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In re J.L.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 1, 2019

IN RE: J.L., ET AL. Minor Children [Appeal by T.W., Mother]

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case Nos. AD-16907729 and AD-16907730

         JUDGMENT AFFIRMED

          Mark Stanton, Cuyahoga County Public Defender, and Aaron T. Baker, Assistant Public Defender; Michael B. Telep, for appellant.

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Willie Mitchell, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney; William Daugherty, Cheris Glinsey, Anna Markovich, and Melanie R. Gimaria, for appellee.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} Appellant-Mother, T.W. ("Mother"), appeals from the judgment of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division, that placed her children, J.L. (d.o.b. Mar. 2, 2007) and L.B. (d.o.b. Feb. 3, 2011), in the permanent custody of appellee, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services ("CCDCFS"). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On May 12, 2016, CCDCFS filed a complaint and motion for predispositional temporary custody, alleging the minor children were neglected and dependent. Following a hearing the same day, the court granted CCDCFS's motion for predispositional temporary custody.

         {¶3 } In August 2016, the court held an adjudicatory hearing. At the hearing, Mother, J.L.'s father, H.L. ("Father"), and L.B.'s father, R.B., all stipulated to an amended complaint. The court accepted the parents' stipulations, found the children to be neglected and dependent, and committed them to the temporary custody of CCDCFS.

         {¶ 4} In December 2017, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify its temporary custody of the children to the permanent custody of CG., the stepmother. In May 2018, Mother filed a motion for legal custody to be granted to CO., a maternal cousin. In addition, J.L.'s Father filed a motion to be granted permanent custody of his child.

         {¶ 5} On June 6, 2018, the court held a dispositional hearing on CCDCFS's motion to modify temporary custody to permanent custody. At the outset, the court noted that on May 31, 2018, J.L.'s father had filed a motion for continuance. The following discussion took place:

[MAGISTRATE]: And, [Counsel], did you wish to be heard on the record in regard to your motion for continuance?
[TRIAL COUNSEL]: Your Honor, my client recently had double bypass surgery and is hospitalized. I filed a motion for continuance and attached a letter from the rehab center that is in regards to his expected out - well, his expected - not out date, but his expected time of being able to leave the facility as well as have housing through our Home Choice Program.
I believe the biggest issue, one of the biggest issues for this case was dad's lack of housing and so hopefully that would be taken care of. My client is unable to be heard in regards to the custody of his own son. Thank you.
[MAGISTRATE]: All right. And this matter has been going on since I think it was originally filed May 12th, 2016, which would be over two years ago and the children are in need of some form of permanency and so ...

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