Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Champaign
THOMAS R. COX Petitioner-Appellee
JOSEPH H. DOSS Respondent-Appellant
from Common Pleas Court-Family Court Division No. 2018-DR-102
MICHAEL B. MILLER, Attorney for Petitioner-Appellee.
ROSEMARY RICHARDS, Attorney for Respondent-Appellant.
1} Respondent-appellant Joseph Doss appeals from the
trial court's order granting a civil stalking protection
order (CSPO) to his estranged wife's parents. He first
contends that the general division of the common pleas court
erred by transferring the matter to the domestic
relations-juvenile-probate division of the common pleas court
("the family court"). He also contends that the
evidence submitted during the full hearing was insufficient
to establish the necessary elements of R.C. 2903.211 by a
preponderance of the evidence. Finally, he contends that the
CSPO violated his right to parent his children.
2} Because Joseph failed to raise any objection to
the transfer of the case, we conclude that any error has been
waived, and we cannot find that this matter rises to the
level of plain error. Further, we conclude that the evidence
supported the issuance of the CSPO. Finally, the record does
not support Joseph's claim that the issuance of the CSPO
impinged upon his right to parent his children. Accordingly,
the judgment is affirmed.
Course of the Proceedings
3} Holly and Joseph Doss are married and have two
minor children as a result of their marriage. In 2018, Holly
filed a complaint for divorce in the Champaign County family
court. On April 11, 2018, Holly and the two children moved
into the home of Holly's parents, Thomas and Deborah Cox.
4} On May 8, 2018, Thomas Cox filed a petition for a
CSPO in the general division of the Champaign County Court of
Common Pleas. The petition included Deborah as a person
seeking protection under the order. An ex parte order of
protection was issued the same day.
5} A full hearing on the CSPO was conducted before a
magistrate on July 25, 2018. On August 6, 2018, before a
decision was rendered by the magistrate, the general division
judge entered an order transferring the matter to the family
court. The order transferring the matter to the family court
stated, in pertinent part, as follows:
Magistrate Schockling and the [General Division] Court are
both concerned that the decision reached by either Magistrate
Schockling or the Court * * * could conflict with the orders
of the Family Court as they pertain to Family Court rulings
not only on Petitioner Holly Doss' Domestic Relations
Protection Order, but also to orders of the Family Court as
they pertain to Family Court rulings in the divorce
For example, this Court could grant the Petition, but modify
the order to allow the Respondent to be present at Petitioner
Cox's residence for the purpose of visiting his children
when the Petitioner Cox or his wife are not present in the
house. Such an order could be contrary to a potential Family
Court ruling that could order the Respondent not to have
contact with Petitioner Holly Doss or the children unless it
follows a visitation schedule approved by the Family Court.
Contrary rulings between the General Division and the Family
Court could result in confusion for the parties and any law
enforcement officers that are called by either Petitioner
Cox, Petitioner Cox's wife, Petitioner Holly Doss, or the
Respondent in an effort to enforce the order that they
believe is most advantageous to them.
Relevant to this concern, the [Court] notes the following:
1. Holly Doss and Joseph Doss are currently involved in
divorce proceedings. Holly Doss filed a Petition for Domestic
Violence Civil Protection Order against Joseph Doss. The
Family Court granted an ex parte protection order for Holly
2. Concurrent with the Family Court proceedings, the Coxes
filed for a civil stalking protection order against Joseph
Doss in this Court. The Coxes were granted an ex
parte protection order on May 8, 2018.
3. While the Family Court awarded possession of the marital
residence * * * to Holly Doss * * *, the structure is
currently uninhabitable due to fire damage. * * * As a
result, Holly Doss and the children currently reside with her
parents, Thomas and Deborah Cox, the Petitioners in the
action in the case at bar.
4. It may be sometime before Holly Doss can live
independently of her parents * * *. Thus, the duration of the
current living arrangement is indefinite, and a reason for a
single court to hear both matters.
5. Since Holly Doss and the children will be residing with
her Petitioner-parents for the foreseeable future, having two
different courts consider their respective petitions for
protection orders against Joseph Doss creates the ...