Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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In 1988, Father was ordered to pay child support for his two children until the children were emancipated. In 2006, judgment entries were issued stating that the children were emancipated and ordering Father to pay arrearages owed. In 2009, an indictment was handed down containing nine counts related to Father’s failure to pay the ordered child support. The indictment was not served on Father until 2013. Father filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on due process and speedy trial grounds and because the six-year statute of limitations for felonies had run. The court dismissed all counts but two related to Father's failure to pay support from 2007 through 2009. Father then moved to dismiss those remaining counts, arguing that because his daughters were emancipated as of 2006, he had no duty to provide support to them after that date, and therefore, he was not obligated to pay support from 2007 through 2009. The trial court granted Father’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Father was not subject to prosecution under section 2919.21(B) for his failure to make payments on the child-support arrearage established in the 2006 order when he had no current legal obligation to support his emancipated children. View "State v. Pittman" on Justia Law

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Mother gave birth to a child while serving a prison sentence. Crawford County Department of Job and Family Services (the Agency) filed a complaint requesting permanent custody of the child. The juvenile court terminated Mother’s parental rights to the child and granted permanent custody to the Agency. Mother appealed, arguing that the Agency did not make a good-faith effort to reunify her with child because the child could have been placed with a relative as a substitute caregiver when the Agency had temporary custody of the child. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the testimony presented at the permanent-custody hearing provided an appropriate basis for rejecting the relative as a relative caregiver. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in not finding error in the Agency’s decision to deny the relative at issue as a substitute caregiver. View "In re A.J." on Justia Law

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In 2014, the juvenile court granted permanent custody of R.L., Appellant’s biological son, to the Hamilton County Job and Family Services (Family Services). In 2015, Appellant filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus alleging that the Family Services director was unlawfully restraining R.L. pursuant to a juvenile court order. The director filed a motion to dismiss Appellant’s petition, alleging that the petition was successive and barred by res judicata and that Appellant had used alternative remedies at law to challenge the custody order. The court of appeals granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant had, and had used, alternative remedies at law to challenge the juvenile court’s judgment granting permanent custody of R.L. to Family Services. View "Lee v. Weir" on Justia Law

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M.S., a minor child, was in the temporary custody of the Allen County Children Services Board by order of the Juvenile Division of the Allen County Common Pleas Court. At that time, the Allen County Children Services Board brought this action seeking a writ of prohibition barring the Probate Division of the Mercer County Common Pleas Court and two judges from exercising jurisdiction over M.S. Both the Probate Court and the Juvenile Court asserted jurisdiction over the child’s residential placement. The Supreme Court granted a peremptory writ of prohibition precluding the Probate Court from exercising jurisdiction. The two judges moved for reconsideration. The Supreme Court granted the motion for reconsideration and rescinded the peremptory writ of prohibition, holding that the Probate Court acted within its jurisdiction and in accordance with its authority in placing M.S. for adoption with the consent of her mother. View "State ex rel. Allen County Children Services Board v. Mercer County Common Pleas Court, Probate Division" on Justia Law

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Julie Steinle filed a complaint for divorce against Garrette Steinle, and the case was assigned to Judge John Dewey. Garrette filed three motions for partial summary judgment dealing with various assets at issue in the divorce. After Judge Dewey granted the motions in part Garrette filed a motion for findings of fact, requesting that Judge Dewey either find that all of the facts he had asserted in the motions were uncontroverted or provide a list of those facts that the judge found to be in dispute. Judge Dewey denied Garrette’s motion. Garrette then filed this action in mandamus requesting an order directing the judge to issue findings of fact. The court of appeals granted Judge Dewey’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals properly dismissed the complaint and that Garrette had not shown a clear legal right to the requested relief. View "State ex rel. Steinle v. Dewey" on Justia Law

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During Husband and Wife’s divorce proceedings, the trial court entered a decree of dissolution approving and incorporating a separation agreement that the parties entered into. The agreement provided that Husband pay spousal support to Wife for her lifetime. Husband later filed a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Ohio R. Civ. P. 60(B), requesting that the spousal support order be vacated because his annual income had decreased significantly. The trial court dismissed Husband’s motion, concluding that Rule 60(B) relief was not available because the trial court had not retained jurisdiction to modify the spousal support award. The Second District Court of Appeals affirmed but certified that its holding was in direct conflict with the holding of the Tenth District in Noble v. Noble. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a trial court does not have jurisdiction under Rule 60(B) to vacate or modify an award of spousal support in a decree of divorce or dissolution where the decree does not contain a reservation of jurisdiction to modify the award of spousal support pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 3105.18(E). View "Morris v. Morris" on Justia Law

