FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DN 16-09-0827
SHUBHRA N. AGARWAL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant. DANIEL R.
BACHE, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
HULBURT, Guardian ad Litem.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
S. CALLAHAN, Judge.
Appellants Mother and Father appeal the judgment of the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that
adjudicated their child V.S. a dependent child. This Court
Mother and Father are the biological parents of V.S. (d.o.b.
6/16/16). Mother is also the biological mother of A.P. and
C.S. Father is the biological father of C.S. After being
adjudicated neglected and abused, A.P. and C.S. were
ultimately placed in the permanent custody of Cuyahoga County
Department of Children and Family Services
("CCDCFS"). On September 15, 2016, the Eighth
District Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of
Mother's and Father's parental rights and the award
of permanent custody of A.P. and C.S. to CCDCFS.
On September 23, 2016, Summit County Children Services Board
("CSB") filed a complaint alleging that V.S. was a
dependent child. The agency alleged three bases for
dependency: (1) that the child was homeless, destitute, or
without adequate parental care, through no fault of the
child's parents; (2) that the child's condition or
environment warranted the state's assumption of the
child's guardianship in the interest of the child; and
(3) that (a) the child was residing in a household where a
parent committed an act resulting in the adjudication of
another child in the household as an abused, neglected, or
dependent child; and (b) because of the circumstances
surrounding the abuse, neglect, or dependency of the other
child, as well as other conditions in the child's
household, the child was in danger of being abused or
neglected by the parent. R.C. 2151.04(A), (C), and (D)(1) and
(2). V.S. was ordered into the emergency temporary custody of
CSB the same day.
On the first date scheduled for adjudication, Mother
requested a continuance. Father did not oppose Mother's
request, and the magistrate rescheduled the hearing to occur
approximately five weeks later. Despite having been properly
served, both Mother and Father failed to appear for
adjudication, allegedly based on a medical emergency. The
magistrate refused to further continue the matter based on
statutory time constraints. She agreed to schedule a second
date for the adjudication, however, to allow Mother and
Father to be present for the caseworker's testimony and
to present their own cases in chief. Both parents appeared
for the second day of hearing. Neither testified or presented
At the conclusion of the adjudicatory hearing, the magistrate
found V.S. dependent pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(D)(1) and (2),
based on the prior abuse and neglect adjudications of the
child's siblings and the danger that V.S. might thereby
be abused or neglected in the household. The magistrate found
that CSB did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that
V.S. was a dependent child pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(A) or
(C). She, therefore, dismissed those allegations in the
complaint. The matter proceeded to disposition, and the
magistrate placed the child in the temporary custody of CSB.
The juvenile court adopted both of the magistrate's
decisions the same days they were issued.
Mother and Father each filed objections to the
magistrate's decision, alleging that the dependency
adjudication was not supported by the evidence. Father
requested leave to supplement his objections. After the
transcript was filed, Father supplemented his objections, and
CSB filed a brief in opposition. According to the juvenile
court's judgment entry, the parties all appeared for oral
argument on the objections, and the court granted leave to
Mother and Father to further supplement their objections.
There is no transcript of the objections hearing in the
record. Although Father had earlier supplemented his
objections, Mother failed to do so. The juvenile court
thereafter issued its judgment in which it overruled
Mother's and Father's objections and adjudicated V.S.
a dependent child pursuant to R.C. 2151.04(D), and adhered to
its prior order placing the child in the temporary custody of
CSB. Five days later, Mother filed a motion to respond to
CSB's brief in opposition. The juvenile court properly
did not rule on Mother's motion, as it was a nullity,
akin to a motion for reconsideration after the juvenile court
issued its final judgment. See In re J.P., 9th Dist.
Summit No. 24538, 2009-Ohio-3974, ¶ 7 (recognizing no
authority for a motion for reconsideration of a final
judgment pursuant to the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure).
After the juvenile court ruled on the parents'
objections, Mother and Father both filed timely notices of
appeal. Each raises one assignment of error for
consideration. Although Mother and Father have filed separate
briefs, their assignments of error are ...