Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re M.W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

August 28, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF: M.W.

         APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUVENILE DIVISION Case No. JN2016-0213

          Carol Garner-Stark, 9435 Waterstone Boulevard, guardian ad litem for M.W.

          Heather A. Felerski, for appellant.

          Jeannine C. Barbeau, guardian ad litem for appellant.

          Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, Lina N. Alkamhawi, for appellee, Butler County Department of Job & Family Services

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, a mother ("Mother"), appeals from the decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, adjudicating her daughter, M.W., a dependent child. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On May 19, 2016, M.W. was born in a motel room located in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. At the time of M.W.'s birth, Mother, who resided in the motel room with her own mother, alleged she did not know she was pregnant due to the side effects of her seizure medication. Mother also admitted that she had not received any prenatal care during the pregnancy. At all times relevant, it is undisputed that Mother was unemployed and relied solely on her mother's disability income for financial support. The identity of M.W.'s father is unknown.

         {¶ 3} On June 9, 2016, a caseworker for the Butler County Department of Job and Family Services ("BCDJFS") filed a complaint alleging M.W. was a dependent child due to concerns that M.W. had only gained six ounces in the three weeks since her birth while in Mother's care. The complaint further alleged that Mother refused to "wake [M.W.] to feed her due to her own beliefs that newborn's should not be awoken to be fed on a schedule." Later that day, the juvenile court issued an emergency ex parte order placing M.W. in the temporary custody of BCDJFS. The juvenile court also appointed M.W. with a guardian ad litem. Following M.W.'s removal from Mother's care, the complaint indicates M.W. gained eight ounces in a period of just eight days.

         {¶ 4} On November 1, 2016, an adjudication hearing was held before a juvenile court magistrate, during which the magistrate heard testimony from M.W.'s pediatrician, Mother, and a caseworker from BCDJFS. The next day, November 2, 2016, the magistrate issued a decision adjudicating M.W. a dependent child in accordance with R.C. 2151.04(C), which defines a "dependent child" as any child "[w]hose condition or environment is such as to warrant the state, in the interests of the child, in assuming the child's guardianship[.]" In reaching this decision, the magistrate made numerous factual findings, including, but not limited to, the fact that M.W.'s pediatrician was concerned about M.W.'s limited weight gain since her birth, as well as Mother's resistance to adhere to the medical advice she received regarding the frequency she needed to feed M.W. This included references to Mother's refusal to wake M.W. at night to feed "because of [Mother's] need to sleep due to her epilepsy, " a condition Mother admitted causes her to have "issues with both her short-term and long-term memory."

         {¶ 5} On November 8, 2016, Mother filed a motion to set aside the magistrate's decision. In support of her motion, Mother argued the magistrate's decision adjudicating M.W. a dependent child was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Mother further indicated that "[a] transcript of the proceedings has been ordered" and that she "reserves the right to file supplemental objections upon receipt of the transcript." The juvenile court denied Mother's motion on November 15, 2016, specifically holding "[a]n objection can be re-filed after disposition in this case has taken place."

         {¶ 6} On December 9, 2016, the magistrate held a disposition hearing and issued a dispositional decision finding it would be in M.W.'s best interest for her to remain in the temporary custody of BCDJFS. A case plan was then established for Mother that required Mother to seek treatment for her mental health issues. Mother was also ordered to complete a parenting education program. It is undisputed that Mother did not attend the disposition hearing, although her court-appointed attorney did. A transcript of this hearing was not made part of the record.

         {¶ 7} Later that day, shortly after the disposition hearing concluded, Mother re-filed her motion to set aside the magistrate's decision. In support of this motion, Mother once again argued that the magistrate's decision adjudicating M.W. a dependent child was against the manifest weight of the evidence. In addition, just as she had done previously, Mother indicated that "[a] transcript of the proceedings has been ordered" and that she "reserves the right to file supplemental objections upon receipt of the transcript." Neither a transcript nor supplemental objections were timely filed with the juvenile court, nor did Mother request an extension of time for preparation of a transcript of the adjudication hearing.

          {¶ 8} On December 21, 2016, the juvenile court issued a decision denying Mother's motion to set aside the magistrate's decision, thereby affirming and adopting the magistrate's decision adjudicating M.W. a dependent child. In ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.