In two similar but separate cases, emergency orders for temporary custody of children were granted to Highland County Children Services following the agency’s filing for custody on an emergency basis on Tuesday.
In one case involving two children ages 14 and 16, Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Greer continued the emergency orders he put in place on Tuesday after reviewing the file, he said.
Neither parent was present at Wednesday’s hearing.
The children were placed into the temporary custody of Children Services last year following allegations of drug use in the home. They were returned to their mother in December, but recently she tested positive for opiates and morphine, assistant prosecutor Molly Bolek said.
The other case involves three children between the ages of 5 and 10.
Like the previous case, the mother’s alleged drug use prompted a case last year in which temporary custody was granted to Children Services. The children were returned to her earlier this year, but a recent drug screen showing the mother to be positive for cocaine brought about the most recent request by Children Services for temporary custody of the kids.
The mother of the children was present for the hearing and agreed to the county having temporary custody of the children.
Greer granted the temporary custody in both cases, with further hearings set to hear evidence at later dates.
In another hearing, custody of a 9-year-old was granted to the child’s father.
The child has been in court-ordered protective custody for more than a year, but the mother has maintained custody, according to Bolek.
According to Lee Koogler, attorney for the father, the child was placed in the home of the father in recent weeks.
Appointed to see to the best interests of the child, guardian ad litem Lynn Turner told the court that “all in all” placement with the father was in the child’s best interests.
A 16-year-old in another hearing admitted to misdemeanor domestic violence.
The boy will be on community control and was ordered to complete an anger management class. He also has a 90-day commitment to detention, though that commitment is suspended as long as he does not violate any laws or orders of the court.
The teenager had been held in custody since a detention hearing last week following the incident, but on Wednesday was released back to his family.
The court granted temporary custody of two children, ages 4 and 3, this week to Children Services following the mother admitting to the children’s dependency.
A complaint was filed with the court in July alleging the mother was using drugs.
A dependent child is defined by Ohio law as: one who is homeless, destitute or lacking in adequate parental care through no fault of the child’s guardians; a child who lacks the adequate parental care due to the mental or physical condition of the child’s guardians; whose condition or environment is such as to warrant the state, in the interests of the child, in assuming the child’s guardianship.
Custody of three children this week was returned to their mother after her successful completion of a case plan through Children Services. The children, which range in age from 7 to 1, will be under court-ordered protective supervision for a time.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.