Ohio Abandonment court case!
Ohio Foster Peeps: (sorry so long, link wouldn't work) Here is an appealed Ohio court case that is GOOD NEWS because it sets precidence on abandonment!

source - [url=http://www.leagle.com]Leagle Home[/url]

"IN RE C.C. 2012 Ohio 1291 Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren County. March 26, 2012."
{ 13} On appeal, the father argues that the court erred in determining that it was in the best interest of the children to grant permanent custody of the children to the agency. The mother argues that the court erred in determining that the children were abandoned and in considering whether the children could be placed with their parents in a reasonable time.
Abandonment
{ֶ 14} The Ohio Revised Code provides that for purposes of Chapter 2151, "a child shall be presumed abandoned when the parents of the child have failed to visit or maintain contact with the child for more than ninety days, regardless of whether the parents resume contact with the child after a period of ninety days." R.C. 2151.011(C).
{ 15} In this case, the mother argues that the court could not find the children were abandoned because the court itself ordered the visitation to stop. As mentioned above, the parents' visitation was suspended after concerns arose regarding the negative impact the parents' missed visitations were having on the children. The agency moved to suspend visitation because the missed visits were causing emotional distress to the children, the parents were not actively involved in drug treatment, had not started mental health recommendations, and were without stable housing or income. The court granted the motion suspending visitation on February 9, 2011. However, the order stated that the agency was permitted to reinstate visitation at its discretion.
{ֶ 16} The mother does not dispute that she has not had any contact with her children since January 2011, but instead argues that the state cannot argue abandonment when the parents were complying with court orders by not visiting the children. She argues it is "unconscionable . . . that the state could terminate contact for ninety days and then claim that they should have custody because the parents have not seen the children."
{ 17} The trial court found that the parents have not had any contact with the children since January 2011 and that visits were suspended on February 9, 2011, due to the parents' failure to visit regularly. The court also found that more than five months elapsed from the last contact until the permanent custody motion was filed and the parents did nothing to obtain a reinstatement of their visitation in the interim. The court stated that rather than working on reinstating visitation, the parents failed to work on case plan services, used illegal drugs, evaded arrest and spent time incarcerated. Accordingly, the court found that the children were abandoned.
{ֶ 18} We find no error in the trial court's determination that the children were abandoned. First, R.C. 2151.011(C) states that abandonment is presumed when parents have "failed to visit or maintain contact with the child for more than ninety days * * *." Although the parents were unable to visit the children because visitations were suspended, there was no testimony that they were in any way prevented from maintaining contact with the children by other means, such as telephone calls, letters or cards."


Ohio Foster Families:
Stay on drugs + miss a month (six visits?) of visitation + a few other things = removal of your visitation rights by the court.

Removal of your visitation rights + no calls or cards to your kids (for a total of 90 days) = ABANDONMENT

Am I reading this right? If so, this is good news because GALs & CASAs can site this case in other situations.

Rock out :rockband:
It is so obvious that wasn't Franklin County. ;-) I cannot imagine that would happen here. I have never even heard a single case of them discontinuing visits like this, not to say there hasn't been one.

But you are right, this can now be cited as case law. Too bad we can't get that infamous "termination of parental rights is the civil version of the death penalty" to stop being cited as case law. :-(
Forever Mom to Chubbs

Former Foster Mom to:

Blue Eyes
Princess
Monkey
where did that come from
TemporaryMom said...
It is so obvious that wasn't Franklin County. ;-) I cannot imagine that would happen here. I have never even heard a single case of them discontinuing visits like this, not to say there hasn't been one.

But you are right, this can now be cited as case law. Too bad we can't get that infamous "termination of parental rights is the civil version of the death penalty" to stop being cited as case law. :-(


Right, last time I checked, it was called political rhetoric, Temp mom! Where and when did the quote come from , exactly?

Since you are going to a private agency, this may be used in other cases and other counties. At minimum, it makes CASAs aware.

