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In re C.T.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Sandusky

August 23, 2019

In re C.T.

          Trial Court No. 21730237

          Pamela Cordy, for appellant.

          Dean E. Ross, for appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          ZMUDA, J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 1} Appellant, C.T., Sr., appeals the judgment of the Sandusky County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, prohibiting him from having contact or visitation with his minor child, C.T., Jr. (hereinafter referred to as "C.T."). Finding no error in the proceedings below, we affirm.

          A. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} On September 8, 2017, appellee, Sandusky County Job and Family Services, received a report that C.T.'s mother, B.F., had overdosed on heroin. Appellee investigated the report, leading to the implementation of a safety plan for B.F. and the placement of C.T. with his maternal aunt, A.F. Thereafter, B.F. failed to comply with the terms of her safety plan by failing drug screens and refusing to cooperate with appellee's caseworkers. As a result, appellee filed a complaint on November 2, 2017, alleging that C.T. was dependent and neglected.

         {¶ 3} On December 1, 2017, the juvenile court held a hearing on the complaint, at which B.F. consented to a finding of probable cause for C.T.'s removal from her home. Thereafter, B.F. agreed to continue A.F.'s temporary custody of C.T.

         {¶ 4} A combined adjudicatory and dispositional hearing was held on January 29, 2018, which resulted in the juvenile court's determination that C.T. was a dependent and neglected child. Following the dispositional portion of the hearing, the juvenile court found that continuation of A.F.'s temporary custody of C.T. was in C.T.'s best interests. Appellant was not present at these proceedings because he was incarcerated following his conviction for possession of drugs. Due to appellant's incarceration, his violent history, and a protection order that was in place at the time, the juvenile court ordered that appellant was to have no contact or visitation with C.T.

         {¶ 5} On December 6, 2018, the matter came before the juvenile court for an annual dispositional review hearing. Due to his incarceration, appellant was not present at the hearing. Prior to the hearing, B.F. consented to a grant of legal custody to A.F. The juvenile court terminated appellee's protective supervision of C.T. and awarded legal custody to A.F. after finding that such an award was in C.T.'s best interests. Concerning appellant, the juvenile court stated:

Based upon Father's incarceration, his violent history and a Protection Order in place, there shall be no contact or visitation for Father and child at this time. Father was not present for this hearing and has not filed any motions or been involved with the minor child.

         {¶ 6} On January 2, 2019, appellant filed his timely notice of appeal.

         B. ...


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