Valerie C. Williams, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Desmond Henderson, Sr., Defendant-Appellant.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
13JU-3011, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch.
Law Limited, and Robert C. Wood, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Desmond Henderson, Sr.,
appeals a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common
Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Branch, that
ordered Wood Law Limited to transmit to the Office of Child
Support a portion of a settlement fund due to Henderson. For
the following reasons, we affirm that judgment.
2} On February 28, 2013, Valerie C. Williams, the
grandmother of two minor children, filed a complaint seeking
a court order requiring Henderson, the children's father,
to pay child support. In a decision entered August 22, 2013,
a magistrate set Henderson's monthly child support
obligation at $382.28, plus a processing charge. The
magistrate also required Henderson to liquidate his $1,
541.82 arrearage at a rate of $77.46 per month, plus a
processing charge. The trial court adopted and approved the
magistrate's decision in a judgment entry issued August
3} Henderson objected to the magistrate's
decision. In his objections, Henderson stated that he could
not afford to pay the amount of child support ordered because
he did not earn the annual income attributed to him in the
child support calculation. Henderson alleged that he was
unemployed since his "involve[ment] in a an [sic]
accident with a semi[-]truck and [he was] * * * diagnosed
with tennisis [sic] [, ] 2 crushed vertebrae[, ] and 2
displaced discs." (Sept. 5, 2013 Objs. to Mag.'s
Dec.) When Henderson did not appear at the hearing on his
objections, the trial court dismissed those objections for
failure to prosecute.
4} Over three years later, on April 6, 2017, the
Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency
("FCCSEA") filed a notice with the trial court to
inform the court that a lump sum payment from an insurance
settlement was due to Henderson. The notice also indicated
that Henderson's child support arrearage was $19, 509.44
as of April 5, 2017.
5} The day after receiving the notice, the trial
court issued a judgment ordering Wood Law Limited,
Henderson's attorney's law firm, to transmit to the
Office of Child Support a portion of the settlement proceeds
due to Henderson. The trial court specified that the amount
transmitted should not exceed $19, 509.44, the amount of
Henderson's arrearage. Additionally, the trial court
stated that the amount transmitted should not include the
portion of the settlement proceeds designated as payment for
attorney fees, medical expenses, Medicaid or Medicare
reimbursement, or other claimants.
6} Henderson now appeals the trial court's April
7, 2017 judgment, and he assigns the following errors:
1. The Arrearage Calculated in the Lump Sum Payment
Transmittal Order dated April 7, 2017 is Incorrect.
2. The Appellant was not Served with the "Notice to
Court of FCCSEA's Investigation Findings Or Lump Sum
Payment and Recommendations" dated April 6, 2017.
7} By Henderson's first assignment of error, he
argues that the trial court erred in calculating his
arrearage. Henderson does not allege that a mathematical
error in the calculation occurred. Instead, he contends that
the court erred in requiring him to pay $382.28 in monthly
child support. Henderson asserts that he is involuntarily
unemployed due to his May 3, 2013 automobile accident and,
consequently, the trial court erred in imputing income to him
when it determined his monthly child support obligation.
8} Henderson's argument does not present a
reason to reverse the April 7, 2017 judgment. Rather, it is
an argument that Henderson should have pursued in the 2013
proceedings. The magistrate's August 22, 2013 decision,
which the trial court immediately adopted, determined the
amount Henderson had to pay in monthly child support.
Although Henderson asserted the argument he now raises in his
objections to the magistrate's decision, he abandoned
that argument when he failed to appear at the hearing on the
objections. Under the principle of res judicata, Henderson
cannot now resurrect the abandoned argument. See In re
Estate of Barnett-Clardy, 10th Dist. No. 08AP-386,
2008-Ohio-6126, ¶ 15 ("[T]he doctrine of res
judicata precludes a party who has had his day in court from
seeking a second chance to litigate an issue that he could
have raised earlier."); State v. Myers, 10th
Dist. No. 05AP-228, 2005-Ohio-5998, ¶ 9 ...