FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DN 16-09-000854
APPEARANCES: ADAM VANHO, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
P. AGARWAL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
FARAH, Guardian ad Litem.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Appellants, T.F. ("Mother") and J.S.
("Father"), appeal from a judgment of the Summit
County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that
terminated their parental rights and placed their minor child
in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services
Board ("CSB"). This Court affirms.
Mother and Father are the biological parents of G.L.S., born
September 29, 2016. The day that G.L.S. was born, CSB filed a
complaint to allege that she was a dependent child because
Mother and Father had a history with CSB pertaining to
siblings of this child, which resulted in the involuntary
termination of their parental rights. G.L.S. was later
adjudicated dependent and placed in the temporary custody of
The case involving the older siblings of G.L.S. began during
September 2014. CSB opened an involuntary case with
Mother's two oldest children, who are not Father's
biological children. At that time, Mother was also pregnant
with Father's biological child, K.S. Mother's two
children were removed from her custody because the younger
child, then less than two years old, had sustained multiple
injuries and bruises on the head, face, and back that were
consistent with abuse. Father was later convicted of
endangering children and felony domestic violence for causing
the child's injuries.
Mother's injured child was adjudicated abused, her older
child was adjudicated dependent, and both were placed in the
temporary custody of CSB. Shortly after birth, K.S. was
removed from the custody of Mother and Father, adjudicated
dependent, and placed in the temporary custody of CSB.
Ultimately, the three older siblings of G.L.S. were placed in
the permanent custody of CSB. Among other reasons, the trial
court found that neither parent had substantially remedied
their mental health problems or other conditions that caused
the children to remain placed outside their custody. R.C.
2151.414(E)(1). The trial court's decision terminating
parental rights to the older siblings was affirmed on appeal
to this Court. In re C.F., 9th Dist. Summit No.
In this case, the trial court placed G.L.S. in the temporary
custody of CSB and adopted the case plan on December 13,
2016. CSB was concerned that Father could not control his
violent temper and that Mother refused to recognize the risk
that he posed to the child. In addition to demonstrating an
ability to provide for the basic needs of G.L.S., the case
plan required both parents to obtain mental health and
substance abuse assessments and follow all treatment
Shortly after the trial court adopted the case plan, CSB
moved to suspend Father's visitation because he had
become angry and threatened to harm CSB staff members prior
to a visit, and had to be escorted from the visitation center
by the police. The trial court issued an ex parte order to
suspend Father's visitation immediately. The trial court
scheduled a hearing on the issue, but a hearing was not held.
According to the undisputed testimony of the caseworker,
however, he told father after the first permanent custody
hearing that his visits would be reinstated if he addressed
his anger through counseling, but Father did not attend
On February 9, 2017, CSB filed a motion for permanent custody
of G.L.S. because, among other reasons, neither parent had
been complying with the reunification requirements of the
case plan. R.C. 2151.414(E)(1). That same day, CSB separately
moved for an order to excuse it from making reasonable
efforts to reunify G.L.S. with her parents. Revised Code
Section 2151.419(A)(2)(e) provides that the trial court
"shall make a determination that the agency is not
required to make reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of
the child from the child's home, eliminate the continued
removal of the child from the child's home, and return
the child to the child's home" if "[t]he parent
from whom the child was removed has had parental rights
involuntarily terminated with respect to a sibling of the
child[.]" The trial court scheduled a permanent custody
hearing and, although it also scheduled a separate hearing on
the agency's motion for a reasonable efforts bypass, no
separate hearing was held on the reasonable efforts bypass.
The hearing on the first permanent custody motion was held
during June 2017. CSB presented evidence that the parents had
failed to comply with the reunification requirements of the
case plan and also about the prior involuntary termination of
parental rights pertaining to the older siblings of G.L.S.
The parents did not dispute the prior termination of their
parental rights. Instead, they focused their defense to the
permanent custody motion on whether the agency had given them
enough time to work the case plan, as CSB had moved for
permanent custody only two months after the case plan was
adopted as an order of the court. At the end of the ...