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.

Gonzalez v. Rodriguez

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 21, 2018

Blanca Santos Gonzalez, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Pedro Ovidio Rodriguez, Defendant-Appellee.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 16JU-0467, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch

         On brief:

          Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., and Jessica A Ramos, for appellant.

         Argued:

          Jessica A. Ramos.

          DECISION

          HORTON, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Blanca Santos Gonzalez, filed a complaint for allocation of custody in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch, seeking "legal custody" of her minor child, E.S., and asking the trial court to make findings of fact to allow E.S. to petition the federal government for status as a Special Immigrant Juvenile under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(j). She now appeals from the trial court's decision declining to make the requested findings. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} Santos Gonzalez filed a complaint for allocation of custody on January 11, 2016, asking the court for "legal custody" of E.S., who was born on May 1, 2001. She subsequently filed an amended complaint on May 23, 2016. Santos Gonzalez alleged that E.S. was her biological child, and that he had resided with her in Columbus since February 2015. Santos Gonzalez also alleged that E.S.'s biological father was Pedro Ovidio Rodriguez, who was in El Salvador, had never supported E.S., and had not been in contact with him since 2005. She claimed that E.S.'s father had "abandoned and neglected the child within the meaning of O.R.C. § 3127.01(B)(1) and O.R.C. § 2151.03(A)(1)." (Jan. 11, 2016 Compl.) E.S. had come to the U.S. in January 2015 to escape the "extreme poverty and widespread gang violence" in El Salvador, and "to reunify with his mother." Id. In the prayer for relief, Santos Gonzalez asked the juvenile court to grant her legal custody of E.S. and to "[m]ake findings of fact necessary for [E.S.] to petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status." Id. Specifically, she asked for the juvenile court to make findings in accordance with the definition of a Special Immigrant Juvenile under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J). (Jan. 11, 2016 Compl.; May 23, 2016 Am. Comp.)

         {¶ 3} At a hearing, the magistrate questioned Santos Gonzalez about E.S., her parenting history, and her financial circumstances. She testified that it had been eight years since E.S. had contact with his father and that E.S. had been living with her for the previous year and one-half. Santos Gonzalez's attorney then asked the juvenile court to make "two additional findings" not addressed by the questioning: "that reunification of the minor child with his father is not viable due to abandonment and that it is not in the child's best interest to return to El Salvador." (Aug. 31, 2016 Tr. at 11-12.)

         {¶ 4} The magistrate filed a decision on September 14, 2016, stating findings of fact and conclusions of law. The magistrate found that E.S. had been born in El Salvador and that his putative father had left when he was four; that Santos Gonzalez had supported E.S. before his arrival in the U.S. and was currently supporting him; that Santos Gonzalez feared for E.S.'s safety if he returned to El Salvador; and that it was "in the best interest of the child to remain in the custody of the Mother." (Sept. 14, 2016 Decision at 3.) However, the magistrate stated that she was "unable" to make the other additional findings that Santos Gonzalez had requested. Id.

         {¶ 5} Santos Gonzalez filed an objection to the magistrate's failure to make the additional findings. (Sept. 29, 2016 Objs. to Mag.'s Decision.) In a decision overruling the objection, the trial court stated that it was "unable to make the requested findings" under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J) because:

The minor child in this case has not been declared dependent by a juvenile court, and he has never been committed to or placed under the custody of an agency or department of a State. The Court finds that the minor child is not abandoned, abused or neglected, as he is currently in the custody of his mother.
Finally, while the Court may agree that it is in the minor child's best interest to live in the United States and go to school as opposed to being returned to El Salvador, the fact that the federal statute is cumulative precludes ...

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.