Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Ashland
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, Case
Reversed and Remanded
Petitioner-Appellant KRISTIN E. BROWN.
Mother-Appellee R.S., NO APPEARANCE.
JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J., Hon. John W. Wise, J., Hon.
Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.
Appellant D.K. appeals the decision of the Ashland County
Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, which denied her
petition to adopt her step-grandson, P.R.K., born in 2014.
Appellee is the child's mother, R.S. The child's
father is not a participant in the present appeal. The
relevant procedural facts leading to this appeal are as
Juvenile Court Proceedings involving P.R.K.
In 2014, in the Ashland County Juvenile Court, Appellant D.K.
and her then-husband (the paternal grandfather of P.R.K.)
filed an action for the allocation of parental rights as to
P.R.K. Via a judgment entry issued on March 9, 2016, the
juvenile court designated appellant and her then-husband as
the legal custodians of P.R.K., with additional orders as to
parenting time for the child's mother, R.S. This custody
arrangement thereafter legally remained in effect, although
appellant and P.R.K.'s grandfather apparently are now
divorced. We are not privy to the full outcome of the
divorce, but P.R.K. has at least been in appellant's
physical custody since that time.
However, on January 22, 2018, in the juvenile case, R.S.
filed a motion for contempt against appellant, alleging
interference with parenting time under the aforesaid custody
orders. A hearing before the magistrate was conducted on
March 8, 2018. At the conclusion of the hearing, the
magistrate found no contempt of court had been
Court Proceedings involving P.R.K.
On August 10, 2018, appellant filed a petition for the
adoption of a minor in the Ashland County Probate
Court. Appellant filed an amended petition on
November 7, 2018. An evidentiary hearing was conducted before
the probate judge on December 31, 2018. P.R.K.'s father
appeared at that time and stated on the record that he
consented to the adoption. P.R.K.'s mother, R.S., did not
appear and had not filed any responsive pleadings regarding
the adoption petition.
After taking the matter under advisement, the probate court
issued an eight-page judgment entry on April 22, 2019. The
court, relying in part upon information gleaned from the
aforementioned contempt proceedings in juvenile court,
concluded among other things that the consent of R.S. would
be required, as further discussed infra. The court
therefore dismissed appellant's petition and amended
petition for the adoption of P.R.K.
Appellant filed a notice of appeal on May 22, 2019. She
herein raises the ...