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In re R.L.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 14, 2017

IN RE: R.L.

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DN 16-04-0313

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

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          KANDEE ROBINSON, Attorney at Law for Appellee.

          LINDA SELL, Guardian ad Litem.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant Mother appeals the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that adjudicated her child R.L. a dependent child. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mother is the biological mother of R.L. (d.o.b. 5/23/12).[1] She and the child lived in a home with eight or nine other people for a year or so. Mother was not on the lease. Before the incident giving rise to the allegations in this case, R.L. was being cared for by a friend of Mother for 5-6 weeks. The child was then delivered to Mother's nephew's ("Nephew") home for a few days. On April 21, 2016, Mother appeared at Nephew's home and demanded return of the child. Because of Mother's demeanor, behavior, attire, and other conditions, Nephew refused to release the child out of concern for his safety.

         {¶3} The police were called to Nephew's home to address the situation. After investigation at the scene, the police determined that there were reasonable grounds to take R.L. into custody pursuant to Juv.R. 6, in the interest of the child's welfare. The police notified Summit County Children Services Board ("CSB"), and the agency organized a team decision meeting for the next day. Mother and many others on her behalf attended the meeting. Based on the agency's investigation, however, CSB filed a complaint on April 22, 2016, alleging that the child was dependent pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(A) and (C).

         {¶4} After an adjudicatory hearing, the magistrate adjudicated the child dependent pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(A), based on findings that he was homeless through no fault of his parents on the date the complaint was filed. The magistrate further found that the evidence did not clearly and convincingly establish that the child's condition or environment was such as to warrant the state, in the interests of the child, in assuming his guardianship. Accordingly, the magistrate dismissed the allegation of dependency pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(C). The juvenile court adopted the magistrate's decision the same day and adjudicated R.L. a dependent child solely pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(A).

         {¶5} Mother filed timely objections to the magistrate's decision, arguing that CSB failed to present clear and convincing evidence to support an adjudication of dependency. CSB responded in opposition, but it did not challenge the magistrate's dismissal of its claim that the child was dependent pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(C). After a hearing, [2] the juvenile court overruled Mother's objections and ordered that R.L. was a dependent child pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(A).[3] At a subsequent dispositional hearing, the juvenile court awarded temporary custody to CSB. Mother filed a timely appeal in which she raises one assignment of error for review. She further obtained a stay pending this appeal.

         II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ...

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