Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE: G.J.A. A Minor Child [Appeal by D.A., Mother]
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. CU 03105235
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Leslie A. Weiss Halberg &
Associates Co., L.P.A.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Stephen E. S. Daray
GUARDIAN AD LITEM Thomas Kozel
BEFORE: Kilbane, J., E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and Blackmon, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
EILEEN KILBANE, JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant D.A. ("Mother"), appeals from
the juvenile court's order adopting the magistrate's
decision granting plaintiff-appellee P.B.'s
("Father") motion for a purge order related to
Mother's nearly three-year-old contempt of the
parties' shared parenting plan. For the reasons set forth
below, we affirm.
In December 2009, the juvenile court approved a shared
parenting plan and designated both Mother and Father as
residential parents of G.J.A., a minor. The juvenile court
ordered Mother and Father to adhere to the parenting time
schedule outlined in the parties' shared parenting plan.
In January 2014, the juvenile court issued an order finding
Mother in contempt of court for violating the parties'
shared parenting plan by "repeatedly and continuously
withholding court ordered parenting time between Father and
[G.J.A., ] without just cause, that resulted in
[Father's] loss of approximately 69 days of parenting
time." The juvenile court sentenced Mother to seven days
in county jail and ordered her to pay a $500 fine. The court
suspended this sentence, and further ordered Mother to purge
her contempt. Specifically, the court ordered that
Mother * * * shall follow the court's orders regarding
the shared parenting plan[, ] shall follow the orders made in
this decision which specify a transition schedule for
parenting time between [Father and G.J.A., and] shall follow
the schedule for making up missed visitation * * * [of] 69
The contempt order further explained "[i]f, at the six
month review, [Mother] has purged her contempt[, ] the
sentence will be dismissed. If, at the sixth month review
[Mother] has not purged her contempt[, ] the sentence, both
the jail time and fine, will be executed into effect."
The juvenile court ordered the parties to each file a
proposed makeup schedule before the next attorney conference
scheduled at the end of January 2014.
The record demonstrates that the January 2014 attorney
conference was not held. The record reflects that, at that
time, the juvenile court had not yet ruled upon Mother's
objections to the magistrate's December 2013 decision
underlying the January 2014 contempt order.
In September 2014, Father moved to dismiss Mother's
objections to the December 2013 magistrate's decision for
want of prosecution. Father argued that Mother had failed to
order a transcript of the proceedings underlying the
magistrate's decision and file supplemental objections,
despite her requests for additional time to do so.
The juvenile court granted Father's motion, finding that
"[Mother] has failed to timely file the required
transcript or support her objections with factual findings by
referencing the transcript." The juvenile court further
ordered that "the [January 2014] order that approved and
confirmed the [December 2013 magistrate's decision]
remains in full force and effect."
In October 2014, the parties both filed proposed purge orders
and submitted proposed schedules for makeup visitation. In
March 2015, Father filed his second proposed purge order,
arguing he had only received 18 days of makeup time, and that
he and Mother disputed the scheduling of 13 days of proposed
In May 2015, the magistrate issued an order explaining that
[t]he initial purge order required compliance with the Court
order that 69 days missed visitation be made up.
The Court finds that there was no deadline for completing the
69 days as the completion of the missed time would take more
than the six months of a purge order. Furthermore, although
there was no definition of a missed day, for instance a
missed mid-week visit would certainly not be construed as a
make up visit of 24 hours, the parties are expected to be
reasonable[, ] which includes reciprocal compromise and
flexibility in negotiation of what a day is and the specific
The magistrate's order further explained that the court
declines to "pick a [proposed] schedule or interpret how
many days have been made up to date" as requested by the
parties because "[t]he topic is the subject of the
future purge review hearing and the Court is reluctant to
prematurely involve and entangle itself in a manner that is
better suited for resolution by a parenting coordinator"
The magistrate stated:
If the parties cannot agree on the thirteen disputed dates or
how to schedule future dates then they shall hire a parenting
It is therefore ordered that the previous [January 2014]
purge order remains in full force and effect. The purge
review hearing will be scheduled where it will be
Mother's burden to prove compliance with the purge order.
If she fails to meet her burden of proof the jail sentence
and fine will be executed into effect. If she meets her
burden of proof the sentence is dismissed.
The magistrate ordered the parties to communicate through
"our Family Wizard," or another similar service,
starting within 30 days.
In November 2016, Father filed a third motion requesting a
purge order, arguing he had not "received any
[additional] makeup days" since May 2015. He noted that
the magistrate's May 2015 order did not detail who would
pay for the parenting coordinator or "our Family
Wizard." Father argued he should not have to incur a
financial obligation to get the court-ordered makeup
visitation. He explained that he "'[took]
exception' to the fact that the juvenile court had not
issued a purge order in the almost two years since the
On December 12, 2016, the magistrate issued a decision
granting Father's motion, finding it "well taken and
without opposition." The magistrate ordered:
1. As agreed or if no agreement then Father shall have at
minimum an additional 69 days more than the current order for
the remaining three years of the child's majority.
2. Per month visitation guidelines: As agreed or if no
agreement then Father shall have no less than two additional
days per month.
3. Per year visitation guidelines: As agreed or if no
agreement then Father shall have no less than 23 ...