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In re Z.K.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

December 11, 2019

IN RE: Z.K.

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DN 17 02 0108

          ALAN M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE S. CORGAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          JOSEPH KERNAN, Guardian ad Litem.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JULIE A. SCHAFER JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant Mother appeals the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, that terminated her parental rights and placed her child in the permanent custody of Summit County Children Services Board ("CSB" or "the agency"). This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mother is the biological mother of Z.K. (d.o.b. 7/5/15). When the child was a year and a half old, CSB filed a complaint alleging that he was a dependent child based on Mother's drug use and association with people harmful to the well-being of the child. Based on the agreement of the parties, Z.K. was adjudicated dependent and remained in Mother's legal custody under the protective supervision of CSB. Mother was ordered not to permit any contact between the child and two of Mother's associates who were determined to be inappropriate. The juvenile court adopted the agency's case plan which included substance abuse, mental health, parenting, and basic needs objectives. In addition, alleged fathers were directed to submit to genetic testing to determine the paternity of the child.

         {¶3} After several months, CSB moved to modify the child's disposition to temporary custody to the agency based on Mother's daily exposure of the child to her substance-abusing boyfriend, one of the people ordered to have no contact with the child. In late October 2017, the juvenile court placed Z.K. in the temporary custody of CSB and granted Mother supervised visitation with the child twice a week. The child's paternity was established in March 2018, and the juvenile court granted a first six-month extension of temporary custody based on the recent identification of Father. The juvenile court extended temporary custody for a second six-month period based on Father's participation in case plan related services. Twenty-three months after filing its complaint, CSB moved for permanent custody. Mother filed a motion for legal custody. Shortly before the final dispositional hearing, CSB filed a notice indicating that Father had died as a result of a motorcycle accident.

         {¶4} After an evidentiary hearing, the juvenile court granted CSB's motion for permanent custody and terminated Mother's parental rights regarding Z.K. Mother filed a timely notice of appeal. The juvenile court granted Mother's motion to stay the judgment pending appeal. Mother raises one assignment of error for consideration.

         II.

         Assignment of Error

         The trial court's decision granting permanent custody of the minor child to [CSB] was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         {¶5} Mother argues that the juvenile court's award of permanent custody of Z.K. to CSB was against the manifest ...


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