FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2016 JUV-C 000739
REBECCA A. CLARK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
R. MILLER, JR., Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. SCHAFER, Judge.
Appellant, L.R. ("Aunt"), appeals from a decision
of the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division,
that denied her motion for relief from judgment. This Court
Aunt is a paternal aunt of K.M., born June 1, 2016. K.M. was
removed from the custody of his parents shortly after birth.
Wayne County Children Services Board ("CSB")
already had open cases with the child's older siblings
and the parents were continuing to struggle with substance
abuse and domestic violence in the home. None of the older
siblings are parties to this appeal and the parents have not
appealed from the trial court's judgment.
KM. was later adjudicated a dependent child and placed in the
temporary custody of CSB. Early in this case, Aunt contacted
CSB as a potential relative placement for the child.
Aunt's Columbus home initially was not approved for
placement, however, because of the criminal background search
of Aunt and her husband. Because CSB found no suitable
relative for placement for the child, K.M. remained in the
same foster home.
Aunt twice moved to intervene as a party in this case. The
trial court denied both of her motions and Aunt did not file
a timely appeal from either trial court decision. Instead,
Aunt continued to pursue placement or legal custody of K.M.
Aunt's home was eventually approved for placement because
of a change in the law and the time that had passed since the
most recent conviction. Aunt and her husband began having
unsupervised visits with K.M.
Ultimately, the matter proceeded to a hearing before a
magistrate on the motion of the foster parents for legal
custody of the child and Aunt's competing motion for
"Allocation of Parental Rights and
Responsibilities." Following the hearing, the magistrate
decided that the child would be placed in the legal custody
of the foster parents and that Aunt would receive visitation
rights with the child, including at least one full weekend
per month and at least two non-consecutive weeks during the
Aunt filed a brief objection to the magistrate's decision
and requested leave to supplement her objection after the
transcript of proceedings was filed. After the transcript of
proceedings was filed on December 7, 2018, however, Aunt did
not timely file a brief to supplement her objections.
See Loc.R. 12(C) of the County Court of Common Pleas
of Wayne County, Juvenile Division. The foster parents filed
a motion to dismiss Aunt's objections, which was granted
by the trial court on December 27, 2018.
Aunt did not appeal the dismissal of her objections and the
trial court's independent judgment that placed K.M. in
the legal custody of the foster parents. Instead, she filed a
post-judgment motion in the trial court, requesting, among
other things, Civ.R. 60(B) relief from the trial court's
December 27 judgment. On January 9, 2019, the trial court
denied her motion, finding that she had failed to demonstrate
grounds for relief under Civ.R. 60(B). Aunt appeals from the
January 9 judgment and raises two assignments of error.