Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull
appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas,
Juvenile Division. Case No. 2013 JS 00109.
R. Rich, (For Appellee Wendy D. Torr).
Christopher A. Maruca, The Maruca Law Firm, LLC, (For
Appellant Michael E. Masich).
M. Burkey, Burkey, Burkey & Scher Co., L.P.A., (Guardian
TIMOTHY P. CANNON, J.
Appellant, Michael E. Masich, appeals from the May 9, 2016
order of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile
Division, sustaining his objections to the magistrate's
decision filed January 19, 2016. For the following reasons,
the trial court's judgment is affirmed.
Appellant and appellee, Wendy D. Torr, are the natural
parents of minor child E.M.M. (d.o.b. 9/5/2012); they were
never married. Appellee notified appellant she planned to
move to Florida with E.M.M. On July 30, 2014, appellant filed
a complaint for allocation of parental rights and
responsibilities, a request for shared parenting, and a
request that the natural mother not remove the child from the
court's jurisdiction pending final resolution of the
proceedings. Appellee moved to Florida with E.M.M. on
September 4, 2014.
A guardian ad litem was appointed, and the parties agreed to
submit to mediation. On May 1, 2015, appellant filed a motion
to adopt a shared parenting plan with a proposed shared
parenting plan attached. Hearings on appellant's
complaint were held on August 10, 2015, and December 9, 2015.
A magistrate's decision was filed on January 19, 2016.
The magistrate found it in the child's best interest to
remain in the custody of appellee. The magistrate denied
appellant's request for shared parenting because of the
distance between the parties. The magistrate found appellant
should be entitled to the standard guidelines of visitation
for long distance visitation, at a minimum, and also granted
appellant two weeks of visitation with the child, to be
exercised February 7, 2016, through February 21, 2016. The
trial court entered an order on January 19, 2016, adopting
the magistrate's decision.
On February 2, 2016, appellant filed an objection to the
magistrate's decision of January 19, 2016, and also a
request for a transcript of proceedings. Appellant took issue
with the magistrate's allocation of visitation, stating:
Due to this abuse of discretion, said objections are being
filed requesting that her honor review the transcript and the
testimony of all parties which will show that even if the
Court determined that father should not receive custody,
there is no basis for limiting his amount of time with minor
child to eight (8) weeks per year when the minor child is not
yet of school age.
WHEREFORE, it is hereby father's request that his
objections with respect to additional companionship be
granted and this matter be remanded to the Magistrate for
further hearing pursuant to the amount of companionship that
should be exercised between father and the subject minor
child. To provide father with this amount of limited time
based upon the totality of the evidence presented is clearly
an abuse of the Magistrate's discretion[.]
Although appellant made reference to his motion to adopt the
shared parenting agreement in passing, he did not make
specific objections to the portion of the magistrate's
decision that recommended overruling his motion for custody
and motion for shared parenting. Appellee filed a brief in
opposition to the objection on May 3, 2016.
A transcript of the proceedings before the magistrate was
filed on May 6, 2016. On May 9, 2016, the trial court entered
a judgment order, sustaining appellant's objection to the
magistrate's decision and remanding the matter to the
magistrate "for further consideration of additional
visitation in excess of the Court's Standard Long
Distance Schedule and the GAL's recommendation for
additional visitation." The court stayed all orders
previously issued by the ...