Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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In this case involving the manner in which earnings from commissions figure into the calculation of child support, the Supreme Court held that Ohio Rev. Code 3119.05(D) covers income earned from commissions and that the juvenile court and court of appeals erred by failing to apply its mandatory terms. After a magistrate awarded child support to Mother, Father objected to the child-support determinations, asserting that the magistrate erred in including projected commissions when calculating his gross income. The juvenile court adopted the order of the magistrate. The court of appeals affirmed, concluding that commissions were not governed by section 3119.05(D), and therefore, the trial court did not err by including Father's projected commissions in its calculation of his gross annual income. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that commissions are included with the terms of section 3119.05(D) and must be calculated as provided in that section when determining a parent's annual gross income. View "A.S. v. J.W." on Justia Law

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In this case involving the correct interpretation of Ohio Rev. Code 3107.07(A), the statute that sets forth when the adoption of a minor child may proceed without a parent's consent, the Supreme Court held that a parent's nonsupport of his or her minor child pursuant to a judicial decree does not extinguish the requirement of that parent's consent to the adoption of the child. Appellant, the child's stepfather, filed a petition seeking to adopt B.I. and arguing that Father's consent was not required under section 3107.07(A) because Father had failed to provide support for B.I. during the year preceding the filing of the petition. During that year, Father was not subject to a child-support order pursuant to a zero-support order. The magistrate concluded that Father's consent to the adoption was not required. The probate court overruled the magistrate, concluding that a valid, zero-support order provides justifiable cause for a failure to provide maintenance and support under section 3107.07(A). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, pursuant to section 3107.07(A), a parent's nonsupport of his or her minor child pursuant to a zero-support order of a court of competent jurisdiction does not extinguish the requirement of that parent's consent to the adoption of the child. View "In re Adoption of B.I." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted C.V.'s request for a writ of prohibition against the Greene County Juvenile Court judge, holding that C.V. was entitled to a writ of prohibition against the Greene County Juvenile Court judge on the ground that he patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to approve C.V.'s agreement to permanently surrender her child to the custody of Adoption Link, Inc. C.V. did not know she was pregnant when she gave birth to N.V. Four days later, C.V. executed a permanent surrender of child agreement, assigning permanent custody of N.V. to Adoption Link. The juvenile court judge approved the surrender agreement, granted Adoption Link permanent custody, and terminated C.V.'s parental rights. The Supreme Court held (1) the juvenile court judge's purported approval of the surrender agreement between C.V. and Adoption Link was a legal nullity and must be voided; (2) C.V.'s request for a writ of prohibition against the Greene County Probate Court judge to prevent him from exercising power over N.V.'s adoption proceedings is denied; and (3) C.V.'s request for a writ of habeas corpus is denied because C.V. has an adequate remedy available to her in the ordinary course of law. View "State ex rel. C.V. v. Adoption Link, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals' judgment denying Carol Fradette's petition for a writ of prohibition against Joseph Fradette and Judge Rosemary Grdina Gold and Magistrate Michelle Edwards of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, holding that the court of appeals correctly denied the writ. In 1999, Carol and Joseph were divorced, and Carol was awarded spousal support. In 2017, Joseph filed a fourth motion to terminate or modify spousal support, which was scheduled for a hearing before Magistrate Edwards. Carol moved a motion to dismiss, which Judge Gold denied. In 2018, Carol filed this writ of prohibition arguing that Judge Gold exceeded her statutory authority by permitting Joseph to file multiple motions to terminate or modify spousal support. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Carol was not entitled to the writ. View "Fradette v. Gold" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the complaint of Appellant for a writ of prohibition or mandamus seeking a writ requiring dismissal of an adoption proceeding concerning his biological child, holding that the complaint was properly dismissed. The adoption case was probate in the probate division of the court of common pleas. Appellee in this action was the judge of that court. In his complaint, Appellant argued that because an adoption cannot be granted under Ohio Rev. Code 3107.06 without the biological father’s consent, he deprived the probate court of jurisdiction by withholding his consent to the adoption. The court of appeals dismissed the prohibition claim. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because the probate court clearly possessed jurisdiction to determine whether Appellant’s consent was required and because Appellant could appeal any adverse judgment, the court of appeals correctly dismissed the prohibition claim; and (2) mandamus was not proper because Appellant had no legal right to such a dismissal, nor did the common pleas court judge have any legal duty to grant it. View "State ex rel. Roush v. Montgomery" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that an order appointing a guardian ad litem (GAL) for an adult is not a final, appealable order under Ohio Rev. Code 2505.02(B) and vacated the trial court’s order appointing a GAL to act on Appellant’s behalf in her divorce case. The court of common pleas, domestic relations division, issued an order appointing a GAL to represent Appellant in her divorce case without providing her with prior notice or an opportunity to be heard on the issue. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings, holding (1) because the order was issued during a special proceeding and affects a substantial right and because Appellant will not be provided adequate relief if she is not permitted immediately to appeal the order, the order is a final, appealable order under section 2505.02(B)(2); and (2) the order violated Appellant’s due process rights. View "Thomasson v. Thomasson" on Justia Law