I can actually see the biomom's view in this case. (she was just following court orders in not visiting and she might not have KNOWN that she could write,etc.) This is the law , though. Don't let a SW fool you, Ohio foster peeps.
I can't speak on the part about visitation right being removed because we never had a visit. But, my STBAD's bios had TPR based on abandonment of the 90 day rule...that happened in July and it took 6 more months to get to TPR. Her bios have not been heard of by the county since she was 7 weeks old and hasn't seen her since she was about 3 weeks old. STBAD will be 14 months old at adoption day...IMO that took forever considering her case. She is from the above mentioned county.

I do think if your visits are taken away, that doesn't seem right as grounds for termination or can be really called abandonment.
buckeyemama said...
I do think if your visits are taken away, that doesn't seem right as grounds for termination or can be really called abandonment.


I agree that at first blush the decision seems unfair, but the decision included a paragraph (see below) that talked about how the parents were given instructions on what they needed to do to have visits reinstated -- they did none of those things. So the abandonment occurred not so much by their lack of visits, but their lack of working to get visits reinstated.

Or that's how I interpreted it. Wink

{ 19} Second, although the trial court granted the motion to suspend visitation, it did not do so arbitrarily. It was the parents' voluntary action in failing to consistently visit with the children, along with their failure to begin making any progress on the case plan, which led to the suspension of visitation. Moreover, both caseworkers testified that they had conversations with the parents regarding the steps the parents needed to take in order to resume visitations, beginning with working on the case plan requirements. Yet, neither parent began working on the requirements of the case plan. Under these facts, the trial court did not err in determining that the children were abandoned.
Ok, then were these steps to reinstate visits also part of the total plan? or a sort of subset of the plan?
I only ask because the case for TPR in this case could be not working the plan...which included the steps to get the visits back. If not the case, it would be VERY important to be sure Biological mom knows the difference and she should be clearly told if she doesn't do the steps to get visits it is considered abandonment.
My son did not have visits with his parents for SIX MONTHS and abandonment was never discussed. In my state, abandonment is when there is no contact with the parents and DYFS for 6 months...but the parents do not have to see the child at all. Sad, because my little baby was forced to do visits after he turned 6 months old, with people who were virtual strangers to him. He screamed the entire time, for each and every 60 minute visit. Tell me this is not traumatizing to an infant.

I hope this court finding helps foster kids in your state!
Man how I wish my county, (I am in Ohio) would get the lead out and pull the trigger on cases here that are clear cut abandonment. Our baby foster has been here going on 17 months with 9 months at least of no contact from Biological mom. And 5 months no contact with Biological dad. And yet....they filed PC...not for abandonment for other reasons when they could have easily proceeded long before with abandonment as the reasoning. I have a foster family friend that has an almost 4 year old (who has been in the system over two years and mom hasn't had a visit and yet they still are waiting....on what?
buckeyemama said...
I do think if your visits are taken away, that doesn't seem right as grounds for termination or can be really called abandonment.


I agree also that at first, it sounds harsh. But I agree with PP, parents could have gotten visits re-instated had they worked their case plan. Also, the parents could have called and/or sent card or letters. This is no different that when parents are incarcerated. Even though they may not be able to physically see the children, they can still call or write.
The Court of Appeals took the correct action. This was case was way beyond sending a few cards and letters to their kids. The BP's had big time substance abuse problems, criminal activities and records, plus no sustainable housing or income. They also chose to not work their case plans.
that's why this is important
lovin2boys said...
Man how I wish my county, (I am in Ohio) would get the lead out and pull the trigger on cases here that are clear cut abandonment. Our baby foster has been here going on 17 months with 9 months at least of no contact from Biological mom. And 5 months no contact with Biological dad. And yet....they filed PC...not for abandonment for other reasons when they could have easily proceeded long before with abandonment as the reasoning. I have a foster family friend that has an almost 4 year old (who has been in the system over two years and mom hasn't had a visit and yet they still are waiting....on what?

//
This case is important because it went to appeal and the parents did not win the case.

What does everyone think. Not working your case plan is grounds for court ordered abandonment?
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