunify with them.
A hearing was held on May 19, 2016. Prior to hearing
testimony, the trial court dismissed Bishop's request for
a six-month extension, finding that PCDJFS was the only
entity that could request such an extension. The court also
granted Pamela Wise's Motion to Intervene. The following
pertinent testimony was presented:
Alexandria Bevere, a social worker for PCDJFS, testified
regarding her work with Bishop and the children and attempts
to reunify them. A semiannual review was conducted on April
20, 2016, during which time A.C.B.'s father was
incarcerated, M.M.B.'s father was on probation, and
Bishop was in NEOCAP, a community based corrections facility,
since, in February 2016, a drug test taken in relation to her
criminal charges of Child Endangerment and Possession of
Drugs was positive.
Bevere opined that Bishop "continues to make poor
choices for herself and her children." She expressed
concerns about Bishop's ability to maintain sobriety,
noting a positive drug test in November 2014 and the relapse
in February 2016, indicating that she had tested positive for
marijuana and "molly, " or ecstasy. Bishop had done
well with correcting her drug issues in the first year of the
case plan and did not have a positive drug test, but in
November 2015, she began missing her Town Hall appointments
for drug and alcohol treatment, being discharged due to her
lack of participation, as she attended nine of 23 sessions
and eventually was unable to finish due to being placed in
NEOCAP after her relapse.
Bishop also lost her public housing due to being in NEOCAP.
While she expressed that she wanted to go to Miller House
when she is released, Bevere testified that they could not
guarantee when she may receive housing. Regarding
Bishop's employment prior to entering NEOCAP, Bevere
testified that Bishop said she was cleaning houses but she
was unable to confirm that. Bevere noted that Bishop had been
participating in counseling with the children, visited the
children, and had completed the requirement to do a parenting
evaluation prior to her placement in NEOCAP.
Bevere testified about the children's "huge
progress" while living with the Wises, who provide a
safe home. The Wises worked with A.C.B. on completing his
homework and he has improved his grades. Both kids are
participating in sports and other activities. Bevere stated
that "the children have made significant improvement
with their trauma due to the removal" and have received
therapy to deal with their past exposure to "ongoing
domestic violence." She saw no concerns with the
Wises' ability to parent the children.
Pamela Wise testified that she has a good relationship with
the children, they participate in activities, they have an
allowance and bank accounts, and she and her husband are
bonded with them and provide stability. A.C.B. is performing
better in school and has increased self-esteem. Charles ...