IN RE: L.W., ADJUDICATED DEPENDENT CHILD. [JAMES WISE, JR. - APPELLANT] IN RE: S.W., ADJUDICATED DEPENDENT CHILD. [JAMES WISE, JR. - APPELLANT]
from Marion County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division Trial
Court Nos. 2015AB76 and 2015AB75
S. Wick for Appellant
J. Kahle for Appellee
Appellant James Wise, Jr. ("James") brings this
appeal from the judgments of the Court of Common Pleas of
Marion County, Juvenile Division, terminating his parental
rights and granting permanent custody of S.W. and L.W.
("the children") to the Marion County
Children's Services Board ("the Agency"). James
argues on appeal that the trial court erred by not making the
necessary findings. For the reasons set forth below, the
judgments are affirmed.
On March 20, 2015, L.W. and S.W. were born to James and the
mother, Laura ("Laura"). Doc. 1. The Agency
immediately filed a motion for emergency temporary custody on
the grounds that the parents had previously had seven other
children removed due to the conditions of the home. Doc. 2.
The trial court granted the motion. Doc. 1 and 3. On March
31, 2015, the Agency filed a complaint alleging that the
children were abused and dependent. Doc. 4. The complaint
alleged that Laura and the children all tested positive for
barbiturates at the time of the birth of the children.
Id. A guardian ad litem ("GAL") was
appointed for the children on April 3, 2015. Doc. 7. An
adjudication hearing was held on June 22, 2015. Doc. 19. The
parties all stipulated that the children were dependent.
Id. The magistrate ultimately issued his decision
and the trial court adopted the decision of the magistrate on
May 13, 2016. Doc. 19 and 20. The dispositional hearing was
held on August 6, 2015. Doc. 21. On May 13, 2016, the
magistrate ultimately issued his decision granting temporary
custody of the children to the Agency. Id. The trial
court adopted the dispositional recommendation of the
magistrate on the same day. Doc. 22.
On July 14, 2016, the Agency filed its motions for permanent
custody of the children on the grounds that the children
should not be placed with either parent. Doc. 25. A hearing
on the motions was held on October 6, 2016. Doc. 38. The
trial court found that the children could not be placed with
their parents within a reasonable time and that it was in the
best interest of the children to terminate the parental
rights of James and Laura and grant permanent custody to the
Agency. Id. The ruling of the court was journalized
on October 26, 2016. Id. On November 22, 2016, James
filed his notice of appeal. Doc. 44. On appeal, James raises
one assignment of error.
trial court did not properly consider the specific factors
required by Ohio Revised Code 2151.414(D) when granting a
Motion for Permanent Custody when it granted [the
Agency's] Motion for Permanent Custody.
The sole assignment of error argues that the trial court did
not consider the statutory factors in reaching its conclusion
that terminating the parental rights of James and granting
permanent custody of the children to the Agency was in the
best interests of the children. The right to parent one's
own child is a basic and essential civil right. In re
Murray, 52 Ohio St.3d 155, 556 N.E.2d 1169 (1990).
"Parents have a 'fundamental liberty interest'
in the care, custody, and management of their children."
In re Leveck, 3d Dist. No. 5-02-52, 5-02-53,
5-02-54, 2003-Ohio- 1269, ¶ 6. These rights may be
terminated, however, under appropriate circumstances and when
all due process safeguards have been followed. Id.
When considering a motion to terminate parental rights, the
trial court must comply with the statutory requirements set
forth in R.C. 2151.414. These requirements include, in
pertinent part, as follows.
(B)(1) Except as provided in division (B)(2) of this section,
the court may grant permanent custody of a child to a movant
if the court determines at the hearing held pursuant to
division (A) of this section, by clear and convincing
evidence, that it is in the best interest of the child to
grant permanent custody of the child to the agency that filed
the motion for permanent custody and that any of the
(a) The child is not abandoned or orphaned, has not been in
the temporary custody of one or more public children services
agencies * * * for twelve or more months of a consecutive
twenty-two month period, * * * and the child cannot be placed
with either of the child's parents within a reasonable
time or should not be placed with the child's parents.
* * *
(d) The child has been in the temporary custody of one or
more public children services agencies or private child
placing agencies for twelve or more months of a consecutive
twenty-two-month period * * *.
For the purposes of division (B)(1) of this section, a child
shall be considered to have entered the temporary custody of
an agency on the earlier of the date the child is adjudicated
pursuant to [R.C. 2151.28] or the date that is ...