Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re I.L.J.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 19, 2019

In Re: I.L.J. A Minor Child Appeal by T.J., Father

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division Case Nos. CU 11110416 and SU 14704092.

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART

          Robert C. Aldridge, for appellant.

          Michael B. Telep, for appellee S.M.

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, Gabriel R. Rivera, and Steven W. Ritz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys, for appellees OCSS.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, T.J. ("father"), appeals from judgment of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court (1) denying his motion to vacate an administrative child support order adopted by the trial court on April 14, 2017, (2) denying his motion to vacate a parenting agreement filed on May 24, 2016, (3) denying his motion to escrow child support payments, and (4) granting appellee, S.M.'s ("mother") motion to show cause and for attorney fees regarding father's failure to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses for the child. Father raises four assignments of error for our review:

1. The trial court erred when [it] denied appellant's motion to vacate administrative order without a hearing on the merits.
2. The trial court erred when it failed to vacate the adopted administrative order pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B).
3. The trial court erred in finding that appellant was in contempt of court for violating the terms of the adopted administrative order and awarding attorney fees.
4. The trial court erred in failing to vacate the May 19, 2016 parenting agreement for lack of jurisdiction.

         {¶ 2} We find no merit to father's first, second, and fourth assignments of error. We therefore affirm the trial court's judgment with respect to father's Civ.R. 60(B) motions (i.e., his motion to vacate the February 4, 2013 administrative support order and his motion to vacate the parenting agreement). With respect to father's third assignment of error, however, we find there is not a final appealable order. We therefore dismiss father's appeal regarding the trial court's judgment granting mother's show cause motion for lack of final appealable order.

         I. Procedural History and Factual Background

         {¶ 3} To say that the procedural history of this case is convoluted would be somewhat of an understatement. What is pertinent to this appeal is what occurred in the juvenile court subsequent to this court's decision in the first appeal in this case, In re I.L.J., 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 104272, 2016-Ohio-7052. Nonetheless, by way of providing background information, we will set forth the facts and procedure from the first appeal.

         A. What Occurred Prior to First Appeal

         {¶ 4} Father and mother were never married, but I.L.J. was born from their relationship in October 2010. In March 2011, the Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services, Office of Child Support Services ("OCSS") determined that father was obligated to pay child support in the amount of $423.60 per month plus a 2 percent processing fee when private health insurance was being provided or $383.53 per month plus a 2 percent processing fee when private health insurance was not being provided as well as $72.42 per month plus a 2 percent processing fee as cash medical support. The child received health insurance through Medicaid, so father was obligated to pay mother $465.07 per month effective March 24, 2011.

         {¶ 5} In August 2012, mother filed for administrative modification of the child support. OCSS held hearings on mother's request in November 2012 and January 2013. OCSS modified the support order requiring father to pay more per month toward cash medical support and added daycare expenses. OCCS issued its support modification on February 4, 2013, obligating father to pay mother $631.02 per month plus 2 percent processing fee when private health insurance was being provided or $587.81 per month plus a 2 percent processing fee when private health insurance was not being provided as well as $101.42 per month plus a 2 percent processing fee for cash medical support. The February 4, 2013 administrative modification was made effective retroactive to November 1, 2012.

         {¶ 6} Over a year later, in March 2014, father requested that the juvenile court adopt the February 4, 2013 administrative child support order so that he could request a modification of it. The juvenile court did not do so. Despite this, in August 2014, father filed a motion to vacate the February 4, 2013 administrative support order pursuant to R.C. 3119.961 or Civ.R. 60(B). He contended that during the discovery process in a related custody case, he discovered that mother failed to disclose at the January 28, 2013 hearing that her income had increased and that mother also intentionally withheld information regarding the costs of her private health insurance that was available as coverage for the child. Father also filed a motion for contempt and for attorney fees.

         {¶ 7} Mother opposed father's motion to vacate and filed a motion to modify the child support arguing that the income of both parties had changed. She also filed a motion for contempt based on the father's refusal to pay for medical expenses that were not covered by medical insurance.

         {¶ 8} The OCSS moved to dismiss the father's amended motion to vacate, arguing that Civ.R. 60(B) could not be used to vacate an administrative order and that RC. 3119.961, upon which the father was relying as grounds for vacating the administrative order, was only available when a father was disputing paternity.

         {¶ 9} The magistrate held a hearing on all matters in February 2015 and issued a decision in August 2015. The magistrate denied the parties' motions for contempt. The magistrate vacated the February 4, 2013 administrative order and entered a new child support order, effective November 1, 2012, for the father to pay $398.71 per month plus 2 percent fee when health insurance is provided or $444 per month plus 2 percent fee when health insurance is not provided. The magistrate also granted mother's motion to modify support and increased father's child support obligation to $613.59 per month, including 2 percent fee, and ordered that "it would be equitable to start the increase retroactive to February 23, 2015."

         {¶ 10} The parties objected to the various orders. The trial court ultimately overruled the parties' objections and, on September 9, 2015, adopted and approved the magistrate's decision in its entirety.

         B. First Appeal

         {¶ 11} Mother appealed, raising several arguments. On September 29, 2016, this court sustained two of mother's assigned errors and reversed the juvenile court's judgment vacating the February 4, 2013 administrative order. We held that father incorrectly relied on R.C. 3119.961 in his motion to vacate the February 4, 2013 administrative order because that statute only provides relief when paternity is at issue. We explained that father could have sought relief from the administrative order under R.C. 3118.84, but under this statute, a parent must bring an action in the juvenile court within 30 days of the issuance of the administrative order. Father did not bring an action in the juvenile court until March 31, 2014, beyond the 30-day time limit. He then filed his motion to vacate the administrative order on August 4, 2014, well beyond the 30-day time limit. R.C. 3118.84 states an administrative support order becomes final and enforceable if neither parent brings an action in the juvenile court within the 30-day period.

         {¶ 12} This court further held that the juvenile court erred when it granted father's Civ.R. 60(B) motion because Civ.R. 60(B) "cannot provide an alternative to the procedure outlined in R.C. 3111.84 because [the rule] does not apply to administrative orders." I.L.J., 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 104272, 2016-Ohio-7052, at ¶ 30, citing Griffin v. Ohio Bur. of Workers' Comp., 10th Dist. Franklin No. 11AP-1126, 2012-Ohio-3655. We reversed and vacated the juvenile court's judgment.

         C. Custody Case

         {¶ 13} After the trial court adopted the magistrate's decision and issued its September 9, 2015 judgment, but before mother appealed that judgment (which was not until March 21, 2016, due to some procedural irregularities), father moved to consolidate the child support case with an ongoing custody case that was on the docket in the juvenile court before a different visiting judge. On December 1, 2015, the trial court granted father's motion to consolidate the "companion cases" and transferred the support case to the same visiting judge who was presiding over the custody case. Despite this, for the most part, the parties continued to file pleadings in the respective cases with the case number associated either with the support case or the custody case and did not file the pleadings in both cases. Further, for the most part, the trial court continued to issue separate judgment entries with respect to each case.

         {¶ 14} While the support case was pending on appeal, and despite the consolidation, the juvenile court proceeded with the custody case. The court held a hearing on mother's motion to terminate a shared parenting order in May 2016 (mother filed her motion to terminate the shared parenting agreement in September 2015). The parties ultimately entered into a parenting agreement where mother ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.