Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE: Z.I., ET AL. Minor Children [Appeal by Mother, T.I.]
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case Nos. AD 13908327, AD 13908328, and
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT R. Brian Moriarty
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE For C.C.D.C.F.S. Michael C.
O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael F. Kulcsar
Cheryl Rice Assistant County Prosecutors C.C.D.C.F.S.
Guardian Ad Litem Donald W. Ristity
BEFORE: Stewart, J., Kilbane, P.J., and Boyle, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. STEWART, J.:
This is an appeal from an order terminating the parental
rights of appellant-mother T.I. and granting permanent
custody of three children, twins IS.G. and IZ.G. (five years
old), and their brother Z.I. (three years old), to appellee
Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services
("agency"). The sole assignment of error is that
there is insufficient evidence to support the court's
finding that granting the motion for permanent custody would
be in the best interests of the children.
Two steps are required to terminate parental rights and award
permanent custody of a child to the agency. First, the court
must determine if any of the factors set forth in R.C.
2151.414(B)(1)(a)-(d) apply. Second, the court must then
determine whether a grant of permanent custody is in the best
interest of the child. See R.C. 2151.414(B)(1).
There is no dispute that the children were in the temporary
custody of one or more public children service agencies or
private child placing agencies for 12 or more months of a
consecutive 22-month period, satisfying R.C.
2151.414(B)(1)(d). The sole issue, then, is whether there was
sufficient evidence to support the court's conclusion
that granting the agency's motion for permanent custody
was in the best interest of the children.
The factors the court must apply in its consideration of a
child's best interests are stated in R.C. 2151.414(D)(1):
(a) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with
the child's parents, siblings, relatives, foster
caregivers and out-of-home providers, and any other person
who may significantly affect the child;
(b)The wishes of the child, as expressed directly by the
child or through the child's guardian ad litem, with due
regard for the maturity of the child;
(c)The custodial history of the child, including whether 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, or 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 and, as described in division (D)(1)
of section 2151.413 of the Revised Code, the child was
previously in the temporary custody of an equivalent agency
in another state;
(d)The child's need for a legally secure permanent
placement and whether that type of placement can be achieved
without a grant of permanent custody to the agency;
(e) Whether any of the factors in divisions (E)(7) to (11) of
this section apply in relation to ...