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In adoption proceedings, a probate court must consider the existence of pending parenting matters when determining whether an exception to the requirement of parental consent to adoption applies. Stepfather filed petitions to adopt the minor children of his wife and Father, her ex-husband. Stepfather’s adoption petition stated that Father’s consent was not required under an exception set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 3107.06 because Father failed without justifiable cause to provide more than a de minimis contact with the children for at least a year immediately preceding the filing of the petitions. While Stepfather’s adoption petitions were pending in the probate court, proceedings in domestic-relations court remained ongoing, specifically, Father’s motion to reestablish parenting time. The probate court determined that Father’s consent was not required. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the probate court had jurisdiction to proceed on the adoption petitions despite the pending parenting matter in the domestic-relations court. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the probate court failed to consider Father’s motion to reestablish parenting time in determining whether Father’s consent to the adoption of his children was required. View "In re Adoption of M.G.B.-E." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the adoption decree entered in the probate court, holding that the probate judge Mark Costine patently and unambiguously lacked jurisdiction to grant Elizabeth Garrett’s petition to adopt G.G. G.G. was the granddaughter of Tamalie Garrett, who was the mother of Elizabeth. A West Virginia family court designated Elizabeth, the birth mother’s sister, as G.G.’s legal guardian and awarded Tamalie visitation. Elizabeth and G.G. subsequently moved to Ohio and filed a petition to adopt G.G. in Belmont County Probate Court. Judge Costine issued a final decree granting Elizabeth’s adoption petition. The Supreme Court vacated the adoption decree, holding that because neither the West Virginia court nor the Ohio court made a determination that the relevant persons no longer resided in West Virginia, Judge Costine’s granting of Elizabeth’s petition for adoption was a “modification” of the West Virginia order in violation of 28 U.S.C. 1738A(h). View "State ex rel. Garrett v. Costine" on Justia Law

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Rebecca and Curtis divorced. A shared-parenting decree was put into effect for their sons. In June 2015, Rebecca sought a domestic-violence civil protection order against Curtis, R.C. 3113.31, stating that she was approaching Curtis’s house to pick up the children when Curtis rushed out and threw her backward into the bushes and said Rebecca was lucky that he did not shoot her. In August 2015, the court entered a permanent domestic-violence civil protection order that expired on June 19, 2016. On September 9, the appellate court issued a show-cause order asking the parties to explain why an appeal should not be dismissed as moot because the protection order had expired. Curtis responded that Rebecca had sought the order as leverage for future post-divorce proceedings and that he faced possible collateral consequences concerning his concealed-firearm permit, his credit report, his ability to obtain housing, drive certain vehicles, and obtain future employment. Rebecca did not respond. The appellate court dismissed. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed. Absent demonstrated legal collateral consequences, the collateral-consequences exception to the mootness doctrine does not apply to an expired domestic-violence civil protection order. The court declined to establish a rebuttable presumption that an appeal from an expired domestic-violence civil protection order is not moot. View "Cyran v. Cyran" on Justia Law

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In this termination of parental rights case, the actions of the juvenile court in allowing the attorney for Mother to withdraw from the case at a permanent custody hearing and proceeding with the hearing without Mother present and without an attorney representing her constituted reversible error. The juvenile court granted permanent custody of Mother’s child to Franklin County Children Services after the permanent custody hearing. the court of appeals upheld the permanent custody order. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Mother did not waive her right to counsel when she did not appear at the final hearing and was improperly denied her right to counsel. View "In re R.K." on Justia Law