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In re Adoption of R.M.T.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren

November 20, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF: R.M.T.

         APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS PROBATE DIVISION Case No. 20155005

          Patrick M. Wells, appellant, pro se

          Michael J. Davis, for appellee, J.T

          OPINION

          RINGLAND, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant appeals a decision by the Warren County Probate Court finding his consent to the adoption of his child was not necessary.

         {¶ 2} Appellant is the biological father of R.M.T., and is currently incarcerated in an Ohio prison. Appellee, the child's stepfather, filed a petition to adopt R.M.T. on January 28, 2015. The petition alleged that appellant's consent was not required because no putative father had registered, and because appellant had failed to communicate and failed to support the child in the one year preceding the petition. After several procedural delays, including a paternity test which established appellant as the child's biological father and the filing of a second adoption petition, a hearing was held on the issue of whether appellant's consent to the adoption was required. The trial court concluded that appellant's consent was not required because appellant had failed without justifiable cause to provide more than de minimus contact with the child in the year preceding the petition.

         {¶ 3} Appellant now appeals the trial court's decision, raising the following four assignments of error for our review:

         {¶ 4} Assignment of Error No. 1:

         {¶ 5} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE APPELLANT WHEN THE TRIAL COURT RULED THAT [APPELLANT'S CONSENT WAS NOT NECESSARY FOR THE ADOPTION OF [R.M.P.].

         {¶ 6} Assignment of Error No. 2:

         {¶ 7} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE APPELLANT WHEN THE TRIAL COURT RULED THAT [APPELLANT]'S MOTION FOR A COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY TO VIEW THE GTL TELEPHONE RECORDS [WAS DENIED].

         {¶ 8} Assignment of Error No. 3:

         {¶ 9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE APPELLANT WHEN THE TRIAL COURT RULED THAT [APPELLANT'S] MOTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AT STATE'S EXPENSE IS DENIED.

         {¶ 10} ...


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