from the Holmes County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and
Juvenile Division Case No. 14N198
Plaintiff-Appellee: SEAN WARNER
Defendants-Appellants: DAVID M. HUNTER MONICA L. MIYASHITA
Attorney for Opal Stevens
W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Patricia
A. Delaney, J.
Defendant-appellant Thomas Miller ("Father")
appeals from the September 22, 2017 Judgment Entries of the
Holmes County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile
Division, granting appellee Holmes County Department of Job
and Family Services, Children Services Division
("Agency") permanent custody of his son B.S.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Father and Mother have one child together, B.S. At the time this
case arose, Mother and Father lived with B.S. and his
siblings I.S. and John Doe in Holmes County, Ohio.
On November 23, 2014, the Agency received a report that
Mother threw a sippy cup at B.S., yelled at him, and
threatened to "cut his hands off" if he did not
behave. On December 8, 2014, the Agency filed a complaint
alleging B.S. to be a neglected and abused child.
B.S. and I.S. were found to be neglected as to Mother on
March 3, 2015 and B.S. was found to be neglected as to Father
on the same date.
In January 2015, a case plan was adopted and Father was
required to complete parenting classes and a psychological
evaluation. He was later required to complete a domestic
violence assessment and to attend a batterers'
intervention program. Father was required to complete
individual counseling and to maintain housing and employment.
Father completed parenting classes at Anazao Community
Father had supervised visitation with B.S., which
successfully progressed to more frequent unsupervised
visitation. B.S. was found to be bonded with Father; he
enjoyed visitation with Father but also looked forward to
returning to the home of his foster parents. During the
unsupervised visitation, a mark appeared on B.S.' chest
which was concerning to the Agency. Father's visits were
again supervised, and then suspended altogether when the
domestic violence allegation arose.
Father's psychological evaluation established, e.g., that
he has an I.Q. of 73. The Agency determined, as evidenced by
the mark on B.S., that Father had a limited ability to retain
what he learned while completing case plan services. He was
not able to reduce the risk to B.S. because although he did
everything he was assigned to do, he couldn't process the
information and apply it to prevent abuse to B.S.
B.S. exhibited behavioral issues and was assessed for trauma.
It was determined that he has been a victim of and a witness
to domestic violence perpetrated by Father and Mother.
I.S. and B.S. were in the temporary custody of the Agency and
placed with the same foster family for 21 months when the
Agency moved for permanent custody of both siblings on
September 15, 2016. The basis of the motion for permanent
custody was the fact that the children were in the custody of
the Agency for more than 12 months of a consecutive 22-month
An evidentiary hearing was held in late June, 2017. On
September 22, 2017, the trial court awarded permanent ...