Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE L.H. A Minor Child Appeal by L.H., Mother
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. AD-17-912703
Law, L.L.C., and Leigh S. Prugh, for appellant
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Amanda Wilson Orr and Julie Garswood, Assistant
Prosecuting Attorneys, for appellee.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR, JUDGE
1}Mother, L.H., appeals from the juvenile
court's April 10, 2019 judgment granting the motion of
the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family
Services ("CCDCFS" or "Agency") for
permanent custody of Mother's child, who has her same
initials, L.H. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
2}In August 2017, the Agency filed its complaint,
alleging the child, who was born in January 2017, to be a
dependent child and seeking temporary custody. The Agency
also filed a motion for predispositional custody of the
child. According to CCDCFS, Mother failed to provide
appropriate parenting to L.H. without prompting, failed to
address his developmental needs, and had unsuitable housing.
The child was assigned a guardian ad litem ("GAL").
In September 2017, the trial court held a hearing on the
motion for predispositional custody; Mother stipulated to the
motion, and L.H. was placed in the predispositional custody
3}In November 2017, a hearing on the complaint was
held. CCDCFS made, and was granted, an oral motion to amend
the complaint. Mother stipulated to the amended complaint,
thereby admitting the following: (1) she has cognitive delays
that interfere with her ability to provide appropriate care
for L.H.; (2) L.H. has developmental issues that need to be
addressed; (3) she needs to apply parenting skills from
intensive in-home supportive services when she is alone with
L.H.; and (4) she needs to maintain appropriate housing to
care for L.H. The trial court adjudicated L.H. dependent.
January 2018, the trial court held a hearing, at which Mother
agreed to the Agency's request for temporary custody of
L.H.; thus, the trial court terminated predispositional
custody and granted CCDCFS temporary custody of L.H.
5}In August 2018, CCDCFS filed a motion to modify
temporary custody to permanent custody. According to the
Agency, Mother had failed to remedy the conditions that led
to L.H.'s removal. Mother's case worker, Juanita Holloway
("Holloway"), testified at the hearing. L.H.'s
GAL summarized his report, in which he recommended permanent
custody to the Agency would be in L.H.'s best interests.
In an April 12, 2019 judgment, the trial court granted
CCDCFS's motion for permanent custody. Mother now
appeals, raising the following two assignments of error for
I. CCDCFS should not have filed a motion for permanent
custody because it did not meet the requirements of R.C.
II. Mother received ineffective assistance of counsel when
her counsel neglected to modify her case plan to seek
6}The record demonstrates that Mother has cognitive
delays. She engaged in services from the Cuyahoga County
Board of Developmental Disabilities ("Board of
DD"). Holloway, Mother's social worker from the
Agency, testified that when L.H. was first born, a worker
from the Board of DD moved in with Mother for three months to
help her take care of L.H. Mother responded well to the
worker and was, with the worker's help, able to take care
of L.H. After the worker moved out, however, things did not
go well for Mother in regard to taking care of L.H., which
prompted CCDCFS's involvement.
7}The record shows that the Agency referred Mother
for services, namely (1) the Nurturing Parenting Program, and
(2) Help Me Grow. Mother participated in and completed the
Nurturing Parenting Program. Holloway testified that she did
not believe Mother benefitted from the program, however.
Holloway believed Mother had tried, but she was not able to
grasp the concepts of ...