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Disanto v. Thomas

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake

April 30, 2018

DORENE E. DISANTO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THOMAS L. THOMAS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Civil Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 2015 CV 00603.

          Brett J. Plassard, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Thomas E. Thomas, pro se, (Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM

         {¶1} 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.

         {¶2} 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.

         {¶3} 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 Court."

         {¶4} 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 Court."

         {¶5} 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).

         {¶6} On October 4, 2017, a trial was held at which Thomas failed to appear.

         {¶7} 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 ...

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