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Walker v. Hughes

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

December 14, 2017

James A. Walker, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Rhyan Hughes, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch (C.P.C. No. 16JU-7390)

         On brief:

          Elizabeth V. Westfall for appellant.

          DECISION

          BRUNNER, J.

         {¶ 1} This matter arises from the August 23, 2016 judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch, sustaining the objection of plaintiff-appellee, James A. Walker, to a May 10, 2016 administrative order of the Child Support Enforcement Agency ("CSEA"). In sustaining Walker's objection, the trial court effectively reduced Walker's child support obligation to defendant-appellant, Rhyan Hughes, for the care and support of their minor child. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} Walker and Hughes are the biological father and mother, respectively, of a minor child. Hughes is the residential parent and legal custodian, and Walker is the child support obligor, paying child support and medical support in accordance with CSEA administrative orders.

          {¶ 3} On May 10, 2016, CSEA issued an administrative order for child support and medical support, designating Walker as the child support obligor. Attached to the CSEA order was a child support computation worksheet that attributed to Walker an annual gross income of $23, 982.40, plus overtime, bonuses, and commissions in the amount of $7, 433.66, resulting in a total gross income of $31, 416.06. After certain adjustments to income were allowed, Walker's adjusted gross income was calculated to be $28, 030.66. The CSEA order prescribed Walker's annual and monthly child support obligation based on an adjusted gross income of $28, 030.66.

         {¶ 4} On June 8, 2016, Walker filed with the trial court a complaint to set support (objection to CSEA administrative order), seeking review of the May 1o, 2016 CSEA order. He cited his inability to pay as a basis for the review.

         {¶ 5} On June 23, 2015, Hughes filed a motion for an order from the trial court approving, adopting, and modifying the May 10, 2016 CSEA order.

         {¶ 6} Walker's objection was referred to a magistrate of the domestic relations division of the common pleas court, who heard the matter on August 15, 2016. The record indicates that the magistrate heard sworn testimony from Walker, who was appearing pro se, and from Hughes, who was represented by counsel. The magistrate subsequently issued a decision ordering Walker's objection be sustained and his complaint to set support be granted. The record indicates a new child support worksheet was devised on August 15, 2016, listing Walker's annual gross income at $20, 737.60, with no overtime, bonuses, or commissions. After adjustments to income were allowed, Walker's adjusted gross income was recalculated to be $17, 722.85, which served as the basis for recomputing his support obligation. The magistrate's decision and the August 15, 2016 child support worksheet were mailed to Walker and Hughes on August 16, 2016.

         {¶ 7} By judgment entry dated August 23, 2016, the trial court approved and adopted the magistrate's decision. The trial court's judgment entry incorporated by reference the magistrate's decision entering that decision as the judgment of the trial court.

         {¶ 8} Nothing in the record indicates Hughes filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Hughes, through counsel, filed this notice of appeal September 22, 2016 and, thereafter, filed her brief with this Court on December 6, 2016. No transcript of the August 15, 2015 hearing has been filed.

         II. ...


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