State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, No. 2013–0636.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Ohio
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation3 N.E.3d 1184,138 Ohio St.3d 84
Docket NumberNo. 2013–0636.
Decision Date17 December 2013
PartiesThe STATE ex rel. V.K.B., Appellant, v. SMITH, Judge, et al., Appellees.

138 Ohio St.3d 84
3 N.E.3d 1184

The STATE ex rel. V.K.B., Appellant,
v.
SMITH, Judge, et al., Appellees.

No. 2013–0636.

Supreme Court of Ohio.

Submitted Aug. 20, 2013.
Decided Dec. 17, 2013.


[3 N.E.3d 1185]


Gerald R. Walton & Associates, Gerald R. Walton, and John J. Schneider, Cleveland, for appellant.

Thomas L. Stierwalt, Sandusky County Prosecuting Attorney, and Norman P. Solze, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellees.


PER CURIAM.

{¶ 1} We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals in this appeal from an original action in prohibition. Relator-appellant, V.K.B., filed this action to prevent the respondents-appellees, Sandusky County Juvenile Court, Sandusky County Juvenile Court Judge Bradley J. Smith, and juvenile court magistrate Sara Jo Sherick, from exercising jurisdiction with respect to the custody of her minor daughter, J.B.

{¶ 2} V.K.B. had obtained sole custody of the child in a judgment issued by the juvenile court in 2009. Since then, she had moved to Arizona with her daughter and had lived there for two years, making it their permanent home. On a visit to Ohio in 2012, she was called back to Arizona, and she left the child temporarily with her mother. While V.K.B. was away, the child's paternal grandfather filed an ex parte motion in the Sandusky Juvenile Court for emergency temporary custody of

[3 N.E.3d 1186]

the child, which was granted. V.K.B. filed a complaint for a writ of prohibition, alleging that the Ohio court lacks jurisdiction now that she and the child are residents of Arizona.

{¶ 3} The court of appeals, on a motion to dismiss by respondents for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, dismissed the case, finding that the juvenile court had jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, R.C. Chapter 3127, and that V.K.B. had an adequate remedy by way of appeal if the court errs in its rulings. V.K.B. appealed to this court.

{¶ 4} We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals because (1) if V.K.B. can prove the allegations in her complaint, the juvenile court has failed to follow the statute that creates its jurisdiction over the child and (2) in this context, appeal is not an adequate remedy at law because it is neither “complete,” “beneficial,” nor “speedy.” See State ex rel. Kingsley v. State Emp. Relations Bd., 130 Ohio St.3d 333, 2011-Ohio-5519, 958 N.E.2d 169, ¶ 13 (to be considered adequate, the remedy must be complete, beneficial, and speedy).

Facts

{¶ 5} V.K.B. is the natural mother of J.B., born on August 15, 2008. She was named the custodial parent by the Sandusky County Juvenile Court on December 18, 2009. V.K.B. relocated to Arizona in August 2010 and filed a notice of relocation with the Ohio court. V.K.B. returned temporarily to Ohio in August 2012. She was at that time actively seeking employment in Arizona. When V.K.B. discovered that a permanent job was available in Arizona, she returned there for an interview on November 9, 2012. She left J.B. in the care of her mother.

{¶ 6} While she was in Arizona, the paternal grandfather filed an ex parte motion for custody of J.B., which was granted. After the ex parte order was granted, V.K.B. filed a “notice of filing of foreign judgment” in Arizona, giving that court notice of the 2009 Ohio custody order. V.K.B. claims that the respondents had no jurisdiction to grant the ex parte custody order, as J.B.'s home state is now Arizona, and the courts of Arizona have jurisdiction.

{¶ 7} The court of appeals directed respondents to respond to V.K.B.'s original action for a writ of prohibition, which they did. That court ultimately found that V.K.B. has not shown that respondents were exercising judicial power unauthorized by law and dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. V.K.B. has appealed.

Analysis
Oral argument

{¶ 8} V.K.B. has moved for oral argument. We have discretion to grant oral argument in direct appeals under S.Ct.Prac.R. 17.02. In exercising that discretion, we consider “whether the case involves a matter of great public importance, complex issues of law or fact, a substantial constitutional issue, or a conflict among courts of appeals.” State ex rel. Davis v. Pub. Emps. Retirement Bd., 111 Ohio St.3d 118, 2006-Ohio-5339, 855 N.E.2d 444, ¶ 15, citing State ex rel. United Auto., Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Ohio Bur. of Workers' Comp., 108 Ohio St.3d 432, 2006-Ohio-1327, 844 N.E.2d 335, ¶ 25–26. Here, V.K.B. does not present issues complex enough to require oral argument and does not even assert any reason for oral argument. We therefore deny the motion.

