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.

In re Z.M.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Scioto

June 11, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF: Z.M. AND K.B. ADJUDGED NEGLECTED/ DEPENDENT CHILDREN

          Matthew F. Loesch, Portsmouth, Ohio, for Appellant.

          David M. Huddleston, New Boston, Ohio, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          Jason P. Smith, Presiding Judge.

         {¶1} K.B., the children's biological mother, appeals the trial court's judgment that granted Scioto County Children Services permanent custody of her two children: four-year-old K.B. and eight-year-old Z.M. The mother raises the following assignment of error:

"1. The Trial Court's award of permanent custody of [Z.M.] and [K.B.] to the Scioto County Children Services was against the manifest weight and sufficiency of the evidence."

         {¶2} In late April 2016, the agency received a report that the mother was discovered passed out and unresponsive inside a parked car. The report further indicated that both children were inside the car at the time and that they appeared to have been there for several hours. Emergency medical personnel responded, administered Narcan to the mother, and took her to the emergency room. The mother tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.

         {¶3} The agency requested an ex-parte order placing the children in its temporary custody and also filed complaints that alleged the children were neglected and dependent. The agency additionally requested the court to grant it temporary custody of the children. The court subsequently granted the agency's request for an ex-parte emergency custody order. A few months later, the court adjudicated the children neglected and dependent and placed the children in the agency's temporary custody. Approximately one year later, the agency filed permanent custody motions.

         {¶4} On April 12, 2018, the court held a hearing to consider the agency's permanent custody motions. At the hearing, caseworker Renee Ginn stated that the agency developed a case plan for the family. Ginn explained that the case plan required the mother to (1) complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow any treatment recommendations, (2) complete parenting classes, and (3) obtain adequate housing. Ginn reported that the mother has not completed a drug and alcohol treatment program, despite three attempts. Ginn related that the mother entered three separate treatment programs throughout the pendency of the case but did not successfully complete any of the programs. Ginn testified that although the mother appeared to have adequate housing, she failed to complete a parenting class.

         {¶5} Ginn further related that the mother did not have consistent contact with the children. Ginn stated that between July 2016 through September 25, 2017, the mother did not have any contact with the children. Ginn explained that the mother had been in jail between April 2017 and September 2017. She indicated that the mother contacted the agency upon her September 2017 release from jail. Ginn testified that the mother visited the children between September 2017 and November 2017, that she last visited the children in November 2017 and has not had any contact with the agency since that time.

         {¶6} Ginn stated that the father has had little involvement in the case and that he has not successfully completed the case plan.

         {¶7} Ginn testified that the children have been in the agency's temporary custody since April 28, 2016. Ginn related that between April 2016 and May 2017, the agency placed the children in several different homes. Ginn stated that in early June 2017, the children entered their current foster home. Ginn indicated that the foster family would like to adopt the children.

         {¶8} After a five-day recess, the hearing resumed on April 17, 2018, with Ginn's continued testimony. She testified that the agency learned that on April 11, 2018, the mother entered a ninety-day treatment program. This was the day before the commencement of the permanent custody hearing.

         {¶9} The mother testified that she currently lives in a treatment facility but that she maintains a permanent residence to which she will return after completing the treatment program. The mother admitted that she has struggled with drug abuse and that she has been in and out of prison and jail.

         {¶10} The mother requested the court to give her another chance to regain custody of her children. She explained that "before" she was not "ready to have [her] kids" and that she did not believe that it was in their best interest to be with her. The mother stated that she now believes that she can adequately care for and provide for the children. She explained that she "really feel[s] like God has removed the desire for [her] to use [drugs]."

         {¶11} On October 19, 2018, the trial court granted the agency permanent custody of the children. The court found that the children have been in appellee's temporary custody for twelve or more months of a consecutive twenty-two-month period and that placing the children in the agency's permanent custody was in their best interest.

         {¶12} With respect to the children's interactions and interrelationships, the court found that the children's relationship with the mother is "tenuous." The court observed that the mother visited with the children, albeit sporadically. The court remarked that the mother had "extended periods of time" when she did not have any contact with the children or the agency. The court additionally noted that the mother has not completed her case plan goals and struggled to consistently engage in drug and alcohol treatment. The court found that the children's relationship with their father is non-existent. The court commented that the children are doing well in their current foster placement and that the foster family would like to adopt the children.

         {¶13} The court additionally found that the children cannot achieve a legally secure permanent placement without granting the agency permanent custody of the children. The court ...


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.