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In re T.C.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

July 25, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF: T.C. DEPENDENT CHILD

          Appeal from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. F2017-0425

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: ANREW ROWAN Asst. Pros., Licking Co. DJFS

          For Defendant-Appellant: JERMAINE COLQUITT GUARDIAN AD LITEM: STEPHANIE TACKETT

          JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          DELANEY, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Sandra Clemings ["Mother"] appeals from the December 18, 2018 Judgment Entry of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, granting permanent custody of T.C. to plaintiff-appellee Licking County Job and Family Services, Division of Children Services [the "Agency"].

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶2} Mother and Father are the parents of T.C., age 4 at the time of the permanent custody hearing. T.C. has special needs including autism.

         {¶3} In June 2017, Newark police found T.C. wandering outside, unsupervised. Father was found in the family residence under the influence and in possession of methamphetamine. Mother acknowledged methamphetamine use with Father, in the family residence, when the child was present.

         {¶4} Father was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to a prison term of 3 years for drug possession. His release date is in 2020.

         {¶5} An ex parte order of removal was granted on June 12, 2017. Shelter care and temporary orders were entered the next day. An uncontested adjudication was held on August 9, 2017 and T.C. was ordered into temporary custody of the Agency. A case plan was adopted at the hearing.

         {¶6} The motion for permanent custody was filed on February 12, 2018. The matter proceeded to trial on June 1, 2018 and June 15, 2018. On December 18, 2018, the magistrate granted permanent custody to the Agency. The trial court overruled Mother's objections, approving and adopting the magistrate's decision.

         {¶7} Mother appeals from the decision of the trial court dated December 18, 2018, terminating her parental rights and granting permanent custody of T.C. to the Agency.

         {¶8} The following evidence is adduced from the record of the hearing before the magistrate on June 1 and 15, 2018.

         {¶9} The issues identified for Mother included substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, economic instability, and parenting. The record of the permanent-custody hearing indicates Mother was in crisis during the hearing; she admitted her substance abuse has escalated; she is depressed and can't get off the couch; and she ...


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