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In re T.T.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

July 25, 2018

IN RE: T.T.

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DN 17-06-000483

          NEIL P. AGARWAL, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE S. CORGAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          RONALD GATTS, Attorney at Law, for Mother.

          SALLY PRENTICE, Attorney at Law, for Child.

          HOLLY FARAH, Guardian ad Litem.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          DONNA J. CARR PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, L.M. ("Father"), appeals from a judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that terminated his parental rights and placed his minor child in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services Board ("CSB"). This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Father and Mother are the biological parents of T.T., born February 2, 2004. Although both parents have other children, only T.T. is a party to this appeal. Mother voluntarily relinquished her parental rights and did not appeal from the trial court's judgment.

         {¶3} T.T. has a history with CSB dating back to 2009 because of drug use and violence in the homes of Father and Mother and the child's serious mental health and behavioral problems. CSB filed the 2009 case after a drug-related robbery in Father's home, during which then five-year-old T.T. witnessed Father being shot in the chest. CSB's initial complaint requested that T.T. be permitted to stay in Mother's home, provided she prevented him from having contact with Father, who had a long history of substance abuse and criminal activity. Because Mother continued to allow Father to have contact with T.T., the child was removed from Mother's home a few days later. T.T. was adjudicated a dependent child and placed in the temporary custody of CSB. During June 2010, T.T. was returned to the custody of Mother under an order of protective supervision. Protective supervision was terminated on October 5, 2010.

         {¶4} Less than one month later, however, CSB filed another complaint to allege that T.T. was a dependent child because Mother was exposing him to ongoing violence and drug activity. T.T. was adjudicated dependent and placed in the temporary custody of the maternal grandmother under an order of protective supervision. During that case, Mother made minimal progress on the case plan. T.T. was eventually placed in the legal custody of the maternal grandparents and that case was closed.

         {¶5} On September 20, 2012, CSB filed a third complaint, alleging that T.T. was an abused and dependent child. T.T. was removed from the custody of the grandparents pursuant to Juv.R. 6 because he disclosed to school personnel that he had been physically abused by a relative. Pursuant to an agreement between the parties, the allegations of abuse were dismissed and T.T. was adjudicated a dependent child. He was placed in the temporary custody of CSB and, although the grandparents had been reluctant to continue caring for him because of his mental health and behavioral problems, T.T. was returned to their legal custody during August 2013.

         {¶6} Several months later, Mother moved for legal custody of T.T., alleging that the grandparents were no longer willing to care for the child. T.T. was ...


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