Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
From: Hamilton County Juvenile Court TRIAL NO. F08-568X
C. Eaves, for Appellants, K.C., K.C., and J.C.,
Phyllis Schiff, for Appellant Mother,
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and R.
Michael Waddle, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee
Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services;
Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Megan
E. Busam, Assistant Public Defender, Appellee Guardian Ad
Litem for K.C., K.C., and J.C.
The children, K.C., K.C., and J.C., and their mother appeal
the judgment of the Hamilton County Juvenile Court granting
permanent custody of the children to the Hamilton County
Department of Job and Family Services ("HCJFS") and
denying the petition for custody filed by a maternal aunt.
The aunt did not appeal the denial of her custody petition.
The guardian ad litem ("GAL") has filed a motion to
dismiss the appeals.
of a Relative's Petition for Custody
In her sole assignment of error, mother argues that the trial
court should not have granted permanent custody of her
children to HCJFS, but instead should have granted the
aunt's petition for custody of the children. She does not
contest the termination of her parental rights.
In their single assignment of error, the children argue that
the trial court's judgment granting permanent custody to
HCJFS was against the weight of the evidence and was not in
their best interest because the court should have granted
their aunt's petition for custody. They also do not
contest the termination of mother's parental rights.
The children's guardian ad litem ("GAL") asks
this court to dismiss the appeals because mother and the
children challenge only the denial of custody to the aunt,
and not the termination of mother's parental rights. The
GAL argues that mother and the children lack standing to
challenge the judgment granting permanent custody to HCJFS
and denying the custody petition of the children's aunt.
To bring these appeals, the litigants must have standing.
Moore v. Middletown, 133 Ohio St.3d 55,
2012-Ohio-3897, 975 N.E.2d 977, ¶ 20. To establish
standing, a litigant must show that she "suffered (1) an
injury that is (2) fairly traceable to the defendant's
allegedly unlawful conduct, and (3) likely to be redressed by
the requested relief." Id. at ¶ 22.
"These three factors - injury, causation, and
redressability - constitute the 'irreducible
constitutional minimum of standing.' " Id.,
citing Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555,
560, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 119 L.Ed.2d 351 (1992). Generally, to
have standing, litigants must assert their own rights, not
the rights of third parties. Util. Serv. Partners, Inc.
v. Pub. Util. Comm., 124 Ohio St.3d 284, 2009-Ohio-6764,
921 N.E.2d 1038, ¶ 49, citing N. Canton v.
Canton, 114 Ohio St.3d 253, 2007-Ohio-4005, 871 N.E.2d
586, ¶ 14.