Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
IN THE MATTER OF: THE CHANGE OF NAME OF A.LaR.F-R. to A.LaR.R.
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, Case
Appellant ELIZABETH V. WESTFALL ELIZABETH V. WESTFALL LLC
Appellee Mother ELIZABETH R. WERNER THE NIGH LAW GROUP LLC
W. Scott Gwin, P. J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Earle E.
Wise, Jr., J.
Appellant-Father W. F. appeals the January 31, 2017, Judgment
Entry of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Probate
Division, granting Appellee-Mother's Application for
Change of Name of the minor child.
Initially we note that Appellant's brief fails to set
forth a Statement of the Case or a Statement of the Facts as
required by App.R. 16(A)(5) and (6). While we are mindful
that such omissions authorize this Court to either strike the
offending portions of the brief or sua sponte
dismiss the appeal, we will review the merits of
Appellant's claims in the interest of justice.
Accordingly, we have taken the following recitation of the
facts and procedural history from the record and
OF THE CASE AND FACTS
The minor child in this case was born on December 17, 2008,
to Appellee-Mother L.M.S. (nka L.M.R.) and Appellant-Father
W.F. Mother and Father have never been married to one
On December 20, 2008, before a Notary Public in and for the
State of Ohio, both parties signed an affirmation of
paternity that listed the child's name as A.L.R.
Id. The child's original birth certificate
reflected the birth name of A.L.R. Id. Mother and
the child were residents of Franklin County, Ohio, at the
time of the child's birth.
On March 18, 2009, Father filed a Complaint to Allocate
Parental Rights and Responsibilities in the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and
Juvenile Branch. In the Complaint, Father admitted that
paternity had been established by the signing of the
affidavit of paternity, which has a registry number of
After a contested hearing on the matter, the Franklin County
Court issued a Magistrate's Decision on January 20, 2010,
which was adopted by Judgment Entry and filed the same day.
Although there were objections filed, the objections were
dismissed by Judgment Entry filed March 4, 2010.
The Magistrate's Decision filed January 20, 2010, stated
in the findings of facts that the parties had
"agreed" to changing the child's name to
A.R.F-R. However, the court did not Order the name change and
did not file the necessary Orders to have the birth records
changed to A.R.F-R. The Decisions and Entry also designated
the Mother as the sole legal custodian of the child and
allocated parental rights and responsibilities between the
parties. Id. There was no paternity determination as
such was established by the affidavit of paternity signed by
the parties at the child's birth.
Father presented the Magistrate's Decision and Entry to
the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics. (T. at 70-71). Father
then took the changed birth certificate to the Social
Security office to change the child's name on the Social
Security card. (T. at 71). Both the birth certificate and
social security cards were changed to reflect the name
A.L.R-F based on Father's actions and the portion ...