M.F. A MINOR, BY KARISMA Plaintiff-Appellant
PERRY COUNTY CHILDREN SERVICES, ET AL. Defendants-Appellees
from the Perry County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 17CV263
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: HARVEY ABENS IOSUE CO., L.P.A. DAVID L.
HARVEY IIII MATTHEW B. ABENS JASON T. HARTZELL
DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES: ISAAC WILES BURKHOLDER, ET AL. MATTHEW
S. TEETOR J. STEPHEN TEETOR
Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon.
Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.
Plaintiff-appellant M.F. appeals from the March 15, 2019
Entry on Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Children
Services and Employees of the Perry County Court of Common
Pleas. Defendants-appellees are Perry County Children
Services and present or former employees Amy L. Frame, Wendy
Wion, and Rick Glass.
This is a consolidated appeal of 5th Dist. Perry No.
19-CA-0003 and 5th Dist. Perry No. 19-CA-0004.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The following facts are adduced from the parties' Civ.R.
56 evidence. A thorough discussion of the facts may also be
found at M.F. v. Perry Cty. Children & Family
Services, S.D.Ohio No. 2:15-CV-2731, 2017 WL 6508573,
affirmed, 725 Fed.Appx. 400 (6th Cir.2018).
K.F. is the Mother of two minor children, M.F.
["Son"] and H.F. ["Daughter"]. Perry
County Children Services [the "Agency"] removed the
children from Mother's care in August 2013.
The children were ultimately placed in the kinship care of
Tim and Wendy Snider. Mother approved placement with the
Sniders, as did the Perry County Probate Court, upon
completion of a home study and background checks. The
children knew the Sniders before the placement and had a
bonded relationship with them. The Sniders agreed to take the
children to all scheduled visitations and appointments. The
placement allowed the children to stay together, in the same
school district, and in the same town as Mother.
During the placement, the Sniders lived in a mobile home with
their grandson, John M. Bush. Bush shared a bedroom with Son,
with each sleeping in a separate bunk bed. The evidence
demonstrated Bush showered with Son several times at a
Appellee Wendy Wion was the family's caseworker at the
Agency from January 2014 until September 2014. Wion completed
home visits and reported the children to be happy and safe in
the kinship placement. Wion's reports were generally
positive, although not uniformly; Wion reported the Sniders
requested counseling for Son due to anger problems, that
Daughter sustained a dog bite, and that Daughter was observed
masturbating under a blanket in the living room of the
residence. The latter incident did not raise any "red
flags" for Wion.
The Sniders testified at deposition that they thought Wion
knew Bush lived with them. Wion testified, however, that she
was told each of the children had their bed in their own
bedroom and documented this belief in her notes. Wion
testified that she observed Bush at the home only once and
was told he was "visiting."
Mechelle Siemer, a family friend, provided respite care for
the children. In Spring 2014, Daughter complained about a
rash in her pelvic area. Siemer also noticed negative changes
in Son's behavior. In spring or summer 2014, Siemer
contacted the Agency to ask about counseling for Son. At some
point, Siemer approached the probate judge at a community
function and told her that children in Siemer's respite
care were being sexually abused. Siemer believed the judge
left a voice mail message for Wion asking her to call back.
Approximately one week later, Siemer contacted the Agency to
speak to Wion, but was turned away by a receptionist. Siemer
also testified that she told the Agency the children found a
Playboy magazine at the Sniders' home or camper and
looked at it.
Wendy Snider testified that around the time the children
found the magazine, Son told her Bush "tried to
stick…his [Bush's] thing…in his [Son's]
butt." Snider did not believe Bush would hurt the
children. Son recanted the story soon thereafter and Snider
did not report the allegation.
On September 10, 2014, Siemer called Wion and asked to meet
with her regarding the children. Wion suggested she could
meet Siemer at a home visit at the Sniders' the next day.
Siemer did not show.
On September 17, 2014, the children disclosed to Siemer that
Bush had sexually abused them. Siemer immediately called
police, and called Wion and the probate judge the next day.
The same day, the Agency interviewed the children at school,
removed them from kinship placement with the Sniders, and
placed them in foster care.
The children were eventually ...