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In re D.D.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

June 12, 2017

IN RE: D.D. D.M. D.D. B.S. B.S. S.R.

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE Nos. 14JC44220 14JC4422114JC44222 14JC44223 14JC44224 14JC44225

          BRANDON G. OLIVER, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and PREETHI KISHMAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN

         {¶1} Appellant, Charmaine D. ("Mother"), appeals from a judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that placed her minor children in the legal custody of three different relatives. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mother is the biological mother of the six minor children at issue in this appeal. The children's fathers did not appeal from the trial court's judgment.

         {¶3} During September 2014, Lorain County Children Services ("LCCS") began working with this family through a case that had been transferred from Cuyahoga County. Although initial concerns about abuse of the children were not substantiated, LCCS later filed complaints to allege that Mother was not meeting the basic needs of the children and that they were being exposed to Mother's mental health problems and domestic violence between Mother and the father of the youngest child ("Father R.").

         {¶4} The children were adjudicated neglected and dependent and initially remained in the custody of Mother under an order of protective supervision by LCCS. During August 2015, because Mother was not complying with the reunification requirements of the case plan, the children were placed in the temporary custody of different relatives with protective supervision by LCCS.

         {¶5} The case plan reunification goals included that Mother engage in treatment to address her long-term problems with domestic violence, mental illness, and substance abuse; complete parenting classes; and obtain stable income and housing. The case plan also required her to have no contact with Father R., who was convicted of domestic violence against her. Mother had a long history of domestic violence with Father R. and other men with whom she had been romantically involved.

         {¶6} After the children were removed from her home, Mother initially worked on the reunification goals of the case plan. LCCS eventually permitted Mother to have weekend visits with the children until it learned that Father R. had been in Mother's home during the visits. During one of those visits, the children had again been exposed to an altercation between Mother and Father R. Although LCCS continued to receive reports that Father R. had been to her home, Mother denied that Father R. had been there.

         {¶7} LCCS later moved to have three of the children placed in the legal custody of the maternal grandmother, two of them placed in the legal custody of a paternal aunt of one of the children, and the youngest child placed in the legal custody of a maternal aunt. Mother alternatively moved to have the children returned to her legal custody or for a six-month extension of temporary custody. Following a hearing on the competing dispositional motions, the magistrate decided that the children should be placed in the legal custody of the respective relatives. The trial court later overruled Mother's objections to the magistrate's decision and placed the children in the legal custody of the relatives. Mother appeals and raises three assignments of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ...


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