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Lathan v. Andrews

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 21, 2017

SHARNAE LATHAN, Appellee
v.
KENYUNUS ANDREWS, Appellant

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DR-2007-02-0464.

          KENYUNUS ANDREWS, pro se, Appellant.

          SHARNAE LATHAN, pro se, Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Kenyunus Andrews ("Father") appeals from an order of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, increasing his child support obligation. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Father and Sharnae Lathan ("Mother") are the parents of S.L. Mother is the residential parent, and Father is the child support obligor. Following an administrative adjustment hearing in 2013, the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency ("CSEA"), recommended a "revised child support order [of] $878.08 per month * * *." Father filed objections to CSEA's recommendation triggering the domestic court's review. Among other items, Father objected to the amount Mother was claiming to spend on child care.

         {¶3} In January 2014, a magistrate's hearing was held with Mother present and Father, who lives out of state, participating by telephone. The magistrate found "no apparent defect in the administrative calculation." Father filed objections to the magistrate's decision. The trial court overruled those objections and ordered "[t]he Administrative Order issued by the CSEA shall remain in effect."

         {¶4} Father appealed, but this Court dismissed his appeal for lack of a final, appealable order. Lathan v. Andrews, 9th Dist. Summit No. 27447, 2015-Ohio-1249, ¶ 8-9. This Court explained, "[R.C.] 3119.63 does not permit the CSEA to modify the court's child support order; it may only recommend a modification, and the court must issue a modified order." Id. at ¶ 8.

         {¶5} Upon remand, the trial court entered a new order and Father moved for a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence.[1] Father attached an affidavit from Mother's estranged father. He averred, inter alia, that Mother's child care provider had been his fiancé previously, that Mother did not pay for child care between 2002 and 2007, and that the child care provider continued to watch Mother's children on a limited basis at no cost to Mother. The court granted the motion for a new trial and referred the matter to a magistrate for hearing.

         {¶6} That hearing was held in March 2016. Mother was present at the hearing. Although Father was not present, his attorney was. Neither the child care provider nor Mother's estranged father were present to testify. Mother presented various documents to refute her estranged Father's claim that she had not paid for child care between 2002 and 2007. Mother also submitted a copy of a letter from her child care provider. Mother testified that she paid this particular child care provider for child care from 2012 through 2014. She indicated that she was not seeking any amount for child care expenses beginning in 2015. Consequently, the magistrate completed two child support computation worksheets. For the time period from August 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014, the magistrate calculated a support amount of $878.08 per month. For the time period beginning January 1, 2015, the magistrate calculated a support amount of $645.67 per month.

         {¶7} Father filed objections to the magistrate's decision. More particularly, he objected:

1. The Magistrate failed to follow Summit County Domestic Relations Rule 12.01 Exhibits. Specifically, she allowed [Mother] to enter into evidence and relied on exhibits which had not been provided to [Father's] counsel per 12.01(c) seven days prior to the hearing.
2. The Magistrate abused her discretion in considering the amount of child care paid from [Mother] to [the child care provider] in the child support calculation.
3. The second child support worksheet is incorrect as it does not give either party credit for other kids that they are providing for in their respective households, which would alter the amount of child support to be paid.

         {¶8} The first objection related to the documents from Mother refuting her estranged father's allegations regarding earlier payments for child care. The second objection related to the child care costs and the resulting support calculation for August 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014. The third objection related to the child support worksheet for the time period ...


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