Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake
DORENE E. DISANTO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
THOMAS L. THOMAS, Defendant-Appellant.
Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile
Division, Case No. 2015 CV 00603.
J. Plassard, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).
E. Thomas, pro se, (Defendant-Appellant).
Defendant-appellant, Thomas L. Thomas, appeals the judgment
of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division,
determining custody and support issues with regard to the
minor child, A.R.D. The issue before this court is whether an
appellant may challenge a trial court's jurisdiction
where he did not appear at trial or otherwise present
evidence in support of his claim. For the following reasons,
we affirm the decision of the court below.
On April 23, 2015, plaintiff-appellee, Dorene E. DiSanto,
filed a Complaint for Custody (Emergency Ex Parte) against
Thomas with respect to A.R.D. DiSanto was granted emergency
custody and the matter was set for pretrial.
On May 8, 2015, Thomas filed a Motion for Objection to the
grant of emergency custody, arguing, inter alia, "that
this Honorable Lake Co Court Judge/Magistrate lack Subject
Matter Jurisdiction over this Pro Se Defendant and the Native
American Child/Minor based upon the fact * * * [t]hat the
Native American Child/Minor * * * is a Registered Member of
the Penbina [sic] Nation Little Shell Band of North America *
* * and exclusive Subject Matter Jurisdiction rests with the
Tribal Court, Federal Courts, and/or will be Transferred to
the U.S. District Court over Federal Questions of Law,
pursuant to Federal Law as determined by the U.S. Supreme
Thomas further claimed that "a Original 'Complaint
For Child Custody, Child Support, and Show Cause'
entitled THOMAS L. THOMAS V. DORENE E. DISANTO et
al, Case No: 15V-078 [was] pending in the Great
State of Georgia in the Honorable Brantley Co Superior
On May 20, 2015, Thomas filed a
Complaint/Counter-Complaint/Motion for: Custody, Visitation,
Child Support, Objection to DNA Testing, and Habeas Corpus of
Child (filed May 20, 2015).
On October 4, 2017, a trial was held at which Thomas failed
On October 6, 2017, the juvenile court issued a Judgment
which held, in part:
Based on the testimony and exhibits this Court finds that
plaintiff has established that Defendant Thomas L. Thomas is
the father of [A.R.D.] born May 9, 2003 and that the parent
child relationship exists.
The court further finds that the parties separated on
11-4-2013 and that the minor child has been living
exclusively with mother and maternal ...