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S.E.J. v. C.S.J.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 1, 2019

S.E.J., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
C.S.J., Defendant-Appellee.

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case No. SU-17719503

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED

          S.E.J., pro se.

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, Gabriel Rivera and Steven Ritz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, for appellee.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} Appellant S.E.J. appeals the juvenile court's child support order of $143.90 per month for his son, S.J. (d.o.b. February 26, 2009). Appellant argues that the court derived the support order after erroneously imputing to him yearly income of $8, 476, representing 20 hours of minimum wage employment per week. Appellant assigns three errors for our review:

I. The trial court erred and abused its discretion [by proceeding] with trial after appellant established for the record the appellee * * * defaulted by failing to timely answer the admissions as required by Civ.R. 36(C).
II. The trial court erred and abused its discretion when it failed to acknowledge appellant's disability status. R.C. 3119.01(C)[.]
III. The trial court erred and abused its discretion when failing to observe the appellant's disability funds by miscalculating the appellant's funds. R.C. 3119.05.

         {¶ 2} Having reviewed the record and the controlling law, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         (¶ 3} The record indicates that appellant and appellee are currently involved in divorce proceedings, and appellee is the residential parent of S.J. On December 2, 2017, the Office of Child Support Services ("OCSS") obtained an administrative order for child support requiring appellant to pay $320.27 per month plus two percent for processing. It is undisputed that appellant was unemployed at the time of the order and appellee earns approximately $37, 000 per year. In deriving appellant's support order, the OCSS considered his 2017 receipt of $1, 359 from workers' compensation and also imputed yearly income to him in the amount of $12, 714, representing minimum wage work for 30 hours per week. Appellant filed objections to the administrative order and propounded extensive discovery to appellee and to the OCSS.

         {¶ 4} On June 7, 2018, the court held a hearing on appellant's objections to the administrative support order. Appellant maintained that admissions he propounded to appellee should be deemed admitted for failure to timely respond, and that he should be awarded summary judgment. He also argued that the administrative support order was erroneous in light of his disability.

         {¶ 5} The evidence presented to the court with regard to appellant's requests for admissions indicates that appellant's first set of discovery was sent to appellee on March 7, 2018. On April 4, 2018, appellant filed a motion to deem the first set of admissions admitted. Accounting for mailing times, the court determined that appellee's responses were not due at the point appellant filed his motion to deem the matters admitted.

         {¶ 6} The court also noted that appellant's second set of discovery was propounded to appellee on May 5, 2018. On May 11, 2018, appellant filed a motion to deem the second set of admissions admitted. Appellee informed the court that she sent discovery responses to appellant by certified mail in April 2018, but on June 1, 2018, her responses were returned with the post office mark "refused." Appellee gave additional copies of her discovery responses to appellant in open court and the court took a brief recess in order for appellant to review this ...


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