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Mother filed a complaint in an Ohio court seeking to establish paternity and an allocation of parental rights. Father lived in Virginia. Father filed a petition for custody in a Virginia court and moved to dismiss Mother’s complaint in the Ohio court. The Ohio and Virginia courts decided that Virginia was the children’s “home state” under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The Ohio court then dismissed Mother’s Ohio case. The Ohio court of appeals reversed the dismissal, and, on remand, the Ohio court found that Ohio was the home state of the parties’ children. Father filed this original action in prohibition arguing that the Ohio court lacked jurisdiction to proceed with a custody determination because the Virginia court had already taken jurisdiction and determined custody. The court of appeals granted the writ. Mother, who was not named as a party in the prohibition case, filed a motion to intervene a motion for relief from the judgment. The court of appeals denied both motions. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the denial of Mother’s motion to intervene, holding that the court of appeals erred in denying this motion; and (2) denied Father’s motions strike Mother’s notice of appeal and to dismiss the case and to impose sanctions. View "State ex rel. N.G. v. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas" on Justia Law

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After his alleged biological son, B.V., was placed for adoption, Steven Walton filed a paternity case in juvenile court seeking to establish his father-child relationship and parental rights and responsibilities regarding B.V. Walton and B.V.’s biological mother later submitted an acknowledgment-of-paternity affidavit to the Central Paternity Registry. Walton then voluntarily dismissed his paternity action and moved the probate court for summary judgment on the adoption, relying on the enforceability of the acknowledgment of paternity. Thereafter, Adoption Connection, the adoption agency with legal custody of B.V., filed a complaint in the juvenile court asking the juvenile court to declare the paternity acknowledgment void. The case was assigned the case number for the paternity case that Walton had voluntarily dismissed. Walton filed this original action in prohibition to stop Respondents - the juvenile court judge and magistrate - from exercising jurisdiction in Adoption Connection’s case. The Supreme Court granted the writ, holding that the juvenile lacked jurisdiction because Walton’s paternity case had been voluntarily dismissed. View "State ex rel. Walton v. Williams" on Justia Law

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Gabriella Moir was the plaintiff in the underlying divorce case. Judge Mary Kovack, the only judge in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court, recused herself from the case. Acting in her capacity as the administrative judge of that court, Judge Kovack subsequently issued orders assigning magistrates to the visiting judge, Judge Carol Dezso of Summit County Domestic Relations Court, for the purpose of presiding over the divorce. Moir brought this action for a writ of prohibition against Judge Kovack and Judge Dezso, as well as the two courts and one of the assigned magistrates, asserting that the two judges lacked jurisdiction to assign magistrates in the case. The Supreme Court granted a peremptory writ as to Judge Kovack, holding (1) because Judge Kovack recused herself based on a potential conflict of interest, she was without jurisdiction to assign magistrates in the case; and (2) Judge Dezso as the appointed judge may assign magistrates to help her hear the case. View "State ex rel. Moir v. Kovack" on Justia Law

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Appellant challenged the aspect of Ohio’s Putative Father Registry (OPFR) that limits the time frame during which a man can register as a putative father in order to gain a right to receive notice of any subsequent adoption proceedings involving the man’s putative child. The deadline, in the version of the law that applied to Appellant, is thirty days after the child’s birth, but has since been reduced by the Legislature to fifteen days. In his complaint, Appellant contended that the deadline is unconstitutional as applied to the putative fathers of children who are relinquished for adoption more than thirty days after birth. Specifically, Appellant argued that putative fathers have a due process right to register with the OPFR at any point prior to the initiation of a child’s adoption proceedings. The trial court denied all relief requested by Appellant. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Appellant failed to take sufficient action to protect his legal rights or to support his constitutional challenge, he was not able to demonstrate that he was injured by the application of the statutory putative-father-registration deadline. View "In re Adoption of H.N.R." on Justia Law