Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Jefferson
Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Department of Jefferson County, Ohio Case No. 06 DR 280
Plaintiff-Appellee Attorney Francesca T. Carinci.
Defendant-Appellant Attorney David A. Vukelic.
JUDGES: Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Mary DeGenaro Hon. Carol Ann
Defendant-appellant, Kellie Howard, appeals from a Jefferson
County Common Pleas Court judgment granting
plaintiff-appellee, Randy Meeker's, motion to reallocate
parental rights and responsibilities of the parties' son
The parties were married on December 21, 2002. They share
three children, H.H. (d.o.b. 7/30/02), R.H. (d.o.b. 8/11/04),
and A.H. (d.o.b. 11/9/05).
On January 29, 2007, the parties were granted a decree of
divorce. Appellant was named the residential parent of all
three children and appellee was granted standard visitation.
In April 2015, H.H., with appellant's permission, began
residing with appellee and his new wife. On May 23, 2016,
appellee filed a motion for reallocation of parental rights
and responsibilities as to H.H. The trial court granted
appellee's motion. It also ordered appellant not to
interfere with appellee's parenting time with the other
two children, which issue had also been brought out at the
hearing. Appellant did not appeal from this decision.
On September 21, 2016, appellee filed a motion for
reallocation of parental rights and responsibilities as to
R.H. In this motion, appellee also sought to have appellant
held in contempt of court. He alleged appellant had denied
him his visitation with R.H. in violation of the court's
A magistrate held a hearing on appellee's motion. The
magistrate subsequently issued a decision granting both
branches of appellee's motion.
The magistrate first referred to the previous order where the
court reallocated parental rights and responsibilities as to
H.H. The magistrate noted the court had previously made a
finding that appellant deliberately interfered with
appellee's parenting time as to R.H. and A.H. And the
magistrate noted the court specifically ordered appellant not
to interfere with visitation and that the children were to
commence parenting time with appellee immediately.
Next, the magistrate made findings from the evidence offered.
He found the testimony indicated that appellant has
interfered with visitation and has alienated the children
from appellee. As an example the magistrate pointed to an
incident where appellee's wife and H.H. went to pick R.H.
up for his summer visitation. When R.H. attempted to get in
the car, appellant grabbed him by his shirt and told
appellee's wife, "F*** you. Take me to court."
The magistrate also pointed to testimony that appellant has
not allowed appellee to talk to the children on the telephone
and has not permitted him to visit for close to two years.
The magistrate also found that R.H. suffers from an extreme
learning disability and found that it did not appear that
appellant worked with him or secured a private tutor.
The magistrate found appellant in contempt for violating the
court's prior order regarding not interfering with
visitation. Specifically, the magistrate found that appellant
had not permitted appellee to have telephone contact ...