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In re C.B.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 15, 2017

IN RE: C.B., ET AL. Minor Children [Appeal by S.B., Mother]

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case Nos. AD 13916496 and AD 13916497

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Anita Barthol Staley Guardian ad Litem for Mother Thomas Robinson Law Office of Thomas B. Robinson

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES For C.C.D.C.F.S. Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Laura M. Brewster Assistant County Prosecutor For T.H. (Father) David Bartos Bartos & Bartos, L.P.A. Guardian ad Litem for Minor Children Tracy L. Herberle

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., Celebrezze, J., and Jones, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, S.B. ("Mother"), appeals from the juvenile court's judgment granting permanent custody of her twin boys, both of whom have the initials C.B., to the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services ("CCDCFS" or "the agency). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} On November 12, 2013, Cleveland police officers responded to Mother's home. The officers found the home to be in an unsafe condition, so they removed eight-month-old twin boys from the home and care of their Mother. One day later, CCDCFS filed a complaint alleging the boys to be neglected and dependent and requesting a disposition of temporary custody to the agency. A motion for predispositional emergency custody to the agency was filed and granted on that same day.

         {¶3} On March 7, 2014, the trial court held an adjudicatory hearing. At this hearing, Mother admitted to the following allegations in the amended complaint that are relevant to our review:

2. On November 12, 2013, the family home was observed to be in such a deplorable and unsafe condition that Cleveland police officers removed the children from the home.
3. Mother lacks adequate cognitive abilities.
4. Mother has failed to take the [one] child, C.B., to recommended follow up medical appointments.
5. Mother fails to provide the children with their nutritional needs.
6. Mother fails to provide the children with safe and adequate housing to meet their basic shelter needs. Mother has lacked stable housing for the past several years and remains without adequate housing.
7. Mother has three other children who were adjudicated neglected. Two of those children were placed in the predispositional custody of CCDCFS on an emergency basis on November 12, 2013. The third child was placed in the predispositional custody of CCDCFS in May 2013.
8. Alleged father T.H. has failed to establish paternity and has failed to support, visit or communicate with the children since their births.

         {¶4} The trial court adjudicated the twins neglected and dependent and granted temporary custody to the agency. The trial court also approved a case plan for the family.

         {¶5} On July 29, 2014, more than eight months after the twins were removed from Mother's care, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify the temporary custody orders to permanent custody. A trial was held on August 16, 2016, more than two years after the motion for permanent custody was filed. By the time the permanent custody trial was held, Mother's three older children had been committed to the legal custody of their father, and the twins had been in the agency's custody for nearly three years.

         {¶6} After hearing testimony from Dr. Randall Baenen, Ph.D. ("Dr. Baenen"), a licensed psychologist who completed a psychological evaluation of Mother, and the CCDCFS social worker, the trial court granted the agency's motions for permanent custody as to both of the twin boys. In its orders, the court found that a grant of permanent custody is in the children's best interest, and the children cannot be placed with either parent within a reasonable period of time or should not be placed with their parents.

         {¶7} Mother now appeals, asserting the following single ...


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