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In re T.R.-B.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 2, 2018

IN RE: T.R.-B. A Minor Child

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. AD 14911111

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT/MOTHER Judith M. Kowalski

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES FOR C.C.D.C.F.S. Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Laura Brewster Assistant County Prosecutor Cheryl Rice Assistant County Prosecutor

          For Minor Child Dean Colovas Dean A. Colovas, Atttorney at Law

          Guardian Ad Litem for Minor Child Jonathan Z. Wilbur

          For Father Gregory Stralka

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., Celebrezze, J., and Keough, J.

          JUDGMENT

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant ("Mother"), appeals from the juvenile court's judgment granting permanent custody of the minor child, T.R.-B. (d.o.b. 01/07/01), to the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services ("CCDCFS"). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} In August 2014, CCDCFS filed a complaint for temporary custody of T.R.-B. and his siblings, A.B. (d.o.b. 07/03/04) and R.B. (d.o.b. 08/19/07). CCDCFS amended its complaint in October 2014. With regard to T.R.-B., the amended complaint alleges that in July 2014, Mother was arrested and charged with domestic violence and child endangering because of an incident with T.R.-B. Mother was subsequently convicted of domestic violence and child endangering. T.R.-B. was previously adjudicated dependent because of Mother's failure to ensure he attend school. The complaint further alleges that Mother was living with a relative and in need of independent, stable housing. Mother was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and has recently undergone an updated assessment. Lastly, the complaint alleges that Father had established paternity, but he fails to support, visit, or communicate with T.R.-B.

         {¶3} Following a hearing in March 2015, T.R.-B. and his siblings were adjudicated abused and dependent.[1] T.R.-B. and A.B. were committed to the temporary custody of CCDCFS, and R.B. was committed to the legal custody of his father. In September 2015, the court granted CCDCFS's motion for extension of temporary custody for T.R.-B. and A.B., finding that there has not been significant progress on the case plan by Mother.

         {¶4} In January 2016, CCDCFS moved to modify the order of temporary custody to an order of permanent custody. The matter proceeded to trial in June 2017. At the time of trial, T.R.-B. was sixteen years old, and had been in CCDCFS's custody for more than two years. Additionally, Mother had been repeatedly incarcerated and Father was currently incarcerated.

         {¶5} After the conclusion of trial, the juvenile court issued an order awarding permanent custody of T.R.-B. to CCDCFS.[2] The court found that T.R.-B. is abandoned, and Mother has "failed continuously and repeatedly to substantially remedy the conditions causing [T.R.-B.] to be placed outside [his] home." The court further found that

Mother has a chronic mental illness and chemical dependency, that is so severe that it makes the parent unable to provide an adequate, permanent home for the child at the present time[.]
Mother is repeatedly incarcerated[, ] and the repeated incarceration prevents the parent from providing care for [T.R.-B.]
Mother and [F]ather have neglected [T.R.-B.] between the date the original complaint was filed and the date of the filing of this motion by the failure to regularly visit, communicate, and/or support [T.R.-B.]
* * *
Mother and [F]ather are unwilling to provide food, clothing, shelter, or other necessities for [T.R.-B.]; or to prevent [T.R.-B.] from suffering emotional and/or mental neglect, as evidenced by their unwillingness to successfully complete a case plan so they can provide for the child.

         Upon considering all of the required elements, the court found that a grant of permanent custody is ...


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