In children services cases legal custodians have parental rights. Recently, the Ninth District Court of Appeals determined that, when a children services agency files a complaint against a legal custodian that can lead to temporary or permanent custody, the legal custodian has many of the same rights afforded to parents.
In this case, a children services agency took permanent custody of a child from her grandmother who had legal custody of the child at the time the child was removed from her care. The trial court granted the grandmother some, but not all, the protections and rights granted to parents under Ohio law. As a result, the children services agency was granted permanent custody of the child.
Expungements in Ohio are available to more people due to the expansion of the expungement eligibility requirements. Under the old law, a “first offender” was defined as a person with only one conviction on their record. The new law expanded the definition of “first offender” to an "eligible offender." An eligible offender is someone that “has not more than one felony conviction, not more than two misdemeanor convictions if the convictions are not of the same offense, or not more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction.” Minor misdemeanors and minor traffic offenses were not, and still are not, considered convictions when considering eligibility for expungement. Expungement can also be referred to as “sealing a conviction.”
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