Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re T.D.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Wayne

January 22, 2018

IN RE: T.D.

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 10-0168-CCV

          TARA N. MEIER, pro se Appellant.

          MARK J. BUIE, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL JUDGE.

         {¶1} Tara Meier appeals judgments of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that determined that Anthony Wilson is the father of her daughter T.D. and, later, awarded custody of T.D. to him. For the following reasons, this Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Ms. Meier gave birth to T.D. in 2005. At the time, she was married to Robert Brick. Genetic testing later established that Mr. Wilson is the natural father of T.D. In 2010, following Ms. Meier's divorce from Mr. Brick, Mr. Wilson filed a complaint to establish parentage in the juvenile division of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas. He also filed a motion for custody and an allocation of parental rights. As the case progressed, Ms. Meier and Mr. Wilson agreed to a shared parenting plan. The juvenile court subsequently entered a judgment that changed T.D.'s name and ordered the issuance of a new birth certificate that would list Mr. Wilson as her father. It also adopted the parties' shared parenting plan and made it the order of the court. Under the terms of the shared parenting plan, T.D. would primarily reside with Ms. Meier.

         {¶3} In 2014, Mr. Wilson moved for reallocation of parental rights, alleging that Ms. Meier had moved outside of Wayne County and had not notified him of her new address. The court subsequently granted Mr. Wilson temporary emergency custody after Ms. Meier moved T.D. to Texas without providing the notice required by the parties' shared parenting plan. Following a hearing on the motion for reallocation of parental rights, a magistrate recommended awarding custody to Mr. Wilson. Ms. Meier filed multiple objections to the decision, but the juvenile court overruled her objections and granted Mr. Wilson's motion for reallocation of parental rights. Ms. Meier has appealed, assigning three errors.[1]

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO DISMISS WILSON'S COMPLAINT TO ESTABLISH PATERNITY (FEB. 1, 2010), WHERE MEIER HAD PREVIOUSLY FILED AN ACTION FOR DIVORCE IN ANOTHER OHIO COURT, AND WHERE THE MINOR CHILD WAS BORN OF THAT MARRIAGE AND SUBJECT TO THE DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS IN SAID OTHER OHIO COURT.

         {¶4} Ms. Meier argues that Mr. Wilson's complaint to establish paternity was improper because he did not request an administrative determination of paternity first under Revised Code Section 3111.38 and because none of the exceptions outlined in Section 3111.381 applied. She also argues that, despite her divorce from Mr. Brick, he remains T.D.'s presumptive father and that the genetic testing that was performed was insufficient evidence to rebut the presumption by clear and convincing evidence under Section 3111.03(B). Ms. Meier, therefore, argues that the trial court's order granting Mr. Wilson custody of T.D. places her with a stranger who has no biological connection to her. According to Ms. Meier, the trial court's order is invalid because it did not have jurisdiction to decide this case.

         {¶5} The Ohio Supreme Court has explained that "[t]he general term 'jurisdiction' can be used to connote several distinct concepts, including jurisdiction over the subject matter, jurisdiction over the person, and jurisdiction over a particular case." Bank of Am., N.A. v. Kuchta, 141 Ohio St.3d 75, 2014-Ohio-4275, ¶ 18. "Subject-matter jurisdiction is the power of a court to entertain and adjudicate a particular class of cases" and "is determined without regard to the rights of the individual parties involved in a particular case." Id. at ¶ 19. A court's jurisdiction over a particular case on the other hand "refers to the court's authority to proceed or rule on a case that is within the court's subject-matter jurisdiction." Id. Here, Ms. Meier recognizes the juvenile court's general power to adjudicate paternity actions. See R.C. 3111.06(A). Her argument, therefore, involves the juvenile court's jurisdiction over a particular case, not its subject-matter jurisdiction. See Morris v. Mottern, 9th Dist. Medina No. 14CA0043-M, 2015-Ohio-4523, ¶ 22-23 (concluding that argument that trial court lacked authority to preside over paternity action because no exception under Section 3111.381 applied involved the court's jurisdiction over a particular case). Unlike lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, lack of jurisdiction over a particular case only renders a judgment voidable. Pratts v. Hurley, 102 Ohio St.3d 81, 2004-Ohio-1980, ¶ 12.

         {¶6}In Morris, this Court recognized that "alleged errors in the trial court's exercise of its jurisdiction may be forfeited if not timely raised[.]" Morris at ΒΆ 24. Ms. Meier did not challenge the trial court's authority to rule on Mr. Wilson's paternity action before it entered its judgment in October 2010. To the contrary, she specifically agreed that T.D.'s name should be changed and that Mr. Wilson should be listed as T.D.'s father on a new birth certificate. She also entered into a shared parenting plan with Mr. Wilson. We, therefore, conclude that Ms. Meier has not preserved the issue ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.