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 E.F.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

September 6, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF: E.F. MINOR CHILD

         Civil Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 2016 JCV 00279

          For Appellee BRANDON J. WALTENBAUGH STARK COUNTY JFS

          For Appellant DAVID L. SMITH

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P. J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Wise, John, J.

         {¶1} Appellant-Mother C.F. appeals the judgment of the Stark County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division, awarding permanent custody of her minor child E.F. to appellee Stark County Department of Job and Family Services.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On April 1, 2016, SCJFS filed a complaint alleging the dependency and/or neglect of E.F. (DOB 3/29/2016). Appellant is the biological mother of E.F. The allegations of the complaint centered on Appellant's history with Summit County Children Services including involuntarily losing permanent custody of a previous child, lack of follow through with case plan services in the past, and continuing deplorable home conditions.

         {¶3} On April 4, 2016, the trial court found that probable cause existed for the involvement of SCJFS and placed the child into its emergency temporary custody.

         {¶4} On June 15, 2016, SCJFS deleted the allegation of neglect, and the trial court found E.F. to be a dependent child and placed her into the temporary custody of SCJFS. The trial court approved and adopted the case plan and found that SCJFS had made reasonable efforts to prevent the need for the continued removal of the child from the home.

         {¶5} The case plan proposed by SCJFS and adopted by the trial court asked Appellant-mother to complete assessments through (1) Northeast Ohio Behavioral Health (hereafter "NEOBH") and follow all recommendations, (2) receive mental health counseling and be medicine compliant, (3) complete parenting classes through Goodwill Industries, (4) obtain stable and appropriate housing, (5) obtain stable verifiable employment or other source of income to sustain the housing and care for E.F., (6) attend all medical appointments and comply with taking her medications, and (7) attend joint counseling with Mother and Father to address relationship issues if they were to stay together. (T. 1. at 6-7).

         {¶6} On October 14, 2016, the trial court reviewed the case. The trial court found that Appellant was diagnosed with several mental health issues, had not yet completed her parenting evaluation, had a low IQ, and was not attending parenting classes. The trial court approved and adopted the case plan and found that SCJFS had made reasonable efforts to prevent the need for the continued removal of the child from the home. The trial court also found that no compelling reasons existed to preclude a request for permanent custody.

         {¶7} On January 20, 2017, SCJFS filed a motion seeking permanent custody of the child. In its motion, SCJFS alleged, among other things, that the child could not and should not be placed with Appellant-mother within a reasonable amount of time, Appellant-mother had her parental rights terminated pursuant to R.C. §2151.353, R.C. §2151.414, or R.C. §2151.415 with respect to a sibling, and permanent custody was in the child's best interest.

         {¶8} On January 24, 2017, SCJFS filed an amended motion seeking permanent custody of the child. The amended motion was substantively equivalent to the original motion.

         {¶9} On February 17, 2017, the Guardian ad Litem for E.F., Ms. Valerie Anderson, submitted a report recommending that E.F. be placed into the permanent custody of SCJFS. Specifically, Ms. Anderson noted that it was "absolutely imperative that SCJFS (be) granted permanent custody", and that Appellant-mother "simply do(es) not have the parental skills necessary to keep (E.F.) well cared for and safe".

         {¶10} On February 21, 2017, the trial court again reviewed the case. The trial court found that Appellant-mother was diagnosed with a mood disorder and personality disorders. The trial court also found that there were concerns with Appellant's ability to parent. The trial court approved and adopted the case plan and found that SCJFS had made reasonable efforts to prevent the need for the continued removal of the child from the home. The trial court again found that no compelling reasons existed to preclude a request for permanent custody.

         {¶11} On March 22, 2017, the trial court heard evidence on the motion seeking permanent custody of E.F. (T. 1 at 4-105). At the hearing, SCJFS presented evidence regarding Appellant-mother and the minor child. (T. 1 at 5-64). Caseworker Vicki Mitchell testified that Appellant-mother had not fully completed her case plan nor had she significantly reduced the risk she posed to E.F. (T. 1 at 8-22). Specifically, Caseworker Mitchell testified that Appellant-mother did not address her mental health issues, did not initiate joint counseling, did not complete the minimal requirements for parenting classes, did not have appropriate housing, and struggled with basic parenting skills like changing a diaper. (T. 1 at 7-19). Ms. Mitchell also testified that Appellant-mother had previously lost permanent custody of a child. (T. 1 at 6). Dr. Aimee Thomas from Northeast Ohio Behavioral Health testified that Appellant-mother has an IQ of 66 and is functioning at the level of an eleven-year-old child. (T. 1 at 49). She diagnosed Appellant-mother with a Mood Disorder and Other Specified Personality Disorder, and noted Appellant's dependent traits. (Tr. 1 at 49-54). Dr. Thomas opined that it would be critical for Appellant- mother to participate 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.