Prohibition

{¶ 9} To be entitled to the requested writ of prohibition, V.K.B. must establish that (1) respondents are about to

[3 N.E.3d 1187]

or have exercised judicial power, (2) the exercise of that power is unauthorized by law, and (3) denying the writ would result in injury for which no other adequate remedy exists in the ordinary course of law, State ex rel. Bell v. Pfeiffer, 131 Ohio St.3d 114, 2012-Ohio-54, 961 N.E.2d 181, ¶ 18 and 23;State ex rel. Miller v. Warren Cty. Bd. of Elections, 130 Ohio St.3d 24, 2011-Ohio-4623, 955 N.E.2d 379, ¶ 12. When the lack of jurisdiction is “patent and unambiguous,” the lack of an adequate remedy is considered established, as the unavailability of alternate remedies is immaterial in such a case. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Oil & Gas Comm., 135 Ohio St.3d 204, 2013-Ohio-224, 985 N.E.2d 480, ¶ 11.

{¶ 10} When considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must presume all factual allegations contained in the complaint to be true and must make all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Perez v. Cleveland, 66 Ohio St.3d 397, 399, 613 N.E.2d 199 (1993); Mitchell v. Lawson Milk Co., 40 Ohio St.3d 190, 192, 532 N.E.2d 753 (1989); Phung v. Waste Mgt., Inc., 23 Ohio St.3d 100, 102, 491 N.E.2d 1114 (1986). “[A]s long as there is a set of facts, consistent with the plaintiff's complaint, which would allow the plaintiff to recover, the court may not grant a defendant's motion to dismiss.” York v. Ohio State Hwy. Patrol, 60 Ohio St.3d 143, 145, 573 N.E.2d 1063 (1991).

{¶ 11} The question here is whether the court of appeals properly dismissed V.K.B.'s complaint for a writ of prohibition, or whether there is a set of facts consistent with the complaint that would entitle her to the requested relief.

The juvenile court lacks jurisdiction

{¶ 12} The complaint clearly alleges that the respondents have exercised...

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  • Cincinnati Enquirer v. Hamilton Cnty. Bd. of Comm'rs, Case No. 2019-00789PQ
    • United States
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    • August 25, 2020
    ...that would allow the claimant to recover, dismissal for failure to state a claim is not proper. State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 10. The unsupported conclusions of a complaint are, however, not admitted and are insufficient to withstand a mo......
  • In re Adoption of T.C.W., Case No. 19CA6
    • United States
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    ..." In re Adoption of K.N.W., 4th Dist. Athens Nos. 15CA36 and 15CA37, 2016-Ohio-5863, ¶ 21, citing State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 16, quoting In re Hockstok, 98 Ohio St.3d 238, 2002-Ohio-7208, 781 N.E.2d 971, ¶ 16; In re Mullen, 129 Ohio St......
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    ...remedy exists, a writ may be appropriate when the lack of jurisdiction is patent and unambiguous. State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 9.{¶ 20} The Board contends that the Probate Court's exercise of jurisdiction is unauthorized by law because t......
  • In re P.L.B., Case No. 18CA19
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • March 14, 2019
    ..." In re Adoption of K.N.W., 4th Dist. Athens Nos. 15CA36 and 15CA37, 2016-Ohio-5863, ¶ 21, citing State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 16, quoting In re Hockstok, 98 Ohio St.3d 238, 2002-Ohio-7208, 781 N.E.2d 971, ¶ 16. This is a constitutionall......
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50 cases
  • Cincinnati Enquirer v. Hamilton Cnty. Bd. of Comm'rs, Case No. 2019-00789PQ
    • United States
    • Court of Claims of Ohio
    • August 25, 2020
    ...that would allow the claimant to recover, dismissal for failure to state a claim is not proper. State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 10. The unsupported conclusions of a complaint are, however, not admitted and are insufficient to withstand a mo......
  • In re Adoption of T.C.W., Case No. 19CA6
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • April 10, 2020
    ..." In re Adoption of K.N.W., 4th Dist. Athens Nos. 15CA36 and 15CA37, 2016-Ohio-5863, ¶ 21, citing State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 16, quoting In re Hockstok, 98 Ohio St.3d 238, 2002-Ohio-7208, 781 N.E.2d 971, ¶ 16; In re Mullen, 129 Ohio St......
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    • United States
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    • October 20, 2016
    ...remedy exists, a writ may be appropriate when the lack of jurisdiction is patent and unambiguous. State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 9.{¶ 20} The Board contends that the Probate Court's exercise of jurisdiction is unauthorized by law because t......
  • In re P.L.B., Case No. 18CA19
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • March 14, 2019
    ..." In re Adoption of K.N.W., 4th Dist. Athens Nos. 15CA36 and 15CA37, 2016-Ohio-5863, ¶ 21, citing State ex rel. V.K.B. v. Smith, 138 Ohio St.3d 84, 2013-Ohio-5477, 3 N.E.3d 1184, ¶ 16, quoting In re Hockstok, 98 Ohio St.3d 238, 2002-Ohio-7208, 781 N.E.2d 971, ¶ 16. This is a constitutionall......
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