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In re A.T.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Crawford

December 9, 2019

IN RE: A.T., ADJUDGED DEPENDENT CHILD. JAMES TEMPLE, ET AL. - APPELLANTS IN RE: G.S., ADJUDGED DEPENDENT CHILD. JAMES TEMPLE, ET AL. - APPELLANTS IN RE: M.T., ADJUDGED DEPENDENT CHILD. JAMES TEMPLE, ET AL. - APPELLANTS

          Appeals from Crawford County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division Trial Court Nos. C 2175090 / F 2195063, C 2175091 / F 2195064 and C 2175092 / F 2195065

          G. Scott McBride for Appellants

          Michael J. Wiener for Appellee

          OPINION

          WILLAMOWSKI, J.

         {¶1} Although originally placed on our accelerated calendar, we have elected pursuant to Loc.R. 12(5) to issue a full opinion in lieu of a summary judgment entry. Appellants James ("James") and Robin ("Robin") Temple (collectively "the Temples") appeal the judgments of the Juvenile Division of the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for denying their motion to intervene. For the reasons set forth below, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} The Temples are the maternal grandparents of A.T., G.S., and M.T. (collectively "the children"). Tr. 6. Their daughter, Nichole Temple ("Nichole"), is the children's mother. Tr. 48. Nichole lived with the Temples for most of the time that she had children. Tr. 7. During this time, the Temples provided financial support for the children. Tr. 7. They also helped purchase clothing for the children and drove the children to school. Tr. 7-8. During this time, the Temples never sought custody of the children because their daughter (the children's mother) threatened to cut off the Temples' access to the children. Tr. 15.

         {¶3} On June 28, 2017, Crawford County Job and Family Services ("CCJFS") filed three complaints that requested temporary custody of the children. Docket 1: 1A, 1B, 1C.[1] At this time, the children were not living with the Temples and were living with Nichole. Tr. 17. However, around this time, the Temples' house was damaged by a fire and was rendered an unfit place for the children to live. Tr. 19. On August 14, 2017, the trial court determined that A.T., G.S., and M.T. were dependent children and granted CCJFS temporary custody. Docket 1: 8A, 10B, 9C.

         {¶4} After the trial court granted CCJFS temporary custody, the Temples brought their daughter to see her children during her visitation time and were able to see the children. Tr. 22-23. During this time, the Temples were also able to repair their house. Tr. 19-20, 21. Robin Temple testified that CCJFS came to inspect their home and approved the residence as sound in October 2018. Tr. 25-26. At the time of the inspection, the Temples relied on plugged in heaters to keep the house warm. Tr. 29. After this inspection, the children began having visitation with the Temples in their home. Tr. 26. These visits progressed into overnight stays with the Temples. Tr. 26. Robin testified that CCJFS indicated in January of 2019 that the Temples were going to receive custody of the children. Tr. 27.

          {¶5} At some point, CCJFS mentioned that the Temples' heat source was an issue. Tr. 30. The Temples planned to install a propane heater. Tr. 30. On April 19, 2019, the children's guardian ad litem filed a motion with the trial court that requested CCJFS be awarded permanent custody of A.T., G.S., and M.T. Docket 2: 1A, 1B, 1C. On April 23, 2019, the Temples met with a caseworker. Tr. 31. Robin testified that, at around 11:00 A.M., the caseworker told the Temples that they were going to receive custody of the children. Tr. 32. Robin stated that, at roughly 3:00 P.M. on April 23, 2019, the caseworker notified the Temples that they "were no longer an option for placement, because of the heat source." Tr. 32.

         {¶6} In response, the Temples installed a new propane heating system for their residence and proceeded to get an attorney. Tr. 33. On May 14, 2019, the Temples filed a motion to intervene. Docket 2: 5A, 5B, 4C. The children's guardian ad litem filed a response to the Temples' motion to intervene on May 21, 2019. Docket 2: 10A, 9B, 8C. On June 7, 2019, the trial court had a hearing on the motion to intervene where Robin and the children's mother testified. Tr. 1. Following this hearing, the trial court denied the Temples' motion to intervene. Docket 2: 13A, 14B, 8C.

         Assignment of Error

         {¶7} The appellants filed their notices of appeal on June 28, 2019. Docket 2: 15A, 14B, 13C. On appeal, the appellants raise the following assignment of error:

The trial court committed reversible error, abused its discretion, and its decision was against the manifest weight of the evidence prejudicial to the Appellants when the trial court denied the Appellants' Motion to Intervene and permit them the opportunity to be a party in the proceedings filed by the Appellee requesting that Crawford County Job and Family ...

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