Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
In Re: I.L.J. A Minor Child Appeal by T.J., Father
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case Nos. CU 11110416 and SU 14704092.
AFFIRMED IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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