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State of Ohio v. Jose E. Navedo

September 30, 2011

STATE OF OHIO APPELLANT
v.
JOSE E. NAVEDO APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 08CV156405

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Whitmore, Judge.

Cite as

State v. Navedo,

ss:

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

{¶1} Appellant, the State of Ohio, appeals from the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, granting Appellee, Jose Navedo's, motion to vacate the default judgment against him. This Court affirms in part, and reverses in part.

I

{¶2} On April 22, 2008, the State filed a petition for civil forfeiture against Navedo, seeking to forfeit property the police seized during Navedo's felony drug abuse arrest. The State attempted to serve Navedo at his address of record, 203 West 15th Street, Lorain, Ohio, by certified mail. It also published notice of the forfeiture proceedings in a newspaper, The Amherst News Time, for two consecutive weeks, pursuant to R.C. 2981.05(B). After the first attempt to serve Navedo by certified mail failed, the State again attempted service by certified mail on May 27, 2008. That too resulted in the certified mail being returned as unclaimed. The State then served Navedo by regular mail on June 24, 2008. Having received no response from Navedo, the State filed a motion for default judgment on July 31, 2008. On August 21, 2008, the trial court granted the motion for default and ordered the forfeiture of Navedo's property.

{¶3} On June 8, 2010, Navedo filed a motion for relief from judgment. The State responded in opposition, and the court set the matter for a hearing before a magistrate on August 31, 2010. On October 19, 2010, the magistrate issued a decision, concluding that Navedo was entitled to relief from judgment. The trial court signed the same judgment entry alongside the magistrate and made it the order of the court.

{¶4} The State now appeals from the October 19, 2010 judgment entry and raises two assignments of error for our review.

II

Assignment of Error Number One

"THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AND ERRED BY SETTING APPELLEE'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT FOR HEARING, OVER APPELLANT'S OBJECTION, WHEN APPELLEE ONLY PRESENTED AN UNSUBSTANTIATED AND UNSWORN CLAIM OF LACK OF SERVICE."

{ΒΆ5} In its first assignment of error, the State argues that the trial court erred by setting this matter for a hearing based on Navedo's motion ...


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